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Free gym for four months offer fits the bill

FREE gym membership for four months is worth its weight in gold for people wanting to get fit.

Renfrewshire Leisure sports services staff, Yvonne McLetchie and Scott Graham at the launch of the free gym for four months offer

The money-saving offer from Renfrewshire Leisure means you get 14 months membership for the price of a ten-month up front fee on the various membership categories.

As well as being able to use six state-of-the-art fitness suites, membership of Renfrewshire Leisure also gets you access to more than 300 fitness classes and free use of five swimming pools throughout the area.

But if people only want to use a gym, another offer could well fit the bill with a six-month gym-only membership costing only £99. And for those who just want to attend fitness classes, there is also an offer of ten classes for £40.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar explains: “We’ve some of the best fitness suites in the country with knowledgeable and experienced staff on hand to advise our members.

“At this time of year many people’s thoughts turn to getting fit and healthy and to encourage them to do just that, we’ve a fantastic offer of four months free membership.

“The extra benefits of being a Renfrewshire Leisure member far outnumber other gyms, with access to classes and swimming pools. But for people who just want to use our fitness suites, we’ve created a gym only six-month membership for only £99.

“Signing up with Renfrewshire Leisure now means we can help you lose some weight, but gain pounds in your pocket!”

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Renfrewshire’s ground-breaking educational training initiative named among Scotland’s best

Renfrewshire’s ground-breaking teacher training initiative to improve pupil reading standards.has been named among Scotland’s most successful educational interventions.

Teachers featured in the Renfrewshire Literacy Initiative training films at the premiere with Renfrewshire Council HQ education staff and (centre) Councillor Jacqueline Henry (in red jacket). To her right is Prof Sue Ellis, University of Strathclyde (wearing grey cardigan).

The Renfrewshire Literacy Approach – launched in September 2015 – is featured alongside the cream of Scottish educational initiatives in a new digital resource from Education Scotland .

The cutting-edge partnership between Renfrewshire Council and the University of Strathclyde.has seen more than 800 teachers across primary and secondary schools take part in a high quality programme of professional learning – designed to enhance the knowledge and skills of teachers and head teachers in the teaching of reading

Now the success of the Renfrewshire Approach is highlighted in Interventions for Equity – a new digital resource from Education Scotland to help schools and their partners making local decisions about how best to go about closing the attainment gap between children of richer and poorer households.

The interventions listed in the new resource represent the range of different approaches developed in Scotland and which have proved to be effective, according to Education Scotland.

The Renfrewshire Approach is designed to increase staff skills in encouraging a love of reading and books in children from an early age – and so increase pupils’ chances of success in education and in later life.

Teachers are being trained to look not just at core skills which support the development of reading skills. The Approach also equips staff to address other factors which play a role – such as children’s opinions, along with knowledge and understanding of the world.

News of the national accolade came shortly after a special event in Johnstone to highlight the success of the Literacy Approach to Renfrewshire Council’s education and early years staff.

Johnstone Town Hall may be 5000 miles from Hollywood Boulevard – but staff attending the venue were given the red carpet treatment at a film ‘premiere’ there this week..

It was the setting for a special after-school cinema format screening of three short films of local teachers telling how their work has been helped by the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach.

The films feature 18 teachers from 11 primary schools giving their personal views and opinions on the benefits of the Literacy Approach

Primary school and early years education specialists from across Renfrewshire were in the audience of more than 200 people who watched and listened to the teachers praising the effect which the new training techniques has had on them – and the children.

One little boy featured on screen talked about how he was now enjoying reading instead of disliking it.

Teachers described how strategies to help them deal with teaching full classes and individuals wth differing abilities were having a very positive effect on children’s enthusiasm for reading – with knock-on effects for pupils’ learning and overall achievement in class.

Copies of the DVD containing the films will be sent round Renfrewshire schools to give easy access to information about how the programme is working in practice and so help staff development among teachers and classroom assistants.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children Policy Board, said: “Being able to read easily and well is a basic essential for children to get the education necessary to make the most of life and avoid poverty in adulthood.

“Showing children that learning to read is interesting and fun helps them to understand that learning is an enjoyable experience.

“Our hope is that this Initiative not only helps improve literacy skills of pupils but encourages a lifelong interest in all forms of learning.

“It’s great to see the inspirational effect the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach has had on our teachers and it’s immensely satisfying to see it getting the national recognition it so richly deserves..

“The films are not only an important training tool for staff – they also show the amazing work going on in Renfrewshire to end the poverty gap through giving our children the best possible start in life.”

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Mackay visits Paisley Cafe which will benefit from SBBS

Small Business Bonus Scheme exempts 100,000 properties from business rates this year.

Mackay visits Paisley cafe

More than half of all commercial properties will pay no business rates in 2017-18, Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said today.

As a result of the Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) an estimated 100,000 small business premises in Scotland will pay no business rates in 2017-18.

The SBBS has already saved small businesses over £1.2 billion since the scheme was introduced in 2008.

In the Draft Budget Mr Mackay announced that the SBBS will be expanded, raising the eligibility threshold for 100% relief to a rateable value of £15,000 – lifting 100,000 properties out of rates altogether, and generating a saving of up to £6,990 per property.

Visiting Mad Hatter’s Coffee House in Paisley, which will now qualify for 100% relief through the SBBS, Mr Mackay said:

“This government has consistently delivered a competitive environment for business and we have used our tax powers to support growth.  Not only have we ensured that smaller businesses pay zero or lower rates of non-residential LBTT, large businesses enjoy a lower rate than the rest of the UK.

“I was pleased to set out a range of further measures in the Draft Budget to confirm a highly competitive business rates regime for Scotland in 2017-18, including expanding the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

“Scotland’s small businesses are fundamental drivers in securing sustainable economic growth, which is why we are doing everything we can to support them.  Scotland already offers the most competitive reliefs package for small businesses in the UK, and we intend to keep our promise that Scotland will be the best place to do business anywhere in the UK.”

 

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Renfrewshire venues toast success at Best Bar None Awards

Renfrewshire’s bars and pubs have toasted success at this year’s Best Bar None Awards.

Best Bar None Award winners with members of Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland

The awards ceremony, held in Renfrew Town Hall on Thursday 12 January, saw accreditation given to local venues across five different categories of Independent Pub, Independent Bar, Pub, Bar and Nightclub.

Ten out of the 12 venues which applied secured a gold award with two receiving a silver award.

The Best Bar None joint initiative between Police Scotland and Renfrewshire Council was introduced in 2012 to reward venues that provide a safe and welcoming environment for local residents to enjoy responsible drinking.

The awards are based on core national standards with flexibility to address local needs. It also encourages pubs, clubs and bars to work with the Council and Police Scotland to prevent crime and disorder.

Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “It’s great to see Renfrewshire’s bars, pubs and clubs working with the council and the police to deliver excellent entertainment venues, while also improving the safety and wellbeing of customers.

“Best Bar None recognises the hard work of the local venues and Renfrewshire is very proud to have so many outstanding licensed premises for locals and visitors to enjoy a drink.

Sergeant Jeff Curran of Police Scotland said: “I am delighted to see so many licensed premises in Renfrewshire achieve accredited status.

“Pubs and bars that offer a secure environment where customers can drink responsibly are becoming the norm and local people can enjoy a drink knowing they are in safe hands.”

This year’s Best Bar None ceremony also saw outstanding premises recognised in new local award categories for Best Family Venue, Most Improved, People’s Choice and Best Venue Manager.

Venues were assessed during October and November 2016 and were scored using national guidelines. Best Bar None Awards are based on core standards relating to five licensing objectives, which are:

• preventing crime and disorder,

• securing public safety,

• preventing public nuisance,

• protecting and improving public health, and

• protecting children from harm.

Overall category winners now have the chance to compete at the end of the year for the national Best Bar None Awards in Glasgow, which will take place in March 2017.

Councillor Devine added: “To have 12 premises across Renfrewshire achieve accredited status in the Best Bar None awards is a fantastic achievement and highlights the good practice in our venues. This is vital as we go forward with Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021.

“I’d encourage more bars, pubs and clubs to take part in this scheme and showcase Renfrewshire as a thriving location for entertainment and leisure.”

To read more about the Best Bar None Awards visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/bestbarnone

Below is a list of the venues which entered the Best Bar None scheme in 2016/17 and the awards they received.

Category – Independent Bar

Kilty Kilty Gold and Innovation in Public Health Award winner

Cafuffals Gold

The Bankhouse Gold

Bar Varia Gold and overall category winner

Bar Varia was the overall category winner. Kilty Kilty has also been given an additional award for Innovation in Public Health.

Category – Bar

Canal Station Bar & Restaurant Silver and overall category winner.

Category – Independent Pub

Old Swan Inn Gold and People’s Choice Award winner

The Ferry Inn Silver and Best Family Venue Award winner

Tartan Rose Gold and Heart of the Community Award winner

Craigielea Bar Gold and overall category winner

Craigielea Bar was the overall category winner. The Old Swann Inn, The Ferry Inn and Tartan rose also received an additional award for People’s Choice, Best Family Venue and Heart of the Community respectively.

Category – Night Club

Fantoosh Gold

Fantoosh was the overall category winner and also received an additional award for Most Improved.

Category – Pub

Lord of the Isles Gold

The Flying Scotsman Gold and overall category winner

Manager Award

Claire Colquhoun Tartan Rose Best Venue Manager (joint)

Jason Smith Bankhouse Best Venue Manager (joint)

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It’s all going on in Renfrewshire

THE new edition of a What’s On Guide reveals there’s plenty going on in a line-up of cultural events being staged at venues throughout Renfrewshire.


Renfrewshire Leisure is staging a varied programme of shows, exhibitions and workshops from now until the end of April.  An events brochure listing all that is going on, called The Guide has just been launched.

The colourful free brochure – jam-packed with information about more than 40 different shows and events – can be picked up at Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre, Renfrew Town Hall and Johnstone Town Hall. The Guide can also be downloaded by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com .

The events being staged feature drama, music, dance, comedy, exhibitions, talks and workshops.
They include everything from a performance by award-winning traditional folk band, Breabach, stand-up comedian, Chris Ramsey to well-known film and TV actor, David Hayman appearing in a play called The Cause of Thunder to an exhibition of Star Wars memorabilia called May The Toys Be With You.

There are also events that are part of various festivals – International Women’s Day, Puppet Animation Festival and for the first time, LGBT History Month.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “There is culture everywhere you look in and around Paisley, these days.
“There’s something for everyone to enjoy and The Guide is the best way to find out what’s going on.”

Tickets for all the events are now on sale and can be bought online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/arts  or by phoning 0300 300 1210 or in person at Paisley Arts Centre, in New Street, Paisley.

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Paisley ready to bid as UK City of Culture competition launches

The team behind Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture say the town will be ready to host the 2021title – after the UK Government today fired the starting gun on the competition.

Paisley Town Hall lit up in support of the bid

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport today formally launched the 2021 competition, with bids due in for 28 April, and the winner to be announced at the end of the year.

The guidelines were announced by Minister for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock MP during a visit to Hull, the current holders of the title, which runs every four years.

Paisley’s unique assets include the globally-recognised Paisley Pattern, Scotland’s second-highest concentration of listed buildings, and an internationally significant museum collection, including the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls.

The town also offers a thriving contemporary cultural scene, a highly-regarded university, international airport, and PACE, one of the UK’s largest youth theatre groups.

Paisley officially launched its intention to bid in November 2015 and the year since has seen an outpouring of support from the local community and beyond, including:

– more than 8,000 local people taking part in conversations around the bid;

– messages of support from homegrown cultural icons such as singer Paolo Nutini and playwright John Byrne;

– backing from more than 100 businesses, including Glasgow Airport, intu Braehead and the University of the West of Scotland;

– 70 million opportunities to see or hear something positive about Paisley, helping change perceptions and the tone of conversation about the town;

– cross-party political support, with an event at Westminster and one of the best –attended parliamentary receptions in the history of the Scottish Parliament;

Councillor Mark Macmillan, chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board and Renfrewshire Council Leader, said: “We would like to thank DCMS for giving us the chance to bid for this title – we hope to use it to transform the area’s fortunes, bringing massive economic benefits and a lasting social and cultural legacy.

“The first week of Hull’s UK City of Culture year saw 342,000 visitors to the city – that is scale of boost this title could bring.

“Paisley’s name was once carried across the world thanks to the Pattern and its status as the one-time home of the global thread industry – for its size, the town’s contribution to the world has been massive.

“This bid will retell Paisley’s unique story to the world, while showing the judges Paisley wants the title, needs the title and can deliver it.”

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, added: “Over the past year we have had wonderful backing from the people of Paisley – and our thriving creative community has been at the heart of that.

“In that time we have seen a new sense of confidence and awareness of everything Paisley has to offer – and we will distil that into a bid which shows DCMS how we plan to harness the power of culture to make people’s lives better.

“We would also like to wish all the best to all the other cities who will be joining us on the bidding journey.”

Amanda McMillan, managing director of Glasgow Airport, said: “Securing UK City of Culture status would have a hugely positive effect on Paisley and everyone at Glasgow Airport is fully behind the bid.

“As well as providing a nationwide platform to showcase the town’s rich cultural heritage, it would also create a legacy of enduring civic pride for the people of Paisley.

“There’s no doubt a successful bid would play a significant role in boosting inbound tourism, so having an international airport serving more than nine million passengers just minutes from the town centre can only be to Paisley’s advantage.

“We hope our continued support can help play a part and wish the bid team good luck.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland (UWS), said: “UWS is extremely proud to be one of the key partners of Paisley 2021.

“The university has already contributed to a number of initiatives related to the bid including an innovative digital art exhibition at Paisley Museum, which was commissioned by UWS in support of the bid.

“University staff are also playing an integral part in bid planning and delivery. We are excited about being part of the process and continuing to work with our partners to showcase Paisley.”

David Wallace, managing director of PACE theatre company and chair of the Creative Renfrewshire Network said, “The past year has been phenomenal in terms of taking pride in and perceptions of Paisley to a new level.

“The young people in the company now talk excitedly about their town and the competition launch brings their dream of a creative future one step closer.”

Although Paisley is not a city, the competition is open to large towns and urban areas, so as Scotland’s largest town, Paisley is equipped to apply and win.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“The firing gun has now been fired and the race to be named UK City of Culture in 2021 can now truly begin.

“The team behind Paisley’s bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021 have been working hard for the past year, showcasing everything that our town has to offer and detailing the transformational impact that would come from Paisley being awarded this prestigious title.

“I know from my work promoting the town in Westminster that there is a lot of interest in Paisley, and I will continue to do everything in my power to help Paisley being awarded the title of UK City of Culture 2021.”

For more information about Paisley’s bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

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PAISLEY BECOMES THE NEWEST TOWN TO FLY THE PURPLE FLAG

Paisley First is celebrating today after learning it achieved the prestigious Purple Flag status for its evening and night-time economy (ENTE).  Purple Flag is a town and city centre award – similar to the Blue Flag for beaches – which aims to raise the standard and broaden the appeal of town and city centres between the hours of 17:00 and 05:00.

The Purple flag application was developed over the last twelve months by Paisley First, with partners; Paisley Pubwatch, Renfrewshire Council, Central Scotland Police, Renfrewshire Cabs, Scotrail, Paisley and West Community Council and the Paisley Street Pastors.

Areas awarded the Purple Flag are recognised for providing a vibrant and diverse mix of dining, entertainment and culture while promoting the safety and wellbeing of visitors and local residents.

Since 2007, the programme has awarded the Purple Flag status to over 65 towns and cities in the UK and Ireland. Purple Flag accredited areas have all reported a consistent increase in footfall and a decrease in crime within the ENTE. The Purple Flag programme is managed by the Association of Town and City Management (ATCM) which works in partnership with key stakeholder groups backed by the government, police and businesses, as well as UK sponsors, Diageo Great Britain.

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson stated, “Winning the Purple Flag is another project milestone for Paisley First and our partners, and it is a great credit to the team who have driven the project to completion.  Paisley is the third town in Scotland to achieve this accreditation, joining the latest towns, Aberdeen and Dunfermline.  Towns and cities that have been awarded Purple Flag status have reported increased sales and additional evening events and activities.  Paisley First are currently planning more events and projects for the year ahead and we will present these to our members at our open meeting on the 16th February, 2017 at the UWS.”

Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “We are delighted the town is now only one of the few places in Scotland to be awarded Purple Flag status.  A number of council staff worked closely with Paisley First and other partners on the application and it is great to see that hard work paying off”.

“This award shows Paisley town centre has been judged as surpassing standards of excellence in managing the evening and night time economy, and offers an entertaining, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out.

“The work going on around the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is geared towards selling Paisley as a destination and bringing in visitors to spend their money with local businesses.

“For potential visitors to know the town centre has been given an official seal of approval by expert assessors  is a great boost to that work – and with the bid due to be lodged in the next few months, this accolade couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Shanaaz Carroll, CEO of the ATCM said:  “There are now over 70 towns and cities across the UK and Ireland who are proudly flying the Purple Flag after working hard to gain accreditation. The award is not just about safety, but also the vibrancy and diversity of the evening and night-time offer — this can only be achieved by people working together and across the country, we are seeing some amazing examples of this type of partnership working.”

Paisley officially receives the Purple Flag new accreditation on the 8th February, 2017, along with Dublin One, Leeds, Limerick, Maynooth, Reading, Wexford and a further seven towns; Dunfermline, Leicester Square, Newcastle under Lyme, Preston, Salisbury, Sheffield and Southend who have had their Full Renewal status renewed.

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Paisley First Seek Local Makers for New “Makerspace”

Paisley First are looking at the possibility of creating a permanent makerspace in the town centre and would like to hear from any local artisans, artists or traders who might be keen to get involved.

The aim of this exciting new project is to unleash Paisley potential by providing a physical space for open collaboration, idea creation, prototyping and even selling.

The aim of our makerspace is to bring interested minds together to provide spaces where members share available tools and resources, perhaps also containing an allocated space whereby parties sell their arts, crafts and wares to the general public. The idea is that members will draw inspiration from their peers to create a support network – the key to success for any budding entrepreneur.

Paisley First would like to hear ideas on creating a local makerspace from interested parties and would be happy to hear from anyone who’d like to participate in this exciting new venture.

Anyone interested can e-mail Melanie Hughes at the Paisley First office for further information: melanie@paisleyfirst.com

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‘Step Up for St Vincent’s’ Sponsored Walk

Join us on Sunday 19th March 2017 at 11.00am, for our first ever sponsored walk at Castle Semple, Lochwinnoch.

Bring your friends and family and join fellow supporters on this leisurely 10k walk or our shorter family friendly 5k route which is suitable for all abilities.

The walk will start at 11.00am after a fun warm-up and will be a great chance to catch up with friends, spend the day with the family or even just get out for a bit of exercise …all while supporting a great cause!

St Vincent’s Hospice is a charitable organisation at the heart of the community, offering specialist care and services to all those affected by life-limiting illness.

There is no minimum sponsorship for this event so we would encourage you to set a personal target and do your best to raise as much as you can to support the work of St Vincent’s Hospice.

To register please follow the link below to complete a registration form http://bit.ly/2izZvuC or go to www.svh.co.uk

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Last few remaining at Abbey Place

Link is delighted to offer brand new, one bedroom retirement, independent living properties at Abbey Place in Paisley, which you would be proud to call your home.

These new homes offer you an exclusive opportunity to live in Paisley’s historic quarter whilst enjoying the amenities of the town centre which is just a stroll away. Applicants must be aged over 60 and able to live independently.

For more information visit Link Housing website or telephone 0141 889 7222.