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TAG Street Party 2017

Come along to a fantastic day of free family fun in the heart of Paisley.  This is the fifth year the TAG Street Party has been run with thousands of people popping in throughout the day each year.  Here at ECF Paisley (www.ecfpaisley.org), we are continually working on ways in which we can serve the community that we are part of. Being based in Paisley Town Centre on Gordon Street, we love putting on an event that celebrates Paisley and encourages community.

The TAG Street Party is one of the ways that we love to do this. It includes a BBQ Cafe, a Kids Creative Centre (open 12pm – 3pm), Bouncy Castles and Assault Course, lots of Games, Facepainting, Balloon Modeling and Psalm Reading.  The best part: Everything is Free!

Date: Saturday 12th August

Time: 10am – 4pm

Location: County Square, Paisley

Cost: Everything is Free


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Transformation tour of Paisley showcases investment in town

Investment in Paisley’s heritage buildings and high street is a strong sign that ambitious heritage-led transformation plans are bringing a new lease of life to the town.

Council Leader and Head of Regeneration at Pendulum

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson took a tour round Paisley’s town centre to see firsthand recent investments in heritage buildings and shop units in the town.

Council Leader, Head of Regeneration and Mr Hussain outside 20 High Street

The Council’s ambitious plans to use Paisley’s internationally-significant heritage and cultural assets as part of wider regeneration plans for the area have already seen the town shortlisted for the UK Government’s UK City of Culture 2021 competition.

Head of Regeneration and Council Leader at Coats Memorial Church

Regeneration plans are working towards transforming Paisley into a hub of creative and cultural excellence and a world-class visitor destination that will drive investment to the whole of Renfrewshire.

The Leader’s tour began with a visit to the ground floor of the former Arnotts building, now a 120 seat contemporary restaurant Pendulum by the owners of the town’s existing Cardosi’s restaurant, which has benefitted from a new frontage, part-funded by a grant from Renfrewshire Council’s retail improvement scheme.

The former Arnotts department store site has been transformed into new residential apartments on Gauze Street and Lawn Street as part of a joint venture between Park Lane Group and Renfrewshire Council, with work to develop further apartments on Smithhills Street due to commence on site very soon.

At 20 High Street, Councillor Nicolson greeted owner and landlord Mr Hussain who is refurbishing shop units in the King Solomon building, due to open soon. The private sector investment includes fitting both shop units with traditional shop fronts in keeping with Paisley’s heritage-led and cultural ambitions for the town centre.

The shops are next door to the proposed Learning and Cultural Hub at 22 High Street, a £5 million investment funded by Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Up at the top of the High Street, plans to renovate shop frontages to a traditional look is part of a £4 million investment into the Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration schemes in the area around the High Street, funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council, expected to run until 2021.

Changing the way the area looks and feels and creating a warm welcome for visitors are part of plans behind Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, which will make the most out of County Square and rail connections through Paisley Gilmour Street, the fourth busiest train station in Scotland.

As part of the tour, the Leader also visited Moss Street to see renovations to residential property (14a Moss Street) and works at former Early Learning Centre (5 Moss Street). The tour ended at the magnificent Coats Memorial Church, which is currently in the care of trustees.

Council Leader said: “Our vision for Paisley is a new town centre economy based around heritage and culture as part of wider regeneration plans for the area.

“Being shortlisted in the UK Government’s UK City of Culture 2021 competition is a huge endorsement for the town. The competition has really changed people’s perceptions of the town and we are starting to see investment come into the area, which will drive economic benefits for the whole of Renfrewshire.

“Investment in venues and cultural infrastructure will have a huge effect on the local community, but also attract visitors into the town through our vital transport links – such as the M8, Paisley Gilmour Street, the fourth busiest train station in Scotland, and plans for a bridge from Renfrew to Yoker, funded by Glasgow City Deal.

“In retelling Paisley’s story to the world, we are bringing the past into the present and creating a new era for the town that will attract investment, people and jobs into the area. The work that we will put into submitting our final UK City of Culture 2021 bid to the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in September, goes hand in hand with working with businesses, the community and landlords to transform the public space in Paisley.”

For more information on Paisley and the town’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

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Youths urged to get involved in mental health campaign

Young people are calling on their peers to get involved in promoting positive mental health in Renfrewshire.

Young people discussing issues young people face at the first-ever Youth Assembly in Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire’s Youth Commission are looking for more young people aged 14 and up to join the group and work collectively on changing perceptions and attitudes towards mental health.

The commission – supported by Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team – was set up in November last year after mental health was voted the top priority issue for young people at the first-ever Youth Assembly held in Renfrewshire.

Stress, relationships and social media have all been identified as areas that can affect mental health by young people, backed up by emerging results from the second Children and Young People Wellbeing survey conducted in Renfrewshire.

Mental health problems affect about 1 in 10 children and young people, such as depression, anxiety and conduct disorder, often as a direct response to their circumstances.

UK statistics also show that a staggering 70 per cent of children and young people who experience mental health issues do not receive appropriate interventions at a sufficiently early age.

Gemma Verlaque, 19, who is a member of the Youth Commission, said: “Good mental health is really important for young people, who may face issues at home, school or in the community.

“By joining our team you will be helping to shape what support is out in the community for young people.

“Our aim is to provide young people with the information they need to get help and support, especially during transition periods – such as leaving school.

“At the Youth Assembly, we discovered that young people don’t know what services are available to them. They also didn’t think there were enough activities and groups for those struggling with mental health issues.

“Family and friends can be strong role models for many young people and I’ve been inspired to get involved in the Youth Commission by the support I have from my family.”

The commission meets every fortnight on a Wednesday evening between 4 and 5.30pm during term time and are holding a special summer session from Monday 24 to Friday 28 July across various venues in Paisley.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Emotional wellbeing of our children and young people is just, if not more, important as their physical health.

“Good mental health in children and young people ensures that they develop the resilience to cope with challenges and difficult situations that life can throw at you and supports them to grow into healthy adults.

“The Youth Commission are already making great progress in identifying barriers to good mental health in young people, but we know having more young people involved will ensure we get a broad perspective on the issues that they face and how we can support them in overcoming these challenges.

“Once the commission have collated their evidence, they will then make a set of recommendations to those who work with young people on how they should be supported and ensure all young people have the same support and experiences with services.

“Mental health is a big deal for young people and in Renfrewshire we will work hard to ensure we support our children and young people with everything they need to reach their full potential.”

To find out more, contact Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team on 0141 889 1110 or email youth@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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SCOTCH: The Fun Loving Dutchmen Return To Paisley

Famed for their fun filled performances and stripey trousers, the band of handsome Dutchmen know as Scotch will return to Paisley on Saturday 12th August, for one night only in the town’s local venue The Bungalow.

Hailing from The Netherlands and forming in 2007, Scotch have performed over 500 shows across Europe and released 5 studio albums. Recently, the band have appeared on Holland’s Got Talent and Sofar Sounds Amsterdam.

After their stellar and packed out show in The Bungalow during 2016, Scotch will be bringing the fun right back into Paisley with their folk, ska and pop inspired sounds. Support will be coming from Ska/Punk outfit Sinister Flynn – who supported Complete Madness in April earlier this year and should not be missed!

“We are very excited to be coming back to Scotland and Paisley. We always feel welcome when we travel from The Netherlands and love to perform to such great audiences” – Sjoerd Van Lee, Scotch.

Tickets are only £5.00 and available from http://thebungalow.bigcartel.com, Feel The Groove and The Bungalow.

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Drop-in summer social clubs offer fun for Renfrewshire’s young people

Young people aged 10 – 18 years old looking for summer activities can drop into free youth social clubs during the school holiday period.

young people at Positive About Youth awards 2016 (credit to Erskine Music and Media Studios)

The summer sessions are provided by Renfrewshire Council’s youth services team to support young people looking to make new friends, meet up with existing friends and have fun together.

The drop-in sessions will offer a range of activities, including arts and crafts, gaming, trips, photography, digital art and film making, will be held on:

-Every Tuesday and Thursday, 1.30-3.30pm and 6.30-8.30pm (ages 10-16) at Foxbar Youth Learning Centre

-Every Tuesday, 6.30-8.30pm (junior ages) and Thursday 6.30-8.30pm (senior ages) at the GoZone, Glenburn

-Every Wednesday, 3.30-5.30pm (P6 and P7) or 6-8.30pm (S1+) at Bargarran Community Centre

-Wednesday 19 July, 1.30-3.30pm (P6, P7 and S1) at Glasgow Nepalese Association Hall, Gallowhill

-Thursday 20 and 27 July, 2-4pm (P6 and P7) or 5-7pm (ages 12-18) at the Tannahill Centre, Ferguslie

Young people will also be able to have their say on what’s important to them in their community by taking part in the youth services survey as well as finding out information, such as how to get a Young Scot card, joining a Youth Voice group or the new LGBT group, volunteering in the area or working towards a Duke of Edinburgh award.

Those interested in outdoor activities can learn how to build a shelter, make a campfire, using hammocks and swings as well as survival skills by signing up to a free bush craft skill sessions for 11-18 year olds.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “It is important that young people feel that they can have access to summer activities that suit them and help them feel part of the community.

“The summer drop-in sessions and clubs are a great way for young people to get to know each other outside of school and for them to have their say on what services they want and need from the youth services team.”

To find out more, visit young.scot/renfrewshire, email youth@renfrewshire.gov.uk or like /YoungRenfrewshire on Facebook.

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Independent Paisley based music venue ‘The Bungalow’ has proudly announced that the venue will play host to Alternative Indie-Rock outfit Band of Skulls. Teaming up with the Independent Venue Week organisation and Jagermeister, Band of Skulls will be live in The Bungalow on Monday 28th August for the bank holiday weekend.

Band of Skulls formed in Southampton in 2004 and have since released 2 studio albums which also saw their tracks being featured on Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock and on The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack. After selling our London’s Electric Ballroom, the three piece took to touring in the USA and Canada and then went on to open shows for Muse and feature on programmes with Jools Holland.

Emma Mackenzie from The Bungalow said “we are delighted to be working with the independent Venue Week organisation once again following a very successful Independent Venue Week for The Bungalow in January earlier this year. We would also like to thank Band of Skulls and Jagermeister for their support of grassroots, independent and fair play venues and we are looking forward to having them perform on our stage”.

Local bands can also get involved with their chance to support the band – all details are available on the Independent Venue Week and The Bungalow Facebook pages.

Tickets are only £10.00 from Skiddle.com, with only a handful remaining we! Get your hands on them as soon as possible.

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Piping hot talent is heading for Paisley

Paisley town centre will welcome some of Scotland’s top piping talent for the annual Paisley Pipe Band Competition this Saturday (22 July).

The event, which is in its eighth year, will see pipers and drummers from across Scotland fill the town with the sound of bagpipes and the beat of drums.

Thousands are expected to watch the bands as they parade from High Street to the main competition arena in County Square. There, judges from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association – West of Scotland branch will judge the bands on their performances across the various grades. Spectators will be able to enjoy the performances during the day, with the March Past at 4.30pm.

Bands compete from 10.30am and then the massed bands will gather at 5.30pm for the prize-giving ceremony with the Chieftain.

The competition, organised by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) and Renfrewshire Council, have quickly come to be regarded as one of the most prestigious events on the calendar. This year’s event is part of an exciting and expanding calendar of cultural events for Renfrewshire following the successful shortlisting of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Chieftain of the event, Provost Lorraine Cameron, said: “The Paisley Pipe Band Competition has attracted huge numbers of people to the town in the years that the event has been running.

“The standard of piping is extremely high attracting bands from across Scotland to compete demonstrating the prestigious nature of the event.

“These events bring big crowds into our towns and give local communities another reason to feel proud about living in Paisley and Renfrewshire. It’s also a great reason to join in the celebrations as Paisley 2021 has made it through to the second stage of the bid for the UK City of Culture 2021.”

This marks the second large scale piping event to take place in the town this year. Earlier this year, Paisley hosted the British Pipe Band Championships which saw thousands of people turn out to St James Playing Fields for one of the biggest events in world piping.

A Family Fun Day has been organised by Renfrewshire Leisure in and around the grounds of the Arts Centre, to mark its 30th anniversary, on Saturday between noon and 4pm. Youngsters can enjoy watching puppet theatre, take part in craft workshops and enjoy drama from PACE.

For more information on Paisley 2021, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

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Support pours in as Paisley becomes only Scottish place on UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist


Backing for Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has poured in from across the political spectrum with the town now the only Scottish place in the running to be the UK’s next City of Culture.


The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport last night announced the five places on the shortlist for the prestigious culture title – with Paisley joined by Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

The five cities were chosen after the initial 11 bidders were whittled down – and will now submit detailed second-stage bids before the winner is announced at the end of the year.

Paisley is bidding for the title as part of a wider push to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural story as the home of the globally-recognised Paisley Pattern to transform its future.

It is estimated Paisley’s 2021 year could bring a £172m economic boost and create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period.

Current UK City of Culture hosts Hull have seen £1 billion of investment since winning the title in 2013, with the city attracting 1.4m visitors in just the first three months of its year in the spotlight.

There has never been a Scottish winner – although Dundee made the shortlist four years ago – and senior government figures from across the country are talking up what Paisley has to offer.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: “Paisley makes a significant contribution to Scotland’s rich cultural life, with both historic built heritage and modern design.

“The local and national boost that being UK City of Culture 2021 would bring is an exciting prospect and I am pleased Paisley’s cultural journey and interests continue in this competition.”

Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “I am delighted Paisley has been shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021. This is a superb opportunity to stimulate Paisley’s vibrant culture, generate new jobs and boost the local economy.

“While I must remain rigorously impartial, I can’t help but think the town that has given the world the Paisley Pattern, Paolo Nutini and David Tennant deserves something in return. I wish all those involved the very best of luck.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: “Culture can transform the lives of many, including those in poverty, and supports people to develop new skills and build confidence in order to compete for the jobs of the future.

“I’ve long been a supporter of Paisley’s bid and I hope it makes it all the way and becomes the UK City of Culture 2021.”

Paisley’s bid is taking place as part of a wider push to use the town’s internationally-significant story to make it a key visitor destination within Scotland, and tourism chiefs were quick to talk the town up.

VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead, said: “This is fantastic news for both the town and for Scotland. This is a highly-competitive process and to have made it this far is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team to showcase the town’s wonderful cultural offering.

“Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and Paisley already has a number of events already taking place, including The Spree and Weave Festival, that celebrate the town’s wonderful culture and heritage.

“It is this unique culture and heritage that will provide the ideal platform for them to build a wider programme of events and activities to engage with all its communities and the UK while ultimately transform its future.

“This is a highly coveted title and competition will be fierce, however, Paisley has much to offer and I know they will make the most of this opportunity. They have our full support and I wish them the best of luck ahead of the final decision.”

The news was also greeted with delight locally, with Paisley’s MSP George Adam issuing a call for the whole country to get behind the town, adding: “This is fantastic news for our town and is down to the great work of bid director Jean Cameron and her team.

“The people of Paisley have embraced this bid and have played an enormous part so far.  Paisley’s bid has now become Scotland’s bid and Team Paisley has now become Team Scotland.

“Over the next few months Paisley will be putting everything into bringing the title back to our great town.”

For more information on Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture, see paisley2021.co.uk

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‘Thank you’ to town as Paisley sole Scottish bidder on UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist

Paisley City of Culture 2021

The team behind Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 have thanked the people of the town for their ‘incredible contribution’ after Paisley was named as the sole Scottish place on the shortlist for the next stage of the competition.

Paisley City of Culture 2021


The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have confirmed the 11 places bidding for the title has been whittled down to just five – Paisley, Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

Initial bids were lodged in April – the five selected are due to submit more detailed second-stage bids by the end of September, with the winner announced at the end of the year.

Paisley is bidding for the title as part of a wider push to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural story as the home of the globally-recognised Paisley Pattern to transform its future.

It is estimated Paisley’s 2021 year could bring a £172m economic boost and create the equivalent of 4,700 jobs over a ten-year period.

Current UK City of Culture hosts Hull has seen £1 billion of investment since winning the title in 2013, with the city attracting 1.4m visitors in just the first three months of its year in the spotlight.

And the shortlist news has been hailed by the team behind Paisley’s bid as a massive thumbs-up for the town and its ambitions.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson – chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board – said: “For the judges to have shortlisted us is a major endorsement of our ambitions for Paisley and Renfrewshire – and we are in it to win it.

“I know local people will be absolutely thrilled at this news – we want to thank every one of them as they are the ones whose incredible contribution made it happen.

“They turned the bid into a mass movement, with more than 30,000 people joining the conversation – a number equivalent to almost half the town’s population.

“Winning the UK City of Culture 2021 title would be a major boost to our wider plans.

“Aside from hosting some of the world’s best performers and bringing more than a million people to Paisley in 2021, it would over the long term create thousands of new jobs, and allow us to attract massive investment and build a new town centre economy with tourism and creativity at its heart.

“We wish the best of luck to the other places which join us on the shortlist, and send our best wishes to those which didn’t make it through.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron added: “This is a wonderful piece of news. A huge number of people worked so hard to get us to this stage and we want to thank every one of them…from Paisley Buddies to our friends across Scotland, the UK and further afield.

“There’s never been a Scottish winner and we would be thrilled to be the first – we are now Scotland’s bid and would love to see the whole country get behind us.

“The work to date has already been really positive for Paisley – it taken awareness of our internationally-significant story to a new level and changed perceptions of the town.

“It has also brought a new sense of self-confidence to residents and shown them how the power of culture can be harnessed to change people’s lives for the better.

“Our £1m Culture, Heritage and Events Fund has boosted our local cultural scene and linked local groups with some of Scotland’s best creative talent – building a foundation for our 2021 year.

“The initial bid was the product of a wide range of local groups – community and cultural organisations, schools and young people, businesses and the council – all working together on a shared vision to change the area’s future.

“Paisley will build on that over the next few months as we look to further convince the judges that the town wants the title, needs the title, and will deliver a year of world-class culture in 2021.”

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has enjoyed the following highlights over the past 20 months:

– the creation of a £1m Renfrewshire Culture, Heritage and Events Fund aimed at boosting the local creative scene and creating partnerships with national artists. Funded projects include a series of gable-end artwork murals around the town, and a stop-motion Lego animation now seen by millions of people around the world;

– more than 30,000 people joining the conversation which helped shape the bid, including a specially-commissioned children’s story inviting every primary school child in Renfrewshire to submit ideas;

– backing from cultural figures from the town including singer Paolo Nutini, actor Gerard Butler, artist John Byrne and designer Pam Hogg;

– major events including the British Pipe Band Championships, Scotland’s largest beer festival, and the Scottish Album of the Year Award, with The Spree arts festival taking place later this year.

Work is under way in the town on new cultural infrastructure – including a proposed £42m revamp of Paisley museum and a new museum store and library on the town’s high street – as well as work to reconnect the Pattern back to the town which gave it its name via partnerships with international design houses.

For more information on Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, see paisley2021.co.uk

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Paisley Makes City of Culture 2021 BID shortlist

Paisley City of Culture 2021

Paisley has been shortlisted as the sole Scottish contender vying to become the UK City of Culture in 2021.

The Renfrewshire town is up against Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea for the title, credited with attracting major investment to former winners.

The UK government’s department for digital, culture, media and sport will announce the winner at the end of the year.

Paisley City of Culture 2021

The Paisley2021 staff will now submit a second-stage bid for September, with the winner announced at the end of the year