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Ten out of ten for Lesley’s fitness classes

LESLEY Cochrane has been given ten out of ten for the way she runs her fitness classes.
After all, she’s been teaching Body Attack, Body Pump and Body Combat for ten years, this month.

Lesley, 42, from Linwood is a fitness instructor with Renfrewshire Leisure and was given a round of applause by her class at Linwood’s ON-X Sports Centre last week, when they were told it was the tenth anniversary of her teaching the popular workouts, devised by the internationally-renowned fitness guru, Les Mills.

Lesley said: “I can hardly believe it’s been ten years since I took my first Body Attack class, in the old Linwood Sports Centre.

“We’ve had some great times at the classes over the years and once we were in the sports hall and there some kids playing on a bouncy castle next to us. The youngsters were watching us, then started copying our moves and before I knew it, they had moved over to our side of the hall and joined the class.

“I do all the exercises along with the class and it was such a hard physical workout, I thought I wouldn’t last another ten classes, never mind ten years of classes.
“But I’ve got a lot fitter myself over the years by taking these classes and there are women who were at my first class and still come along today.”

Two of these women are Hazel Black and Kam Bamrah, both from Houston Renfrewshire.
Hazel said: “Going to Lesley’s classes has been really enjoyable and I’ve made some good friends there. It’s exercise and fun at the same time.”

Kam added: “We know we’ll always get a good workout with Lesley. I’ve been coming for such a long time because I really enjoy her classes.”

Renfrewshire Leisure chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “Our aim is to make keeping fit as interesting and as enjoyable as possible. With instructors like Lesley working for us and the fact people have been coming to the classes for ten years, shows that we’re doing exactly that.”

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Disabled changing facilities at sports centres being upgraded

Changing facilities for people with disabilities are being upgraded at two sports and leisure centres.
Work has already started to create refurbished changing rooms at The Lagoon, in Paisley and Linwood’s ON-X sports centre.


Once completed in three weeks time, the facilities will meet the standards of the Changing Places Consortium – a UK organisation that campaigns for better toilets and changing facilities for people with profound learning or physical disabilities.

The new changing facilities for disabled people will have a height adjustable adult-size changing table, hoist, new sanitary fittings, supporting handrails and upgraded heating.

While the work at The Lagoon is ongoing, disabled people who want to visit a swimming pool are advised to use the ON-X, which has alternative changing facilities.

Renfrewshire Council is meeting the £29,000 cost of refurbishing both disabled changing areas in the two sports centres operated by Renfrewshire Leisure.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “Bringing the facilities up to Changing Places standard shows we’re committed to making sure no one is prevented from using the excellent sports and leisure facilities we have in Renfrewshire because of a disability.”

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Bring a friend to the gym for free

A friend in need of a good workout in the gym is a friend indeed.

That’s the message from Renfrewshire Leisure as they prepare to offer their gym members the chance to bring a friend for free this weekend.

The amazing offer runs on Saturday and Sunday, April 7 and 8 and gym members’ friends, partners, or family members can try out one of the fitness suites, fitness classes, or swimming pools at no charge.
The venues where you can bring a friend for free are – Lagoon Leisure Centre, Paisley; ON-X, in Linwood; Renfrew Sports Centre; Johnstone Community Sports Hub and Erskine Community Sports Centre.

The centres have organised extra fitness classes, gym tours and free fun activities for kids.
The gym membership team will also be on hand with exclusive offers that will only be available to purchase in person during the Bring a Friend Weekend. These include 50 per cent off your first 3 months of membership or £50 off any annual membership.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “Coming to the gym or taking part in a fitness class is not just about keeping fit. There’s a great social element to it when you can meet up with people.

“Our Bring a Friend for Free initiative is a great way to get your family or friends to come along and enjoy the benefits of the gym, fitness class or a swim in the pool.”
Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com for more information.

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2021 thank you event to look ahead to Paisley’s bright future

Plans to secure a exciting future for Paisley will be laid out at a celebration event aimed at highlighting the benefits of bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 and how the town plans to continue to harness the power of culture to transform its fortunes.

The ‘Our Journey Continues’ event, which will take place on Thursday 29 March at Paisley Town Hall from 12.00 – 1.30pm, will examine the key benefits of the town’s bid including helping to raise the town’s profile, raising ambitions for the area, developing a deeper understanding of the excellent work taking place in the community.

The town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 changed the town for the better, and the momentum it generated will continue and this will be discussed in more detail at the event.

In addition to celebrating the work which has already taken place it will also reveal more about the future opportunities. This includes investing in cultural venues and outdoor spaces such as Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre and St James Playing Fields, developing the creative economy and enhancing our cultural events and festivals programme and continuing to build on the support from the community. This investment demonstrates how Renfrewshire continues to buck the trend in terms of cultural investment.

Furthermore it will show that the council and its place partners are still committed to achieving the step changes outlined in the bid – to grow a new dimension to the economy, transform the town’s image, lift Paisley’s communities out of poverty, be recognised for cultural excellence and transform the town into a vibrant cultural centre.

The event will see partners and local community groups come together to find out more about future plans and members of the public are encouraged to come along to learn what will happen next for the town.

Chair of the Paisley Partnership Board, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “The Our Journey Continues event is not only a celebration of the excellent work which has already taken place through the bidding process but is a great opportunity for us all to look ahead to the exciting plans for the future.”

This event precedes the Future Forward: Culture in Renfrewshire collaborative discussion which will ask attendees what directions culture in Renfrewshire should take, and what successes people would like to build on.  The event will be held in Paisley Town Hall from 2-4pm.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Head of Cultural Services, Morag Macpherson, said: “The thank you event is a great introduction to the Culture in Renfrewshire discussion which will allow everyone to have their say on what the priorities for culture in Renfrewshire should be in the years to come.

“I’m sure the plans unveiled through Our Journey Continues, and the ideas and ambitions which people come along with, will create a really rich inspirational mix. We will discuss how we best focus our aspirations and collectively create a really exciting cultural environment over the next few years.”

There will also be another Future Forward session on Tues 17 April 6-8pm, places can be booked here.

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Paisley Museum receives £4m Scottish Government funding boost

Plans to turn Paisley Museum into a world-class destination showcasing the town’s globally-significant textile heritage and unique collections have been awarded £4m by the Scottish Government.

The funding was confirmed today by Scottish Government Minister Kevin Stewart on a visit to the museum to announce a £26 million investment in projects across Scotland.

The boost for the town comes just days after the launch of a new destination brand and website at paisley.is designed to sell Paisley and Renfrewshire as a great place to visit, live and invest.

The revamped museum is expected to bring 125,000 visits a year and build on the town’s fast-growing reputation as a key destination within Scotland.

The £42m project is central to a planned £100m-plus investment in Paisley town centre venues and infrastructure and part of a wider plan to transform the area’s future using Paisley’s cultural and heritage assets and build on the legacy of the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are delighted the Scottish Government has confirmed this contribution towards the £42m project to transform Paisley Museum

“Between now and 2022 we will work with the local community to create a world-class destination showcasing Paisley’s outstanding art, science and natural history collections, and globally-significant textile heritage.

“The news has come at a great time – coming as we launch Paisley Is…a new destination brand and website dedicated to selling the area as a great place to visit, live and invest.

“Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 raised awareness of our unique story to a worldwide audience, and the museum project is central to a wider set of plans to build on that momentum and make the town one of Scotland’s key visitor destinations.”

Paisley Museum – operated by Renfrewshire Leisure – is due to close this year and reopen in 2022.

The project will see an extension to the current Victorian-era building housing a cafe and shop, improvements to all four museum buildings including the Coats Observatory, changes to physical access, and an internal redesign which will double the number of objects on public display.

It is expected the new building will quadruple current visitor numbers, create a £72m economic boost, and support 138 jobs during the construction phase – and the equivalent of 42 new permanent jobs after that through increased visitor spend.

The plans build on the investment already made in the publicly-accessible museum store Paisley: The Secret Collection, opened last year on the town’s High Street.

Paisley Museum is one 24 projects to benefit from funding announced today through the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF), which supports projects that engage and involve local communities in disadvantaged areas, tackle inequality and support inclusive growth.

The joint Scottish Government and COSLA investment will help to support or create more than 1,400 jobs, refurbish or bring back into use 23 local buildings, support over 300 businesses and community enterprises as well as more than 84 community facilities and services.

Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I’m really pleased that 24 fantastic, locally-driven projects will benefit from this major injection of funding.

“Spanning the length and breadth of the country, they will help regenerate local areas, stimulate inclusive growth and create new jobs.

“The focus of the projects range from tackling social isolation, mitigating welfare cuts, providing training opportunities, creating business space and increasing tourism – to name but a few.

“They are an excellent example of how national and local government are working together on shared priorities that benefit local communities.”

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Sports and leisure centres re-open on Saturday

ALL sports and leisure facilities run by Renfrewshire Leisure will re-open tomorrow. (Saturday, March 3)
The facilities, which had been closed because of the recent severe weather, includes sports centres, swimming pools, libraries, Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre, community centres and town halls.


Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “Thankfully, it appears we have seen the worst of the extreme weather and we are now able to re-open our facilities.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience while we made adjustments to our services during this exceptional bad weather.

“But I would urge people to please continue to take care when travelling over the next few days.
”Customers can keep up to date on their fitness classes and other events by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com or by calling the sports and leisure facilities on 0300 300 0250 and all cultural venues on 0300 300 1210.

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Severe weather keeps sports and leisure facilities closed

Due to the ongoing severe weather, all sports and leisure facilities along with libraries, Paisley Museum, community centres and town halls operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will remain closed on Friday, March 2.

As the weather warning is expected to be downgraded by the Met Office, a decision on whether events taking place at Paisley Town Hall and Paisley Arts Centre on Friday night should go ahead is to be taken during the day, on Friday.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “We’d like to thank our staff and our customers for their patience and understanding during this unusually severe weather.

“Indications are that our facilities should re-open on Saturday, March 3. However I would ask that customers check our social media channels to confirm facilities opening again.”

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Severe weather closes sports and leisure facilities

Due to severe weather warnings all sports and leisure facilities along with libraries, Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre, community centres and town halls operated by Renfrewshire Leisure closed at 2pm today. (Wednesday, February 28.


And due to the Red Alert warning from the Met Office, these facilities will also be closed tomorrow. (Thursday, March 1)

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “With the updated weather warning and the travel advice from Police Scotland our facilities will close early on Wednesday and remained closed on Thursday.

“We take the safety of our staff and customers very seriously and a decision on whether to open on Friday will be made when we get an updated weather report on Thursday.”

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Mix Equality Events at Paisley Arts Centre

Mix – A New Series of Equalities Work at Paisley Arts Centre

A series of performances has been programmed at Paisley Arts centre as part of Mix – a new season of equalities work, presented by Outspoken Arts Scotland for LGBT History Month.

At A Stretch, is a wordless visual theatre production from Jordan and Skinner aimed at children and families with comedy, exciting choreography and breathtaking physical theatre. This show will be performed on Sat 17 February and follows two women as they become increasingly tied together and learn to negotiate the tricky world of close relationships.

Jumpers for Goalposts is a heart-warming tale about the Leith Gay and Lesbian five a side tournament where fitness, friendships and fabulous Moroccan cuisine are put to the test.

And finally Paisley Arts Centre welcomes back Paisley’s own Carol Laula, who will be performing alongside local musicians Lisa Kowalski, Marie Collins and Linzi Clark with an evening of music and spoken words to mark International Women’s Day.

Morag Macpherson, Head of Cultural Services at Renfrewshire Leisure states ‘We are delighted to be part of LGBT History Month once again and to work in partnership with Outspoken Arts with these three very different, but equally entertaining performances.’

Steven Thomson, of Outspoken Arts states ‘The Mix event is a new boutique season of work spanning LGBT History month and International Women’s Day. We are really excited that this has given us the opportunity to bring these inclusive cultural events to Paisley.’

Notes

At A Stretch is on Sat 17 Feb at 2pm. Tickets are £5 (£4 conc) + bkg fee

Jumpers for Goalposts is on Wed 28 Feb at 7.30pm. Tickets are £8 (£5 conc) + bkg fee

Wicked Women: Carol Laula and Friends is on Thursday 8 March at 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 (£8 conc) + bkg fee

All tickets can be purchased online at www.renfrewshireleisure.com or by phone 0300 300 1210.

Please note that £1 transaction fee is applicable on all tickets booked online.

For more information, or to arrange an interview please contact Carolyn Thom on 0141 618 5109 or carolyn.thom@renfrewshire.gov.uk

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Book a fun time in your local library

LEISURE boss Joyce McKellar wants to put the fun into going to local community libraries.
The chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure says she aims to dispel the myth that libraries are dull and staff are continually telling people: “Shhh…keep quiet.”


Joyce was speaking after two libraries in Paisley – Foxbar and Glenburn – re-opened after a £65,000 refurbishment, which is part of a Renfrewshire Council £3 million capital investment in community facilities.

She said: “We’re creating libraries that are much more than just a place where you borrow books and then head out again.

“We’ve made libraries a brighter, vibrant, fun and exciting environment to come to and enjoy yourself.
“Renfrewshire is one if the few places in Scotland investing in our community libraries making them more modern and inviting.”

“It’s all about enjoying your local library as they provide something for everyone. We’ve created dedicated areas for people to have more privacy when they’re using our computers and other IT equipment and areas designed specifically for young people.”

The recent upgrade programme to the Foxbar and Glenburn libraries, which are operated by Renfrewshire Leisure, was delivered by the local authority.

The layout at Glenburn library has been reconfigured to create an improved space for children and young people as well as adult users.

The reception area has been renewed along with furniture, shelving and stands being replaced.  New seating areas have been created to allow library users to read or study in comfort within the new space.

At Foxbar Library, the layout has also been reconfigured with a complete fit-out of a new reception area, furniture, shelving and stands.

And new modern digital learning suites have been created at both Foxbar and Glenburn.
Joyce added: “Our libraries strive to inspire imagination, learning, creativity and social interaction.
“They offer a wide range of activities, including group sessions and individual IT support.

“These upgrades will enhance the services we are able to provide, including enclosed digital learning suites, which allow us to support training and activities such as Code Clubs, as well as a flexible study space for users.”

Renfrewshire Libraries sees around 800,000 users per year, with 32,000 children and adults attending Bookbug sessions and 138,000 individual digital support sessions.