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Hat-trick of wins for Kilbarchan AAC in annual sports awards

COACHES from Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club ran out with a hat-trick of wins at the annual Renfrewshire Sports Awards.
Arthur Smith won both the Community Coach of the Year and Dedication to Sport awards along with John Rodger, who lifted the Event Volunteer of 2017 award.

Arthur has been a member of Kilbarchan AAC for more than 50 years and has been coaching young athletes for three decades, including Scottish internationalist, Laura Stark and GB runner, Jemma Reekie.
John has been involved with the club for more than 20 years and has been instrumental in the development of athletics – cross-country, road race and track and field events in Renfrewshire’s schools. He is also heavily involved in organising the popular annual Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run.

Other winners presented with awards at the event,organised by Renfrewshire Lerisure and held at a ceremony in Johnstone Town Hall, were – Development Coach of the Year, Susan Wright, who is head coach of Clyde Judo Club; Young Coach of the Year, Claire Scougall, who coaches Paisley Juniors Netball Club and Volunteer of the Year was won by Joanne McDowall, who has developed sporting activity at Barsail Primary, in Erskine.
Young Volunteer of the Year went to Lusia Steele, who delivers school health days at Barsail Primary and volunteers at the Johnstone Jets cycling club; Disability Coach of the Year is Rachel Killens, who is a disabled athlete herself and coaches swimmers with additional support needs.

And Jack Thomson, a referee at the Basketball Paisley Friday Night Superleague, West Regional Development League and other Scottish League games, won the Technical Official of the Year award.
The Honour Our School Sports Award was given to one student from every local secondary school who has shown commitment to sport. The winners were –
Alan Rice, Linwood High; Amy McCann, Renfrew High; Craig Kennedy, Park Mains High; Eilidh Murphy, Gleniffer High; Franca Paterson, St Andrew’s Academy; Gemma Whyte, St Benedict’s High; John Martin, Johnstone High; Mario Girasoli, Trinity High and Rebecca Telford, from Gryffe High.

A Level Six Award in Higher Sports Leadership was presented to Alan Rice, Calum Findlay, Emma Driver, Heather Fawcett and Laura-Rose Reid.
The special guest at the awards ceremony was Corinne Hutton, from Lochwinnoch who has defied the odds after having had both her hands and legs amputated when she suffered acute pneumonia and septicemia.
Since losing her limbs, Corinne has gone on to set three world records including becoming the first female quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis. She has also set up a charity called Finding Your Feet to support families affected by amputation, or limb differences through a range of sporting and social inclusion initiatives.

Corinne took to the stage for a Question and Answer Session with the event host, broadcaster Lorraine Herbison.

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “These awards showcase the talent, dedication and commitment of individuals in our community.

“With Paisley’s bid to become UK city of Culture 2021, sport plays a large role in the culture of our community. We have a vibrant and exciting sports network in Renfrewshire, which adds energy and passion to the overall bid.”
The successful event was sponsored by Renfrewshire Council, West College Scotland, Renfrewshire Sports Network, and SportScotland.

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Basketball Paisley

Basketball Paisley are the biggest and most successful basketball club in Scotland and are looking out for new talent to join their community clubs being held all across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

Over 150 young people across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire attended basketballpaisley Community Clubs during the Autumn term and have been competing in our Friday Night Superleague.

Booking for our Winter Term is now open to new and returning players. Whether you have played before or are a beginner visit the link below to book the complete term or a 1-week trial: https://basketballpaisley.class4kids.co.uk/

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Brand-new play area opens as part of £1million investment in Robertson Park Renfrew

A state-of-the-art play area has been unveiled in Robertson Park as part of a multi-million pound investment in Renfrewshire’s parks and green spaces.

Leading playground equipment supplier KOMPAN were commissioned to create the new play area with the aim of improving children’s health, learning and social inclusion in a fun, enjoyable environment.

Young people will be able to play on the only castle structure of its kind in the world as the latest element of the £1million upgrade of Robertson Park was officially opened.

The unique three-towered castle has a rappelling wall, rung ladder, hand over hand monkey bars, vertical climbing net and two separate styles of rope traverse.

The first chance to test out the new equipment went to children from local schools Kirklandneuk Primary and St James Primary, who were able to try out the new castle as well as a five way swing, crawling pyramid, lazy hammock and balance testing supernova.

A track ride tower, giant swing, climbing tower and woodland finger maze are just some of the other exciting pieces of equipment Renfrewshire kids are set to benefit from.

The new play area comes as part of a £2.25million investment to improve the facilities and quality of attractions in Renfrewshire’s parks.

A total of £1million will be invested in Robertson Park and Barshaw Park respectively, with £250,000 being made available for five neighbourhood parks in Renfrewshire.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “The new equipment in Robertson Park is fantastic and I’m sure will prove extremely popular with young people and families.

“We’ve made a significant investment in our parks as we recognise the significance they play in our communities and we are committed to ensuring they are an attractive place to visit and spend time in.

“The £2.25million investment will ensure that our parks are an exciting place for families to visit, both now and for future generations to come.”

The new play area is one of many innovative projects being undertaken in Renfrewshire and the Council has incorporated a community benefits initiative to its procurement process to ensure local communities gain directly from the work.

As part of the contract awarded to KOMPAN, Renfrew Development Trust received a cheque for £1,000 which will provide seating planters and a rest stop for people touring heritage sites throughout Renfrew, starting and finishing in Robertson Park.

Colin Griffin, Commercial Director of KOMPAN Scotland Ltd, said: “We wanted to give children an inspirational play park, very different to more traditional playgrounds by providing our large themed Robinia units.

“Our Robinia wood castles are based on Scottish Castles so it only seemed fitting that Scotland should be the first to experience these castles, making this is a rather special play area.”

For further information on parks in Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/parksandgardens

For more information on Kompan visit: www.kompan.co.uk.

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Delight as Paisley Museum secures £4.9m National Lottery funding boost


Ambitious plans to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and textile story are in line for a £4.9m National Lottery grant.


Renfrewshire Council this year set aside £24.1m towards the proposed £42m revamp – and the news the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) have now earmarked funding is a massive boost allowing the project to move forward.

The museum plans are taking place as part of a wider drive to transform Paisley’s future through investment in heritage and culture, which includes a bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, due to be submitted to the UK Government on Friday.

They aim to reconnect the globally-recognised Paisley Pattern with the town that gave it its name, while creating a tourist attraction of national importance, driving footfall into the town centre.

The revamped museum – operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd – is forecast to attract 125,000 visits a year – almost four times current numbers – and create a £72m economic boost over 30 years.

It is also expected to support 138 jobs during the construction phase, and the equivalent of 42 new permanent jobs after that through increased visitor spend.

The plans are for 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.

The museum plans are part of a wider investment in Paisley’s cultural infrastructure already under way with a publicly-accessible museum store to open later this year in a vacant basement on the town’s High Street, and a new learning and cultural hub to be built close by.

Council bosses have already had positive discussions with a number of other funders about meeting the rest of the cost. Today’s news means staff recruitment can start and the appointment of architects and exhibition design teams can take place next year.

The £4.9m funding will be confirmed once a successful stage two application is lodged with HLF. The new museum is expected to open in 2022, but it is planned the project will play a part in any UK City of Culture 2021 year.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “This is a wonderful piece of news from HLF and couldn’t have come at a better time, with our bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 being lodged this week.

“The museum plans are central to our wider vision to transform the town’s future by harnessing the power of Paisley’s internationally-significant heritage and cultural story.

“We know the town centre has its challenges but the way people shop has changed forever – so we have to create new life and new footfall by finding new ways to bring people into the town.

“Paisley can do that by making the most of the unique selling point that is our heritage and textile story – and the museum revamp, along with the museum store due to open this year and the new library will drive new footfall to our high street.

“The town has some amazing items in its collection – but the current building needs revamped in order to get them out on display and to fully tell the story of how this town was once at the centre of a global industry.

“These projects are all part of a wider vision with the UK City of Culture bid at its heart – should we be announced at the winner of that title in December it will take the work we are doing to a totally new level.”

Seona Reid, deputy chair of HLF and chair of the Scotland Committee, said: “I know how much this project means to Paisley and its people. It’s vital to the great strides that are being made in revitalising the town, using its history and industrial heritage as the building blocks.

“I am delighted that thanks to players of the National Lottery, we are able to give our initial support to a project which will transform the museum and give Paisley’s internationally-important textiles and other collections the prominence they deserve.”

Paisley is the only Scottish place on the UK City of Culture shortlist and is joined by Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea, with the winner to be announced in December.

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

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Keeping fit is child’s play

KEEPING fit is child’s play especially when you can take your baby with you to a fitness class.
For the first time, Renfrewshire Leisure is staging classes where mums can take their children along with them while they work out. KEEPING fit is child’s play especially when you can take your baby with you to a fitness class.

For the first time, Renfrewshire Leisure is staging classes where mums can take their children along with them while they work out.

RL Mum and baby Metafit 8.9.17

It’s part of the sport and leisure organisation’s newly-launched fitness timetable and the first two child-friendly classes are Baby Friendly Metafit and Buggy Spin, held at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre.

One mum, Kim O’Connor travels all the way from Pollok, in Glasgow to attend the Baby Friendly Metafit class, in Paisley with her one-year-old daughter, Melanie.

Kim, 30, said: “Everyone who can help with looking after Melanie works full time, so I wouldn’t be able to attend a fitness class during the day.

“The baby friendly classes are like a breath if fresh air for me and it’s good to know you’re getting back in shape. It also lets me do something like keeping fit at a time that suits me.

“I really look forward to going along to my fitness classes with Melanie every week. And even though she’s only one, I’m setting an example to Melanie that health and fitness is important.”

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “It can be difficult getting back to your normal fitness routine after having a baby and you can lose the sense of who you are because of the demands on your time looking after a child.

“You can’t always find a babysitter when your favourite fitness class is being held especially during the day when family and friends are working. So, we’re giving mums the option of bringing their babies along with them.

“Although, you don’t need to bring a baby along to join the classes, as everyone is welcome!”
The new Renfrewshire Leisure timetable offers a variety of classes and workouts including a wide range of aerobic fitness sessions, along with ballroom dancing, spin, Zumba, kettlebells, Pilates, Tai Chi, yoga, outdoor and indoor boot camps and meditation and guided relaxation.

They are held at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre, The ON-X, Linwood, Erskine Sports Centre, Renfrew Leisure Centre and Johnstone Sports Hub. Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com  for more information.

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Proposals reveal options for Paisley major sports facility

New options for a major sports facility in Paisley will be presented to elected members next week.

Renfrewshire Council officers were asked to provide alternative proposals for sports facilities in the area to the next Leadership Board on Tuesday 19 September.

Paisley host the British Pipe Band Championships 2017. featuring more than 140 bands and 4,000 of the world’s best pipers and drummers
This is one the most prestigious events in the world piping calendar and a showcase of Paisley’s ability to stage major events attracting an audience in the tens of thousands. The event will also take place during the period when Paisley aims to be shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition.
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
All images © Gibson Digital 2017. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the commissioning client’s press-released story. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

The proposals would provide Paisley and Renfrewshire with a modern fit-for-purpose multi-sports ground with a number of outdoor sports facilities.

It would also be able to host major outdoor events that supports Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Paisley host the British Pipe Band Championships 2017. featuring more than 140 bands and 4,000 of the world’s best pipers and drummers
This is one the most prestigious events in the world piping calendar and a showcase of Paisley’s ability to stage major events attracting an audience in the tens of thousands. The event will also take place during the period when Paisley aims to be shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition.
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
All images © Gibson Digital 2017. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the commissioning client’s press-released story. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

The proposals include options for the site, including road access, car parking, pitches, cycle tracks, indoor facilities and hard-standing areas.

Councillors will also be updated on the consultation that took place with residents on housing in the Tannahill area. They are asked for their approval to conduct a detailed review of options to inform future investment in new build and refurbished property.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It is important we get this decision right for the people of Ferguslie and for Renfrewshire as a whole. Officers were asked to seek alternative options for the development of sport facilities at St James Park that would support an outdoor space for hosting large scale events and members of the Leadership Board will be looking at these next week.

“We’ve already seen St James Park used for large scale events, such as the British Pipe Band Championships, and these proposals will help elected members look at what will support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 and what supports the people living in the local area.”

Paisley will submit its final bid to the UK Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of September.

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Number fun begins in Renfrewshire for Maths Week Scotland

Children and young people are having fun with numbers this week as Maths Week Scotland begins.

Schools, early years centres and libraries will be hosting innovative and engaging number-themed activities across the week to show that maths can be fun.

Kids at Hugh Smiley Early Learning and Childcare Centre were the first to take part in a numeracy-led activity.

They popped onto the Skoobmobile for a special Bookbug on stories and songs about numbers, such as ‘ten in a bed’ and ‘five little monkeys’.

Maths Week Scotland is a new national awareness initiative that aims to put numeracy in a positive light and highlight the benefits, joy and beauty of maths in exciting new ways.

Making maths interesting for children and tying it into everyday activities is a significant step forward in putting numeracy on the same level of important as literacy, ultimately improving numeracy levels across the board.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services, joined the kids on the Skoobmobile. He said: “Numeracy is important for everyone. Here in Renfrewshire, we want every child to have the best start in life and reach their full potential, regardless of their background.

“Adults often say “I’m rubbish at maths”. Parents don’t realise how much of an affect that can have on their child’s development.

“It’s time to have fun with maths in the same way we all enjoy reading. During Maths Week Scotland, schools and early learning centres will be getting creative with numbers.

“Renfrewshire is ambitious for its children and young people. We’ve seen the benefits of taking a new approach to literacy with the Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, in conjunction with Strathclyde University. Literacy and numeracy have equal importance in terms of how children learn and we are determined that all children’s numeracy levels are further enhanced through our programmes in schools and early years centres.”

Parents who want to get involved in Maths Week Scotland can visit Renfrewshire Libraries and pick up bedtime stories about counting or sign up their child to a coding club.

To find your nearest library, visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com/libraries.

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Employability awards recognise outstanding talent

The 2017 Renfrewshire Employability Awards have celebrated the successes and people making a difference to local businesses.

Employees, entrepreneurs and interns were just some of the top talent recognised at the award ceremony on Wednesday (6 September 2017) hosted by television and radio presenter Bryan Burnett at Paisley Town Hall.

Renfrewshire businesses nominated local people who have been supported through the Employability in Renfrewshire Partnership programmes.

RDC Invest awards 6.9.17 Celebrating Success
Renfrewshire Employability Awards
Paisley Town Hall Top Intern Award Top Intern Award
Debbie Campbell

And after a nail-biting wait, nine winners were announced from the impressive list of finalists.

The award winners are:

  • Most Promising New Employee: Jamie Drysdale, Power 1 Electrical Contractors Ltd
  • Most Promising New Entrepreneur: Euan McIntosh, Starkstrom (Scotland) Ltd
  • Top Intern: Debbie Campbell, I Am Me Scotland
  • Best Trainee: Homam Sharif, Renfrewshire Council
  • CV Builder (Youth): Morgan Spence, Johnstone High School
  • CV Builder (Adult): Laura Connor, Engage Renfrewshire
  • Apprentice of the Year: Andrew McClorey, Renfrewshire Council
  • Progression in Work: Laura Currie, Consilium Contracting Ltd
  • Achiever of the Year: Barbara Brown

More than 1,000 local businesses have signed up to support the Invest in Renfrewshire programme which support 1400 people each year, providing direct access to vacancies, work experience, training, personal support and finance.

The programme is now based at the recently refurbished Russell Institute building on Causeyside Street, which is also home to Skills Development Scotland.

The night concluded with three Special Recognition awards for local businesses who have shown outstanding support over the last year, enthusiastically helping people prepare for work, enter work and progress in work.

These awards went to Papamacs Gourmet Kitchen in Johnstone; Gormac Coachworks in Renfrew and Carli’s Kindergarten in Erskine.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council said: “Congratulations to all the winners and to everyone shortlisted for these awards which celebrate success and recognise the talent, enterprise and commitment of Renfrewshire’s people.

“The collective cooperation and commitment of our partners in the business community, education and employability sectors is key to our continued economic success.

“Together, we have taken Renfrewshire’s youth employment from 27th in Scotland to being fourth best. Our job totals are at pre-recession levels; regeneration is gathering pace; unemployment is falling; businesses are growing; and we are developing a reputation as a place of enterprise, creativity and drive.

“Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 is already changing how we are seen and how others see us. The Glasgow City Region City Deal’s £274m investment in Renfrewshire will put us right at the heart of a powerhouse regional economy. We will seize this momentum by continuing to support business growth and create jobs. We will work tirelessly to help people find work and succeed in a modern economy.”

Sandra Black, Renfrewshire Council Chief Executive said: “I too want to congratulate all our finalists and partners who have shown what is possible and inspire our continued success.

“These awards celebrate the enterprise, talent and commitment to excellence that characterise Renfrewshire’s businesses and their employees. From the winners and everyone shortlisted we can see that these qualities are having an immense and positive effect on our people and our future.

“Renfrewshire has always had a strong, creative, hardworking and entrepreneurial culture. We also have a strong sense of community and fairness. Through local partnership working, we have made great strides in developing our economy, tackling poverty, regenerating our towns and empowering our communities.”

Find out more about employability programmes in Renfrewshire at: www.investinrenfrewshire.com

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Discover more about Paisley’s Heritage during Doors Open Days

A series of workshops and exhibitions will take place this weekend to celebrate Paisley’s rich built heritage as part of Renfrewshire Council’s Townscape Heritage Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS 2).

The legendary Paisley Arts Centre will play host to a range of TH.CARS 2 activities taking place as part of Doors Open Days on Saturday 2 September 2017.

The £4 million TH.CARS 2 project, which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council aims to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest while highlighting the significant role Paisley has played in the weaving and textile industry.

During Doors Open Days visitors can view work created by the STAR Project and artist Mandy McIntosh about the life and work of Paisley architect James Steel Maitland – including a short film and a publication ‘Special Concrete’. Create Paisley and local film maker Kevin Cameron will also premiere a short documentary ’Coats Tales – the Town that Coats Built’ about the architectural legacy left to Paisley by the Coats & Clarks families.

There will also be an opportunity to participate in a cognitive mapping workshop with designers Dress for the Weather and After the News where participants can think about how to mentally map their own Paisley. The Paisley TH.CARS2 team will be available throughout the day to provide information about future opportunities available through their five-year heritage and culture programme, and the grant funds available to Paisley town centre building owners.

The activities taking place not only celebrate the town’s heritage but also encourage people to get involved in a range of cultural activities. This is a key part of Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Cllr Jim Paterson, said: “Paisley boasts an impressive built heritage and it’s great to see this celebrated during Doors Open Days and through the TH.CARS 2 project.

“Events and activities like this will help share the town’s unique story and attract more visitors and businesses to the area.”

Michael Easson, Grants Manager at HES, said:  “The funding awarded through our CARS and Historic Environment Repair Grant to Paisley in the last few years has played a significant role in supporting investment in the City’s built environment.

“We now hope, via  Doors Open Day 2017, this can help Renfrewshire Council attract as wide an audience as possible to engage with the City’s many fine heritage attractions, now and in the months and years to come.”

The events at Paisley Arts Centre are not the only activities TH.CARS2 are delivering over the course of the Doors Open Days weekend. An Arty-Archi Sketching and Walking Tour will also take place on 2 September. Heritage expert Alison McClandish leads an architectural sketching tour of Paisley’s Oakshaw area. The tour starts and finishes outside the High St entrance of UWS.

Additionally, a traditional building skills demonstration will take place at Abbey Close on 4 and 5 September. The public will be able to see the traditional building skills and crafts which maintain Paisley’s architectural heritage in action. The project is being delivered by TH.CARS2 in partnership with West College Scotland, and with the support of the Glasgow Traditional Building Forum, Scottish Traditional Building Forum, Glasgow City Heritage Trust, National Federation of Roofing Contractors, Stone Federation GB, CITB, Paisley Abbey and Paisley Hammermen Society.

To find out more about the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme please visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/thcars2

To find out more about the events taking place as part of Doors Open Days please visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/doorsopendays

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New play area opens as part of £1million investment in Barshaw Park

New play area opens as part of £1million investment in Barshaw Park

The next stage of a multi-million investment in Renfrewshire’s parks has been completed as a new, dynamic play area opens in Barshaw Park.

Opening of new play park at Barshaw Park Paisley 31.8.17

The brand new play equipment installed at the park includes a new chute, see-saw, climbing frame, tyre swings, climbing wall and rope swing.

The new play area is part of a £2million investment in Barshaw and Robertson Park which has already seen improvements made to the pathways, roads and drainage systems.

Opening of new play park at Barshaw Park Paisley 31.8.17

A further £250,000 will be invested in five other neighbourhood parks to enhance the visitor experience for all who use Renfrewshire’s parks and open spaces.

Opening of new play park at Barshaw Park Paisley 31.8.17

Primary 2 pupils from Williamsburgh Primary completed a project on Barshaw Park during the last school year, visiting once a week to undertake inspect spotting, leaf identification and other related activities with the aim of learning how best to take care of the park.

Opening of new play park at Barshaw Park Paisley 31.8.17

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, joined the pupils at the park yesterday as they got the first chance to test out the new equipment.

Councillor McEwan said: “I’m delighted that the new play equipment is now open as a further enhancement to the facilities available in Barshaw Park.

Opening of new play park at Barshaw Park Paisley 31.8.17

“The £1milllion investment will see families able to enjoy a safe, fun and inviting environment that they can bring their children to for years to come.

“We are committed to providing the best facilities we can for our communities and the further enhancements to Barshaw, alongside the improvements to Robertson Park and the five other smaller parks, will ensure that they provide a fantastic experience for every visitor.”

Installation of new play equipment at Robertson Park is due to be completed in the coming weeks with the improvements to the other neighbourhood parks set to begin shortly after.

For further information on parks in Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/parksandgardens