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Doosan Babcock Announce Consultation Over Jobs

Doosan Babcock has announced plans to cut up to 270 jobs at their company’s base in Renfrew.

They include 140 posts at its machining and assembly facility in Renfrew, along with 130 management and back-office support roles.

The firm could cut 470 across the UK.

In Renfrew, 800 people are currently employed.

Commenting on the news that Doosan Babcock is to close in Renfrew, constituency MSP and Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said:

 “I am extremely disappointed and saddened to hear of this news and my thoughts are with the workers, who now face an uncertain future. 

“I was given no notice by the company as constituency MSP

 “I will be engaging with the company urgently and the Scottish Government will be doing all we can to assist in this extremely difficult time”

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North said

“I am extremely disappointed to learn that Doosan Babcock is to enter into a formal consultation with its employees that could result in significant job losses.

“Following the announcement by Chivas a few weeks ago this announcement represents another kick in the teeth for Renfrewshire. Both Chivas and Doosan Babcock are two longstanding Renfrewshire-based companies, with both providing careers to generations of local families.

“My thoughts at the moment are with the workers of Doosan Babcock’s in Renfrew. There is never of a good time to learn that you may be potentially losing your job but to do so in the run-up to Christmas is particularly insensitive.

“I will be contacting Doosan Babcock to find out more about this restructure and its implications. I am ready to offer as much assistance as possible to the workforce.”

Doosan Babcock Chief executive Andrew Hunt said: “Over the last year we have worked hard to rebalance the business, adapting to changing market dynamics and reacting to industry requirements for a low-carbon future.
“Unfortunately, we foresee long-term downturn in certain market sectors which mean the current position is unsustainable.
“It is with much regret that we now have to enter into the statutory consultation period on redundancies.”
He added: “The continued long-term growth of the business across the UK and in strategic international markets remains a priority.
“We have made significant progress in transforming and future-proofing the business but this will only prove successful if we also reduce our cost base in parallel.”
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Shoppers entertained by Highland dancers


HIGHLAND dancers made sure everyone at intu Braehead was in step with St Andrew’s Day celebrations.

Almost 20 pupils from the Paisley-based Christine E Aitken Academy of Dance entertained shoppers with a demonstration of Highland and country dancing.

The dancers drew a crowd of onlookers who took time out of their Christmas shopping to watch the colourful display from the kilted dancers.

And they collected almost £120 from shoppers as part of their fundraising effort to send a team of dancers to perform abroad next year.

Dance school principal, Christine Aitken said: “The girls were really excited about dancing in front of so many people in a place as big as intu Braehead.

“It was a good experience for them and they loved it. So much so, we’re hoping to come back and entertain the shoppers again in the near future.
“We’d like to give a big thank you to intu Braehead for allowing us to perform in the centre.”
Community development manager for intu Braehead, Lydia Brown said: “We wanted to do something in the mall to mark St Andrew’s Day and there’s nothing more Scottish than having Highland dancers resplendent in their colourful tartan kilts.
“The dancers were quite the attraction for shoppers who enjoyed the dancing display and it was good we could bring the talents of the dancers to a wide audience.”

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Contact the Elderly welcome new Age Scotland campaign


Contact the Elderly welcome Age Scotland’s newly launched campaign ‘No-one should have no-one at Christmas’.


With figures outlining that more than 50,000 older Scots will spend Christmas alone, it is welcome news that the Scottish Government has also announced a national strategy to tackle loneliness.

Loneliness is an issue all year round and our team of dedicated volunteers ensure more than 1000 of those aged 75 and over who live alone enjoy social contact at least once a month through our much loved and treasured free tea parties.

The figures from Age Scotland highlight once again there is much more potential to expand our tea parties in Scotland and this is something we are working very hard to do that. To make that happen we need to identify and reach out to those living alone and we would once again like to encourage the public and other agencies to help us find these people. We also need more volunteers to offer just a little bit of time once a month, or even a couple of times a year, to make an immeasurable difference and enjoy great company, tea and cake.

Our 112 groups in Scotland, from the Borders to the Highlands, Glasgow to Aberdeenshire, Edinburgh to Angus and plenty of places in between are currently enjoying fantastic Christmas parties and it brings such joy to see volunteers and guests having a wonderful festive gathering. I would urge anyone reading this, or anyone who has offered an act of kindness inspired by the Age Scotland campaign and keen to do more throughout 2017 and beyond, to consider donating a little time – from the vast testimonials we receive from guests and volunteers we can assure you the rewards are mutually felt.

To find out more about becoming a guest of or volunteering with Contact the Elderly please visit www.contact-the-elderly.org.uk.

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Christmas shopping is child’s play


CHRISTMAS shopping will be child’s play this year after a new activity camp for kids was launched in sports and leisure centres throughout Renfrewshire.

Parents can take their children along to the Drop ‘N’ Shop Days and then head off on their own to buy this year’s Christmas presents for family and friends.

And while mum and dad hit the shops, youngsters will be having fun and games with Renfrewshire Leisure staff during the activity sessions between 10am and 3pm.

The next Drop ‘n’ Shop activity day is being held at Johnstone Community Sports Hub, on Saturday, December 10 and the following Saturday, the activity camp moves to Renfrew Leisure Centre.

On Sunday, December 18, Drop ‘n’ Shop is at the ON-X, in Linwood; Thursday, December 22, at Erskine Sports Centre and on Friday, December 23, at The Lagoon, in Paisley. The activity camps cost only £10 per child.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “The run-up to Christmas can be a very busy and stressful time for adults.

“While the kids are getting excited about Santa Claus and waking up on Christmas Day to lots of presents, they might not be so keen about having to trail round all the shops.
“So, we’re giving parents the chance to drop their kids off at one of our leisure centres where they’ll have loads of Festive fun and games with our fully-trained leisure staff, then the grown-ups can get on with the serious work of Christmas shopping.”

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Paisley to host Scots Trad Music Awards in 2017


The Scots Trad Music Awards are to be held in Paisley in December 2017 for the first time.

The news was announced by event founder Simon Thoumire at this year’s Gala Concert and Awards Ceremony in Caird Hall, Dundee on Saturday, December 3.

The BBC MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards are considered a major highlight in the traditional music calendar. The aim of the annual awards is to highlight Scotland’s wonderful traditional music in all its forms and to create a high profile opportunity that will shine a light on talent as well as the industry in general.

From its inception in 2003, the awards have steadily grown in popularity and prestige attracting television coverage by BBC ALBA in 2007 and major sponsorship from MG ALBA in 2008. This year’s awards will be broadcast to the world (via bbc.co.uk/alba) and it is hoped this will afford Scotland’s largest town an opportunity to share news of its bid to become UK City of Culture 2021 with a global audience.  

The is also further evidence that Paisley is capable of hosting high profile music events – it hosted both the British Pipe Band Championships and the Scottish Album of the Year Awards this year, with both returning in 2017.  

It is also proof of Paisley’s burgeoning music scene. Renfrewshire’s talents have featured heavily in the BBC MG ALBA Scots Trad Awards in recent years with The Scott Wood Band nominated for ‘Folk Band of the Year’ in 2014 while Johnstone Pipe Band are in contention for ‘Pipe Band of the Year’ this year (see separate release for results).

Simon Thoumire said, “Hands Up for Trad are really delighted that the 2017 Scots Trad Music Awards will be hosted by Paisley, currently bidding for the UK City of Culture title in 2021, home of The Spree, and the birth place of some of Scotland’s finest musical talent. We’re really looking forward to working with Renfrewshire Council to make the Scots Trad Music Awards in 2017 the best yet“.

Welcoming the Trad Awards announcement, Renfrewshire Council leader, Mark Macmillan, said, “We are delighted to be hosting the Trad Awards in 2017 and look forward to welcoming fans from all over the world. Paisley’s music scene is thriving, offering formal concerts and more impromptu gigs in local cafes, bars and restaurants, as organisers grow in confidence. Add several major music events in 2017 and the reasons to visit have grown enormously.”                      

For more information on the Scots Trad Music Awards visit: https://projects.handsupfortrad.scot/scotstradmusicawards/

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Todholm Primary School launches its first community café to the public

Todholm Cafe Todholm Primary School Paisley

Cllr Jacqueline Henry, Peter MacLeod (Dir Childrens Services) and Raymond Kane ( Development Officer) served by Joshua Perry, Erin McLaren and Kayla Whire all aged 11

Budding entrepreneurs from Todholm Primary School have run their first community café after being awarded funding through Renfrewshire Council’s Dragons’ Den competition.

Todholm Cafe Todholm Primary School Paisley Cllr Jacqueline Henry, Peter MacLeod (Dir Childrens Services) and Raymond Kane ( Development Officer) served by Joshua Perry, Erin McLaren and Kayla Whire all aged 11

Todholm Cafe Todholm Primary School Paisley
Cllr Jacqueline Henry, Peter MacLeod (Dir Childrens Services) and Raymond Kane ( Development Officer) served by Joshua Perry, Erin McLaren and Kayla Whire all aged 11

The first Todholm Tearooms event was held on Fri 2 December with more than 40 members of the community coming along to enjoy the pupils’ hospitality and wares. On the day visitors were offered a delicious selection of home baking prepared and served by the children themselves.

Todholm Cafe Todholm Primary School Paisley Grace Collins (11) with Suzanne Pitkeathly and Robert MacAdam

Todholm Cafe Todholm Primary School Paisley
Grace Collins (11) with Suzanne Pitkeathly and Robert MacAdam

Earlier this year the school received £630, double the requested amount, for their idea to establish the Todholm Tearooms. The funding was used to purchase resources such as cups, saucers, branded aprons and ingredients as well as helping to finance the compilation of a school cook book to help fund future events.

Todholm Cafe Todholm Primary School Paisley Mirin Lafferty (11)

Todholm Cafe Todholm Primary School Paisley
Mirin Lafferty (11)

The idea to run a café was inspired by the children wanting to offer a place where members of the community, especially the older generation, could congregate. As part of the project pupils are also looking to run a mobile service to deliver their home baking to neighbouring care homes Rowan Gardens and Hunterhill Care Home.

The ‘Cooking Up A Storm with Todholm Tearooms’ cook book, also unveiled at the event, was compiled by all the pupils of Todholm Primary School. Each class selected a starter, main course and dessert that they themselves had made to feature in the book. Priced at £5 the funds from the book sales will go towards running future Todholm Tearooms.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, who attended the launch said: “I would like to congratulate all the pupils from Todholm Primary School and the teachers that supported them for running such an excellent event for members of the local community to enjoy.

“It was inspiring to see the children apply the creative ideas presented during the Dragons’ Den event with such successful results.  The Todholm Tearooms is aimed at helping others in their local community and highlights why the school was presented with the funding. I’m sure this will lead to more successful events in the future.”

Todholm Primary School Head Teacher, Lynne McGinn, said: “The children have been so enthusiastic about this project and we’re really impressed with their efforts and how well it’s been received by the local community.

“The Todholm Tearooms project has enabled the pupils to learn valuable life skills such as team work, planning and also helped to improve their confidence which will help them in the future. This has been an excellent learning opportunity for the children and provided them with the chance to give something back to the community. I look forward to our next Todholm Tearooms event.”

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Scottish Labour leader backs Paisley 2021 bid


Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale has publicly backed Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, in the latest show of cross-party political support for the town’s ambitions.


Photos courtesy of Hannah Thomson for Paisley.org.uk


The Scottish Labour leader gave her backing during a visit to Paisley Museum where she met young people involved in an award winning creative youth project being funded by the bid.

The bid has received cross-party support, with local politicians hosting events in both the UK and Scottish Parliaments.

The growing support follows on from recent high-profile backers of the campaign, with musician Paolo Nutini and artist John Byrne – who both hail from the town – having done so in recent weeks.

While visiting the town, she was met by Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, Paisley 2021 Bid Manager Stuart McMillan and by participants in Project Z – which will see young people from the town’s Ferguslie Park area trained to write and create their own graphic novels.


The project was part-funded by the area’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, a £500,000 five-year scheme which aims to boost the capacity of the local creative scene during the Paisley 2021 bid.

It also received funding from Renfrewshire Council’s ground-breaking Tackling Poverty Programme, which covers a wide range of projects aimed at taking on long-term deprivation issues in the area.

The Paisley 2021 bid aims to use the town’s outstanding collection of heritage and cultural assets to improve the area’s prospects and transform its future.

Kezia’s visit to Paisley Museum comes in the week a fundraising strategy was unveiled for a £49m redevelopment of the Victorian-era building which aims to turn it into a visitor experience of international quality, telling the inspirational stories of Paisley, its heritage and its pattern.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said:

“I am delighted to back Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2021. A successful bid can support the work Renfrewshire Council is already doing to transform Paisley and would leave a legacy that could improve the lives of people in the town.

“Culture can change the lives of young people living in poverty. Supporting people to develop new skills means they can grow their confidence and compete for the jobs of the future. I had the privilege of meeting with some very talented and engaging young people. All they need is the right support to have a fair chance in life. Paisley’s bid for City of Culture 2021 can be part of that.

“The Glasgow City Deal also provides an opportunity to regenerate Renfrewshire. The UK and Scottish governments should deliver the necessary funding as soon as possible, so people in Renfrewshire can start to feel the benefit of this investment.”

Councillor Mark Macmillan said:

“It was great to welcome Kezia to Paisley today and talk her through the ambitious and hugely exciting vision we have for the town over the years ahead.

“It was also good to meet some of the young people taking part in one of our innovative tackling poverty projects – ultimately the Paisley 2021 bid is about the power of culture to change people’s lives for the better.

“Paisley Museum was a fitting venue for the visit given its status as the anchor project in our plans – the proposed revamp is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of visitors each year into the town centre, creating a boost to the local economy and attracting new jobs.

“Running alongside the major infrastructure improvements being delivered through the Glasgow City Region City Deal – including our plans for a tram-train link between Glasgow Airport and Paisley Gilmour Street Station – major opportunities lie ahead for Renfrewshire and we want to ensure the future for local communities is a bright one.”

Hayden Chivers, aged 18, and a member of Project Z, said:

“This project is a fantastic opportunity that helps improve our life skills and prepare us for the world of work. We’ve been meeting weekly in the local library in Ferguslie Park and we do activities such as creative writing, drama and visual art.

“The project has really benefited many of us and helped us by encouraging us to either stay on at school or go to college, some of us have part-time jobs or volunteer for other organisations. I’m proud to be from Paisley and delighted to be able to show others how great it is to live in this town.”

The team was successful in its application to the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund as part of Paisley’s City of Culture bid and will involve them working on a social history project based on the punk movement in Paisley and other subcultures popular in the town and the legacy left today. The end product will be an exhibition of film, photography and a graphic novel.

For more information, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Voucher for John McKay Jewellers

John McKay £5 Note Front

Why not treat yourself or a loved one to a gorgeous Christmas gift from John McKay Jeweller.  If you show the voucher below you will recive £5 off any spend over £25.


John McKay £5 Note Front

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Be the star of your own Christmas TV advert

Panto stars back INTU braehead selfie

SHOPPERS at intu Braehead are being given the chance to appear in their own Christmas TV advert.

22/11/16... GLASGOW. Panto stars back INTU braehead selfie

Panto stars Elaine MacKenzie Ellis and Gary Lamont record their video message for the intu Braehead giant screen

They’re being encouraged to make a short video clip of themselves sending season’s greetings to family and friends, which will be shown on the mall’s giant TV screen every day in the run-up to Christmas.

And yesterday, River City star Gary Lamont, who plays Dandini and Rab C Nesbitt actress, Elaine MacKenzie Ellis, who’s the Fairy Godmother in this year’s Cinderella panto in Glasgow’s King’s Theatre got in on the act by filming their own Christmas message for intu Braehead’s big screen.

The centre’s technical wizards will combine all the best film clips submitted into a video Christmas card ready for the big launch night on Monday December 19, when the centre starts its midnight opening.

That’s when a VIP screening of the videos for those who sent in a film clip will be held on the mall’s top-level balcony with hot chocolate and Christmas treats for everyone.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “We’ve all seen the fantastic Christmas TV adverts that have almost become a tradition at this time of year.

“Now, here’s a chance for our shoppers to star in their very own Christmas advert, sending a special Yuletide message to their loved ones on our giant screen.
“It’s a unique way of wishing everyone you know a Merry Christmas.
“And when you’re making your video message, Christmas jumpers and festive decorations in the background would be fab!”

All you have to do is capture a ten-second video on camera, tablet or smartphone and email the clip to braehead.information@intu.co.uk by Monday December 5.

Log on to www.intu.co.uk/braehead <http://www.intu.co.uk/braehead>  for more information as well as tips on how to make your own Christmas message video.

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Swimmers enjoyed dancing the Splashing White Sergeant!

Pool staff, from left Susan McCann, Paul Caruth, Colin Dearing, Carole Doyle and Elaine Carlton with Highland dancer, youngster Hayley Carlton

Swimmers at Renfrew Victory Baths certainly splashed out to celebrate St Andrew’s Day. They took part in an Aqua Ceilidh with Scottish dancing in the pool.

Pool staff, from left Susan McCann, Paul Caruth, Colin Dearing, Carole Doyle and Elaine Carlton with Highland dancer, youngster Hayley Carlton

Pool staff, from left Susan McCann, Paul Caruth, Colin Dearing, Carole Doyle and Elaine Carlton with Highland dancer, youngster Hayley Carlton

The event was organised by Renfrewshire Leisure and as well as enjoying Scottish music being played on the pool’s sound system, the swimmers were entertained by six-year-old Hayley Carlton, from Renfrew, who gave them a demonstration of Highland dancing at the poolside.

And afterwards there were traditional Scottish refreshments of
Irn Bru, shortcake and teacakes.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The staff at Renfrew Victory Baths always go the extra mile to put on events to mark special occasions and involve the swimmers who come along on a regular basis.
“The poolside was festooned with Scottish flags and everyone had a great time, especially when they danced the Splashing White Sergeant and the Spray Gordons in the pool!”