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3 Unmissable Book Week Scotland Events Happening in Renfrewshire


Book Week Scotland is taking place Monday 21 – Sunday 27 November 2016 and audiences across Scotland can take part in a national celebration of books and reading, with hundreds of free events and fun reading activities happening across the country.


Booklovers can get involved by voting for their favourite http://scottishbooktrust.com/reading/book-week-scotland/scottish-book-to-screen-vote, challenge themselves or a friend to a #ReadingDare  and during the week, a brand new Book Generator quiz will be available on http://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-week-scotland, enabling participants to uncover the perfect book match for themselves or the ideal present for a friend.

The 2016 events programme is a literary box of delights, with something for people of all ages to enjoy. Events happening in Renfrewshire are as follows: 

Clare Mackintosh Chats About Her Thrilling Crime Novels

Johnstone, Renfrewshire

Free, ticketed


Tuesday 22 November 2016 14:30

Clare Mackintosh spent twelve years in the police force, including time on CID, and as a public order commander, before turning her hand to journalism, social media consultancy and writing. Last year she published I Let You Go, a fantastic thriller that was the fastest selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. This year, she’d been delighting readers with the recently published I See You. Hear her discuss her inspiration, writing process and more.

More information about this event


Author Talk: Jill Mansell

Johnstone, Renfrewshire

Free, ticketed


Thursday 24 November 2016 14:30

Jill Mansell is a much loved British romance writer with more than 25 brilliant books. Last year, she launched Three Amazing Things About You, which was one of her best-loved books to date and this year she’s making a splash with You and Me, Always. Discover what makes her tick, where her inspiration comes from and how she manages to write so many beloved characters at this welcoming event.

More information about this event


Conversation with Chris Brookmyre

Renfrewshire, Renfrewshire

Free, ticketed


Monday 21 November 2016 19:00

Chris Brookmyre is one of Britain’s leading crime writers. His Jack Parlabane books have sold more than a million copies in the UK alone. His latest novel, Black Widow, has just won the McIllvanney Prize and is shortlisted for the CWA Golden Dagger. In it he deals with contemporary themes such as everyday sexism, hacking and social media trolls. He also pays homage to the past, bringing maverick reporter Parlabane back to Edinburgh and the flat which was the setting for his award-winning debut, Quite Ugly One Morning.

More information about this event

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M8 Driving School


Hate to remind you folks but Christmas is on its way and it’s time to get your head thinking “what can I get her/him this year”.


Well, why not get them a gift that lasts a lifetime? Get them on the road to their very own driving license this Christmas and enjoy the fact you helped put them there. M8 driving school have vouchers throughout the year from 1 to 40 lessons.  Give us a call on 07747 600 672 to put a smile on someone’s face this Christmas.

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Mackay Backs Blythswood Shoebox Appeal

Derek Mackay MSP, Cllr Bill Perrie & Cllr Cathy McEwan with volunteers at Blythswood Care distribution centre in Hillington

SNP MSP Derek Mackay is once again showing his support to Blythswood Care’s Shoebox Appeal. Since 1966, Blythswood Care has led a number of appeals to help those in desperate poverty across Europe, Africa and Asia, through filled shoeboxes at Christmas, relief and development aid or social projects for young and old.

Derek Mackay MSP, Cllr Bill Perrie & Cllr Cathy McEwan with volunteers at Blythswood Care distribution centre in Hillington

Derek Mackay MSP, Cllr Bill Perrie & Cllr Cathy McEwan with volunteers at Blythswood Care distribution centre in Hillington

Blythswood sends shoeboxes filled with gifts and donations from generous Renfrewshire residents and others across the country to impoverished nations across Eastern Europe and Asia.  Last year 116,576 shoeboxes were delivered to Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Kosovo, Moldova, Pakistan, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. A 10% increase on 2014. All of the shoeboxes are sent out early to ensure they arrive by Christmas.  For more information on how you can help please see:  http://www.blythswood.org/shoebox-appeal

Mr Mackay is encouraging constituents to get involved by filling up and dropping off a shop box at Blythswood Care, Montrose Avenue, Hillington Industrial Estate from 4th November 2016.

Commenting Derek Mackay MSP said:

“My heartfelt congratulations go out to the organisers at Blythswood.  It is amazing that they have been able to bring so much joy to those less fortunate than us for over half a century now.

“These shoeboxes can bring so much joy to children, teenagers and adults alike. Everyday items that seem so small to us; a new hat and scarf, a toothbrush with some toothpaste, a small toy, some soap; bring great joy to thousands of people who live in desperate poverty.

“I would encourage everyone to get involved this year. Boxes can be dropped off from 4th November. Constituents can contact Blythswood Care at 882 0585 for more information.”

Cllr Bill Perrie praised the organisation for their work by saying:

 “I’ve been highly impressed by the set up at Blythswood and by the effort which has been put in by all the volunteers sorting the thousands of shoe boxes which have been donated.”

 Cllr Cathy McEwan added:

“This is an on-going reminder that thousands of people struggle day by day in Europe and in Asia just to get by, and I hope last year’s success will inspire even more people to be involved this year.”

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Let’s mall go trick or treating

The seven-year-old Heads of Fun at intu Braehead, Lucie Roy, from Erskine and Aidan Smith, from Houston, Renfrewshire get in some practice for Halloween trick or treating

YOUNGSTERS are being invited to go trick or treating this Halloween weekend at intu Braehead – in one of Scotland’s biggest shopping and leisure malls.

The seven-year-old Heads of Fun at intu Braehead, Lucie Roy, from Erskine and Aidan Smith, from Houston, Renfrewshire get in some practice for Halloween trick or treating

The seven-year-old Heads of Fun at intu Braehead, Lucie Roy, from Erskine and Aidan Smith, from Houston, Renfrewshire get in some practice for Halloween trick or treating

Stores and leisure attractions at the centre and Soar at intu Braehead are expecting scores of youngsters in fancy dress to visit them asking: “Trick or treat?’ and in return, they’ll be given a sweet treat.

The free event is taking place this Saturday and Sunday, October 29 and 30 between noon and 4pm and children are being encouraged to come along in Halloween costume.

Head of Fun at intu Braehead, seven-year-old Lucie Roy, from Erskine prepares for some Halloween fun at the centre’s trick or treat event.

Head of Fun at intu Braehead, seven-year-old Lucie Roy, from Erskine prepares for some Halloween fun at the centre’s trick or treat event.

They can collect a special pumpkin basket from outside Thorntons and Pandora, in the shopping mall and Frankie and Benny’s restaurant, in Soar at intu Braehead.

Then they can visit shops and leisure attractions featuring a special pumpkin in their window.

Stores taking part in the shopping centre are A1 Toys, Waterstones, Build-a-Bear, Claire’s and Schuh Kids. And over in Soar, kids should pay a visit to Chiquito, Gambado, Paradise Island Adventure Golf, Frankie and Benny’s and Laser Station.

Head of Fun at intu Braehead, seven-year-old Aidan Smith, from Houston, Renfrewshire prepares for some Halloween fun at the centre’s trick or treat event

Head of Fun at intu Braehead, seven-year-old Aidan Smith, from Houston, Renfrewshire prepares for some Halloween fun at the centre’s trick or treat event

Marketing manager at intu Braehead, Christine Macdonald said: “Many parents will be looking to keep out of the cold when it comes to trick or treating with their children.
“So we’re giving them the chance to go guising and ask ‘trick or treat’ in the warmth and comfort of the shopping centre and Soar.
“It’ll be great fun and we’re looking forward to seeing lots of kids in the mall in fancy dress.”

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Linwood student takes off on aeronautical career with bursary funding

Adam Donnelly

A Linwood resident has become one of three students to be awarded grant funding as part of a new national bursary scheme from Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky and premium gin business of Pernod Ricard – securing £1,000 towards a further education course in Aircraft Engineering.

Adam Donnelly

Adam Donnelly

Adam Donnelly, whose mother Jacqueline works as a payroll analyst at Chivas Brothers’ Paisley site, took one step closer to his dream of becoming an aeronautical engineer when he was accepted into Ayrshire College’s Aircraft Engineering HNC (Higher National Certificate) course earlier this year. The course forms an essential part of Adam’s plan to continue the subject at university in 2017 – but he was concerned about the cost of travel for the one-hour commute between his home and the college. After hearing about the newly launched Chivas Brothers Bursary scheme, he decided to apply.

Adam explains: “Getting a place at Ayrshire was a real milestone for me, because my long-term plan is to take my studies to degree level, and ultimately get a job as an aeronautical engineer. My only worry was covering train fares between Linwood and the college in Ayr three times a week. My mum had been sent a copy of the bursary application at work, and noticed that it was open to both Chivas Brothers staff and their direct family members. She sent it on to me and told me to go for it! It feels amazing to have been chosen as one of the three successful candidates.

“The £1,000 grant will make a big difference over the next year. It means I can put all my own savings towards my actual studies, rather than just travel. I’ll be able to invest in books and resources for the course and focus on getting the results I need for university. I’ve got my sights set on Glasgow or Strathclyde, which are the best in the UK for aeronautical engineering – it will be hard work but I’m up for the challenge!”

Introduced for the first time this year, the Chivas Brothers Bursary has been developed in partnership with the Scottish International Education Trust (SIET). The SIET was set up in 1971 to help talented men and women fulfil their personal and professional goals by providing them with grants to complete further study. The launch of the new bursary scheme makes it easier for employees and their families to apply for support from the SIET, with up to £5,000 a year on offer over the next three years. It follows a £100,000 donation by Chivas Brothers to the SIET last year, and complements an ongoing employee development programme that has seen the company invest extensively in professional training for its staff.

Anthony Schofield, Public Affairs Director at Chivas Brothers, says: “The new Chivas Brothers Bursary marks our ongoing commitment toengaging and inspiring our people, and giving back to the communities where we work. We’ve been incredibly impressed with the high level of applications we’ve had for the scheme in its inaugural year. We’re very pleased to be supporting Adam in his journey to become an aeronautical engineer, and want to congratulate him on his excellent application.

“Adam’s experience is testament to his drive and passion for his subject. He missed out on a place at university this year, but didn’t let that deter him from his career goals. Instead he plans to reapply next year after further study at college. We wish him the best of luck for a successful HNC at Ayrshire and what is undoubtedly a very bright future.”

Chivas Brothers counts some of the world’s leading whisky and gin brands as part of its portfolio – including Chivas Regal, Ballantine’s, The Glenlivet, Royal Salute and Beefeater gin – and has opened the new bursary scheme to employees at all of its 32 sites, which span Orkney, Speyside, Central Scotland, Ayrshire, London and Plymouth.

Also awarded funding under the 2016 Chivas Brothers Bursary scheme were Mia Forbes, whose father works in the company’s London offices, and Laura Caban, whose grandfather works at its Glasgow site. Mia is putting her grant towards a Classics degree at the University of Cambridge, and Laura will be using her funds to help cover costs during an undergraduate degree in Acting for Stage & Screen at Edinburgh Napier and Queen Margaret universities.

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Spree festival hailed as a “tremendous success” for Paisley

RockUs Community Choir perform in Paisley Abbey as part of the Spree Sessions initiative

Renfrewshire Council bosses have hailed this year’s Spree festival in Paisley as a “tremendous boost for the town”.

RockUs Community Choir perform in Paisley Abbey as part of the Spree Sessions initiative

RockUs Community Choir perform in Paisley Abbey as part of the Spree Sessions initiative

The nine-day festival saw over 4,000 tickets sold and more than 1,000 children attend free day-time workshops during the October school holiday. Gig-goers came from as far afield as Australia, Croatia, Germany and Denmark to attend this year’s festival.


Kids enjoy a dinosaur workshop in the Spiegeltent as part of the festival

Highlights included the festival’s signature Paisley Abbey concert and a unique collaboration between former Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, with Currie backing Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 from the stage.

 Justin Currie and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra performing in Paisley Abbey

Justin Currie and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra performing in Paisley Abbey

A specially-erected Spiegeltent in the town’s County Square hosted several sell-out shows and a live broadcast of BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway show to over 20,000 listeners.

The addition of ‘Spree Sessions’ this year showcased Paisley’s vibrant home-grown cultural scene with shows featuring local cultural groups RockUs Choir, Create Paisley and Feis Phiaslig. And the festival’s first ‘fringe’ event, the Spree for All, saw local music promoters LNP Promotions organise a series of gigs in venues across town as well as a ‘magic trail’ in cafes.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “This was the fifth year we have held The Spree festival in Paisley and, once again, it has been a tremendous boost to the town. We had a fantastic mix this year, from the big-name acts to concerts featuring local school children, which showcased the diversity of cultural activity we have.

“We purposely time the festival to coincide with the October school holiday each year and programme a host of free activities for families to enjoy. Like much of our events programme, we want it to be accessible and for all our communities to have the opportunity to enjoy cultural activity on their doorstep.”

“Events like The Spree are crucial in generating footfall and encouraging spend in the local economy, while also enhancing the image and reputation of Paisley as a place to enjoy spending leisure time, whether you are local or not.

“I think Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 gave this year’s festival an added buzz. The success of this year’s festival and our ability to attract a national and international audience adds to the growing evidence that Paisley is ready and able to take on the culture title.”

Next on the events programme for Paisley are a Halloween Festival (28-29 October), a Fireworks Spectacular (5 November) and the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On (12 November). It was also announced this week that Paisley will host the start leg of the Monte Carlo Rally on 25 January 2017.

Details of all the events listed are available online at  paisley2021.co.uk/events.

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Please support Paisley on the web by voting for us

paisley logo web

Paisley on the web is looking for your support to win the best community group category in Renfrewshire Council’s Provost’s Community Awards.

paisley logo web

Paisley on the web was started almost 20 years ago by Brian McGuire and continues to this day with many volunteers working behind the scenes to ensure that the community is kept up to date with information and events happening in Renfrewshire.

If you like what we do, please follow the attached link  http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards and complete the interactive nomination form.



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Paisley gets set for Halloween spooktacular


Paisley is gearing up for a spooky entertainment extravaganza at the weekend when the annual Halloween festival once again takes over the town centre.


The hugely popular annual event – run by Renfrewshire Council – is one of only a few of its kind in Scotland and will take place over Friday evening and all-day Saturday.

The first day of fun runs from 6 to 9pm on Friday, starting with a lantern-lit parade down the High Street from the UWS main entrance to Abbey Close, led by the stunning Spark! LED drummers.


Abbey Close itself will be home to a fire garden run by outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank, featuring fire-breathing sculptures, illuminations and much more.

Paisley Town Hall will be Spook Central, with Halloween arts and crafts, family disco, storytelling, puppet shows and music sessions with Feis Phaislig.

Saturday will see more of the same from 12 until 9pm, but with the addition of a main stage featuring live music from local musicians and dance groups and entertainment from Pulse FM DJs.


Both days will also have a funfair, street entertainers and a great selection of outdoor food vendors.

This will be the third year of the Halloween Festival and kicks off Renfrewshire’s major winter events programme, with the Paisley Fireworks display (Sat 5 Nov) and Christmas Lights Switch-on (Sat 12 Nov) set to follow.

And this year will see a special treat with the world premiere of a new performance by award-winning visual theatre artist Al Seed taking place in Paisley Town Hall’s Loggia room.

Described as a dark gothic melodrama inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Raven, tickets for shows on Wednesday and Thursday are on sale now via www.renfrewshireleisure.com

The show is one of the first to be funded by Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events fund, which aims to boost cultural capacity in the run-up to Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted to be welcoming the Paisley Halloween Festival back for another year – it has been a hugely popular family day out with locals and visitors alike since it started in 2014.

“Again, we expect thousands of people to descend on Paisley town centre over the two days, providing an economic boost to the local area and local traders.

“This year’s winter events are extra special as the last ones to take place before the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 goes in next year.

“And with that in mind, we are delighted to welcome critically-acclaimed performer Al Seed to the town for a unique performance made possible by the Paisley 2021 bid.

“But the event is also a great showcase of the talents of the thriving grassroots creative scene we have here in the town.

“That goes from the young people making costumes and starring in the parade, to the many music and dance performers of various ages who will take to the main stage on the Saturday.”

The groups taking part in the weekend include Independent State of Happiness, Right To Dance, Street Stuff, Floor4orce, Solid Rock Cheerleaders and Rock Us Community Choir.

For more information, visit  www.paisley2021.com

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Pride of Paisley auction is a roaring success

Autumn lion
Photos courtesy of  Ian McDonald photgraphy for paisley.org.uk

Lions were on the loose all across Renfrewshire on Friday night as the ‘Pride of Paisley’ public art project came to a close.

Autumn lion Photos courtesy of Ian McDonald photgraphy for paisley.org.uk

Autumn lion
Photos courtesy of Ian McDonald photography on behalf of  paisley.org.uk

The 25 colourful lions were auctioned off to the benefit of two local hospices- ACCORD and St Vincent’s- with the final amount raised a staggering £79,300.


Paisley Love Buddie was the most sought after lion fetching a magnificent £6500.

The extremely popular public art trail was brought to the town centre by business regeneration group Paisley First as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Inspired by Paisley Museum’s famous ‘Buddy the Lion’, each lion featured a different aspect of Paisley’s unique culture and heritage.

The auction crowd prepare to make their bids

The auction crowd prepare to make their bids

They’ve been the ‘mane’ attraction in the town centre over the past ten weeks which has seen an estimated 20,000 visitors following the trail around the town.

Alongside the 25 full-size lions, 40 mini lions have been spread around the area with the aim of attracting visitors into shops, cafes and restaurants.

Andrew Mitchell, Paisley First Manager, said: ““The Pride of Paisley has been an enormous success for Paisley First and demonstrates what we can achieve through our business improvement district over the next four years.

“The project increased footfall and brought new visitors into the town who have went on to spend in local shops, restaurants and cafes.  We are currently working on next year’s summer projects which I am sure will be as good, if not better than this year.”

Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, said: “The Pride of Paisley lions brought a real buzz around the town centre and the project has been an unquestionable success.

“We are working hard to regenerate Paisley as part of our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and the project has highlighted the community spirit that Paisley possesses- which we need to harness if our bid is to be successful.”

Paisley First Business Improvement District is a business-led organisation which has been tasked with bringing forward events and activities to increase footfall and stimulate investment.

Paisley First are also a key partner in Paisley’s push towards the bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

The art trail’s headlining sponsors were: West College Scotland, University of the West of Scotland, Renfrewshire Leisure, The Piazza, Paisley First, Paisley 2021 and PACE Theatre Company.

For more information on the project visit: www.prideofpaisley.co.uk

For more information on how you can get involved in backing the bid for UK City of Culture visit www.Paisley2021.co.uk.

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Vote for RAMH


RAMH’s has been nominated for 2 cash awards and are asking everyone to vote for them!

Firstly the Singing For Wellbeing group has been nominated for an Aviva Community Fund award – and you can help by voting at https://www.avivacommunityfund.co.uk/voting/project/view/16-1743 and register to receive your 10 votes to get the group a crucial £5,000 in funding. We know that severe and enduring mental ill health impacts every part of a person’s life, and we also know that the crucial steps towards recovery include keeping connected, nurturing relationships and being creative. Please vote for Singing For Wellbeing in the Aviva Community Fund – this cash will make such a huge difference to the group.


RAMH has also been nominated for a Tesco Bags of Help award and will receive either £8,000, £10,000 or £12,000, depending on the public vote, for their Wellbeing Gardening Group. Voting takes place from October 31st – November 13th at Tesco in Linwood, Renfrew or Paisley. Please vote for RAMH during this fortnight so they can continue to offer creative and therapeutic support for people with severe and enduring mental ill health.