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Piping competition drums up another successful event for Paisley

Paisley town centre was filled with the sound of pipes and drums on Saturday (22 July) for the eighth annual Pipe Band Competition.

Grade 1 1st Johnstone

Crowds lined High Street and County Square to watch pipers and drummers from across Scotland compete to be named champions.

The successful event is part of the exciting and expanding calendar of cultural events across Renfrewshire taking place as part of Paisley’s bid to be named UK City of Culture in 2021 with the town last week being named as the only Scottish place on the shortlist for the prestigious title.

Each band marched from High Street to the final tuning area at the Cenotaph before making their way to the main arena in County Square. They then performed to a panel of judges from the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association who organise the event each year.

The standard of competition was extremely high, with Johnstone Pipe Band performing particularly well in their categories and Dumbarton and District securing the novice award.

The winning bands were presented with their trophies by chieftain of the event, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron. She said: “The Paisley Pipe Band Competition is an event that many people across Scotland look forward to each year and I was very proud to be able to present the bands with their recognition for a great day’s entertainment.

“Paisley demonstrated once again that it can put on successful events providing a great setting for the pipers, drummers and large crowds who came to experience the sounds and spectacle of Saturday’s competition. There was even more reason to celebrate as the event was the first one held in the town since the announcement was made that Paisley had made it through to the next stage in its bid to be named UK City of Culture 2021.”

Saturday also marked the 30th anniversary of the Paisley Arts Centre. To celebrate this important milestone Renfrewshire Leisure organised for a Family Fun Day to take place where children and parents could enjoy a range of activities including watching a puppet theatre, performances from PACE and participating in craft workshops.

The Paisley 2021 bid has made it through to the second and final stage of the competition and is the sole Scottish town or city featured in the shortlist. The bid aims to transform the town and Renfrewshire’s future by using its unique cultural and heritage offering as the home of the Paisley Pattern and one-time centre of the global textile industry.

Final bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in in September 2017 with a final decision expected in December.

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

For more information on the winners please visit the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association website at www.rspba.org.

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Local MP Gavin Newlands attends Carers Week event

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, attended a Carers Week speed networking event with carers and charities in Westminster, pledging his continued support to unpaid carers locally.

The event was in support of the recent Carers Week, to celebrate and recognise the vital contribution made by the 6.5 million people across the UK who currently provide unpaid care for a disabled, ill or older family member or friend. It matched up MPs and carers to share experiences of caring and discuss ways to build Carer Friendly Communities – places where local people and services support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own.

Gavin Newlands  MP committed to:

  • meeting with carers locally and local services to find out about the challenges faced by carers
  • encouraging organisations, services and employers in his to become more Carer Friendly
  • raising the profile of caring and speaking up for carers in Parliament
  • raising awareness of Carer Friendly Communities in Renfrewshire

Mr Newlands already hosts a carers-specific surgery every month in the Carers Centre in Paisley, allowing him to assist carers with a wide range of matters.

Local MP, Gavin Newlands said:

“I was proud to represent my constituents at the Carers Week event and I pledge to continue to support the 12,529 carers in my constituency throughout this Parliament.  Unpaid carers make a huge contribution to our society, providing vital and often hidden support to friends and family members, and it is right that we value them and ensure they have the right support at the right time. I look forward to working with the Carers Week charities, and, with unpaid carers, locally, to make a difference to their lives.

“Since my initial election in 2015, I have strived to ensure that the voices of carers are heard in the UK Parliament. However, I’ve also worked hard to champion their causes in the local community, this is particularly important as that’s where they come across the most bureaucracy.

“I will continue to run my carers-specific surgery every month and pledge to continue to work for and with carers to champion the issues that are important to them.”

Carers Week 2017 is made possible by Carers UK joining forces with Age UK, Carers Trust, Independent Age, Macmillan Cancer Support, the Motor Neurone Disease Association, MS Society and Which? Elderly Care and kindly supported by Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition and the Lockwood Foundation.

For further information visit www.carersweek.org

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Unleashing Paisley Potential – Makers Space comes to Paisley

Paisley First is putting the finishing touches to a plan to boost creativity in the town’s artisan sector with the creation of a dedicated Makers Space.

This exciting new project will unleash Paisley potential by providing local artisans, artists or traders with a physical space for open collaboration, idea creation, prototyping and even selling.

The maker space will provide spaces where members share available tools and resources, and a dedicated space whereby parties can sell their arts, crafts and wares to the general public.

Members will draw inspiration from their peers to create a support network – the key to success for any budding entrepreneur!

Paisley First has secured the use of the former church at 5 Wellmeadow Street.

Renovation works are due to begin during July and the first makers are scheduled to move in at the end of September.

Spaces will be available on easy terms and we aim to have the site bustling with a wide variety of artisans by the end of this year.

With a showroom and sales area on site, Paisley First intends to market unique hand made products and bring an increased level of footfall to the High Street which will benefit all traders within the town centre.

If you are interested in being part of this exciting new venture then visit www.paisleyfirst.com for further details and to complete an initial enquiry form to register interest in securing a space.

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Paisley’s independent live music venue The Bungalow and popular town centre community convenience store RSA along-side organiser Darren Scott have teamed up to present GROUND ZERO a new music event dedicated to Rap and Hip-Hop on Saturday 8th July 2017 in The Bungalow on Shuttle Street, Paisley from 8pm.

Crowds can expect to witness rap battles between 12 different MCs through-out the night and the winner being presented with a £200.00 cash prize! Local DJ ‘Big Div’ will be launching sounds all night long with more additions to the night due to be announced over the coming weeks with beatboxers also welcome to take to the stage.

#1BLUD DANCE COMPANY will also be taking to the stage and Shuttle Street to perform inside and outside of the hosting venue during the evening to show off their dance skills.

Organizer ‘Rekz’ said: “I have always been interested in expressive music such as Hip Hip/Rap. The Scottish scene in comparison to the English scene has been lacking in the mainstream. Paisley is an integral musical hub in Scotland it would only be fitting for the Scottish Hip Hop/Rap talents to take centre stage in the Bungalow Paisley, which will no doubt create noise and inspire people through it. Paisley having had turbulent times socially, music such as this can unite people and in many occasions be helpful to the mind and soul.”


GROUND ZERO will also be a free entry event for all those who wish to attend with donations welcome to go towards Sense Scotland’s ‘One Giant Leap Programme’ who support young adults with disabilities through music and arts.

Confirmed MC performances will be from:
Nity Gritz . Kayce One . Wee D . Jailz .
GBh . RDS . Subkonscious . Strong Tone
Fuzzy . G-mo . Mako . Scott Stewart . Ill Az. Macc.

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Thousands descend on Paisley town centre for first-ever Weave festival

Thousands of people descended on Paisley town centre at the weekend for the first-ever Weave festival, celebrating the town’s radical history and heritage.
The bumper weekend was taking place alongside the annual Sma’ Shot celebrations – one of the world’s oldest workers festivals – and saw a diverse range of cultural performances and events, with more than 40 shows across six venues and four outdoor live zones.

Burning of the Cork

Weave is inspired by the town’s globally-significant heritage of weaving and radical politics and took place as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
The weekend festival was one of Visit Scotland’s signature events in Scotland’s 2017 Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology celebrations.
More than 350 costumed performers, artists, community groups and families took part in the Sma’ Shot parade, led by the Charleston Drum – the traditional way of calling out the weavers for the annual festival.
This year’s parade explored the theme of ‘the threads that bind us’, empowering participants and audiences alike to celebrate what brings us together and offers a sense of belonging.
Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, attended the event to meet some of the performers and experience some of the activities taking place.
She said: “As one of the signature events for the country’s 2017 Year of Heritage, History and Archaeology, Paisley’s Weave festival celebrates the town’s weaving heritage via a programme of live music, design, art, poetry, dance and street theatre, set against the historic town centre.
“I was delighted to meet performers and participants and hear first-hand the story of the weavers’ rebellion, the iconic Paisley Pattern and its legacy for modern-day makers and artists.
“This family-friendly event promotes Paisley’s rich weaving heritage and the stories around this heritage that are still alive in the community today. Sharing these stories is a central aim of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology as we shine a spotlight on Scotland’s rich and vibrant attributes in relation to its historic environment and past, to the people of Scotland and our visitors.”
Sma’ Shot Day began after a dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century. The sma’ shot was a fine weft yarn, woven into Paisley shawls by the weavers, which they were not paid for. An agreement was finally reached to pay for the sma’ shot in 1856.
Councillor Iain Nicolson, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said: “The Weave festival celebrates Paisley’s great heritage that helped make the town an industrial and manufacturing powerhouse known the world over.
“Events like this help attract visitors to the town which not only supports the local economy but allows us to continue to share Paisley’s unique story.”
Some of the highlights from the weekend included:
– the premiere of Iranian textile artist Paria Goodarzi’s new show Mass Movement, influenced by her personal journey as a refugee rebuilding her life in Scotland;
– an outdoor family ceilidh, mass drum-off, and four live music stages, hosted by Capital Radio DJ Gary Spence and by Celtic Music radio and local promoters LNP, located at Abbey Close, Gilmour Street, Paisley Arts Centre and Brown’s Lane;
– weaving demonstrations with visual art curator and weaver Dan Coughlan at Sma’ Shot Cottages;
– the Dooslan Stane stage, hosted the union speeches, re-enactments and poetry / spoken word or ‘speakers corner’ activities;
– the ‘storytelling yurt’ at Abbey Close enabled people to find out more about the Sma’ Shot story and Paisley’s weaving heritage from professional storytellers;
– a poetry slam, storytelling sessions, and a series of talks, tours, workshops and demonstrations from local artists and designers, including traditional Paisley shawl weaving;
– PaisleyMake Makers’ Market at Paisley Abbey showcased a variety of exceptional and innovative Scottish designers and makers featuring everything from clothing and jewellery to interior design;
– Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMAs) in collaboration with L’n’P Promotions and Sma’ Shot Weave Festival hosted an evening of live music featuring; Rachel Sermanni (full band), The Great Albatross and Mark McGowan.
Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “Weave festival has been a great success, showcasing the creative talent Paisley has to offer alongside the best established artists and performers in their field.
“The Sma’ Shot parade is a firm favourite in the calendar each year and it was great to see so many local community groups take part and entertain the crowds.
“Nurturing and growing our local talent is a key part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and we are starting to see this ambition become a reality.”
For more information on Paisley 2021, visit www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.
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Paisley’s bid to bring Mod back to town in 2021 is lodged

A bid to bring the world’s largest celebration of Gaelic language and culture back to Paisley has been lodged – for what would be one of the centrepieces of the town’s potential UK City of Culture 2021 year.

Gordon Maclennan, Provost Lorraine Cameron, Mark Johnstone (Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band), Alec Dalglish (Skerryvore), Josh Esson (Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band), Martin Gillespie (Skerryvore).

Paisley is bidding for the Royal National Mòd in four years time – with the town’s one previous staging of the event in 2013 being the second-largest in the event’s history.

Renfrewshire Council has already ring-fenced a budget of £185,000 plus substantial extra in-kind support to cover hosting costs – with the event expected to bring thousands of visitors and a seven-figure economic boost to the area.

Bid bosses believe Paisley’s central location, excellent transport links, unique venues and established major event track record will add up to another successful Mòd. If the town was named UK City of Culture 2021, the Mòd would be key to that year’s programme of events.

Paisley’s Mòd 2021 bid will be handed in at the Inverness offices of event organisers An Comunn Gaidhealach on Friday by the chair of the local organising committee, Gordon MacLennan.

Gordon – also the chief executive of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport – was joined at Paisley Gilmour Street station to see the bid off by vice-chair, Provost Lorraine Cameron, members of the Renfrewshire schools pipe band, and some of top trad band Skerryvore, who are backing Paisley’s Mòd bid.

He said: “We would be absolutely thrilled if An Comun were to bring the Mòd back to Paisley in 2021, and believe we have put together a very strong bid.

“The last – and only – Mòd held here in 2013 attracted 8,000 people over nine days and delivered a £1.4m economic impact, and Paisley was very well received as a location by visitors from across Scotland.

“Aside from our unique venues, such as Paisley Town Hall and Abbey, our transport links are second-to-none – with an international airport on our doorstep, easy access to the motorway, and Paisley Gilmour Street station being Scotland’s fourth-busiest, handling five million passengers a year and a train to Glasgow every eight minutes.”

Provost Cameron added: “Renfrewshire is committed to the development of the Gaelic language, with a five-figure annual investment in arts programming, Gaelic language plan, and more than 1,500 local people with Gaelic language skills.

“We have also invested in the next generation, with our annual Fèis Phàislig music festival having seen around 700 local young people engaged in Gaelic and traditional music, with musicians visiting 27 local primary schools this year alone.

“The area also has a strong record of supporting traditional music, with many trad acts featuring on the bill for our annual Spree festival in October, and the MG Alba Scottish Trad Awards coming to Paisley for the first time this December.

“We want to build on that by hosting another successful Mòd whether we win the Uk City of Culture title or not.”

Martin Gillespie – a founder member of Skerryvore, in Paisley last year as a Spree headliner – added: “I have a long association with the Mòd – myself and my brother competed in several when we were young – so it’s an event that means a lot to me.

“It’s good to see such a strong bid coming from a place in the central belt as that would help open up the event to new audiences.

“We played Paisley Town Hall last year – it would make a great main venue for Mòd competition and there’s no doubt the town would be a good host.”

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is part of a wider push to transform the town’s future using heritage, culture and events and the Uk Government is expected to announce the shortlist for the next stage of the competition over the summer.

For more information, visit  paisley2021.co.uk

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Skoobmobile helps school win top award

THE popular Skoobmobile library bus has been praised for helping a Paisley Primary school lift a top national award.

Todholm pupils in the Skoobmobile

Todholm Primary recently won the Scottish Education Awards’ Raising Attainment in Literacy accolade.
And the school’s headteacher, Lynne McGinn has said Todholm wouldn’t have won the award if it hadn’t been for the role played by Renfrewshire Leisure’s children’s outreach service – The Skoobmobile.

The Skoobmobile is a brightly-coloured bus stocking a broad range of children’s books in a flexible space with a range of activities based around play, reading, physical and digital activity for children up to the age of 12.

The bus visits schools, nurseries and community events, in Renfrewshire promoting literacy and learning and has free Wi-Fi on board, along with iPads for youngsters to use.

Lynne said: “Winning the award was an amazing achievement and one that wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Skoobmobile and its staff.

We’d like to thank them for the tremendous support they’ve given to Todholm. It’s very much appreciated and it has made a real difference.”

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “It’s heartening to know that the services we provide are making a positive difference to young people’s lives.

“Our Skoobmobile is particular effective at catching youngsters’ imaginations and encouraging them to read and learn more.”

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Local MP highlights Sma’ Shot Day in Parliament

Gavin Newlands MP

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has highlighted Sma’ Shot Day in the UK Parliament as the town gears up this weekend to celebrate the town’s rich past.

Gavin Newlands MP

Mr Newlands spoke in Parliament about how the annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations highlight Paisley’s radical past, including the political battles that were fought between the town’s weavers and their bosses.

Mr Newlands also highlighted the first-ever ‘Weave’ music festival which has been organised in conjunction with Sma’ Shot Day with the local MP stating that this only adds to Paisley’s strong application to be named as UK City of Culture 2021.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“I am looking forward to Sma’ Shot this weekend, not least because I haven’t been able to attend the last two! This is always a fantastic occasion where the town comes together to celebrate our radical past and pay respect to the Paisley weavers who fought for better working conditions.

“This year’s events are looking to take our celebrations up a notch with the ‘Weave’ music festival being organised to take place in the heart of the town.

“It’s lining up to be a fantastic weekend, and I’m delighted as one of Paisley’s MPs to be able to highlight our annual Sma’ Shot celebrations in the House of Commons – once again showing why Paisley should be named the UK City of Culture.”

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Rukeri takes on new team member

Rukeri are pleased to welcome a new addition to the team, Jennifer Hemphill. Following expansions in the yard, a new member of the team was required within the busy office to allow the company to continue to deal with the growing customer enquiries in a timely and efficient manner.

Jennifer will be the first point of contact within the office, and will assist with all related duties as required. Lisa Taylor, Marketing Executive at Rukeri says, ‘We are absolutely delighted to welcome Jen to the Rukeri team. She has been able to hit the ground running and has already established good rapport with our customer base. We believe that Jen will be an asset to our brand and company and look forward to supporting her on her career path.’

Rukeri, a brand of Salt and Grit Solutions Ltd, is primarily a turf grower, growing premium, hardwearing turf from North Arkleston Farm in Paisley. Rukeri turf continues to grow in popularity amongst local landscapers and is fast becoming the number 1 choice in the local area. The turf is grown in local fields and it is cut daily so that all customers receive fresh turf and last-minute orders can be catered for. The company supplies a range of other products including decorative stones, barks and sands, fencing & decking, huts and garden furniture. More recently, Rukeri has introduced a new line of ironmongery hardware to compliment the fencing range.

All products can be viewed from the Rukeri yard at Arkleston Farm, and with more staff in the office you will be sure to be greeted with a smile!



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Convener response to Scottish Government Statement on Education Governance

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Cllr Jim Paterson, Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Education and Children’s Services, said: “We welcome any changes which seek to make improvements to education and attainment for children and young people.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

“We have already shown our commitment to this cause through signing up to the attainment challenge and working with the Scottish Government to raise attainment levels for all.

“Through our work with our partners we are already seeing the positive impacts of collaborative working. Our voluntary partnership with Glasgow City region is in its early stages but is already delivering positive impacts for children and young people.

“Local authorities play an essential role in the lives of children and young people by developing and implementing policy while allowing schools the flexibility to make changes which matter on at a local level. We are determined to make a difference in closing the attainment gap for pupils and helping all our young people reach their full potential. We believe we are on track to delivering this change.

“The implications of the changes to governance outlined today are complex and will take time to develop. Careful consideration will need to be given in order to ensure that we deliver the best possible outcome for all children and young people in Renfrewshire and we look forward to working with Scottish Government to deliver continued improvements.”