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Paolo Nutini backs home-town culture bid with exclusive one-off Paisley Abbey show

Paisley’s Paolo Nutini has announced an exclusive one-off homecoming charity show in the stunning surroundings of Paisley Abbey to back the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

The show – on Friday 20 October – tops the bill for Paisley’s annual Spree festival and is taking place in support of a number of local good causes.

Paolo and his band will deliver an unforgettable experience for those lucky enough to be in the town’s 850-year-old Abbey to see it.

Only a limited number of gold-dust tickets will be available to the public for the 550-capacity venue.

Fans will be able to register via thespree.co.uk from Friday for a chance to get the option to purchase a pair.

100 tickets will be made available to Renfrewshire community groups.

All ticket monies will go directly to five local charities selected by Paolo himself – The Love Street Singers, Mirren Park School, The Kibble Band, the Sunshine Recovery Cafe and some of the town’s Syrian refugee children.

Paolo said: “I’ve always wanted to play in the Abbey since I was a wee boy. I’m proud to be a part of The Spree … I’m proud to be from Paisley … love is music and music is home. Big love people.”

Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 as part of wider plans to transform the town’s future using its unique cultural and heritage story.

Bids were submitted to the UK Government in April and a decision on the shortlist for the next stage is due over the summer. The winner will be announced at the end of the year.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paolo’s support has been absolutely instrumental to Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid and we are utterly thrilled he is playing this gig – it will be spectacular and we cannot wait.

“It is wonderful to see him helping us realise the bid’s aim to open up the benefits of culture to everybody in the town by supporting local charities and communities who face real barriers to accessing world-class cultural experiences.”

The Spree is Paisley’s flagship annual arts festival and takes place over ten days in October, with Paisley Abbey also hosting a one-off – and now sold-out – collaboration between Frightened Rabbit and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. The full bill is available at thespree.co.uk

Tickets for Paolo’s show are £30 each and restricted to two per person. Ticket sales will be via an online ballot utilising Ticketmaster’s Verified Fan System. The ballot opens at 9am on Friday 30 June and runs until Thursday 6 July.

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Mackay welcomes £2.85m funding for cancer services

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the announcement of £2.85 million of funding to help improve cancer services. 

The investment announced today by Health Secretary Shona Robison will be directed to health boards to reduce waiting times, and particularly to speed up access to diagnostic tests. Discussions are currently being held with the boards to determine the most effective way to spend the money. 

The number of people being diagnosed with cancer has increased in recent years, mainly due to the ageing population. Better treatment has also meant more people are cured than ever before, and more are living longer with the disease. 

The work will complement the Scottish Government’s £100 million cancer strategy, which aims to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment over the next ten years. 

Mr Mackay said: 

“Greater awareness to cancer has led to more people coming forward to get their symptoms checked. This means more demand on services, and that’s a challenge the Government are ready to meet. 

“This investment will support health boards to reduce waiting times, and ensure that people get a vital early diagnosis so that treatment, if required, can start as soon as possible.”

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£250,000 set to be invested to revitalise Renfrewshire’s local environment

Councillors will consider plans for a £250,000 investment to deliver a programme of improvements to Renfrewshire’s local environment.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson (second from left) and Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of the Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board (furthest right), with members of Community Action for Erskine.

A report published for the Council meeting on Thursday (29 June) outlines plans to tackle the challenges faced in delivering improved environmental standards and a desire to support local communities in their contributions to improving Renfrewshire.

The proposed investment would deliver a programme of focused activities to clean up roadsides and tackle litter and dog fouling hot spots as part of an initial environmental clean-up. This would be followed by improvements to roads signage and infrastructure.

RDC Litter at Erskine 16.6.17

There would also be a marketing campaign designed to support and empower communities to help them address the local issues that matter to them most.

The programme would be launched in late summer 2017 and would focus on all key routes and include additional activities in town centres, neighbourhoods and villages, parks and open spaces.

The initiative would see a high-profile public engagement campaign take place to support, and work in partnership with local people and key partners.

A series of seasonal campaigns would be undertaken to raise awareness, encourage community participation and demonstrate the benefits for people to get involved in environmental improvements – particularly targeting local people, schools, businesses and communities.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, said: “We’ve listened to what the communities of Renfrewshire have told us and one of their highest priorities is the cleanliness of our streets.

“The proposals which are set to be considered will ensure that levels of litter, dog fouling and waste will be tackled and our roads infrastructure will be revitalised.

“The quality of the environment plays a huge part in civic pride and we want to encourage residents, groups and organisations to take ownership of the campaign and help make it their own.

“We want to make Renfrewshire a great place to live, work, visit and invest in, and by listening to what communities have told us and improving our local environment, we can provide a solid foundation to deliver these ambitions.”

The report will be considered at the Council meeting on Thursday 29 June.

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Retiring Headteachers thanked for their service

Seven headteachers from across Renfrewshire with more than 230 years’ experience celebrated their retirement this week.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Education and Children’s Services thanked them for their service during the informal ceremony which was also attended by Provost Lorraine Cameron and Peter MacLeod, Director of Children’s Services and Chief Social Work Officer.

The headteachers who were thanked for their service were:

Moira Monaghan – Bushes Primary School

David Nicholls – Gleniffer High School

Marie Ward – St Fillan’s Primary School

Hazel McMillan – Thorn Primary School

Carol Vallance – Bridge of Weir Primary School

Susan Carlton – Wallace Primary School

Eileen Young – Linwood High School

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Award winner wants sporting heroes nominations

A WINNER in last year’s Renfrewshire Sports Awards is urging people to nominate their unsung sporting heroes.

Jamie Arthur getting his award last year

Jamie Arthur, 24, is an Active Schools Coordinator and won the 2016 Disability Coach of the Year Award for his work with young people with disabilities.

Nominations for this year’s awards, covering a host of categories, close on Friday, June 30.

Award categories are Community Coach of the Year; Development Coach of the Year; Young Coach of the Year and Disability Coach of the Year.

There are also awards for Technical Official of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Young Volunteer of the Year and Event Volunteer of the Year. And for school sport there is an Honour Our Sport Award.

Jamie, who went to Johnstone High School, said: “It was a great feeling just to be nominated by someone who had looked at the categories and thought I was good enough to be considered for an award.
“I’d been nominated two years in a row which was a great honour, but to win the award last year felt amazing as it was great recognition for all the hard work I had done.”

He added: “The sport awards are a great concept, as the night is filled with coaches, volunteers and officials from all aspects of life together under the one roof. It’s great to see so many people who share the same passion in life as yourself.
“I’m all for local sport, and as an Active Schools coach and coordinator I think the impact and influence of local sport clubs and teams is extremely valuable as they provide great avenues for children to pursue a life in sport.”

Log on to www.renfrewshiresportsawards.com to make a nomination.

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Pupils graduate as good sports

DOZENS of secondary school pupils have shown they’re a class act when it comes to learning about sport and leisure.


A total of 57 Fifth and Sixth Year students have graduated from the Renfrewshire School of Sport Education.
This initiative, run by Renfrewshire Leisure, gives the students training for leisure and sports coaching awards and qualifications that could help them find work when they leave school, college or university.

Each pupil taking part has completed a minimum of 12 after-school sports workshops, a training weekend, First Aid and Child Protection instruction and has helped organise and run sporting events throughout the year.

The students, who received their graduation certificates at a ceremony in front of family and friends at Renfrew Town Hall, also had to complete 100 hours of volunteering during the year’s course.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chief executive, Joyce McKellar said: “All our graduates have come on leaps and bounds during their time on the course and we’ve seen their confidence build and their skills developed as sports coaches and event organisers.

“They themselves and their families should be proud of what they achieved.
“The course may have come to an end, but for the students what they have learned is just the start of achieving something special in their lives.”

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Ferguslie community to come together to show there’s ‘No Substitute for Life’

The beautiful game is set to be utilised to raise awareness of mental health issues and remember those who have lost their lives to suicide.

2016 No Substitute for Life tournament

The annual No Substitute for Life football tournament held in Ferguslie, now in its sixth year, brings the community together to shine a light on the issue of the suicide- amongst young men and women especially.

Hundreds of footballers and supporters have turned out each year and similar numbers are expected again when the competition takes place on Sunday 25 June, beginning at 12pm.

The tournament will be held in Ferguslie Park Sports Centre and all those who attend will have the opportunity to place a heart on the memorial tree in remembrance of those they have lost before a commemorative balloon release marks the occasion.

There will also be face painting, fun activities and refreshments to keep everyone entertained as the players take to the field.

The event was first created by local Ferguslie resident Paul Cardona who wished to raise awareness of the issue after close friends were lost to suicide and is now organised by community volunteers in partnership with Choose Life, Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH) and Survival of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS).

A working group was created to bring the event to life and the success of the event led to the group winning Renfrewshire’s Chamber of Commerce Community Champion Award in 2013.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Mental health is an increasingly prevalent issue in today’s society and it is important that those who are dealing with these issues are aware that the support is there for them to access.

“The tournament is now into its sixth year and the response remains tremendous from the Ferguslie, and wider, community and it is important that we continue to provide the support to those who need it.

“Events such as this tournament are great ways of breaking down the barriers which are often faced, by young people especially, in discussing their feelings and I would encourage anyone who feels like this could benefit them to go along.”

The event provides an opportunity for those who have lost a loved one to suicide to remember them and also meet others who have faced similar heartbreak. .

The SOBS support group meets on the last Wednesday of every month at The Wynd Centre, Paisley from 7pm-8:30pm, and anyone affected by suicide is welcome to go along.

The national helpline Breathing Space can be reached on 0800 83 85 87, and the number for The Samaritans is 116 123.

Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH) First Crisis can be contacted on 0141 848 9090.

For more information on suicide prevention, call 0141 849 2200, or email rosemary.mullan@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Families set to descend on Barshaw Gala Day

Thousands are set to turn out to the annual Barshaw Gala Day for an afternoon packed full of exciting activities for all the family.

Barshaw Gala Day in 2016

Taking place on Saturday 24 June, from 12noon to 4pm, Barshaw Park will be a hive of activity as the local community joins together for one of its favourite days on the calendar.

A live stage hosted by Erskine Music and Media Studios will provide the soundtrack to the day and entertain the crowds as they take in the fantastic local music and dance groups aiming to showcase their talent.

A multitude of community and craft stalls will give the locals the chance to see the fantastic artists, designers, charities, volunteers and groups that the area has to offer.

There will be plenty for the kids to immerse themselves in too, including balloon modellers, magic shows, inflatables and free face painting on offer all afternoon.

There’s also a variety of children’s workshops including ‘Up in the Air’ kite-making, hula-hooping and special preview Sma’ Shot Day workshops- where children can design and make a prop that they can bring along to be a part of the Sma’ Shot parade.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Gala days are at the heart of our communities and I can’t wait to get along and be a part of it on Saturday.

“There’s a fantastic array of activities on offer so gather up the kids, your friends and your family and come along to join the thousands set to turn out for a brilliant day!”

The Gala Day takes place as part of a fantastic summer in Renfrewshire with the upcoming Sma’ Shot Day, Weave Festival and Paisley Pipe Band Championships just a few of the exciting events due to get underway.

For more information on what’s going on visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events, www.Paisley2021.co.uk/events or contactevents@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Events in The Hoose

24th June Saturday night its shufflin time. Great sounds from the “wheels of steel” playing all your Northern Soul and Motown favourites. A fantastic night of Top Tunes.

End of term party in the Hoose on Wednesday 28th June, Music, Dancin, Singing with a free buffet for all. Kick off from 2.30pm. Keep calm its nearly the New Year!!

Hey its the Summer and that means Beach Party time in the Hoose, yep on the 1st July (Sma Shot Day) we don our swim wear and dance among the palm trees and umbrellas in the Hoose. Great deals on Cocktails and Spirits as well as Pints. Dinny miss a fantastic night oot in the Party Hoose on the High Street. aloha!!

“Hoose Hawfs” (35ml) and dash for only £2.50. Yep a measure of finest Whisky or Vodka with a dash of mixer, great deals on food and drink in oor Hoose.

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Haulage firm flying the flag for Paisley 2021 with truck

A Renfrewshire-based distribution company will be flying the flag for Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid – after revealing a branded truck and trailer.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Councillor Iain Nicolson
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital  infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk    www.gibsondigital.co.uk

Hillington-based Gordon Leslie Group provide distribution and storage services throughout the UK and beyond, and joins a wide range of companies who have agreed to provide funding should Paisley’s bid be successful.

And new Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson – also the chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board – paid the company a visit to see the truck and trailer – covered in colourful 2021 branding – for himself.

Paisley is bidding for the title as part of a wider push to use the area’s unique cultural and heritage offer to transform its future.

The town’s initial bid was submitted in April and competition organisers at the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport are due to announce the shortlist for the second stage over the summer.

To date the Paisley 2021 bid has been backed by almost 200 local firms – including internationally-important names Glasgow Airport, intu Braehad and WH Malcolm.

There has also been support from Coats PLC – which started life in the town and remains the world’s largest industrial thread manufacturer – and whisky giant Diageo, who bottle 30% of the world’s Scotch from their Shieldhall base.

Councillor Nicolson said: “The UK City of Culture bid has already taken awareness of what Paisley has to offer to a new level. No matter what happens next, that will bring new visitors and investment into the area for local businesses to feed off.

“Should the bid be successful, there would be even more economic opportunity and thousands of new jobs for Renfrewshire, as well as all the social benefits from creating opportunities for people to get involved in cultural activity.

“We are fortunate to be home to large employers such as Gordon Leslie Group – we are delighted they have thrown their support behind the bid and it’s great to think the truck and trailer will be spreading a bit of Paisley on its travels.”

Gordon Leslie Group is a second-generation family business, which has been based in Renfrewshire almost 50 years.

Managing director Craig Leslie said: “The firm was started by my father and has been in Renfrewshire since the 1970s – first at Abbotsinch Industrial Estate, then Linwood, and now Hillington.

“Paisley 2021 is a fantastic opportunity to put the area back on the map and will provide a much-needed boost for local businesses in terms of attracting investment and creating jobs.

“We are behind what the bid is trying to achieve and I would call on other businesses to consider how they could get involved and help promote the town.”

You can see the Paisley 2021 business wall and find out more about the bid at paisley2021.co.uk