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Renfrewshire’s communities called on to undertake a Big Spring Clean

Every Renfrewshire community is being challenged to carry out a clean up of their area as Renfrewshire’s Big Spring Clean was launched today.

Launch of anti litter Initiative at Erskine Beach 16.3.18

Taking place across the weekend of 20-22 April, Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign is aiming to host a clean up within every community to further enhance the environmental improvements which have taken place since the launch of the campaign.

Launch of anti litter Initiative at Erskine Beach 16.3.18

The initiative received renewed backing by Councillors when setting their budget recently as £2.5million was set aside for investment across the next five years – doubling the original £250,000 investment.

More than 50 community clean ups have taken place since the campaign launched with community groups across the area getting behind the initiative.

Launch of anti litter Initiative at Erskine Beach 16.3.18

The investment has also seen an increase in mechanical road sweeping to every two months, an improved programme of gully maintenance, an enhanced Rapid Response Team and six new litter pickers allocated across Renfrewshire.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, joined members of Erskine Community Garden and Renfrew White Cart River Bank Nature Spot to help launch the initiative.

Councillor McEwan said: “Since the Team Up to Clean Up campaign was launched, more than 50 community clean ups have taken place across Renfrew, Paisley, Erskine, Houston and many other areas including the villages.

“The community have shown a real willingness to come together and the Big Spring Clean will be our biggest event yet as we look to generate a real sense of togetherness within Renfrewshire as we tackle littering and fly tipping together.

“We are determined to improve the cleanliness of our streets which is why we have committed to investing an additional £500,000 every year for the next five years.

“This will allow the increased gully cleaning, road sweeping and litter picking to continue, while also allowing us to support the community in doing their bit to make their area a more attractive place to live.

“If you can arrange a clean up on the Friday, Saturday or Sunday then please do so and we’ll do all we can to help you. Otherwise, keep an eye on our website and Facebook page and join in with one of the others arranged over the weekend.”

Schools, businesses and community groups are all encouraged to organise a clean up in their area and the Team Up to Clean Up team will provide litter pickers, bags and tabards, as well as arranging to collect the gathered rubbish after the event is over.

The launch took place at Erskine Beach where Erskine Community Garden are set to follow up their Big Spring Clean activity with a beach clean up on 9 June.

Volunteer Heather Clisset said: “At Erskine Community Garden, we are delighted to be involved with the Team Up to Clean Up Big Spring Clean.

“Litter picks in our communities help us to make our towns and villages better places for ourselves, our neighbours and our wildlife. We would encourage anyone to get involved in a litter pick or spring clean activity as the end result is something to take pride in and get a feeling of accomplishment, seeing an area full of litter being transformed in a short time.

“Litter picks are a fantastic way to get outdoors, work as a team and make a difference. We always caution first time litter pickers, once you’ve done one litter pick; you will notice every single piece of litter everywhere else!

“So don’t leave it to someone else, join a team, or set up your own litter pick and support the Big Spring Clean.”

If you are arranging a clean up, please contact wardens.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk or 0300 300 1375 and we will assist you as much as possible.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and how to get involved, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup or like the Team Up to Clean Up Facebook page.

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Library books could be delivered to housebound

A new initiative could see library books and services being delivered to the homes of people who are housebound and isolated.

Renfrewshire Leisure hopes to introduce a new service after consultation has taken place with organisations that provide supportive care to people who are unable to get out of their homes.
Tablets could be used to access the thousands of titles available in local libraries and books could be delivered by those who make regular home visits to the housebound.

This new service would be financed from the re-investment of the resources made through Renfrewshire’s mobile library service being taken off the road from April 27th.

The decline in people using the mobile library service, the aging fleet and rising costs does not present value for money and new technology can help a wider group of people who are housebound and can’t access either a local or mobile library due to a lack of disability access.

The number of visits to the mobile library has dropped by 65% per cent in the past 5 years from 9,344 to 3,277.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure – which operates the local library service – Joyce McKellar said: “Along with Renfrewshire Council we have been investing heavily in our library service and we want to make sure the benefits of this investment are available to everyone – even if they can’t get out of their homes to visit a library.

“The mobile library service no longer makes best use of the money and resources and if we can re-invest the money from the current service to bring books and other library services to the housebound, then that is a better use.

“We’re committed to our libraries and we’re providing people with a modern and up-to-date service that includes not just borrowing books, but things like community spaces, access to computers and the internet along with digital learning suites.”

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Don’t miss final chance to submit 2017/2018 student funding applications

Don’t miss final chance to submit 2017/2018 student funding applications

Renfrewshire MSP Derek Mackay has joined Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS) to remind any students who have not yet submitted their 2017/2018 funding application, to do so before the 31st March deadline.

With just a week to go until SAAS closes for this academic session there are still a number of students who have yet to apply.  If these students do not submit their applications and supporting evidence by 31 March 2018 they risk receiving no funding.

SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting students throughout their education.

“I would not want anyone to miss out on the funding and support they are entitled to. Therefore, anyone who has not applied for their 2017/2018 funding or tuition fees should do so now.”

SAAS Chief Executive, Paul Lowe, said:

“At SAAS we want to make sure that all students receive the funding and tuition fees that they’re entitled to.  I urge students to visit our website www.saas.gov.uk to submit their applications and supporting evidence as soon as possible. It is vital that fully completed applications for 2017-2018 are received by 31 March 2018, to ensure that all funding is paid.”

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Commonwealth Games basketball star says kids will have hoops of fun

Commonwealth Games basketball player Chris Cleary knows exactly how kids can have hoops of fun during the Easter school holidays.

They’ll have a ball at one of several Spring Activity Camps being run by Renfrewshire Leisure.
There’s a wide range of activities throughout Renfrewshire including sports, fun and games at camps being held in The Lagoon, in Paisley; ON-X, Linwood; Johnstone Community Sports Hub; Renfrew Sports Centre and Parkmains High School, in Erskine.

Then there are outdoor activity camps with activities like kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing and gorge walking, with groups leaving from King George V Pavilion, Renfrew. There are also football camps with qualified SFA coaches at Parkmains High School, King George V Parks, Renfrew and Ralston Sports Centre.

Chris, who works for Renfrewshire Leisure as an Active Schools and Community Club Officer, has been picked to play for the Scotland basketball team competing in the Commonwealth Games, in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4 to 15.

He said: “There’s something for everyone in our Spring Activity Camps during the school holidays.
“All the camps are run by highly trained, enthusiastic staff who have experience in working with young children.

“The camps are great value for money with reduced rates for concessions and multi-child bookings from the same family.

“And as well as giving youngsters something to do during the school holidays, the camps keep them fit and healthy and best of all, give them lots of fun.”

Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/activitycamps for more information and details of how to book a place.

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Scottish netball stars are going for gold in the Commonwealth Games cheered on by brave Amy who beat cancer

SCOTTISH netball stars are going for gold in the Commonwealth Games cheered on by one of their bravest fans.

Nine-year-old Amy Reid who lost a kidney to cancer was treated to a VIP tour of the Emirates Arena Stadium in Glasgow by the Scottish Thistles national netball team. The players who will begin the 10,000 mile trip to Australia on Friday (March 23) to compete at Gold Coast 2018 gave Amy a signed netball, tshirt, pen and free tickets to an upcoming UWS Sirens game (Scotland’s semi-pro franchise for whom most of the Thistles play) where she has also been invited to be the Captain’s mascot on their return from the Commonwealth Games. The visit was organised to boost awareness of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life events this spring which raise millions of pounds to fund crucial research. Every hour, four people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland*. Now, to help beat cancer sooner, members of Netball Scotland have pledged to pull on their trainers and take part in Race for Life Glasgow on May 20 at Glasgow Green and are urging other women and girls across Scotland to sign up too.

Amy who is 4ft 7in chatted to netball stars including the tallest member of the Scottish Thistles, goalkeeper Ella Gibbons, 23, who is 6ft 3in, as well as team captain, Claire Brownie. In February they were part of the team which saw Scotland qualify for the 2019 World Cup. At the Commonweatlh Games on the Gold Coast which starts on April 4, they are in pool B so will take on 2014 silver medallists New Zealand. They’ll also play England, Wales, Malawi and Uganda.

Claire, 29, said: “We were all moved and inspired by Amy’s courage and bravery.

“Amy will be the team’s lucky charm in Australia. It’s great to have the chance to meet Amy and tell her a bit more about netball. It’s a really important part of our job to inspire girls to get active and be into sport. All you need is for kids to dream but for that to happen, they need to see what’s possible. We’re so excited and proud to represent Scotland in the Commonwealth Games. When we’re out there it will be brilliant to know that people back home like Amy are cheering us on.”

Amy of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, who endured a life saving stem cell transplant knows exactly how tough it can be going through cancer. Her family have raised vital funds for Cancer Research UK by taking part in the 5K at Race for Life Glasgow every year since Amy was diagnosed with the disease in September 2012. This year, as Amy takes her place on the start line along with her mum Laura, 39, and sister Sophie, two, she’ll also be cheered on by her dad Robert, 41, and brother, Gary, 19.

Amy’s proud mum, Laura said: “Amy really is our superhero.

“Amy has kept us strong through it all. At the time we couldn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. We thought Amy was never going to get through this. It was frightening. Now looking at her, I can’t believe she was ever so ill. Her recovery has been amazing.

“Amy did her first Race for Life 5K event while still going through treatment for cancer and it’s been a really important part of our lives ever since. If Amy’s story can help other families going through cancer right now then we’ll have made a difference.

“We’d like to thank all the Scottish Thistles who helped give Amy such a special day. Amy really likes sport now. She loves swimming, cricket and football at school. When we watch the Commonwealth Games on tv we’ll be looking out for the netball girls and saying, ‘We’ve met them.’ It’s great to see Amy being so active again and enjoying life.”

Amy was only three when she first became ill with a high temperature just hours after her mum and dad’s wedding day on September 21 2012. The family were set to jet off on holiday to Spain after the marriage at St James Chapel, Coatbridge. Instead they ended up at Wishaw General Hospital and then Yorkhill Children’s Hospital after Amy’s condition deteriorated. Scans showed a tumour on Amy’s left kidney was stopping it from working properly. Amy was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour and endured a six hour operation to remove the kidney.

Amy’s mum, Laura said: “As I took Amy down to the operating theatre I was trying to stop myself crying to keep Amy calm so she would be okay.

“I knew Amy was getting the best care possible but seeing your child like that is so difficult. If I could have taken Amy’s place then I would have. I paced around outside until she came out of surgery and I knew she was fine. Now she tells everyone that the scar where they took her kidney out is a big snake.”

Amy started on chemotherapy but it was a hammerblow when tests revealed there was also a tumour on her lung. It meant a second operation to remove the tumour followed by a year of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Amy lost her hair and became a regular at the Schiehallion ward at Yorkhill.

By October 2013, doctors explained that Amy’s best chance of survival was a stem cell transplant, to help her body make new healthy blood cells after her own had been destroyed by the disease. It meant two weeks in an isolation ward to reduce the risk of infection. By Christmas that year the family got the best present of all when doctors explained the cancer had gone. Amy who is now a primary five pupil at St Timothy’s Primary school in Coatbridge is loving life.

Cancer Research UK Race for Life organisers are appealing for women and girls to stride out to beat cancer sooner this spring with Scotland’s first Race for Life 5K of the year kicking off in Stirling and South Queensferry on May 13, closely followed by 5K, 10K and Pretty Muddy 5K events across the country, everywhere from Glasgow to Aberdeen, Fife to Falkirk, Dundee to Irvine. Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy, half marathon and hiking events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer sooner by funding crucial research.

Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK spokeswoman in Scotland, said: “We are very grateful to Netball Scotland and to Amy’s family for their support

“By signing up to Race for Life, women across Scotland can make a real difference in the fight against cancer. Money raised will help Cancer Research UK scientists and doctors find new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat the disease, helping save more lives.

“Race for Life is a hugely moving experience – full of emotion, courage, tears and laughter – as people come together to remember loved ones lost to cancer, celebrate the lives of those dear to them who have survived or support those going through treatment. By joining like-minded ladies committed to the cause, women can unite against a disease that affects us all in some way.

“Every day, 87 people are diagnosed with cancer in Scotland. That’s why we need women across Scotland to sign up to Race for Life this January and join mothers, daughters, sisters and friends at the start line when events kick off this summer.

“Money raised through Race for Life is helping to drive research to help beat over 200 different types of cancer – that’s why every step, every person and every penny raised counts.”

One in two people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer at some stage in their lives, but the good news is more people are surviving the disease now than ever before. Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the early 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress.

Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work relies on the public’s support. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the charity was able to spend more than £34 million last year in Scotland on some of the UK’s leading scientific and clinical research – helping more men, women and children survive the disease.


To enter Race for Life today visit raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.

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Safety first is the goal for Renfrewshire pupils

Almost 2,000 primary six pupils have taken part in a series of safety workshops designed to keep Renfrewshire children safe.

The annual Safe Kids events, organised by the Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership and hosted by St Mirren Football Club, has delivered safety messages to more than 20,000 young people since it was first introduced more than a decade ago.

Pupils from every school in Renfrewshire were invited to take part a wide range of workshops, from littering, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour to fire safety, drugs and alcohol awareness and emergency situations.

The workshops took place in and around the Paisley 2021 Stadium, including the dressing rooms and hospitality suite, with pupils taking their seat in the stand before being split into their groups for the day.

Kids were also tasked to create their own posters detailing what being safe means to them and five winners were selected by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

The winners, and their families, were invited to a special VIP day at the Paisley 2021 Stadium and were joined by pupils from Bargarren, St John Bosco, Glencoats and Barsail Primary.

The five winners were:

Momina Ali – Newmains Primary, Renfrew

Gracie Boyd – Ralston Primary, Paisley

Evie Crawford – Lochfield Primary, Paisley

Jemma Johnston – St Anthony’s Primary, Johnstone

Summer Coyle – Rashielea Primary, Erskine

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Safe Kids is a fantastic project which is ensuring our children have the correct information and skills to stay safe in a variety of situations.

“More than 20,000 pupils have had the opportunity to learn from a variety of our community partners and this will allow them to be fully informed to deal with issues both in and out of school.

”The workshops are delivered in a fun and engaging manner which means the young people involved can enjoy the day while still taking in the serious messaging behind the activities.”

Safe Kids events took place on 7-8 March, 13-16 March and will conclude between 19-22 March.

The workshops were delivered by a range of partners including Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Team, Renfrewshire Council’s Wardens, Renfrewshire Council’s Civil Contingencies Service, Renfrewshire Council’s RADAR (Drugs and Alcohol), Police Scotland, British Transport Police, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Who Cares Scotland and Street Stuff.

Prizes for the winners, including discounted passes, bags and tickets, were kindly donated by Flip Out, Joma Sport and St Mirren.

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Address: 119-123 Renfrew Road, Paisley, PA3 4EA



150 sqft office (1/2 people)

All inclusive rental: £185 + VAT


340 sqft office (3 people)

All inclusive rental: £395 + VAT


815 sqft office (6/7 people)

All inclusive rental: £910 + VAT 

Choose Mirren Business Centres as your  Paisley base and benefit from our unique business surroundings and range of amenities such as :

  • On-site parking with an adjacent over-spill car parking

  • Excellent access to public transport close to M8 Junction 27/Glasgow Airport

  • On-site Management

  • Meeting Room Facility

  • Many amenities including Puregym, Lagoon Leisure Centre, KFC & McDonalds, Braehead Shopping Centre and much more.




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2021 thank you event to look ahead to Paisley’s bright future

Plans to secure a exciting future for Paisley will be laid out at a celebration event aimed at highlighting the benefits of bidding for UK City of Culture 2021 and how the town plans to continue to harness the power of culture to transform its fortunes.

The ‘Our Journey Continues’ event, which will take place on Thursday 29 March at Paisley Town Hall from 12.00 – 1.30pm, will examine the key benefits of the town’s bid including helping to raise the town’s profile, raising ambitions for the area, developing a deeper understanding of the excellent work taking place in the community.

The town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 changed the town for the better, and the momentum it generated will continue and this will be discussed in more detail at the event.

In addition to celebrating the work which has already taken place it will also reveal more about the future opportunities. This includes investing in cultural venues and outdoor spaces such as Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre and St James Playing Fields, developing the creative economy and enhancing our cultural events and festivals programme and continuing to build on the support from the community. This investment demonstrates how Renfrewshire continues to buck the trend in terms of cultural investment.

Furthermore it will show that the council and its place partners are still committed to achieving the step changes outlined in the bid – to grow a new dimension to the economy, transform the town’s image, lift Paisley’s communities out of poverty, be recognised for cultural excellence and transform the town into a vibrant cultural centre.

The event will see partners and local community groups come together to find out more about future plans and members of the public are encouraged to come along to learn what will happen next for the town.

Chair of the Paisley Partnership Board, Councillor Iain Nicolson, said: “The Our Journey Continues event is not only a celebration of the excellent work which has already taken place through the bidding process but is a great opportunity for us all to look ahead to the exciting plans for the future.”

This event precedes the Future Forward: Culture in Renfrewshire collaborative discussion which will ask attendees what directions culture in Renfrewshire should take, and what successes people would like to build on.  The event will be held in Paisley Town Hall from 2-4pm.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Head of Cultural Services, Morag Macpherson, said: “The thank you event is a great introduction to the Culture in Renfrewshire discussion which will allow everyone to have their say on what the priorities for culture in Renfrewshire should be in the years to come.

“I’m sure the plans unveiled through Our Journey Continues, and the ideas and ambitions which people come along with, will create a really rich inspirational mix. We will discuss how we best focus our aspirations and collectively create a really exciting cultural environment over the next few years.”

There will also be another Future Forward session on Tues 17 April 6-8pm, places can be booked here.

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Kids charged up for recycling

Two Johnstone primary schools have collected almost 2,500 batteries as part of a nationwide recycling challenge.

Pupils from St David’s and Cochrane Castle Primary signed up for the ‘Big Battery Hunt’ in January, joining more than 1,800 schools across the UK in raising awareness of recycling.

School Eco Coordinator and P1 teacher Stephanie Mackenzie said she was delighted to see the pupils embrace the challenge so enthusiastically.

“All pupils have their own battery box at home which they fill up and bring back to school to empty into our recycling buckets,” she said.

“Several children have been very proactive in building up their battery numbers.

“For example, two of our St David’s pupils have a dad who works with the police and they’ve been bringing in old batteries from items that the forensic team uses such as torches and cameras.

“It’s been great to see the children so interested in this initiative and developing their understanding of how recycling can help the environment.”
Here’s what some of the pupils had to say:

“I enjoyed looking for batteries. My dad collected a full tub of them and then he got a massive box of them and brought them to school” – Iain (5)

“I found batteries from my old pretend computer. I would usually bin them but I now know that I can recycle them so that I can help the planet” – Eilidh (6)

“I got my batteries from old toys in the house. It is good that we are recycling at our school and telling other people about it” – Cameron (5)
Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “The pupils from St David’s and Cochrane Castle Primary are proof that you’re never too young to start recycling.

“Teaching our young people about helping the environment is a positive move toward changing the recycling behaviour of our generations to come.

“With Global Recycling Day being celebrated this month, it’s timely to congratulate all the Renfrewshire primary schools taking part in the ‘Big Battery Hunt’ challenge.”

Entries to the ‘Big Battery Hunt’ competition close on 26 April when all batteries will be collected and recycled.

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Leaders in education, local government and business are urging employers across Renfrewshire to have their say in the West of Scotland Skills Survey before it closes on Friday 23rd March.

Scotland’s largest college kicked off 2018 by launching the West of Scotland Skills Survey. The first of its kind to be conducted by a Scottish college or university, it is a new way that West College Scotland is engaging with employers to help build a modern workforce.

Launched online in January, the West of Scotland Skills Survey has been gathering the views and experiences of employers in the West region – focusing on their workforce and business support needs.

The findings of the sector-leading research will then be used to better inform the work of the College and how they support employers in 2018 and beyond.

The West of Scotland Skills Survey is open to employers of all sizes in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire, Inverclyde and Dunbartonshire – and closes on Friday 23rd March. Upon completing the survey, participants will be able to enter prize draws for £1,000 worth of free workforce training and development, free use of the College’s conferencing facilities and a 3-course lunch for 10 people.

Audrey Cumberford, the Principal of West College Scotland, said:

“As Scotland’s largest college and a leader in the region we serve, West College Scotland is committed to working with partners and employers to build a modern workforce, sustain a thriving economy and help people achieve their potential.

“The West of Scotland Skills Survey is just one way that we are engaging with employers Renfrewshire and across our region to ensure that the West is able to overcome the challenges and grasp the opportunities of a competitive global economy.

“I would urge employers across Renfrewshire to participate in our sector-leading research before the survey closes this Friday to help us support them in the future and build a modern workforce.”

Cllr Iain Nicolson, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said:

“We are committed to growing the local economy by creating new job opportunities in Renfrewshire and removing barriers to employment.

“Renfrewshire has the fourth best youth employment rate in Scotland and we are developing a reputation as a place of enterprise, creativity and drive, home to a highly-skilled workforce making a vital contribution to the local and national economy.

“West College Scotland plays a key role in this and we are working closely with the College and with business and education leaders across Renfrewshire to develop a long-term economic strategy. The findings from this innovative skills survey will provide further important information and help inform our collective approach to drive Renfrewshire’s future economic success.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, added:

“Getting the right people, with the right skills, in the right jobs is one of the biggest challenges facing employers no matter what sector or industry they operate in. Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce welcomes West College Scotland’s latest initiative to support employers across the region.

“The West of Scotland Skills Survey gives employers across Renfrewshire the opportunity to have their voice heard, to shape the College curriculum and to help build a modern workforce. I’d urge all local employers – no matter how big or small they are – to participate in this important work.”