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European Curling Championships bring £750,000 boost to Renfrewshire economy

Renfrewshire’s economy was boosted by almost £750,000 after hosting the European Curling Championships at Braehead Arena last year.

Research commissioned by UK Sport set out an impressive benefit to Renfrewshire achieved through an increase in the collective spend of visitors on accommodation, transport, food and drink, shopping, and other expenditure for the duration of the Championships, last November.

Retailers, hoteliers and restaurateurs saw a direct benefit to their business as an increased number of visitors to the area generated an augmented spend compared with the same period in previous years.

The event saw 222 curlers from 27 different nations take part in one of the top events in the curling calendar and attracted 4000 spectators across the eight day period.

The Championships were brought to the area with the aim of maximising the economic impact of the event locally and also profiling Renfrewshire to international audiences which will support Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, which is due to be lodged at the end of this month.

The event was hosted in Renfrewshire through the co-operation of a number of funding partners- the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, UK Sport through National Lottery Funding, EventScotland and GCMB.

Bruce Crawford, CEO of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club (the National Governing Body for Scottish Curling), said “Scottish Curling were delighted to bring this prestigious World Curling event to Renfrewshire; it was a pleasure to host Europe’s top curlers in a region with such historical significance for the sport and a growing pedigree in event hosting.”

The European Curling Championships formed part of an exciting calendar of events in 2016 which included the British Pipe Band Championships, Scottish Album of the Year Awards and Paisley’s annual music and comedy festival The Spree.

2017 will see those events return Paisley as well as many more including the 30th Paisley Beer and Food Festival, and Weave- a festival running alongside the traditional Sma’ Shot Day aimed at reconnecting Paisley with its weaving heritage as part of Scotland’s year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Jean Cameron, Paisley 2021 Bid Director, said: “As part our bid for UK City of Culture 2021, it is critical we showcase our ability to host large scale events in the area and the European Curling Championships are a key example of our capabilities.  It proves that Paisley has the infrastructure to handle the size and scale of a significant European event.

“The Championships provided the Renfrewshire economy with a boost of almost three-quarters of a million pounds, which indicative of what winning the UK City of Culture could achieve by hosting a series of high-profile events during 2021.”

“The prestigious title would act as a catalyst for economic and social regeneration and we’re determined to ensure there is a lasting impact for Paisley and Renfrewshire as a whole.”

Paisley’s bid is due to be submitted to the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)  who organise the UK City of Culture competition on 28 April with a shortlist announced over the summer and the winning bid being revealed in December.

Further information on Paisley’s bid and how to support it can be found on www.Paisley2021.co.uk

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Renfrewshire’s election countdown

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The countdown to the council election on Thursday 4 May is well underway.

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Renfrewshire’s election team is advising people that they still have time to register to vote and to secure a postal vote.

The deadline to register to vote is midnight on Monday 17 April. The deadline to apply to obtain a postal or proxy vote is 5pm on Tuesday 18 April.

A video guide has also been produced which explains how to correctly fill out a postal vote for the election.

Alasdair MacTaggart, Electoral Registration Officer with Renfrewshire Valuation Joint Board, said:  “The message that we want to get out to people is that while the April 17 deadline to register to vote is fast approaching, our staff can advise you on getting that done in person or online.

“The process is quick and easy. People can register to vote at The Electoral  Registration  Office, The Robertson Centre, 16 Glasgow Road, Paisley PA1 3QF, or contact us on 0300 300 0150.

“To help people register, our Paisley office will remain open on Easter Monday, 17 April, between 10am and 4pm.

”People can also register to vote online at the GOV.uk website via the ‘Register to Vote’ link.”

Sandra Black, Returning Officer for the local government election for the Renfrewshire Council area, said:  “People who will start to receive their postal votes from Friday April 14 onwards will note that they are in a slightly different format than those used in the past.

“That is why we have prepared an easy to follow video guide which explains how people should complete postal votes.

“The video guide can be viewed at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/2017Election

“Renfrewshire had an excellent turnout of young voters in the recent Scottish Youth Parliament election and we are aiming to build on that in the council election.

“Anyone aged 16 on or before the day of the election – May 4 – should register to vote by April 17.”

Renfrewshire voters will be electing 43 councillors across 12 wards – a change from the current position where 40 councillors represent 11 council wards.

The result will be known on the afternoon of Friday May 5.

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Leading UK logistics firm spreading Paisley 2021 message

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is now being seen across the UK – thanks to one of the country’s top logistics and construction companies.

The Linwood-based Malcolm Group wrapped the back door of a trailer in Paisley 2021 branding – and are joining more than 150 Renfrewshire businesses backing the town’s bid.

The company – which will celebrate its centenary in 2021 – started life with a horse and cart delivering coal around Brookfield in Renfrewshire, and has since grown into a company with more than 2,000 employees.

The two Paisley 2021 trailers are part of the Malcolm Group’s fleet of more than 500 vehicles – and will soon be spreading the town’s name far and wide.

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is part of a wider push to transform the town’s fortunes using its unique cultural and heritage story.

The competition is run by the UK Government, and Paisley’s bid is due to be lodged with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport at the end of April.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron met Malcolm Group chief executive Andrew Malcolm at the company’s Donald Malcolm Heritage Centre, which contains trucks from throughout their long history.

Andrew Malcolm said: “I was born and bred in Renfrewshire and the family business has been based here since 1921 – my father grew it from a base in Murray Street in Paisley, and a lot of our workers come from Paisley, Elderslie and Johnstone

“The Paisley 2021 bid will be great for Paisley and Renfrewshire – I hope it will help regenerate the area, encourage more people to visit, and help with job creation and stability.”

Jean added: “The Malcolm Group is a great homegrown success story with a long history in the area – to have companies of this calibre spreading the Paisley 2021 message is a real thumbs-up for the work done here over the past year.

“In doing so they are joining more than 150 Renfrewshire businesses to back Paisley’s bid – a list including other big names such as Glasgow Airport, Diageo, intu Braehead and the University of the West of Scotland.

“Paisley’s bid is part of a wider push to boost the local area by creating jobs, bringing in new visitors, and helping build a new town centre economy based around creative industry and Paisley’s unique heritage offering – and we are delighted local businesses recognise the value of that and are getting on board in such numbers.”

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

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Paisley First artworks herald new arrivals at Paisley Gilmour Street

Paisley First is calling out to Paisley’s vibrant art scene once again, this time to produce artworks for four walls inside the town’s main train station.

Paisley First would like to commission four artists to produce separate artworks for the walls on the corridors to Platforms 1 to 4 in Paisley Gilmour Street Railway Station.

Each wall is approximately 7m in length and 2m in height

We are looking for artists who can design, project manage and deliver an original high quality art work that will have a positive impact on the town and will engage those using the station.

Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson said: “More than four million passengers pass through Gilmour Street, the town’s largest railway station, every year.”

“We are looking for artists who can design and produce a high quality artwork that reflects Paisley’s vibrant culture using rail travel as a point of departure.”

“The aim is to provide a welcoming environment for people using the station, brighten up a long corridor and to engage travellers.”

The project is on track thanks to the support of station managers the ScotRail Alliance.

Heather Collins, the ScotRail Alliance’s Station Manager for Paisley, said: “I look forward to seeing the submissions from Paisley’s arts community. The station is such a central hub and reflecting the cityscape in murals around it is a great way to tell Paisley’s story to the millions of users.”

If you are interested in transforming this space into something amazing, then all you need to do is submit a sketch and a completed application form, please visit the Paisley First website www.paisleyfirst.com for more details.

Proposals can be handed into the Paisley First office no later than 30th April 2017 or alternatively, artists can send their proposals electronically to ask@paisleyfirst.com .

Entrants must either work or live in Paisley, or have prominent links to the town.

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Get Your Tickets Now for The SAY Award 2017’s Brand New Event ‘Live at the Longlist’ with Admiral Fallow, Mungo’s HI FI & Steve Mason

LIVE AT THE LONGLIST                                                                                                   April 2017

Admiral Fallow, Steve Mason (acoustic) and Mungo’s Hi-Fi to perform at ‘Live at the Longlist’, a brand new event exclusively announcing The SAY Award 2017 Longlist

On Wednesday 24th May, The SAY (Scottish Album of the Year) Award 2017 Longlist will be revealed in front of a live audience at Glasgow’s O ABC. Home to The SAY Award ceremony back in 2015, the venue welcomes the Award back for this new ticketed event where SAY Award alumni Admiral Fallow, Steve Mason (acoustic) and Mungo’s Hi Fi will perform live, and 20 outstanding Scottish albums will be announced as The SAY Award 2017 Longlist. Each of these 20 albums will be in the running for the £20,000 grand prize, as well as the coveted title of Scottish Album of the Year 2017.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Wednesday 12th April, and will be available at sayaward.com.

Robert Kilpatrick, Projects and Operations Manager at the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), said: 

“To announce this year’s SAY Award Longlist, we’re delighted to introduce this fantastic new live music event in Glasgow, allowing music fans to engage with the award more than ever before. Admiral Fallow, Steve Mason and Mungo’s Hi Fi have each been celebrated through previous SAY Award campaigns for fantastic album releases, so what better way to announce this year’s top 20 albums than by inviting them to play at ‘Live at the Longlist’, a new event celebrating great Scottish albums both old and new”.

Compelling singer-songwriter Steve Mason was Shortlisted in 2016 for his album “Meet the Humans”, 2014 for “Monkey Minds in The Devils Time”, and Longlisted in 2012 for “Ghosts Outside” with Dennis Bovell. “Meet the Humans”, Steve’s latest album, is an eclectic mix of dance, pop, folk, dub and deep house influences. His last Glasgow show at the Art School in October was a sell out, so this is an un-missable opportunity to see him play.

Glaswegian chamber popsters Admiral Fallow formed in 2007 and released their adored debut album “Boots Met My Face” in 2011, and its widely acclaimed successor, “Tree Bursts In Snow“, the following year (Shortlisted for The SAY Award 2013). Their extraordinary third record, “Tiny Rewards” received many plaudits since its release in May 2015, and was Longlisted for the SAY Award in 2016. Heartbreakingly beautiful, sonically audacious and lyrically bewitching, it heralds a true progression in the band’s creative approach.

Back in 2012, Glaswegian based production house Mungo’s Hi Fi were shortlisted for the inaugural SAY Award with “Forward Ever”.Having built themselves a refreshing reputation for open-minded no-rules sound, they transform reggae, ska and dubstep into loud cyber-esque rhythms. They will be joined by reggae MC, YT, to perform a live DJ set at ‘Live at the Longlist’.

This inaugural event will showcase some of Scotland’s best musical talents, along with the exclusive announcement of The SAY Award 2017 Longlist. It will undoubtedly be the most exciting live music event in May, not to be missed by any music fan.

The SAY Award 2017 campaign kicked off on 1 March by inviting artists, labels and the public to submit eligible albums released between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 to The SAY Award website. Submissions closed on 31 March, and with just shy of 300 eligible albums submitted, it’s now down to 100 impartial nominators chosen from press, radio, music venues, jazz, classical, traditional folk and elsewhere in the arts to consider the titles from the Eligible Albums List and nominate their five favourites. Ranking them in order of preference and with points assigned to each choice, the highest scoring 20 albums will make up The SAY Award Longlist, which will be announced at “Live at the Longlist” on 24th May.

Launched by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) in 2012, The SAY Award has been key to showcasing Scotland’s wealth of musical talent on a global scale. Wielding one of the UK’s most lucrative prize funds, The SAY Award champions the extraordinary strength and diversity of Scotland’s musical landscape.

 The Longlist will be further whittled down to a shortlist of just 10 albums, one of which will be chosen by the public during a 72-hour online vote and 9 chosen by judges. The shortlist will be announced on June 15th as part of a BBC Quay Sessions show, with the award ceremony then taking place on June 28th in the surroundings of Paisley’s elegant Town Hall, in support of Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021. The winning artist will pick up a £20,000 cash prize, provided by long term Award partner Creative Scotland. The nine runners up will each be awarded a £1,000 prize, as well as an exclusively designed piece of artwork from the SAY Award Design Commission.

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Renfrewshire project nominated for top national award

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A pioneering Renfrewshire project which is boosting attainment and life chances for young people is one of the finalists for a top national award.

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Renfrewshire’s Joint Employability Project has brought together nine partners from the public, private and education sectors to deliver 18 pilot programmes tailored to the needs of pupils from the lowest income families.

Over 2,500 pupils and parents have been helped through 18 separate programmes and that work is making a sustained difference in eliminating educational and economic barriers to achievement.

Now the programme has been chosen as one of the finalists in the Impact and Learning in Children’s Services category MJ (Municipal Journal) Achievement Awards 2017.

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said:  “It is a tremendous achievement for the Joint Employability Project to be nominated for a prestigious national award.

“There is a growing recognition that joint working approaches which tackle the causes – not only the symptoms – of social problems are the best way to deliver lasting change.

“The project has already been awarded the Campbell Christie Public Services Reform Award at the Scottish Public Services Awards.”

The MJ awards take place in London on June 15.

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The new stars of Storie Street

The past and the future come together to celebrate Paisley’s proud heritage in latest mural

left to right – Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson, Paisley First BID Manager Andrew Mitchell, seven year old Eva Rose Ross, artists Caroline Gormley and Sandy Guy

The latest mural in the Paisley First Wall Series has been completed with one local youngster taking centre stage in promoting the town’s proud heritage.

Seven year old Eva Rose Ross from Paisley won the competition to be commemorated on the gable wall next to Allan’s Snack Bar on Storie Street, a popular fish and chip shop in the town.

seven year old Eva Rose Ross in front of the Storie Street mural

Local artist Caroline Gormley and co-artist Sandy Guy have been braving sunshine and snow for the last couple of weeks to complete the “Buddie” artwork.

Caroline said: “This mural encourages young people to be curious and to engage with their rich heritage. Hopefully, it will inspire them.”

Eva Rose, who attends St Fergus Primary School, said: “I love everything about Paisley and I still can’t believe that a mural of me is now part of the town.”

“I think it looks great and I am proud that I am playing my part in helping to promote Paisley as a great place to visit.”

Paisley First Chairman Ian Henderson added: “Both completed murals have received a really positive response and there are more in the pipeline.”

“They really are making a difference in the town and we can’t wait to see the reaction to the rest of the murals we have planned.”

the view of the mural from Storie Street

“Community art groups are also getting involved in some of the upcoming murals; these murals are for the people of Paisley, by the people of Paisley.”

“This is just one of a number of projects aimed at getting local people actively involved in what’s happening in their home town.”

The Paisley First Walls Series is part-funded with a grant through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund.

Caroline Gormley and Sandy Guy with Eva Rose Ross and Gracie Sarah Cochrane

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “We were delighted to support Paisley First to produce these murals through our Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, which aims to boost the local creative scene as Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 is lodged.”

“Mark Worst’s giant kingfisher on Johnston Street has been turning heads now for weeks, and this latest mural is a lovely piece of work by Caroline Gormley.”

“These murals aren’t just brightening up the town centre for residents and visitors, they are also shining a spotlight on some of the wonderful artistic talent we have here, and I congratulate all involved.”

Caroline’s artwork was originally inspired by an image she had seen of another seven year old, Gracie Sarah Cochrane.

Gracie and competition winner Eva Rose Ross exchanged gifts to mark the completion of the mural – Gracie gave Eva Rose a framed sketch of the image Caroline used to paint the youngster.

Eva Rose then gave Gracie a framed image of Caroline’s original sketch of Gracie when the artist first started to put together potential ideas for the wall.


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paisley pirates

It’s a massive weekend for the Paisley Pirates as they go to Kirkcaldy for the annual end of season SNL Playoffs this Saturday, and they face possibly the hardest possible task when they go head to head against the hosts, Kirkcaldy Kestrels, who qualified for their place after beating Edinburgh Capitals 10-8 on aggregate last weekend. The second semi final sees Aberdeen Lynx take on Dundee Comets, with the winners of the two ties meeting on Sunday to decide the destiny of this year’s playoff title.

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Coach Ian Turley commented, “It may have come as a little bit of a surprise to some that the Kestrels made it through their quarter final, because after tying 5-5 with the Caps in the first leg in Fife two weeks ago, most folk would have fancied the Caps to finish the job in their own rink, but that gives us all the warning we need that the Kestrels are bang on form, if they can go to Edinburgh and win 5-3. They’ll be playing in their own rink in front of their own fans, and they’ll really fancy their chances-in their position, so would I!”

“We’ve had two tremendous games against them this year, and we managed to come through both with the points. What people have to remember is that we played exceptionally well in both games, in fact in our home game we had a team of walking wounded battling for us, and what that tells us is that we’ll have to be at our absolute best if we want to get to the final. Add that to the fact that we’re going there as league champions, and they’ve got all the incentive they need to want to turn us over. For our part, we’ve been training as usual the last couple of weeks working on a few things, everybody’s raring to go, and we’ll be heading onto the ice determined to prove that we have what it takes to see us progress.”

He went on, “We know, too, that we’ll have an army of supporters heading through to Fife to cheer us on, and we’re determined to finish the season with a bang rather than a whimper. I know we’re back there in a fortnight’s time for the Scottish Cup Final, but that’ll take care of itself when they time comes, all we’re focused on just now is the Kirkcaldy tie-we lost on penalties at this stage last year, and it’s a gut wrenching experience that we certainly don’t aim on repeating!”


Face off is at 4.45pm.

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Cancer charity gets a run for its money

RUNNERS are being urged to help people affected by cancer by signing up for this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run.

Macmillan Cancer Support charity staff, Jennifer Keegan, left and Laura Stockwell

Macmillan Cancer Support is the race official charity partner for the third year.

The popular event – sponsored by sports and outdoors retailer, Decathlon – takes place on Sunday, August 20.
And already people have been registering for the 10k race and shorter Fun Run, organised by Renfrewshire Leisure in conjunction with Renfrewshire Council.

Last year, almost 3000 people raced around the streets of Paisley in the 10k and were quickly followed by hundreds of fun runners – many taking part to raise tens of thousands of pounds for their favourite charities and good causes, including Macmillan Cancer Support.

Macmillan’s fundraising manager for Renfrewshire, Laura Stockwell said: “We are delighted to be the chosen charity partner for Renfrewshire Leisure’s Paisley 10k.

“No one should have to face cancer alone and with support like this, they won’t have to.
“We are looking forward to working with Renfrewshire Leisure to make this event the best yet, and we hope they are as excited as we are about this partnership.”

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “There are many good reasons for taking part in this year’s Paisley 10k and Fun Run and one of the most important is to raise money for a very worthy cause like Macmillan that helps people suffering and affected by cancer.”

You can register for the race by logging on to renfrewshireleisure.com by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.