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MP Gavin Newlands presents framed rugby shirt to Paisley 2021 bid team

Member of Parliament and Paisley Rugby Club President Gavin Newlands has presented a framed rugby shirt to Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron to show support for the town’s title ambitions.

Paisley MP Gavin Newlands Psisley Rugby Club 2021 strip to Jean Cameron 1.12.17

The team have been donning the specially-designed Paisley 2021 strips – paid for by sponsorship from intu Braehead – as they compete in Division Two of the West Regional League and other cup competitions.

The MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North said: “Paisley Rugby Club is very proud to support the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 by wearing the Paisley 2021 colours on our home strip this season.

“The bid team under Jean’s leadership has done the town proud and put together a first class bid that has done so much to lift the town out of the doldrums and make a lot of Buddies feel proud once again, regardless of the outcome.

“It’s for this reason that I was delighted, on behalf of the club, to present this framed Paisley shirt to Jean and the team for all that they have done for the town.”

Paisley is one of five places shortlisted for the UK City of Culture 2021 title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea. The winner will be announced this Thursday evening by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which organises the competition.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley Rugby Club have been great supporters of the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and it’s lovely to receive one of the specially branded shirts to mark their backing.

“The club is one of the town’s many great assets and as we await a decision on the UK City of Culture 2021 title, we wish them every continued success.”

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Giant lion greets Hull pupils as Paisley UK City of Culture 2021 team arrive in city

A group of Hull school pupils were met by a giant lion – thanks to one of the places hoping to follow Hull as the next UK City of Culture.

Members of Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid team are in Hull to make their final pitch to the DCMS judging panel ahead of the 2021 title decision on Thursday night.

Paisley is the only town and only Scottish place on the 2021 shortlist – with the winner to be announced live on BBC’s The One Show on Thursday night live from Hull.

And the team were met by pupils from Hull’s Paisley Street school – who were delighted to find the fibreglass Paisley 2021-branded lion, part of a public art trail which took over the town last summer.

Passers-by in Hull’s Paragon Square were also greeted by giant Paisley 2021 letters, as members of the bid team handed out flags to locals.

Paisley – the one-time centre of the world’s textile industry and known for the global fashion icon, the Paisley Pattern – is bidding for the 2021 title as part of a wider plan to transform its future using its unique and internationally-significant cultural and heritage assets.

Leading the Paisley delegation was Councillor Iain Nicolson, leader of Renfrewshire Council, and chair of the Paisley 2021 partnership board.

He said: “Paisley’s creativity was once carried around the world as our weavers created the intricately-patterned shawls named after us – and as a major trading route of the time, Paisley will have flowed through Hull.

“With a Paisley Street in the city, Hull is just one of many to have a little bit of Paisley in it, so we were delighted to invite the children of that school down to join us and meet our lion.

“That internationally-significant heritage sits at the heart of our bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – we want to harness the power of our global links to transform the town’s future.

“We have spent the past year watching and enjoying the fantastic journey Hull has been on in the lead-up to and during the city’s year in the international spotlight.

“Hull 2017 has been a fantastic spectacle which sets an example to us all over the power of culture to regenerate a place’s fortunes – and we would love the chance to follow in their footsteps.

“We have a programme planned for 2021 which will celebrate the threads that bind people, communities and nations, as well as what makes Paisley important to the UK and the world.

“And with an international airport on our doorstep we’re easy to reach – so if we are lucky enough to throw a party in 2021, we’d love the people of Hull to come and join us.”

Paisley is joined on the UK City of Culture 2021 shortlist by Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

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Ferguslie Learning Courses Starting January

New Year, New You!

Say goodbye to the January blues by starting a new course at the Ferguslie Learning Centre.

Come along to our Open Day on the 11 January for more information on our courses – or take a look on our website for further information.

Tasty Courses Starting Soon

Don’t miss out on these two tasty courses starting December and January at West College Scotland’s Paisley campus.

Click here to apply:

Petits Fours (12 December) http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/hospitality-professional-cookery/learn-to-make-petits-fours-the-professional-way

Cake Decoration (21 January) http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/hospitality-professional-cookery/cake-decoration-an-introduction-2

For further information you can call Kathleen on 0141 842 1015.


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Derek Mackay MSP Comments on City of Culture Bid

Derek Mackay MSP Comments on City of Culture Bid

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has wished Paisley luck, ahead of Thursday’s announcement on the bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Commenting ahead of Thursday’s announcement, Mr Mackay said:

“The whole of Scotland and Renfrewshire will be behind Paisley, as we await the result of the bid.

“The bid has captured the imagination of local people and those from neighbouring areas, with businesses this week reporting an increase in sales since the bid was launched. The potential knock on effect for local businesses if Paisley were to win would be good for everyone.

“It’s been a fantastic, positive, energised campaign and great credit must go to everyone involved, particularly bid director Jean Cameron.

“Now to keep our fingers crossed that Paisley is declared the winner.”

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Make a date with history at new museum store

PEOPLE can make a date with history at the town’s new treasure trove of interesting artefacts. Dates and booking arrangements have been announced for free guided tours of the new £3.7 million Paisley: The Secret Collection.

The new facility, in a former retail unit in Paisley’s High Street, is the first publicly accessible museum store on a High Street in the UK and will house thousands of items from Renfrewshire’s collections in a purpose-built storage unit.

The opening comes as the town is only days way from finding out if it has won the UK City of Culture 2021 accolade. Public tours of Paisley: The Secret Collection are being held on Wednesday and Thursday, January 24 and 25 and every Wednesday during February, between 2pm and 3pm. School tours are also available on these dates at 10am.

All visits have to be booked in advance by emailing tours@renfrewshireleisure.com  logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/thesecretcollection or by phoning 0141 618 5129 <tel:0141%20618%205129>  between 10am and 4pm, Tuesday to Saturday. The facility is being run by Renfrewshire Leisure, whose chief executive, Joyce McKellar said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for people to explore their heritage by seeing items that they probably never knew existed.

We’ve already got one guided tour fully-booked, so people should contact us as soon as possible to make sure of their place.

“There are thousands of items of hidden treasure for people to see and we expect there will be a huge amount of interest. “Paisley: The Secret Collection is part of a wider push to transform Paisley’s future by using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural assets to turn it into a key destination for visitors and events.”

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paisley pirates

Paisley Pirates are back in action this weekend as they take on Kilmarnock Thunder at Braehead Arena on Sunday evening (face off 6.00pm).

paisley pirates

The club had a weekend’s break from matches and Head Coach Ian Turley is looking forward to getting back into action after the team’s inactivity.


He commented, “I was happy enough that the boys had a weekend off as they’ve worked hard over the past few weeks. We’ve already had two double header weekends so was good for the team to get a rest ahead of our next bout of fixtures.”


“We’re progressing well at the moment, given the number of changes we had immediately before the start of the season, and our performances have shown what can be achieved when we work as a team. The addition of Adam Walker to the bench has also been a major boost as together we’ve been able to put over our ideas at both ends of the ice. He’s a top class coach in his own right and I feel that having the two of us there now means we’re covering far more in terms of bringing on and developing what is, in the main, a younger team than we’ve had in previous years and if that development continues as well as it has done so far then the team is only going to get better.”


Turley continued,” We’ve got a very important spell of games coming up starting now and we’ll be adopting our standard attitude of  each one at a time, which means that the Thunder have our undivided attention in advance of Sunday’s match. We’re hoping that we will have a big festive crowd along on Sunday and, of course, we have our special group offer, with huge discounts available, for our next two home matches, for groups applying at paisleypirates.org. Organisations looking for a Christmas treat with a difference for their members can do themselves a massive by getting in touch with us and we’ll only be too happy to fix them up with an excellent package.”

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Cash for Kids at Hells Kitchen Paisley

On Friday Hells Kitchen, Paisley is hosting a cash for kids event to begin a partnership with the amazing charity!

In Glasgow and the West 1 in 4 local children are living in poverty, this figure rises to 1 in 3 in Glasgow and in some areas is as high as 1 in 2…..

Hell’s Kitchen are humbled to announce that we will be working with Clyde cash for kids to help those children that need it.

In the follow up to our cash for kids post … we can now announce that our special guest on Friday is, St Mirren, Celtic, and all round legend ….

Frank will be here during our Clyde one broadcast with children from local charities, as we begin our partnership with cash for kids!

We’ll be doing our special cash for kids pepperoni pizza topped burger & fries for £5.95! For every burger sold, ALL proceeds will go to cash for kids ❤️

Please join us in supporting this worthy cause!

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Reading is in the good books for Renfrewshire pupils

Pupils have caught the book bug this week as schools across Renfrewshire took part in the national reading campaign Book Week Scotland.

Raising literacy levels in children and young people across all early years, primary and secondary schools is a significant part of Renfrewshire’s ambitions.

The Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, a cutting-edge partnership between Renfrewshire Council and the University of Strathclyde, has supported children and young people to develop a love of reading from a young age.

During Book Week Scotland, families, pupils, teachers and support staff at Todholm Primary School launched biodegradable balloons for each child and their favourite book. The child whose balloon travels the furthest will receive a personal copy of the book of their choice.

S1 pupils at Trinity High School have been raising money for children in hospital by taking part in a read-athon, with teachers also getting involved and making their own reading recommendations.

Kilbarchan Primary pupils took part in an Extreme Reading Challenge, swapped books, read books in their PJs and asked resident author (and Primary Teacher at the school) Lindsay Littleson about why she started writing books.

The Skoobmobile proved to be a lot of fun for Howwood Primary School pupils, with P1 and P2 classes receiving Read, Write and Count bags and older children received a visit from local author Lindsay Littleson.

Kirklandneuk Primary School pupils dressed as their favourite character and took part in fun reading sessions, including a reading lunch and ‘Drop Everything and Read’ events.

Renfrewshire-based author Vikki Gemmell popped into Castlehead High School for a creative workshop with S3 pupils, while Anne Donovan visited Renfrew High to discuss her short story collection, Hieroglyphics.

DIY bath-bomb making and yoga workshops were also held in Renfrew High to showcase different aspects of nourish on top of reading for pleasure.

“Guess the shelfie” also proved popular at Castlehead High, as pupils tried to guess which teacher the bookshelf belonged to.

Everyone at St James’ Primary School, Renfrew, took part in a mannequin challenge based on their favourite book, while P7 pupils created a flash mob and P5 pupils learned about storytelling techniques from reading patron Renita Boyle.

P7 pupils at St James’ Primary School, Renfrew, created a dance flash mob, while everyone took part in

Schools also held I Am Reading challenges, took part in Bookbugs, visited libraries and held reading assemblies.

Fiona Mackenzie, Headteacher at Kilbrachan Primary School, said: “From extreme reading to cosy corners, the activities during Book Week Scotland has helped to foster a love of reading that will develop life-long literacy skills in order to raise the attainment of all.”

Lindsay Littleson, author and teacher at Kilbarchan Primary School, said: “I really enjoyed talking to the pupils in Kilbarchan Primary about how I became an author. I’m hoping to inspire some young writers.”

Claire Hall, Challenge Leader of Literacy and Numeracy/Principal Teacher at Todholm Primary School, said: “Our Balloon Launch was spectacular and we were delighted with the number of parents, grandparents and carers who attended.

“Family learning sessions were held by each class and familes took the resources home with them afterwards. We had a large queue of parents around the school waiting to come in. We are delighted with the response the event has had.”

Robin Dunlop, School Librarian at Renfrew High, said: “Book Week Scotland is a great opportunity to promote and integrate a reading culture in schools – via interactive and engaging means.

“This year’s theme of health and wellbeing has proved an inspiring subject matter to expand awareness and integrate a reading culture for a healthy mindset.”

Renfrew High are also one of a few secondary schools in Scotland taking part in the First Minister’s Reading Challenge – in partnership with Scottish Book Trust and Waterstones – and each day during Advent, one of their pupils will receive a free book.

Renfrewshire is one of nine local authorities in the Scottish Government’s Attainment Challenge, supporting the Council’s work to close the poverty-related attainment gap and raise attainment for all.

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “Book Week Scotland is a fantastic way to celebrate reading in our early years, primary and secondary schools. Getting children and young people hooked on reading from an early age is the aim of the successful Renfrewshire Literacy Approach, developed in partnership with the University of Strathclyde.

“It has already boosted reading levels by empowering teachers to adapt their teaching style as needed to develop a love of reading in all pupils. We continue to build upon our approach to literacy and numeracy as we work towards achieving our ambitions.”

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Curling champ Eve coo-d have a new rival!

ICE hockey Highland cow mascot Clangus is trying to e-moo-late European curling champion, Eve Muirhead.

Eve has returned home after leading the Scotland women’s team to a gold medal at the European Curling Championships, in St Gallen, Switzerland, last weekend.

But it was back to grassroots for the 27-year-old, as she gave curling lessons to people who had come along to the weekly Saturday Sweep session, held at intu Braehead’s curling rink. Eve also brought along her European Gold Medal for everyone to see.

And the Braehead Clan ice hockey team mascot, Clangus couldn’t resist the chance to brush up on his curling skills with some coaching from Eve, who is intu Braehead’s Curling Ambassador.

General manager at intu Braehead Leisure, Scott Martin said: “It’s fantastic that people interested in curling, no matter how experienced they are, or if even they’re just a novice, were able to be coached by a champion curler.

“Eve and her team did us all proud by winning the European Championships and who knows, we may even have another top class curler in the making from the young curlers who come along to our Saturday Sweep sessions.

“Although I’m not sure Clangus falls into that category, as he coo-dn’t quite master the skills needed to be a curling champion.”

Log on to www.braehead-arena.co.uk for more information about the Saturday Sweep curling sessions.

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Mhairi Black Backs Tesco Food Bank Collection

Mhairi Black MP has thrown her support behind a nationwide food collection to help people who find themselves in need this Christmas.

From Thursday, November 30 to Saturday, December 2, more than 2,600 Tesco stores across the UK are taking part in the annual Food Collection, which encourages shoppers to donate long-life foods to help charity The Trussell Trust’s foodbank network to give food and support to people who might otherwise go hungry this Christmas.

Mhairi visited the Tesco store in Paisley to support the appeal, which last year collected 3.6 million meals for people in need. All the donations collected in Renfrewshire over the weekend will be donated to the Renfrewshire food bank.

More than 43 million meals have been donated to the food charities by generous Tesco customers since the scheme began, and the supermarket is hoping that shoppers will be just as generous this year.

Mhairi Black MP said

“At this time of year it’s good to think of others, and I would encourage shoppers to take part in this year’s Food Collection as it will make a real difference to people in need of food this Christmas.

“People should not have to rely on food banks however this is the reality that we live in. People will go hungry this winter and any support provided will help immensely. Well done to everyone involved in this year’s collection.”

Samantha Stapley, Operations Manager for The Trussell Trust said: “Trussell Trust foodbanks across the country will be doing all they can to provide emergency support so people don’t go hungry – but to make sure we’re prepared for what could be our busiest December yet, our network needs your support.

“During every Food Collection we’ve been humbled by the staggering generosity of Tesco customers, store colleagues and volunteers, and as we look to the start of the tenth collection, we would love to have your support once again. Your generosity will help stop hunger this Christmas.”