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Paisley.org.uk, Paisley leading community focused website founded by Brian McGuire has announced its full support and backing of Paisley Community Trust’s proposed plans for a new Performing Arts and Film Theatre for the Town.
As part of a series of early stage discussions, first draft designs of the Trust’s proposed Performing Arts and Film Theatre have been shared with key stakeholders

in the Town. The plans, created by award winning architects Stallan Brand, outline the Trust’s proposals for a new state of the art community facility featuring a flexible main theatre, secondary studio theatre, rehearsal rooms, dressing rooms, dance studios, several unique cinema spaces as well as bar and restaurant facilities.

 

Paisley Community Trust carried out a comprehensive feasibility study into the project and identified an overwhelming market demand for such a facility in the town. At present a number of sites have been shortlisted with a preferred option emerging.

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Final plans are set to be publicly unveiled in September 2017. “We were delighted to be approached by Paisley Community Trust to review their plans for the newly proposed Cinema and Theatre for the town. What can we say, we were blown away with what we saw! The designs look amazing. Having been a massive supporter of the town and with close relationships to the communities, we have a fairly good idea of what people are looking for and what the town needs. The Trust’s plans are exactly what the town needs. It will put Paisley back on the cultural map, not just locally but nationally. It will attract people and communities back into use the town.

You’ll be able to take part in a variety of classes or to catch a movie or a show. There is no doubt this will provide the transformation the town needs. Community groups, Council and Paisley Buddies need to get behind the Trust’s vision. We’re in!”

Brian McGuire, Founder, Paisley.org.uk

“Paisley.org.uk is without doubt one of the key websites for Paisley. They work closely with the town, businesses and community.

They have their finger on the pulse when it comes to what the town needs. We were nervous in showing them because we really respect their knowledge, however we shouldn’t have been. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Their backing and support confirms the need in the town for what we are planning. We’ve agreed that Paisley.org.uk will be one of our key partners in engaging and discussing with the town’s communities. We’re delighted to share a teaser image for Paisley.org.uk to exclusively publish with more news to come!”

Gary Kerr, Chairman, Paisley Community Trust

Have you ever wondered what a credit union is? My Credit Union Renfrewshire will answer all your questions.

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We are delighted to announce the launch of a new website, outdoor advertising and radio campaign that will raise awareness of credit unions in Renfrewshire and answer the common question ‘What is a credit union’. To celebrate the launch, we are extending an invitation to the public and press to an event that will take place on Thursday 20th October (International Credit Union day) in the Piazza centre Paisley at 11am.

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www.mycreditunionrenfrewshire.co.uk has been designed to promote the benefits of Credit Unions to the people of Renfrewshire. The fresh, easy-to-use website signposts people to credit unions throughout Renfrewshire, lists all their services and highlights the many benefits of saving and borrowing affordably. A key aim is to raise public awareness of credit unions generally and to help people enjoy the benefits of sound money management.

The website is funded by Renfrewshire Council who have committed up to £500,000 of funding to support credit union development in Renfrewshire as a key strand of their Tackling Poverty strategy. This substantial investment has been used in a variety of initiatives to tackle the rise in high cost lending and to provide access to a wider range of ethical and affordable financial products for the Renfrewshire community.

Gleniffer Credit Union, Johnstone Credit Union, Renfrewshire-Wide Credit Union, Scotwest Credit Union and White Cart Credit Union have collaborated on the development of the website to ensure that the Renfrewshire community can make an informed choice on the best credit union for their needs. Paula Ferrier, the Marketing Officer overseeing the website development said, “This is a fantastic opportunity for credit unions in Renfrewshire, to have a campaign that promotes good value financial products and services and the many free benefits that are available. Credit unions are not for profit, member-owned financial cooperatives, so they can’t always compete with the massive marketing budgets that banks and high-cost lenders can deploy. In some ways, credit unions are a well-kept secret! However, more and more people are discovering how much better off they are by joining a credit union, and with over a million members across the UK, mycreditunionrenfrewshire will help open credit union doors to even more people in Renfrewshire.”

To mark the launch of this vibrant new website and to celebrate International Credit Union Day, representatives from all five credit unions will be in the Piazza Centre, Paisley on Thursday 20th October from 11am to 1pm to chat and answer any questions about joining a credit union. Additionally, Councillor Mike Holmesdeputy leader of Renfrewshire Council, and several third sector agencies will be present to help raise awareness of credit unions and help mark the occasion.

There will be lots of credit union freebies being handed out – so call into the Piazza Centre and let Renfrewshire credit unions help you to make the most out of life and your money!

Having sung about the fact her home town’s “streets are paved with hearts of gold, award winning singer songwriter Lisa Kowalski from Paisley is off to see if she can strike gold on the streets of London.

Lisa has bagged a spot in the Mayor of London Gigs10 busking competition which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year and runs from 21st of July. There are prizes up for grabs which include Gibson guitars, recording sessions at a London studio, a trip to Europe and many other career development opportunities.

Having already dashed down to the induction day earlier this month, straight on the night bus after a Saturday night gig in Glasgow, Lisa is off to the capital for 5 days on the 21st to perform to the public at various locations. 21st July is also International Busking Day and Lisa will start off her round of performances with an official busking slot at Westminster Underground station.

The competition performance period runs from 21st July to 5th August but local music commitments such as Mugstock, Butefest and a gig for local charity Include Me 2 Club on the 26th at G2 mean that Lisa must gig as much as possible in the time available to her. The winners are decided by a judging panel but there is also a wild card act who makes it to the final based on the votes of the public, both those who see her perform and those who vote online.  Lisa would be very grateful for votes from her local supporters, as she competes in the over 18 category with performers from all over the UK.

“I will be singing my heart out in London and continuing to raise awareness of  music from Paisley. Although we didn’t quite win UK City of Culture last year, I’m still doing my bit to draw attention to the town and to the wider Scottish grass roots music scene”.

The public can give her their vote by visiting London.gov.uk/gigs and looking up her picture/ profile on the web page. Voting commences on 21 July and you can vote once each day throughout the competition.

After all the excitement, Lisa will be returning to Paisley to start recording her second EP and independently release her next single.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has congratulated all the UWS students who graduated recently, including his wife, Lynn.

Gavin Newlands attended the UWS Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday 4th July in the Paisley Abbey to support his wife, Lynn, who graduated with a first class honours degree in Human Management.

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

“Congratulations to all the student who graduated from UWS. It’s a fantastic achievement to have reached this stage and I hope all the student and their families had a memorable day in the Paisley Abbey.

“Graduation days are always special occasions for the student, but they’re probably more memorable for the wider family who are in attendance to celebrate this special occasion. I know this as I am incredibly proud of my wife Lynn who joined her fellow students in graduating.

“I am extremely proud of Lynn’s success and she has worked incredibly hard to graduate with a first class honours degree. Not only is she a full-time mother, who has to put up with me being in London for most of the week, but she also works part-time as well. She’s put in the effort and the whole family is proud of her.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland, said:

“I was pleased to welcome MP Gavin Newlands to our ceremony at Paisley Abbey on Wednesday 4 July to celebrate the achievements of all our graduates, but in particular his wife Lynne, who I know he is incredibly proud of.”

The chief executive who transformed Renfrewshire Leisure into a multi-million pound business creating jobs and new facilities has announced she is to retire.


Joyce McKellar, 56, who has been chief executive since 2005, will step down from her role at the end of October. The position will be advertised later this month.

With the recent birth of her first grandchild and the health of her father deteriorating, Joyce had decided to spend more time with her family.

She explains: “I have been with Renfrewshire Leisure for 13 years and in that time I’ve been proud of the way the organisation has grown to provide hugely expanded sport, leisure and cultural facilities.

“I now think it’s time for me to concentrate more on family matters and I want to help with my father’s care and spend more time with my grandchild.

“Health and well-being will always be important to me and I’ll now also have more time to up my fitness regime by doing more cycling, running and swimming.”

Joyce has spent 38 years service with local government and leisure trusts and since she became chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, the number of people employed has risen from 250 to almost 800 and the annual turnover doubled from £6 million to £19 million.

She has led major changes in the organisation, which includes the transfer of cultural and sports services from Renfrewshire Council to the leisure trust.

Joyce was also seconded to the council to lead the development of their leisure facilities strategy, which saw a £42 million investment in building a brand new sports and leisure centre – The ON-X, in Linwood – and the creation of a new sports hub, in Johnstone.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure’s board of trustees, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Joyce has been a fantastic chief executive for Renfrewshire Leisure and the people of Renfrewshire.

“It’s thanks to her forward thinking, expertise and determination that we have seen such huge improvements in sports and leisure facilities locally.

“She has modernised and expanded sports and leisure services in Renfrewshire in the face of increased competition from the private sector.

“Joyce will leave an organisation that is fit for purpose and thanks to her efforts, whoever picks up the baton as the new chief executive will be starting from a high point as they take the company forward.”

The longest-running major sponsor of St Mirren, intu Braehead has signed up for another season.
The shopping and leisure destination has pledged a five-figure sum of money to the club in what will be the 13th year in a row they have been a Saints sponsor.

The intu Braehead logo will be on the back of the away shirt and also on signage around the stadium.
St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott said: “We’re grateful for the financial support intu Braehead has given the club over so many years.

“The centre plays a massive role in the local economy providing jobs that pay wages that people can spend in towns and villages throughout Renfrewshire.

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“And intu Braehead has also been a great supporter of local charities and organisations, as well as being a major backer of St Mirren since 2005.”

Braehead sponser St Mirrin FC

Peter Beagley, regional centre director with responsibility for intu Braehead said: “We’ve always been a supporter of St Mirren who are synonymous with Paisley and Renfrewshire.

Braehead sponser St Mirrin FC

“A successful St Mirren gives a huge boost to the morale of the local community and you can see that’s what happened when Saints were promoted to the Scottish Premiership last season.

Braehead sponser St Mirrin FC

“I’m looking forward to seeing St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership this year and a successful and growing intu Braehead means we can support organisations like St Mirren and other good causes even more in the future.”

Legends of Motown, rock and dance music head-up a stellar bill of acts that will play this year’s The Spree Festival in Paisley.

The festival of music, comedy, theatre and arts – now in its seventh year – will take place between the 12 and 20 October and will welcome Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, famous for tracks such as Dancing in the Street, Jimmy Mack and Heatwave, to Paisley Town Hall alongside the London African Gospel Choir who will perform Paul Simon’s Graceland on 20 October.

Paisley returns to its punk roots by welcoming the Gang of Four to the iconic Spiegeltent in the town centre (19 Oct) bringing their unique mix of stripped-down punk rock, funk and dub.

Renfrewshire Leisure have programmed a number of shows for the festival including favourites Aidan Moffat and RM Hubbert (20 Oct) and Gaelic singer and ‘the Bard’ from SonyStarz Outlander, Gillebrìde MacMillan and friends who will perform compositions from Donald MacIntyre ‘The Paisley Bard’ at Paisley Arts Centre (18 Oct).

The famous Spiegeltent will also host electronic music legends and ambient house pioneers The Orb (15 Oct) and former Kraftwerk member and German musician, Wolfgang Flür (13 Oct).

There will be a real eclectic feel to the Spiegeltent bill this year with Vieux Farka Touré (16 Oct), described as the ‘Jimi Hendrix of the Sahara’ and son of the Grammy-winning Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, alt-country and Americana group, The Wandering Hearts (14 Oct), rock bands The Leisure Society and Duke Special (17 Oct), Scots super group Big Minds featuring members of Simple Minds and Big Country (18 Oct), and a fantastic double-bill with Traceyanne & Danny (ex-Camera Obscura) and The Pastels (13 Oct).

The popular Comedy Night will return to the tent with Des Clarke, Janey Godley and Stuart Mitchell (12 Oct) and the revelry continues with The Spree Ceilidh (12 & 19 Oct) which has the added bonus of being a free event.

The festival also sees the return of the ever-popular ModStuff and scooter ride-out (20 Oct) by LNP Promotions at the Spiegeltent with the proceeds going to local charities.

The Wee Spree will also be back as part of the festival with plenty of fun activities to keep the kids entertained during the October holidays. Highlights include a musical fun day hosted by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and an exciting and unusual tour around Paisley with the National Theatre of Scotland supported by a soundtrack from local choirs. A full programme for The Wee Spree is available on The Spree website.

The Spree is run by Renfrewshire Council and programmed by Synergy Concerts.

Tickets will go on sale at 9am on Wednesday 18 July are available from the festival website at www.thespree.co.uk and from festival ticketing partner Ticketweb.

The summer heatwave may have gone and there are grey rainclouds in the sky, but you can still enjoy a day at the beach without worrying about the weather.


A large indoor beach complete with sand, buckets and spades and games for kids has been created in the Soar at intu Braehead leisure destination.

The free activity gives youngsters all the fun of heading to the beach no matter what the weather’s like outside.

The indoor beach is part of intu Braehead’s summer activities for youngsters, which also sees a Magical Forest in the shopping centre, which runs until August 11.

Kids can go deep into the Magical Forest to play in a Fairy House; make a wish at the Wishing Well; build their own soft-play log shelter; have fun with musical percussion instruments; go across the Rainbow Bridge and down the slide, make an imitation campfire then take a selfie with a unicorn that’s hiding in the forest.

Kellie Lauder, intu Braehead’s assistant marketing manager said: “Summertime fun doesn’t stop at intu Braehead just because the weather has taken a turn for the worse.

“Youngsters have been having great fun making sandcastles and playing games on our indoor beach.”

An exhibition of creative work from an art group based at Paisley’s Disability Resource Centre has opened at the town’s Museum.


The Beyond Our Limits exhibition in the Sculpture Court will be the last showing in the space before Paisley Museum closes for a multi-million pound refurbishment.

The event is the result of a partnership between Renfrewshire Leisure, Renfrewshire Disability Arts Forum and the Disability Resource Centre.


Participants have been meeting once a week to create sculptures and artwork using both conventional and re-cycled materials under the guidance of local artist, Kevin Stewart Cantwell.
The Beyond Our Limits exhibition will run until September 8.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “Each person taking part in the art group goes on a personal journey of creative discovery, and produces art far beyond what they thought was possible.

“This exhibition displays an amazing range of artwork, illustrating the development of each person’s creative process and increasing self-confidence.

“The exhibition is well worth going along to see.”
David Crichton, Renfrewshire Disability Arts Forum trustee, said “We are naturally proud of the work our artists produce – as rich in variety as in form.

“At the Forum, we are as keen as ever that participatory art should be for all, and we know it benefits health and wellbeing.

“Participation in group activity such as this delivers a boost to mental health, fights isolation and an exhibition such as this raises visibility of capability.

“At the launch event, the excitement of the artists was palpable, and they spoke about how much they enjoy working with local artist Kevin Cantwell.”

Renfrewshire’s hidden stars have been given civic recognition for their work in the community by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

Eight inspiring community members were rewarded with a Provost’s Distinction Certificate at a special ceremony in Paisley Town Hall.

Refrewshire Council Provost awards at Paisley Town Hall 12.7.18

The Distinction Certificates provide the Provost the opportunity to recognise community members who have came to her attention for the positive difference they have made to Renfrewshire.

Provost Cameron said: “One of the most satisfying parts of my role as Provost is being able to recognise those who make a real difference to the lives of those around them and make Renfrewshire a better place for us all to live.

“Every one of the award winners is deserving of the accolade for the positive work they do and I’m delighted to be able to give them the recognition they deserve.

The Distinction Certificate award winners are:

Anne and John Bellshaw – What started as a one-off charity event in memory of Anne’s brother has turned into 22 years of daredevil challenges, race nights and raffles. Fundraising for MND Scotland and ACCORD Hospice, and with the support of family and friends, they have raised more than £132,000 for these two great causes.

Peter Stewart – A youthful 90 years old Peter is still raising money for charity, culminating in his latest exploit, a 165ft abseil off the Forth Road Bridge. Following the loss of his wife, Peter has dedicated himself to a variety of different causes and challenges to make a difference to the lives of others.

Stephen Torrance – A long-time supporter of the Choose Life and SOBS group in Renfrewshire, Stephen has fundraised in the memory of his brother Vinny who took his own life in 2009. Hosting an annual golf tournament, Stephen has managed to raise not only money but much-needed awareness of the issue of male suicide.

Howwood Emergency Amateur Response Team (HEART) – This inspiring group of volunteers worked diligently within the local Howwood community during the severe weather earlier this year. They cleared local roads, visited elderly neighbours to ensure they were safe and well and ensured local school routes were safe for parents and children.

Rekz Afzal – A well-known community figure, Rekz has created a community fridge which allows people to buy essentials for those who may be in need. He has also organised local music events with the proceeds going to the One Giant Leap programme which supports young adults with disabilities through music and art.

Brian McClure – Taxi driver Brian has been honoured for his quick thinking that saved the life of a elderly woman. Spotting that a car had crashed into a stationary car, Brian performed emergency CPR on the driver who had suffered a heart attack which helped save her life.

Margaret Beacom – A true community hero, Margaret has been looking after her neighbour through a long-term illness to ensure they are coping, have the essentials in the fridge and are able to make all appointments they need to, which has gone a long way to improving their quality of life.

Alongside the Distinction Certificates, community members can be rewarded through the Provost’s Community Awards in a variety of categories.

Nominations can be made for anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire and the nomination period will open later in the year.

For more information on the award winners, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provost.

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Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland, is a proud majestic city with a long, sometimes bloody, history. It is also a popular university city that attracts thousands of students every year. If you are considering applying to study at Edinburgh University, here is what you need to know.

Edinburgh University has a long and esteemed history. It was first established in 1582, by Royal Charter no less. The School of Law on South Bridge was the original building, but there are others dotted around in various locations. Teviot Row House is another historic university building.

The Differences Between a Scottish University and an English One

Scottish students are usually a year younger than English students, as they can go to university once they finish their Highers. This can be a bit strange for older English students, as they can go out drinking, but their Scottish friends cannot.

Scottish degrees are usually four years, so bear this in mind when you add up your costs. It can make that student loan significantly more expensive for English students. Unlike you, Scottish students graduate debt-free. If you study for a four-year Scottish degree, you graduate with an MA rather than a BA.

Going to University in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has a lot going for it. For starters, it is blessed with hundreds of years of history and culture, which gives you plenty to think about while you are studying for your degree. The cobbled streets are steeped in history and tradition, Edinburgh Festival is awesome, and the scenery is amazing.

The great thing about Edinburgh is that it is nice and compact, so you never have to walk too far to get from one place to another. The bad thing is that everything is up a steep hill, so it will take you twice as long to get there. However, all those hills will help you burn off the whiskey you’ll be drinking in copious amounts.

Accommodation in Edinburgh

Student accommodation in Edinburgh is more expensive than many other university towns and cities, but if you want luxury student accommodation in Edinburgh, you will be spoiled for choice. Students can opt to stay in university-owned accommodation, where meals are provided, or they can live in private accommodation around the city.

The difference between Edinburgh and more modern cities is that much of the private student accommodation is in old tenement buildings. You will have large, airy rooms with high ceilings, but they can be cold in winter, so bear this in mind.

The weather in Edinburgh is raining more often than not. Scottish students won’t mind, but if you’re more used to sunshine, then gloomy, cold, wet weather can take some getting used to.

Everyday Life in Edinburgh

Edinburgh has great nightlife, quirky pubs and bars, and lots of artisan coffee shops for days when your hangover is really bad.

Don’t forget, the city is very popular with tourists, so at certain times of the year, you will have to deal with the crowds.

Ever been to the Opera? Now’s your chance to experience it for FREE at Paisley Opera House (Seedhill playing fields) on Wednesday 25th July 2018 at 6pm. One of the themes of Pagliacci is the circus and in addition to wonderful singing and a full orchestra, there will be aerial displays as part of the show. The event is a unique promenade performance where the audience moves around different areas of the performance space, however, there are also specific areas for wheelchairs users.

Have a look at the info and the video here https://www.scottishopera.org.uk/shows/pagliacci/ and for FREE tickets please email  events@renfrewshire.gov.uk with your name, the name of your organisation, a contact  number and email, and the number of tickets you would like.

Bravo!