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New heritage centre is highlight of ‘Digital December’

New heritage centre is highlight of ‘Digital December’.

A new digital heritage centre in Paisley Central Library has been unveiled as part of a ‘Digital December’ of online activity from Renfrewshire Libraries.

The Heritage Centre, based in what was known as the Reference and Local Studies Library, is designed to meet the growing demand for access to digital archives and records and to showcase Paisley’s proud history.

Cllr Stuart Clark with libraries manager Jenifer McFarlane

The new centre was officially opened this week by Cllr Stuart Clark, depute convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board.

The opening the new centre is the centrepiece of a month of online activity from Renfrewshire Libraries.

A new website for library members will make it possible to borrow at all hours and access electronic and audio books amongst a wealth of other online resources.

Libraries staff will hold a number of drop-in sessions during the month designed to help local people ‘tame technology’ and get to grips with the growing number of smartphones, tablets and e-readers they possess.

Cllr Clark said: “Shows such as the BBC’s “Who Do You Think You Are?” have made research into family history an ever more popular leisure activity. As our libraries do more to tap into that demand, our visitor numbers will only increase.”

“But Digital December shows that our libraries are about so much more than places to borrow books.

“They are places where people can go online for free and access information about the job market. They host Bookbug sessions where parents and children can bond through reading and song. And they are sources of vital health information and advice thanks to initiatives like Living Well @ The Library which we’ve developed together with Macmillan Cancer Support”.

“Libraries are ideal places to bring like-minded people together within a community, or for people to go to get the information and services they need, and that’s why we’re investing in their future.”

A programme of events for Digital December is available in every Renfrewshire Library. More information about library services is available by calling 0300 300 1188 or emailing libraries@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

The new Renfrewshire Libraries website is available at www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk.

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Building work set to begin on Johnstone town hall

Johnstone Town Hall exterior

Building work set to begin on Johnstone town hall

The project to deliver Johnstone’s new £14.5m town hall is about to reach its latest major milestone – with construction on the building set to begin in October.

The new town hall is being delivered by Renfrewshire Council and is expected to transform the look of the town centre once completed.

The building will be home to a new library, marriage suite, theatre and conference space, meeting rooms and a café.

It will also contain offices for council housing and social work staff, as well as Police Scotland and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The demolition of the former town hall and library was completed over the summer and with subsequent site investigations throwing up no significant issues, construction is due to start next month as planned.

The construction and fit-out of the new building is expected to take 21 months, meaning it should be open for business in spring 2015.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “The council is making a significant investment in delivering this new building, which will provide a striking 21st-century centrepiece to the town.

“This new building is one of the biggest public sector investments taking place in Scotland at the moment.

“Contractors have been busy on site over the summer making sure everything is in place ahead of the building phase of the project.

“Over the next nine months or so, Johnstone residents will be able to see the progress for themselves, as the structure of the new building is put into place.

“Throughout the project, we have aimed to develop good relationships with local residents and traders, and we hope to keep them involved in the months ahead.”

The council is planning a range of activities over the next few months to ensure the community continues to have the chance to be part of the project.

Specially-created artwork depicting iconic buildings around the town has been commissioned for the site hoardings, and will be unveiled soon.

There will also be opportunities for the community to involve themselves in public art which will go on display inside the new building.

The project will also see extensive landscaping and public realm works in the area surrounding the new building, including Ludovic Square.

A temporary library has been opened in nearby Collier Street, and will stay in place for the duration of the works.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.

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Paisley 10k road race attracts almost 1,500 runners

paisley 10k

Paisley 10k road race attracts almost 1,500 runners

Around 1,500 runners pounded the streets of Paisley at the weekend as the annual Paisley Vision 10k road race took place.

The event – doubling as the Scottish Athletics West District 10K Road Race Championship – saw serious runners and enthusiastic amateurs alike strap on their running shoes.

Hundreds of residents lined the streets as they turned out to cheer on the runners in the sunshine.

The 10k course started and ended in County Square and took runners through Ferguslie Park on its way to Asda, before coming back through the west end of the town along the Paisley – Kilmacolm cycle track.

Along the way, runners passed local landmarks such as Paisley Abbey and Town Hall, St Mirren Park and the University of the West of Scotland.

The first man home was Callum Hawkins of Kilbarchan AAC, in a time of 30:40 and the fastest woman was team-mate Hayley Haining, in 34:28.

The road race was followed by a fun run, which saw a record-breaking entry of around 700 runners tackle the 3km route around the town centre.

The winner was Kilbarchan AAC’s Conor Thomson in a time of 08:47.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall, who was there on the day to present medals to the winners, said: “Events like this are great for bringing a crowd into the town centre and it was lovely to see so many people turn out to cheer on their friends and family.

“The runners will have had their own reasons for getting involved, whether it be to raise money for charity or just to get themselves fit – but they are all winners.”

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, added: “The promotion of sport and healthy lifestyles is something the council is very keen to be part of.

“The turnout was up on recent years, which is testament to how well-established this event has become.

“We made changes to the pricing structure for this year’s event in line with feedback from participants, and I am glad people have responded to that.

“I would like to thank all those who gave up their time to help with the organisation of the race, as well as our race sponsors MEPC for their contribution.”

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil.