paisley panda

Paisley Panda visits brave Kerry in Hospital.

A Paisley girl got a shock when she received a hospital visitor that she was not expecting, as Paisley Panda dropped in to visit Kerry Robertson (19) at the Southern General’s ward 62 on Friday 25th October.

Kerry, a St Mirren fan and panda collector, was in complete shock when she turned to see the Giant Panda walking towards her. Her mum, Paisley.org.uk’s own Tracey Clements said “Kerry has been feeling quite down, she has been in the hospital for almost 9 weeks now and I was wondering what could cheer her up, so I spoke to Brian McGuire who contacted St Mirren and asked if the Panda could visit. They contacted me by email and we arranged it from there”

Kerry was admitted to the Southern General Hospital on the 26th August after visiting the Glasgow Dental Hospital, she had been having trouble with a “ulcer” on her tongue. Doctors prescribed mouthwashes and antibiotics but when nothing worked, her Mum contacted the Dental Hospital and pleaded with them for someone to see her. They saw her within a few hours, she needed an urgent referral to the Oral Health unit and it was from there she was sent straight to the Southern General.

Tracey said “Everything happened so quickly, we were at the Dental Hospital at 9am and at the Southern General by 11.00. Kerry was sent for scans, x-rays, photographs of her mouth, blood tests and then on to see the consultant. He told us he was going to perform a biopsy that afternoon.”

On Friday 30th August the family were dealt the devastating blow they were dreading most, Kerry had cancer. Plans were put in place to remove the tumour and on Thursday 19th Sept Kerry was wheeled into theatre for what turned out to be a 13 hour operation, where her whole tongue, lymph glands from the right side of her neck, part of her voice box and most of her teeth were removed. She now faces 6 weeks of chemo and radiotherapy.

Tracey says “Kerry has been so brave through all of this, I am incredibly proud of her. Sure she has had bad days but given what she is going through that can only be expected. She repeatedly tells us that she is going to kick cancer’s ass.”

Kerry, who was due to start a college course to train as a special needs teacher the same week she was admitted to hospital, said “Everyone has been great, a friend of my Mum took part in a Race for Life for me and raised £170 for Cancer Research, a local business set up a fundraising page for me so when my treatment is completed I could use the money to maybe have a wee holiday somewhere to recuperate and of course the staff at the hospital has been absolutely amazing.”

Tracey concluded by saying “I just want to thank St Mirren and Paisley Panda for going out of their way and beyond any normal duties by going all the way up to the Southern General to visit Kerry. Once the initial shock wore off she was thrilled and told everyone about her surprise visitor, and of course thank you to Brian for helping to arrange it.”

Brian McGuire founder of the Paisley.org.uk website said: “Tracey has been an integral part of the running of the Paisley website over the last couple of years, we know how much of a shock this was for Tracey, Kerry and the rest of the family. I speak for everyone at Paisley.org.uk, we are delighted we could do something that in some small way helped cheer Kerry up. It also shows that the community of Paisley can come together to help those in need. I wish to thank the Paisley Panda and St Mirren who did not hesitate and immediately offered their help..”

Like Paisley

Sisters reunited thanks to Paisley on the Web.

A week ago we were contacted by a lady in England who was looking for family in the Renfrewshire area. We suggested she post on our Facebook group page and see if she got any leads from our thousands of followers.

Before Stephanie’s grandmother passed away in January she gave her some information that she hoped would help her locate her sister, but without success. Stephanie has never met her sister and her father has refused to tell her anything about her. When she was young her father left the family to go to Scotland where he married a woman, Maggie, in Oban and had another daughter. Her father also left them, and Stephanie was hoping that information from her aunt that Maggie’s parents had a farm in Renfrewshire would help her find her half-sister Jessica.

Almost immediately, Stephanie had messages from people offering help, one of whom provided information which helped her trace her sister! Thanks to the help of Elizabeth Anne, one of our long-time Paisley group members, Stephanie is now chatting to Jessica on Facebook and they are gradually getting to know each other. Jessica had no idea of Stephanie’s existence so they are taking it easy and have a lot of catching up to do. We are delighted that these two young ladies have found each other and hope they can meet outside the virtual Facebook world soon.

You can join the Paisley chat by visiting our Facebook Group or Like our Paisley, Scotland Facebook Page.

Thank you to everyone who helped in the efforts on Facebook.

New Johnstone town hall praised as building work starts.

The new £14.5m Johnstone Town Hall has been hailed as a development which will benefit the whole town, as work starts on the new building.

Workers have been on site this week to start groundworks on the 21-month project to build and fit out the state-of-the-art town hall.

The building is being taken forward by Renfrewshire Council and represents a massive investment in the regeneration of Johnstone.

Johnstone Town Hall work starts

When it opens in summer 2015, the town hall will house a new library, marriage suite, theatre and conference space, meeting rooms and a café.

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

And Provost Anne Hall – who attended a small ceremony to mark the start of building work – believes the development will be a major boost for Johnstone.

She said: “This will be more than just a building – it will be a modern centrepiece for the entire town.

“It will bring a number of important facilities and services under one roof – there will be something there of benefit to every resident of the town and its surrounding area.

“A lot of work has already gone into the design for this building over the past few years – and the council has been very keen to involve the community in that.

“The start of building work marks another significant milestone along the way.”

Provost Hall was joined on site by representatives of BAM Construction, the building contractors, and Hub West Scotland, who manage the contract.

Earlier this month, Renfrewshire Council unveiled hoardings around the site which display an illustration of buildings and landmarks around the town.

The epic artwork – which stretches around three sides of the site – is intended to represent and showcase the town’s past, present and future while work is ongoing.

A temporary Johnstone Library will be open in Collier Street while the work is ongoing.

For more information about the project, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/johnstone or call 0300 300 0114.

George Adam MSP

George Secures Cabinet Secretary Visit to BASF Plant.

Today, 31st October, Paisley’s MSP George Adam has secured a visit to the BASF plant in Paisley by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney MSP.  George was asking a parliamentary question regarding the troubled plant and asked Mr Swinney to visit the plant along with him to discuss the future of the plant and its workforce with BASF management.

George Adam MSP

Speaking after his parliamentary question, George said, “I am delighted that the Cabinet Secretary has given the commitment to come to Paisley and meet with the management and workforce. This initial decision from BASF is disappointing but we need to do all we can to try and find a buyer for the plant or an alternative use for it.  Every effort should be made to save the jobs of the 141 workers and alternative uses for the site must be fully examined.

‘I was very heartened to hear the positive response given by the Cabinet Secretary on this very difficult matter affecting Paisley. The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise have been in regular contact with BASF and it is great to hear that the First Minister himself has spoken with a member of the board of directors at BASF.  He set out that Scottish Enterprise would continue to work with the plant to get the best possible outcome for the employees and that PACE assistance would be there for any affected workers.

‘While we are not taking anything for granted and a lot of work needs to be done, I along with my colleagues in government will do all we can to secure the plants future and the workers’ jobs.”

Courtesy of www.paisleysmsp.org

mcgills

Paisley Fireworks and Christmas Light Switch on Bus Routes.

The town centre of Paisley will be alive to the sound of Fireworks this year when the annual pyrotechnics display comes to town on the 2nd November 2013. This event is extremely popular with families and if last years Halloween theme event was anything to go by then they just get bigger and better…

Time: Entertainment from noon, fireworks at 6pm

Venue: Paisley Town Centre

There will of course be a change to the routes and pick up points for the bus services through the town centre, please see below for all the relevant changes.

Bus Routes and pick up points

Paisley Firework display Saturday 2nd November and Christmas Lights switch on Saturday 16th November 2013
McGills service alterations & diversions

On the above dates Paisley Town Centre will be closed and some of the McGills services will experience route diversions and slight timetable alterations, please see below for details of your route changes…. Any route number not included is an unaffected service…

Service 7 – To Glasgow – Witherspoon St, right into Causeyside St, left into Johnston St, into Gordon St, Mill St then Glasgow Rd and continuing on as normal
Service 7 – To Linwood – Glasgow Rd, Mill St, Gordon St, Causeyside St, Witherspoon St and continuing as normal

Service 10 – TO BE CONFIRMED

Service 20 – To Gallowhill – Witherspoon St, right into Causeyside St, left into Johnston St, Gordon St, Mill St, Glasgow Rd and continuing as normal…
Service 20 – To Johnstone – Glasgow Rd, left into Mill St, Gordon St, Causeyside St, Witherspoon St and onwards as normal

Service 26 – To Paisley (part route service) – Will terminate in Causeyside St / Junction with Witherspoon St. Left into Witherspoon St, New St, High St, Storie St, Witherspoon St and Causeyside St for return journey to Glenburn
Service 26 – To Glasgow – Causeyside St, right into Gordon St, Mill St, Glasgow Rd. Return journey to Glenburn (reverse route)

Service 38 – To Glasgow – Witherspoon St, right into Causeyside, left into Johnston St, Gordon St, Mill St and Glasgow Rd, continuing route as normal
Service 38 – To Johnstone – Glasgow Rd, Mill St, Gordon St, Causeyside St, Witherspoon St and continuing route as normal.

Service 54 – To Paisley – Will terminate in Causeyside St / Junction with Witherspoon St.
(Bus will circle Witherspoon St, New St, High St, Storie St Witherspoon St and Causeyside St for return journey)
Service 54 – To Neilston – Service will commence on Causeyside St (at Cancer Research Shop) and onwards as normal

Service 60 – To Paisley – Will terminate on Witherspoon St, turning left into New St for return journey to Foxbar

Service 61 – To Paisley – Canal St, Left into Causey side St and terminates at Causeyside St / Junction with Witherspoon St.
(Bus will circle Witherspoon St, New St, High St, Storie St Witherspoon St and Causeyside St for return journey)
Service 61 – To Foxbar – Service will start on Causeyside St (At Cancer Research Shop) right into Canal St and onwards as normal

Service 64 – TO BE CONFIRMED

Service 66 – To Paisley – Service will terminate on Causeyside St / Junction with Witherspoon St.
(Bus will circle Witherspoon St, New St, High St, Storie St Witherspoon St and Causeyside St for return journey)
Service 66 – To Dykebar – Service will commence on Causeyside St (at Cancer Research Shop) and continues on as normal

Service 101 – To Braehead – Causeyside St, right into Gordon St, Mill St, Incle St, Weir St, Smithills St, Central Rd and continues on as normal
Service 101 – To Auchenback – Renfrew Rd, Incle St, Mill St, Gordon St, left into Causeyside St and continues on as normal

Service 904 – To Paisley – Causeyside St, left into Johnston St, Gordon St, Mill St, Incle St and terminates at Weir St
Service 904 – To Largs – Service will commence on Causeyside St and left into Witherspoon St

Thanks to Tracey Clements for this information.

Image Link

Des Clark, The Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolf III and Bruce Morton complete hilarious Halloween line-up.

A Buddy Good Laugh, Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ brand new comedy strand is back this Halloween week with another superb line-up of Scottish comedians primed and ready for devilishly good laughs.

MC’d by Dead Sheep Comedy creator and comic Scott Gibson (regular performer at The Stand Comedy Club) this Thursday’s gig is the perfect remedy for Halloween fatigue.

dead-sheep-comedy-151

First on the bill is acclaimed comic, storyteller and social commentator Bruce Morton. A founder of the Funny Farm Collective in 1989, Bruce is credited for kick-starting the burgeoning Scottish comedy scene and has not stopped since. Nominated for a Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for his show Sin, Bruce is has since written and starred in comedies for TV, radio and theatre.

Winner of the 2003 Chortle Award for Best Breakthrough Act, The Reverend Obadiah Steppenwolf III is a regular feature on BBC 2’s Live Floor Show. With his heavy metal music, black leather and sunglasses, he is definitely not what you would describe as a run-of-the-mill evangelist. Having managed to offend virtually every religious group and been barred from most places of worship, The Reverend has continued to spread the word of the Lord in comedy clubs up and down the UK. Comedy fans take note: The Reverend is not for the faint hearted or the easily offended!

TV presenter, broadcaster and Scottish stand-up legend Des Clarke completes the line-up for this Thursday’s show. Once an exciting rising star on the Scottish comedy scene, Des’ high energy humour has taken him to the Edinburgh Festival every year since 2001, the Glasgow Comedy Festival and further afield to New York, Dubai and Adelaide, earning him legions of new fans along the way. Away from stand-up, Des can be heard weekdays hosting the Capitol FM Breakfast show.

A Buddy Good Laugh will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Thursday 31st October. Doors open 8.15pm and the show starts 8.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£8 conc) and can be booked in person at the Box Office in Paisley Arts Centre, by phone on 0300 300 1210 or online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/onlinebooking

Photograph above taken for www.paisley.org.uk by Alex Kyle Photography.

Observations on a Colony of Adders, Slow-worms and Common Lizards on Loch Lomondside.

Paisley Natural History Society is continuing its autumn programme of evening talks with an illustrated talk by Chris McInerny, University of Glasgow on Thursday 7 November at 7.30pm in Paisley Museum.

'Red Squirrel' by Mike CruiseA colony of reptiles on the east shore of Loch Lomond was monitored intensively during 2012 to understand population numbers, distribution, movements and biology throughout the year. Large numbers of European Adder, Vipera berus, Slow-worm Anguis fragilis and Common Lizard Zootoca vivipara were found. This talk will describe these observations and outline an environmental mitigation plan for a proposed hydroelectric scheme for this site.

So if you’re interested in Scotland’s native reptiles and want to find out more about the species and the challenges face by new developments and proposals, this is the talk for you.

This talk is free and open to everyone, just come along.

www.paisleynaturalhistorysociety.org.uk

Scottish Property Valuation Rolls for 1920 Go Online.

‘Homes fit for heroes’? New historical records offer a fascinating snapshot of Scottish society in the wake of the First World War

The names and addresses of more than 2.6 million people living in Scotland during the post-WW1 period will be published online at 10am on Monday 28 October, as records of Scottish properties in 1920 are released on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, the government’s family history website.

scotlandspeople_logoComprising over 76,000 digital images taken from 169 volumes, these new records – known as Valuation Rolls – cover every type of property in Scotland that was assessed as having a rateable value in 1920. As the records contain details for the owners and occupiers of properties, they will offer genealogists and historians fresh insight into Scottish society in 1920.

Each Valuation Roll entry on the website is fully searchable by name and address, with the records listing the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property – in many cases occupations are also included. As the Rolls include all types of property, from castles and mansions to crofts and tenements, in turn, the records also include people from across the whole social spectrum.

The Rolls also reveal some fascinating trends in Scotland’s social history at this time, such as the building of the first council housing estate, and the growth of urban allotments and gardens cultivated by working-class gardeners to achieve self-sufficiency. The Rolls also reveal the widespread disposal of land by owners who faced new tax and other burdens from 1918 onwards, and the opportunities for tenant farmers to buy their own farms.

Researchers at the National Records of Scotland have also been spotting celebrities (and family ancestors of famous people) in the records, and have highlighted entries for Muriel Spark’s father, Sir William Burrell, Sir Harry Lauder, Sir Matt Busby, Bill Shankly, Samuel Peploe and the great-grandparents of The Proclaimers. The researchers have even found a quirky entry for a cottage in Dunblane, named for a poem by Robert Tannahill, the contemporary of Burns.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish Government, said:

“ScotlandsPeople is a wonderful resource that enables Scots, those of Scottish descent and anyone with an interest in Scotland to discover more about our nation’s fascinating family and social history. The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1920 strengthens the digital tapestry of Scotland’s story that is available through Scotland’s national archive.”

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

“The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1920 will be of enormous help for family and local history research, enabling people to discover ancestors and where and how they were living almost a decade after the Census of 1911. The newly-available records are part of the commitment by the National Records of Scotland to improve our service to the public and provide researchers with the resources that they need.”

Annelies van den Belt, the CEO of DC Thomson Family History (formerly known as brightsolid online publishing), who enable the ScotlandsPeople website on behalf of the National Records of Scotland, said:

“We’re very pleased to add this fourth set of Valuation Roll indexes and images to the ScotlandsPeople website – bringing the current total of index entries on the website to over 94 million. These new records will complement the 1895, 1905 and 1915 Valuation Rolls, which have been published over the past 20 months, and will also help family historians who are looking to fill in gaps after the 1911 Census.”

The 1920 Valuation Rolls will be available on the ScotlandsPeople website (www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk), at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick and Inverness.

Tannahill

“Jessie the Flower o’ Dunblane” – Jenny Tennant, the sweetheart and muse of Robert Tannahill

One of Scotland’s finest love songs is undoubtedly “Jessie, the Flower o’ Dunblane”. The words were composed by the famous weaver-poet, Robert Tannahill. On Tannahill’s untimely death in 1810 at the age of 36, a search began to identify the girl immortalised in the poem. Although there were many contenders, it is believed that the real ‘Jessie’ was Jenny Tennant.

Jessie/Jenny had in fact been Tannahill’s sweetheart and muse for some three years, yet the poet believed she had been unfaithful. Tannahill then composed another poem to Jessie, this time entitled ‘Farewell’.

Jessie/Jenny was born in Braeport, Dunblane. A cottage, erected in 1808 on the site of her birthplace, can still be seen.

In the Valuation Roll entry included below, it’s possible to see the title of the poem in the ‘Description’ column (line number 504). The description reads:

“Cottage site of Birthplace of ‘Jessie, the Flower of Dunblane’, Windyhill Cot.”

We think this is the only Valuation Roll entry for 1920 (or any other year) that contains the title of a poem.

Valuation Roll entry for “Jessie, the Flower o’ Dunblane” – VR113/66/592

The ScotlandsPeople Media Website

To download images and stories for the launch of the 1920 Valuation Rolls, as well as background information and statistics, visit the ScotlandsPeople Media Website:

– http://media.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

Paisley Christmas Lights

Paisley Christmas Light Switch on 2013.

Tinchy Stryder and The View play Paisley

Lights set to twinkle alongside A-list stars

This year’s Paisley Christmas Lights switch-on promises to be bigger and better than ever before, with not one, but two headline acts performing on Saturday 16 November.

UK hip-hop star Tinchy Stryder and Dundee rockers The View will be on hand to kick off the celebrations alongside boyband Mr Meanor, female pop sensation Alexa, the Clyde 1 Roadshow DJs, and Santa Claus with his reindeer.

SATURDAY 16TH NOVEMBER, 2013

12 NOON REINDEER PARADE COMMENCES FROM GILMOUR STREET

1PM CLYDE ONE ROADSHOW COMMENCES

1.10PM MAGIC SHOW

2.00PM MR MEANOR

3.00PM ALEXA

3.30PM FLYING JALAPENOS

4.30PM TINCHY STRYDER

5.30PM THE VIEW

5.55PM PROVOST & COMPETITION WINNER

6.00PM LIGHTS SWITCH-ON

Tinchy Stryder will take to the stage performing his biggest hits, including new single Help Me. With two top 10 albums, seven top 10 singles, Tinchy will get the party started in style.

Tinchy Stryder

With two number one singles under his belt and collaborations with acts such as Taio Cruz, Wiley, Pixie Lott and Calvin Harris, Tinchy will bring a show never been seen before in Paisley.

The View formed in 2005 when four schoolmates got together and started writing music.

Two years later, they emerged with the Mercury-nominated, chart-topping debut album Hats Off To The Buskers and embarked on huge tours, tearing up stages across the globe.

Three albums later, including two in the top ten, countless Best Album awards and numerous top ten singles the band are now older, wiser and ready.

Before the big finale there is a terrific line-up throughout the day. Starting with the traditional reindeer parade at noon from Gilmour Street, which this year will be led by Santa Claus himself!

Completing the musical line-up is Mr Meanor, a four-piece pop/R&B boyband with members from the US and UK and YouTube sensation Alexa.

On the main stage in Gauze Street the Clyde 1 Roadshow team with DJs Gina McKie, Romeo and Gavin Pearson will be ready to kick-off the live entertainment from 1pm.

They’ll introduce all the top performers, as well as playing music and offering some great giveaways and prizes throughout the afternoon.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall will hit the Big Red Paisley Christmas Light Switch on 2013 button at 6pm.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Paisley’s Christmas lights switch-on ceremony has established itself as being the best way to start the Christmas season.

“This year’s line-up will again draw a huge crowd to Paisley town centre for the performances and the programme of activities and entertainments going on throughout the day.

“Renfrewshire Council has invested in our events programme to support businesses and boost the regeneration of Paisley town centre. The Christmas Lights switch-on is a highlight of that approach.

“We are continuing to work with the local business community on their continuing involvement in and support of the town centre events programme.

“Last year almost 40,000 people came in to Paisley town centre for this exciting annual event. We’re all looking forward to another fantastic day in Paisley.”

Information courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.

clyde-commonwealth-games

Renfrewshire searches for community champs to star in Queen’s Baton Relay.

Renfrewshire’s Provost wants residents to nominate their local heroes to have a starring role in the final leg of a global journey – as the area gets set to host the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay

The baton will travel across the globe through the 70 nations and territories of the Commonwealth before a final 40-day lap the length and breadth of Scotland.

On Thursday 17 July it will make a visit to Renfrewshire – the official ‘Gateway to the Games’ – with a day of special events and sporting taster sessions arranged in each of the area’s towns and villages.

clyde-commonwealth-games

Renfrewshire Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland need up to 100 people to be given the honour of carrying this unique symbol of the Commonwealth Games through Renfrewshire towards the Opening Ceremony of the Games.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said; “The Commonwealth Games coming to Scotland is a hugely exciting prospect and we look forward to seeing the Queen’s Baton travel through Renfrewshire.

“The organisers are looking for those who have made a contribution to their community to have the honour of carrying the baton and I know there are many deserving examples in the area.

“I would encourage everyone who thinks they know of a suitable candidate to put their name forward to be a batonbearer.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to try each of the 17 Commonwealth sports and five para sports at venues and sports centres throughout the area. Venues and clubs already signed up include the Linwood ON-X Sports Centre, Victory Baths in Renfrew, Paisley Rugby Club and the Johnstone Wheelers Cycling Club.

An evening of cultural entertainment, from each of the countries involved in the 2014 Games, is planned for Paisley Town Centre, featuring live music, food, drink and more.

Until 22 November anyone can nominate their own local champions to be batonbearers.

To be a batonbearer, people are required to:

  • Be 12 years or older at the date of nomination
  • Have made a positive contribution to the lives of others through community sport
  • Undertaken voluntary work or contributed to schools or youth organisations
  • Contributed towards greater inclusion for disadvantaged or marginalised sectors of the community
  • Been a role model or mentor to youth through sport
  • Displayed a level of individual achievement against the odds
  • Made a significant contribution to their local community

Nominations can be made online from today on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games website on www.glasgow2014.com.

A judging panel including representatives from a wide cross section of Scottish community organisations will assist to select the successful nominations for each local authority area.

Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman Michael Cavanagh said: “The Queen’s Baton Relay is the ultimate symbol of the Commonwealth Games and its arrival in Scotland gives an important signal to both the athletes and the public that the Games are just around the corner.

“It’s important as many people as possible feel part of this special moment and from today there’s a chance for everyone to nominate the people in their street, village, town or city that they would like to see honoured as batonbearers.

“This is a real chance to recognise the efforts everyday champions that make a real difference to their and we look forward to seeing them centre stage in their communities when Glasgow and Scotland’s Queen’s Baton Relay makes its memorable final journey to the Games.”

Over 248 days and 190,000km the baton visit all the nations and territories of the Commonwealth and it will be the first baton ever to visit Rwanda. The international journey of the baton will be captured by global adventurer Mark Beaumont who will report for the BBC.

The baton will be relayed on its journey by Emirates, the Official Airline of the Queen’s Baton Relay and an official Partner of Glasgow 2014.

russell institute

Progress in the bid to restore the iconic Russell Institute building.

Bid to restore iconic building making progress

Renfrewshire Council is making progress in its efforts to bring one of Paisley’s architectural gems back to life.

The iconic Russell Institute building has been put up for sale by its owners, the NHS, but needs substantial work.

Renfrewshire Council has been working with the Paisley Development Trust, a group of local volunteers dedicated to the regeneration of the town, to find a tenant.

russell institute

An organisation has been lined up to move into the former health centre – but the deal is conditional on funding being secured to pay for the restoration work.

The council has applied for a Scottish Government regeneration grant to meet a chunk of the cost – and bosses will hear soon if they have been successful.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “The Russell Institute is an iconic site in the centre of Paisley but sadly it is in need of investment.

“We have an understanding with the NHS where – if we can help secure a tenant – the health service will dispose of the building.

“We are now waiting to hear whether the Scottish Government is willing to back the efforts of the community to bring this important building back into use.

“The council is determined to make use of the area’s superb architectural heritage – which has already been on show this month, having been commented on by many of the visitors we had for the Royal National Mòd.

“In terms of our wider efforts to make the most of the area’s built assets, this year has already seen Paisley Town Hall reopen after a major investment.

“We have also had the continuation of the Townscape Heritage Initiative, including public realm works in Causeyside Street and the restoration of Paisley Arts Centre.”

The Paisley Development Trust commissioned a feasibility study into the condition of the building, which formed the basis for the grant application.

Piero Pieraccini, the trust’s chair, added: “We would like to thank all the people who made a contribution to the funds for the feasibility study.

“We are delighted that there is a future for the building and hopefully we will be involved in that.”

The council is due to hear in November whether its stage-two application to the Scottish Government Regeneration Grant Fund has been successful. If not, other funding sources will be considered.

The Category A-listed Russell Institute sits on the corner of New Street and Causeyside Street and was opened in 1927.

It was gifted to Paisley Burgh by Miss Agnes Russell, who wanted it to be used as a child welfare clinic as a memorial to her two brothers.

The building is notable for the distinctive bronze and stone sculptures on the exterior walls, and was used as a health centre until it closed in 2011.

Lady Lane Theatre Company.

A new theatre group for Renfrewshire has been formed and will be holding Readings for a new Scottish play to be produced in the Spring.  It is hoped that the production will also tour to areas of Renfrewshire that do not normally see theatre on the doorstep .

theatre-faces

The group’s  name is: Lady Lane Theatre Company,  and is home-based in the well-appointed Central Hall in Lady Lane, Paisley. The aims are to further broaden Paisley’s reputation as a burgeoning centre of excellence for the arts, and to provide access to good theatre for everyone.

The auditions are to be held on November 20th, at 7 p.m.  Anyone interested in taking part in the group’s activities should come along. If you have other skills apart from acting that you fancy offering a community group, please come along also.

The contact address for more info. is: paisleyladylane3@gmail.com

The company is a not-for-profit enterprise and no fees or expenses can be given, with all surplus going to rents, purchases and future productions.  A small donation at meetings if it can be afforded will be used to defray running costs.