Paisley Town Hall view from top

How can you invest in your local economy?


Across the UK, companies in most sectors are beginning to report improved order books and profit margins as the economy begins to expand following the longest recession for decades. Ever since the last General Election in 2010, the government has consistently hammered home its view that new start-ups were the best hope for reducing unemployment and kick-starting growth. In addition, it suggested that entrepreneurs establishing companies in regions where old industries had been overtaken by new technology or where production had been moved overseas, had a key role to play in reviving the communities in which they live.

Paisley Town Hall view from top

A typical example of such an area is Paisley, Renfrewshire. Situated some 10 miles west of Glasgow, the town grew up around the weaving industry, which became established there in the 19th century and continued to be a major employer until as recently as the early 1990s. Throughout this period, shipbuilding also employed a significant number of workers, but this, along with associated engineering works, declined rapidly during the 1950s and 60s. Today, the only companies of any size still operating in the town are Chivas Brothers (whiskey blenders) and Ciba Geigy (pigment manufacturing). However, Renfrewshire Council has its HQ there, both the University of the West of Scotland and West College Scotland have campuses, and nearby Glasgow Airport employs a significant number of local people, though nothing like the numbers employed by the cotton industry during the 1930s when a single mill had 28,000 on its payroll.


In an effort to attract new investment into the region, Renfrewshire Council has set up a programme ‘Invest in Renfrewshire’, which is designed to assist entrepreneurs and potential investors by providing information on locating business premises, offering advice on how to expand existing businesses, and accessing loan finance. It also aims to help local people find work, provides careers advice and helps them access training courses.


Websites such as this are an invaluable source of information when considering where and how to invest in this particular region, but there are also multinational investment companies that have an important part to play. A quick search on the internet will bring up a whole host of companies specialising in advising their clients on how to put together portfolios designed to maximise the return on investment. A typical example of what to look for is the Fisher Investments Flickr page, which sets out, in the form of images and graphics, the economic data, and firm information. Start-up companies are invariably riskier than blue chip multinationals, but the potential for realising a higher return on investment can be extremely attractive. Another option is to seek advice from companies that specialise in investing – their employees are financial experts, offering guidance on which local companies have the management structure in place to make a success of whatever venture they are involved in.


How to invest locally


There are a number of ways an investor can make a difference to the economy in their community.

One of the simplest options is to move to a local bank or credit union; these institutions invest funds in local enterprises and are responsible for providing around 50% of all loans to small businesses.

Another options is to get together with a group of friends and business associates to set up a local investment club. The members’ cash is then pooled to provide a loan fund for businesses in need of expansion funding.

Become a ‘business investment angel’. ‘Angels’ invest in a particular company, often a start-up, in return for a share of the business. In addition, they also take an active interest in the day-to-day running of the company and in the strategic decision making process. Though up to 50% of angels never see a profit or may even lose it all, there is always the chance that the business will eventually succeed and begin to turn a profit. If all is lost, tax breaks, in the form of the Enterprise Investment Scheme may help soften the blow.

Crowd funding has become a popular source of funding in recent years and can be extremely successful. Local authorities have been quick to recognise the potential and regularly form partnerships with crowd funding platforms such as Abundance, Crowdcube, Seedrs and Unbound.

Investors who are prepared to spend some time researching local businesses and getting to know their owners should not be at a disadvantage in terms of the return they can expect to receive when compared to those who purchase stocks and bonds in companies quoted in the FTSE100. What’s more, they are likely to have the satisfaction of seeing the benefits their investment strategy brings to their local community as it becomes more affluent and unemployment falls.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]New plans to merge local authority and NHS services for adults have been given the green light by Renfrewshire Council.

The move is designed to help adults in Renfrewshire enjoy longer, healthier lives, lived in their own homes. It will also help local services work together to deliver the Scottish Government’s nine national health and wellbeing goals at a local level.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

The plans were approved at the council meeting on Thursday 26 February.

Renfrewshire Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde will now set up the Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) Integration Joint Board (IJB) to oversee the effective design and delivery of services.

The IJB will be responsible for a £200m budget for local services. A key aim will be to join up community services so that they work effectively together and with those provided by hospitals and GPs.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Mark Macmillan, said, “The council has taken a pioneering approach to partnership working and a number of joint social work and NHS teams are already delivering real benefits for Renfrewshire residents.

“Our Reablement Team offers a range of services designed to help people recover their independence and stay in their own homes. It includes occupational therapists, speech therapists, physiotherapists, stroke nurses and home carers.

“The team is a one-stop shop for clients. It gives them easy access to a range of health care specialists, allowing all their needs to be addressed as efficiently as possible.

“Another example is our Integrated Alcohol Team which includes nurses, psychology, occupational therapy, social worker and family support staff. It follows the same model as the Reablement Team, bringing together all the specialists that people with alcohol problems need to address their addiction effectively. It also minimises duplication and uses shared resources more effectively.

“I fully expect that bringing all of Renfrewshire’s health and social care services together will build on these success stories and make a significant contribution to the health and wellbeing of local people.”

David Leese, the Health and Social Care Partnership’s Chief Officer Designate, said, “In Renfrewshire, we are already seeing benefits from health and social care services working together. The creation of this new partnership will provide a platform to build upon so we can deliver the best possible services for the local community.”

While the board will include workers from both Renfrewshire Council and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde the staff will remain employees of their parent organisation.

The Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership Integration Joint Board is being set up under the Public Bodies (Joint Working) (Scotland) Act 2014. Similar partnerships are being established across the country.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

johnstone castle

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The first phase of work on the regeneration of housing in Johnstone Castle has begun.

Demolition of the first vacant block of flats is now underway. The six flats, at Sycamore Avenue, are the first of 48 blocks of tenement flats that will be demolished as part of the programme to regenerate housing in Johnstone Castle.

The project will see the demolition of a number of low demand tenement flats and the construction of new houses.

johnstone castle

(Johnstone Castle photograph courtesy of )
Good progress is also being made in re-housing tenants affected by the plans to allow for the newbuild plans to proceed.

The first phase of tenant moves began at the end of last year and the council has made contact with every tenant affected to discuss their rehousing options.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “I am delighted to see work beginning on this exciting project that will transform Johnstone Castle.

“It is a long term plan which will see low demand, outdated tenement flats being replaced with high quality, modern homes that better meet the needs of the community. It is also part of the council’s wider plan to deliver 1000 new affordable homes in Renfrewshire by 2020.

“We have had great support from the local residents so far and we will continue to work closely with them to keep them informed of progress and to ensure that those who wish to stay in Johnstone Castle, wherever possible, get the chance to do so.”

The contractor has had to close off the play park immediately adjacent to the building at Sycamore Avenue for site protection and safety reasons. The play park will reopen once the demolition on the site is finished.

As well as work starting on site, the Johnstone Castle Housing Regeneration (JCHR) Project Group has held its first two meetings.

This group is made up of tenants and officers from the council’s Housing Regeneration team and will play a key role in communicating information and issues between the council and the community.

As well as the project group, members of the Housing Regeneration Team are holding weekly drop-in sessions in Johnstone Castle Community Centre on a Wednesday and Thursday, 9am – 11am.

If your home is one of those affected by the plans and you have questions about rehousing and demolition, or you are a private owner with a query please pop in to see them. They will be happy to talk to you and answer any queries.

It is really important that all the households affected by the regeneration plans have completed a housing application form. If you are affected and have not yet completed a housing application please contact the Johnstone Neighbourhood Office on 0141 618 2581.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]When Harry and Jill decided to move their successful digital agency from a fancy Glasgow office to a converted bridal studio in Lochwinnoch, not everyone was convinced they were thinking straight, but since moving to Renfrewshire in October the company has not only significantly reduced their costs, they’ve nearly doubled their business!

Kuka Studios started as a web and digital agency in 2006, and made their name in Glasgow, but with clients spread across Scotland and England, their physical base didn’t seem to have an impact on where their clients came from.

Specialising in all aspects of online marketing including web design and social media, it’s not surprising that location wasn’t a big factor for the team, as most of their business is completed online. What is surprising is that the move has opened up markets of offline work which they did not have in the more competitive city centre, forcing the team to quickly upgrade all of their printing equipment to cope with the demand!

“The move to Renfrewshire has been the best decision our company has ever made.” Said Jill, “We’ve hired some fantastic local talent. I just wish we’d moved sooner!”

At Kuka Studios, the team believes that everything revolves around customer service and satisfaction – the majority of their business still comes from word of mouth, showing that relocation hasn’t stopped existing customers recommending their services and coming back for more themselves!

“In an industry where we can survive on 5 customers a year, you’ve brought us 15 in the last 6 months! I am absolutely delighted with everything you have done.” MGH Scotland

“An initial meeting with clients where a brief is outlined is all we need to work our magic. Clients are kept up to date with proceedings regularly and communication is only ever a phone call or e-mail away. Our customers are scattered all over the UK and even some in Europe. We still deliver the same great results regardless of location.” says Marketing Executive Caroline.

Since the relocation Kuka Studios has expanded its services as well as its team and are now offering print services in Renfrewshire to businesses and consumers.


RAMH hi-res logo

RAMH enables people to recover from mental ill health, and to build independent, fulfilled lives.

RAMH hi-res logo


We do this in 6 ways:
• by providing immediate support in crisis situations
• by supporting people in their own homes with individualised care and practical support
• by providing day services including social and educational groups, drop-in facilities, and supporting recovery and continued well-being
• by providing counselling to young people within their schools, and to adults in the community
• by supporting carers, family and friends through education and information
• by raising awareness to overcome misconceptions around mental health


Did you know?
• 1 in 4 people in Scotland will experience a mental health problem this year
• RAMH provides 250,000 hours of face to face support, in local communities, every year
• RAMH provides support for mental health diagnosis from depression to self-harm, bipolar disorder to anxiety issues.
• RAMH provides 83,601 interventions every year; that is 229 per day, 7 days per week
• RAMH directly supports 4,000 local people per year, and estimates it has a positive impact on 12,000 people per year
• RAMH was founded in 1978 to offer support and to campaign for support for those experiencing mental health problems
• Since 1990 RAMH has provided professional care and services to those affected by mental ill health
• RAMH spends over 90 pence in every pound directly on care and services

Culture Club

The Culture Club is a new social club for people interested in cultural events and sharing the experience with others.


For more information please visit or visit their Facebook Page or follow on Twitter.

Pirates 14-15 headshots__36

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Ice hockey players have the reputation of being tough guys, and Paisley Pirates’ defender Chris Turley certainly lived up to that image last weekend.

In the course of his team’s match against Moray Typhoons in the Scottish National League on Sunday, Chris took a challenge from an opponent, and immediately knew what had happened. “I’ve been playing ice hockey for a long time now, ever since I was a kid, picking up a few injuries along the way, and had dislocated my shoulder before. I realised it had come out again, and needed to get it sorted right away.”

Pirates 14-15 headshots__36


(Picture courtesy of Al Goold Photo)

His brother, and team coach, Ian Turley, told him he’d need to sit out the rest of the game because of the injury but tough guy Chris decided that dislocation or no dislocation, he was seeing out the rest of the game.

Drawing on the example set by Mel Gibson in the “Lethal Weapon” series of films, he set about remedying the situation by knocking his shoulder back into place without the aid of an anaesthetic and, problem sorted, went back out to help his team to an 11-1 win.

“He’s my brother, so I know better than anyone how daft he can be,” commented coach Ian Turley“, but it just goes to show how much our guys will go through to play for the Pirates, and he does it for the love of the game.

He’s been our rock a number of times with last minute challenges and important goals, although I think he took the comparison a bit far this time! I don’t know how many players could do what he did, but he’s a very important player for us, and Sunday just showed the level of commitment which he, and indeed the rest of the squad, give to this club every time they go out to represent the Paisley Pirates. It’s that kind of attitude which shows just how special this club is, and what it means to team members to play for it.”

Paisley Pirates[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]A Guatemalan farmer is visiting Renfrewshire to pass on his experience of how Fairtrade has transformed the prospects for his rural community.

Ismael Diaz Rivas will be visiting schools, businesses and community groups during Fairtrade Fortnight, which runs from 23 February to 8 March.

Ismael is president of the CIPAC cooperative which operates in the North West of Guatemala and currently comprises 140 members- 105 of which are beekeepers, 20 are coffee producers and 15 operating in both markets.

Being part of a Fairtrade cooperative allows Ismael, and his community, to benefit from increased income, training, technical assistance, investment in facilities and access to loans. Without this help the producers would struggle to earn enough money to have a basic standard of living.

Ismael will be taking his place as one of the judges for the Renfrewshire Fairtrade bake off on Saturday 28 February, which will see bakers battle it out to take first place by using as many Fairtrade ingredients as possible in their creation. All are welcome to attend, taste the cakes after the judging and learn more about Fairtrade.

Councillor Jim Sharkey, Chair of the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome Ismael to Renfrewshire to help us celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight and I’m sure his visit will prove inspiring for all those who cross his path.

“A tremendous amount of work takes place by many committed individuals and organisations in Renfrewshire and it is fantastic to see this work vindicated by Ismael’s appreciation and kind words.

“Having had experience in the co-operative movement myself, it is great to meet a fellow cooperator and see that this method of working can be mirrored in different countries and organisations.

“I am looking forward to taking my place alongside Ismael judging the Renfrewshire Fairtrade bake off on Saturday at Paisley Town Hall. I would urge people to come along to meet Ismael and hear his fascinating life story.”

Rainbow Turtle will host a Traidcraft Big Brew at the Renfrewshire Fairtrade Bake Off, selling Fair Trade tea, coffee and cakes for everyone at the Bake Off and raising money for the Traidcraft exchange. Fairtrade goods will also be in offer at the Rainbow Turtle stall.

For more information, visit[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Young political hopefuls held their very own question time when they got the chance to grill Renfrewshire Council’s leader and chief executive.

Seven of the ten candidates standing for election met with Councillor Mark Macmillan and Sandra Black at the Council Chambers in Renfrewshire House.

Posing questions about child poverty, the minimum wage and education attainment, the candidates learned how decisions are made and resources are used to meet key priorities of the council.

Councillor Macmillan said: “It was a great opportunity to meet the candidates standing for election in Renfrewshire. They have a passion and drive to speak out for young people and make things better and I was pleased to take the time to answer some of their questions.

“The Scottish Youth Parliament is an important part of our democracy and I think it’s good to see things happening because of it. Last year, the council supported the CareFairShare campaign and helped to implement fairer pay for young carers.

“The candidates are all on the campaign trail and although only five can be elected, all the candidates can make a difference for young people by continuing their involvement in local youth forums, like Renfrewshire Youth Voice.”

Sandra Black, who will act as Returning Officer at the SYP elections, said: “Giving the candidates a chance to ask questions was really important and I’m sure they got as much out of it as I did.”

“On 13 March, I will be announcing the results of the election and I hope that the candidates, regardless of being elected or not, will have enjoyed the experience and being involved in the democratic process.”

Young people aged 12 to 25 can vote online from Monday 2 March until Thursday 12 March at 5pm on Polling stations will be available at schools, the University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland, the Employability Hub on Gauze Street and at Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street in Paisley.

For more information, visit[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

FF Ferguslie Core Team (12)

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]A unique council service to give Renfrewshire’s children the best start in life through increased support for their families has now generated £500,000 in support for local households that they didn’t know they were entitled to.

Advice Works staff based in the First Families teams have been working closely with families to help them access support they are entitled to such as the Warm Home Discount, Tax Credits and other government benefits.

And more than 250 families have received one-to-one support from member of the Families First teams across the two areas on issues ranging from parenting support and health and well being to maximising household income and budgeting.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Education Convener, said: “Our Families First Core Teams provide responsive, on-the-ground support for families in Linwood and Ferguslie who have young children. I am absolutely delighted that the teams have helped local families to access a staggering half a million pounds in support that they weren’t receiving because they didn’t know they were entitled to.

“Our multi-million pound investment in our Families First programme is a key part of this council’s drive to tackle child poverty in Renfrewshire and to close the attainment gap between high and low income households. We want to help families thrive.

“I’m pleased that investing heavily in our early year’s strategy and developing it into the Families First programme has had a positive impact. We’ve heard first hand from families who tell us the core team support has been invaluable to them and from parents who say they were barely coping before Advice Works helped them access support. We’ll keep working hard to make sure families are receiving the help that they are entitled to.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Paisley Museum

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]The annual children’s art exhibition Inspired opens at Paisley Museum this week, showcasing the very best creative talent from Renfrewshire schools. The exhibition is free, and will run from Saturday 21 February to Friday 17 April.

Paisley Museum

The aim of the exhibition is to showcase the work developed in art and design in all education establishments and to profile how children’s skills progress from the early works of 3 and 4 year olds through to the sophisticated and talented pieces which form a Fifth or Sixth Year pupil’s folio for national qualifications. Inspired is intended to be exactly that – a reflection of the personal perspective of the young artist and the things which inspire them.

The exhibition continues to gain in importance with the ongoing development in Scotland of A Curriculum for Excellence. The arts are now recognised as key to children and young people’s growing self confidence, self awareness and self esteem and ultimately in meeting their potential as successful learners, confident individuals and effective contributors.

This year’s exhibition also incorporates two unique elements:

Ten Pieces: Ten Pieces is an exciting new initiative for Primary Schools led by BBC Learning and the BBC Performing Groups, focusing on classical music and creativity.

This project aims to open up the world of classical music to children and inspire them to develop their own creative responses to the pieces through a variety of art forms, namely; art, music, dance and creative writing.

Pupils from Todholm Primary School, Wallace Primary School and Glencoats Primary School selected paintings from Paisley Museum’s collections which reminded them of the Ten Pieces of music. They were then inspired to create exciting pieces of flash fiction which are displayed alongside the paintings.

National Galleries Winners Exhibition:

An exhibition of the 2014 winners of the Tesco Bank Art Competition for Schools, as organised by the National Galleries of Scotland. This exhibition features work from pupils across Scotland; Schools from all 32 council areas of Scotland participated in the competition, with 16 areas represented by the eventual winners.

And thanks to the National Galleries of Scotland, Renfrewshire schools who submit to this years’ Inspired exhibition will automatically have the chance to have their work considered for the Tesco Bank Art Competition for 2015.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Cultural Policy Board states:

“‘It is wonderful to discover the breadth of artistic talent we have in our schools in Renfrewshire and to see how that talent develops from early years to older children. I am delighted that the Inspired exhibition acts as a showcase for children to present their work and hope this encourages others to participate in our annual children’s art exhibition.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]


[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Renowned for their musicianship and vocal abilities, The Kilkennys have gained a reputation for revitalising traditional Irish music and adding their own touch of passion and youthful energy.

The Kilkennys UK Tour 2015 marks the group’s return to mainland UK and to many venues where they played previously with their acclaimed tribute to the music of The Clancy Brothers – ‘Fine Girl Ye Are.’

Formed at a very young age, The Kilkennys have toured all over Ireland and have taken their music as far afield as Las Vegas, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, Abu Dhabi and the Czech Republic. The band have almost three million YouTube hits and a packed schedule of shows for 2014/2015 all over the world.

Davey Cashin, Rob Campion, Tommy Mackey and Davey Long are excited about bringing their brand of Irish music to a UK audience. Come along to a show and join in the fun for a great evening of music and song! Performing June 21st Paisley Town Hall[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

24th Solihull Arts Centre
25th Blackburn Thwaites Empire
26th Camberley Theatre
28th Cannock Prince of Wales
29th Leeds City Varieties
30th New Brighton Floral Pavilion
1 Corby The Core @ Corby Cube
2nd Harpenden Public Halls
3rd St Helens Royal Theatre
5th Croydon Ashcroft Theatre
6th Bishop Stortford The Rhodes Centre
7th Hayes The Beck Theatre
8th Rhyl Pavilion Theatre
9th Buccleaugh Centre Langholm
10th The Grand Lancaster
12thPreston Charter Theatre
12th Rothes Hall Glenrothes
13th Falkirk Town Hall
14th Webster Theatre Arbroath
17th Eden Court Theatre Inverness
18th Strathpeffer Pavilion
19th Motherwell Theatre
20th Aberdeen Lemon Tree
21st Paisley Town Hall



St Mirren in the Community is now taking bookings for the ever popular Easter Football Camps.
The Camps will run on both weeks of the Easter school holidays (6th to 10th April and 13th to 17th April) from the club’s exclusive Carbrini@JD Airdome and will cater for boys and girls aged 3 to 12 years old.


Places are limited and bookings can be made by going to the St Mirren website downloading and printing the attached booking form, completing it in full and returning it to Ross Paterson, Football Development Officer at the address provided.

For further information please contact Ross Paterson on mobile 07702 287693 or email to