cpe town

You know it’s time for a holiday when you make a cup of tea and you swirl the spoon around in the mug for way too long while staring at your calendar and daydreaming.

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Is it a short stop to Durness or a really good trip to the likes of Camps Bay in Cape Town, South Africa?  Cape Town carries the reputation of being one of the most beautiful cities on the planet, and no matter where you are in and around the city, you have a view of Table Mountain, one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World.

The thing about a trip to the Mother City, from the likes of Scotland, is that your money really goes a long way, and with so many delicious local culinary gems to savour and some of the world’s best wines to sip, could there be a better place?

With no shortage of hotels, it would easy to default to a room along a plush corridor at the foot  of Devil’s Peak, but why not opt for a house in the city or the suburbs to call your home base; like the one’s you’ll find on Housetrip.com.  From there, you can hit the highway to the beach, where you’ll have over 100 miles of sandy beach to choose from, or you can travel for less than an hour and sample some of the world’s finest wines and cheeses, and while you’re in the area, go and stroke a cheetah.

From Cape Town you’re only an hour away from game parks to see the Big 5, or to head over a mountain pass to great trout fishing, hiking and a dip in the clearest mountain lakes you’ve ever seen.

Got more than a week?  Well then you’ve got to head deep inland to enjoy some of the world’s most luxurious game camps and unforgettable game viewing.

Cape Town will change the way you look at holidays.  It delivers some of the finest things in life, brought to you by some of the friendliest and down to earth people you’ll meet.  Got that itch for an exciting breakaway?  Let Cape Town ease it for you, that’s what she does best.

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Renfrewshire Council has backed proposals for a £3million investment in community facilities.

Renfrewshire Council’s community facilities are set to benefit from this fund including Foxbar, Gallowhill, Glenburn and Ralston community centres, Cargill Hall in Bridge of Weir and Johnstone Castle Community Centre.

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Councillors agreed in December 2014 to allocate an additional £1.5million to the investment fund, taking the total to £3million.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Board, said: “The decision in December to extend the fund shows our commitment to these facilities and the communities they serve.

“We have carried out a full strategic assessment and these are the six where we believe the money will have the biggest impact and offer the best outcomes for local residents.

“That involves targeting investment at facilities which offer the main access to facilities for the local community, or looking at where investment also benefits co-located services such as libraries.

“We will also use the fund for works required in other community centres. Once we have assessed all of the information returned in the condition surveys of each building, we will discuss these with the management committees involved.”

A further report will be brought to council later in the year outlining the scope of works required at each of the facilities involved.

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St.Mirren Fans Council launch new supporters club – SMFC1877 Club

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The St.Mirren Fans Council are launching a new supporters club in conjunction with St.Mirren FC with the prime aim of providing a permanent supporters club in the current void area in the main stand on match days.

 

The club will offer the following:

  • Sports Bar / Café, offering alcoholic and non- alcoholic drinks.
  • Bar meals and snacks.
  • Large TV screens with Sky Sports
  • Kids Zone with play stations and X boxes.
  • Meet both current and former players, pre and post match.
  • Discount at club shop.
  • Discount for booking functions.
  • Founder Members named on supporters club wall.

 

The club is launched immediately and we only have 300 membership places available due to the capacity of the area. If you are interested please apply as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

There will be a monthly membership fee and an initial “Founding Members” Fee.

Memberships will be provided on a first come, first served basis and as such it is essential you return your application by applying on line at www.supportsmfc.co.uk

Please note application for membership does not confirm acceptance of membership.

A further communication will follow confirming your membership and requesting your Founder Members joining fee if you are successful.

More information is available at the Fans Council website www.supportsmfc.co.uk

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Paisley’s annual celebration of the town’s unique textile heritage is back for another year and is gearing up to be even bigger and better than ever.

Sma’ Shot Day – one of the oldest workers’ festivals in the world – will return for another day-long entertainment extravaganza on Saturday 4 July.

The day will kick off at noon with the traditional historic parade from Brodie Park to Abbey Close, which this year will be even better than ever.

Outdoor arts specialists Walk the Plank are on board to animate the parade and help tell the story of how the town’s weavers won a 19th-century industrial dispute.

Abbey Close will be a hub of activity from noon to 5pm, with attractions including live music from Create Paisley and theatre from PACE on stage, outdoor stalls and funfair, giant games and inflatables.

There will also be an outdoor food market as well as the Slug in a Bottle market with a mix of vintage items and craft and design, before the daytime events end with the traditional Burning of the Cork.

There will also be a tea dance in Paisley Town Hall from 1 to 3pm, with free tickets available now Paisley Arts Centre.

And for the first time there will be an evening programme in Paisley Arts Centre from 7.30pm, featuring a Sma’ Shot Bigshot poetry slam, and a showcase of the 2020 film project run by the youth group Create Paisley.

Anybody who wants to take part in the parade still has the opportunity – with two creative camps set to take place this weekend (27 and 28 June) at Thomas Coats Memorial Church from 10am to 2pm and 2pm to 6pm.

The free-to-attend workshops will give those taking part the chance to make their own costumes and props for the parade, and to book your place, email towncentres@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Provost Anne Hall, who will be at the head of the parade on the day alongside local community activist Tony Lawler, who traditionally carries the Charleston Drum, said: “Sma’ Shot Day is always a highlight in the area’s summer events calendar.

“It’s always a fun and well-attended family day out and I am looking forward to getting out and about on the day and meeting people.

“The day is utterly unique to Paisley and celebrates an important part of our history as the one-time centre of the world’s textile industry.

“Celebrating that heritage will be a crucial part of the town’s upcoming bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021.”

Residents and visitors can also visit the Sma’ Shot Cottages in Shuttle Street between noon and 4pm.

Volunteers will be in period costume and will conduct guided tours, and the tearoom will be open for lunch, tea and coffee.

Sma’ Shot Day celebrate the town’s proud textile history by marking the victory of Paisley’s weavers in an industrial dispute of the 19th century.

The weavers didn’t receive payment for the Sma’ (small) Shot thread, which was unseen but held together the famous Paisley-patterned cashmere shawls.

A long fight and political battle ensued which the weavers eventually won and renamed the traditional July holiday Sma’ Shot Day.

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Renfrewshire will be the first Scottish council to set up a fund to help parents living in hardship meet the cost of the school day – as part of a £6m child poverty package approved today.

The £280,000 pot will help parents meet costs like school trips and activities, and forms part of a proposed schools package that will also pump an extra £1.16m into the area’s literacy resources to cut the attainment gap.

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As part of Renfrewshire’s £6m child poverty fighting fund – that was unanimously approved – the council will launch a £410,000 task team of job experts to forge lasting links between pupils and the world of work and training, and will also initiate work that could reform outdated childcare arrangements.

The childcare boost will invest £50,000 into a new childcare task force and £50,000 to offer immediate help to parents who need childcare to get to job interviews and training, as part of a two-pronged bid to stop traditional childcare being a barrier to parents moving into work.

The funding allocation comes months after the ground-breaking Renfrewshire Tackling Poverty Commission findings and recommendations were unanimously backed by Renfrewshire Council.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire Council Leader, said: “The Poverty Commission told us that the cost of the school day has a major impact on families who live below the breadline and I want to put a safety net in place to offer them immediate help with costs like materials, trips and other activities.

“More than half of our £6m poverty fund – £3.3million – will deliver a unique schools package to improve early years and close the attainment gap between high and low income households. Let me be absolutely clear – I want all of Renfrewshire’s children to have the same opportunities, and this allocation will see us step up investment in every stage of school.

“We’ll target support to high school pupils to develop our young workforce and make sure young people who live in poverty are supported and resilient. This will be done through a new, pioneering task force to make sure pupils can have a direct link into work and training, and will be backed up by a £400,000 youth mental health programmes in our high schools.

“We’ll also step up Renfrewshire’s literacy approach in our primary schools and bring it into line with the needs of local children. £1.16m will be pumped into improving reading, writing and parental involvement and will boost primacy school resources to make sure children from low-income households are given more intensive support and intervention to stop them falling behind.

“The Commission also told us that childcare hasn’t kept pace with changing work patterns or issues like zero-hours contracts and the fact it’s now a barrier to work and training is completely unacceptable. Families with children are the biggest group living in poverty, but are often unable to take on work due to inflexible and expensive childcare – so I welcome our £100,000 childcare investment that will offer immediate support and initiate detailed work to consider local childcare reforms.”

The £6m package will target a range of areas in a bid to lift families out of hardship including transport, jobs, training, youth mental health, schools, housing, family support, regeneration and fuel and food poverty.

Councillor Macmillan added: “Allocation of our £6m poverty fund marks a unique and bold approach to tackling inequality at a local level. It will invest in a far-reaching package of new interventions and will expand successful and proven approaches, as we work to make sure tackling poverty is central to everything we do.”

Key investment from the £6m fund:

£3.3million allocation into improving early years and closing the attainment gap. This includes roll-out of the council’s successful Families First support programme to Gallowhill, Foxbar and Johnstone, and £1.16m for a new literacy programme to step up efforts to close the attainment gap. The education package also includes £280,000 to address the cost of the school day and £410,000 for a new task force of experts to help pupils build links with the world of work and training.

£400,000 to target youth mental health by expanding school counselling services, rolling out peer mentoring across all Renfrewshire secondary schools, and taking forward personal and social development programmes in high schools.

£100,000 on transport assistance: This will offer immediate support to residents who need help with travel costs to get to job interviews and training. The money will also allow work to be taken forward to look into longer-term solutions to transport costs being a barrier to accessing work and training.
£260,000 to boost the digital and financial abilities of people living in poverty– including a digital skills training in local libraries
£490,000 to overhaul and improve advice services – including £170,000 for an energy advice task team.
£60,000 to Renfrewshire foodbank. The council will also investigate providing fuel cards for food bank users.
£60,000 to extend the successful Healthier Wealthier Children project – which targets financial support towards pregnant women and families with young children – with more focus on vulnerable groups like those facing addiction issues.

£125,000 to continue the Children Experiencing Domestic Abuse Recovery (CEDAR) programme to ensure support is targeted towards children and families suffering from the impact of domestic violence.
£240,000 to improve health and well-being through access to arts and cultural activity for vulnerable people, working with schools and the wider community.

£90,000 for a new sports leadership programme for young people who aren’t in training, work or education, to increase their experience and employment opportunities through working with sports coaches.
£250,000 to pilot a new social regeneration project in Johnstone Castle, that takes forward physical changes in the area with a focus on greater community input and building the involvement of residents local organisations.
£250,000 to expand the successful Street Stuff youth diversion programme that offers young people a range of activities in their neighbourhoods. The funding will target young people from lower income households, to get involved in a range of evening, weekend and holiday period activities.

£135,000 for opportunities for young people from deprived households to volunteer and work with Police Scotland and the community safety team to develop their life skills and work prospects.
£60,000 to maximise the councils current and future powers to register, regulate and enforce private landlords, to boost standards in the private rented sector; and £20,000 for a rent affordability study and to work with landlords to develop an affordable rent pledge.
£70,000 to develop the potential of the Young Scot Card in Renfrewshire – particularly for young people from low-income households, on areas like discounts and travel.
The council will also deliver a Living Wage campaign with the Chamber of Commerce to drive payment of the living wage, and has written to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to ask for a meeting discuss a new work incentives pilot in Renfrewshire.

Work will also be taken forward with local organisations to tackle the stigma of poverty and with the NHS to look into how local health care locations and council support services could come together to benefit residents.

And the council will make sure major regeneration programmes such as City Deal and Paisley Heritage Asset Strategy build community benefits and good work practices in at all stages – including the procurement stage.

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Renfrewshire’s successful Street Stuff youth programme is back on the road this summer with a new schedule and a new custom-built activity bus.

The new Youth Bus has been fitted out with four of the latest game consoles, large screen TVs, music systems and up-to-date games including FIFA 15, FIFA Street and NBA basketball.

The Youth Bus will be at the following locations from 29 June to 16 August:

  • Knockhill Park, Renfrew – Mondays, 6.30pm-9.30pm
  • Lochfield Marshes, Paisley – Tuesdays, 6.30pm-9.30pm
  • Our Lady of Peace Primary School, Linwood – Wednesdays, 6.30pm-9.30pm
  • Glenpatrick, Elderslie – Thursdays, 6.30pm-9.30pm
  • Lochwinnoch Park – Fridays, 6.30pm-9.30pm
  • St Mirren FC – Saturdays, 5.30pm-8.30pm

The full Street Stuff summer programme provides activities every day of the week in 24 different locations across Renfrewshire. Full details can be found at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/streetstuff.

Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environmental Policy Board, said:

“The new Youth Bus is a great addition to the Street Stuff programme.

“It allows us to reach young people in a large number of areas, providing a safe space where they can team up with their friends and meet new people from outside their own communities.

“The summer programme will take the Youth Bus to locations across Renfrewshire and we hope to see even more young people enjoying the activities it provides.”

Councillor Tommy Williams, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Community Safety Policy Board, said:

“By giving youngsters a place to go and things to do, and by working with police and the council’s community safety services, youth disorder rates have fallen in every area where Street Stuff operates.

“The programme has made a huge difference to the young people who take part in it and to the communities it works in.”

Brian Caldwell, chief executive of St Mirren FC said:

“The new state-of-the-art Street Stuff bus is a fantastic new addition to the programme and I am sure the Street Stuff ‘coach’ will be as good quality as our own coaches.”

Street Stuff was set up in 2009 offering evening football sessions and ‘The Box’ – a mobile gaming and activity centre – for young people aged 10-18 in Renfrewshire. Since then the programme has been expanded to offer dance sessions and table tennis as well as the new Youth Bus.

Street Stuff is an award-winning programme which aims to divert young people away from antisocial behaviour. The programme is a partnership between Renfrewshire Council, St Mirren Football Club, Engage Renfrewshire, Police Scotland and Strathclyde Fire & Rescue.

Since the launch of the programme, reported incidents of youth disorder and antisocial behaviour in Renfrewshire have dropped by 75%.

Cllr Williams with tenant Irene Richmond

Renfrewshire Council tenant Irene Richmond has become one of the last people in the area to have her home upgraded as part of a £138million improvement programme.

Housing Convener Tommy Williams paid a visit to Mrs Richmond’s home in Bishopton to see first-hand the difference the improvement programme has made.

Cllr Williams with tenant Irene Richmond

Mrs Richmond’s house received a full package of external works including a new roof, rendering, soil vent pipes and rainwater goods.

Mrs Richmond said: “I’ve been here six years and it’s made a big difference. The house looks lovely done up and it’s been brilliant.”

Over the past five years, Renfrewshire Council has been delivering housing improvements to make sure their housing stock meets the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS).

Thanks to the programme nearly 10,000 homes have received new kitchens, bathrooms and rewiring and over 6500 homes have had new heating systems installed.

Almost 3,500 tenants have also benefitted from external work such as new roofs, rendering, guttering, downpipes, over-cladding and door entry systems.

As well as improvements to council tenants’ homes, a further 1,000 owners in common blocks have also benefitted by sharing the cost of major improvements in buildings and blocks of flats where properties are owned by both the council and individual owners. The council provided grant support to help off-set owners’ costs.

Cllr Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said: “This massive improvement programme has been the largest single investment in council housing Renfrewshire has ever seen. Nearly every one of our tenants’ homes has been improved in one way or another. This means that homes have been made more modern, attractive and energy efficient for years to come.

“This has been a long-term and wide ranging project and we have worked extremely hard to ensure that the process has run as smoothly as possible for those affected. That has meant listening and responding to what tenants’ have told us as work has been carried out in their homes and taking action. As a result we have a 91% satisfaction rate.”

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Paisley is set to shine in the international spotlight after the town’s plans for an ambitious bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021 were given the green light.

Renfrewshire councillors today gave a unanimous seal of approval to the bid, intended to be a catalyst for a transformation of the area’s future.

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The tilt at the national title is part of far-reaching regeneration plans unveiled a year ago this week, aimed at using Paisley’s unique heritage to put the town on the map as a cultural and tourist destination.

Paisley is the only Scottish place to declare its candidacy so far – and the area’s council leader says the bid will showcase everything the town has to offer.

Councillor Mark Macmillan said: “For its size, Paisley’s contribution to the world is absolutely massive and we have a list of assets to be proud of.

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“We have a globally-recognised brand bearing our name in the Paisley Pattern, as well as an outstanding collection of listed buildings as the physical legacy of our days at the centre of the world’s textile industry.

“We also have an outstanding location and transport links, are home to a highly-regarded university, and have a thriving contemporary cultural scene, and all of that and more will feature in what we believe will be a strong bid.

“At the same time, we can’t and won’t hide from the fact Paisley has challenges – but the UK City of Culture process is about building the economic and community capacity to face those challenges and make a far-reaching social impact.

“Previous winners have been cities with a clear plan for how the title would help them boost their area and community – and when our bid is made in 2017 we will be ready to once again sell Paisley to the world.”

The UK City of Culture competition is run by the UK Government’s Department of Culture Media and Sport and concentrates a series of national events in one place in a single year to encourage regeneration and tourism and strengthen communities.

Derry-Londonderry was the first city to host the title in 2013, and Hull will host the 2017 edition, during which the 2021 winner will be announced.

Although Paisley does not have city status, the competition is open to large towns and urban areas. There has never before been a Scottish winner.

Today’s meeting saw councillors discuss the plans and vote to set up a cross-party Paisley City of Culture Partnership Board with key figures from throughout the Renfrewshire community.

That body will be chaired by the council leader and will feature the depute leader, opposition group leaders, and the chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, as well as business, educational and community representatives.

Cllr Macmillan added: “The bid will be run by the people of Paisley, for the people of Paisley, and will require all the talent and expertise the town can offer.

“And while the bid is focussed on Paisley’s assets, the whole area will benefit as the economic and social benefits will spread throughout all of Renfrewshire.

“We are excited about the journey that lies ahead and the opportunities for Paisley and Renfrewshire that it offers.”

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This Saturday, St Vincent’s Hospice in Howwood will welcome visitors to their annual motoring extravaganza ‘Carfest’.

Held in the grounds of St Vincent’s Hospice, the event will feature a host of classic, vintage and specialist cars, including exclusive marques such as Bentley and Maserati, as well as motor bikes and other vehicles of interest.

 

Carfest is the brainchild of local Health and Safety guru, Willie Chrystal of MaxSafe Solutions. Willie said, “I’ve always had a keen interest in cars and have always owned weird and wonderful vehicles; the purpose of Carfest is to bring together people from across the community and especially to get the kids involved.

It’s a great way to support the fabulous work of St Vincent’s Hospice – and it’s a brilliant excuse to bring the car and bike clubs together as well”. Last year, Carfest 2014 raised over £3500 for local patient care and, according to Lesley Miller, Fundraising Manager at the Hospice, they hope to raise even more on Saturday.

“Willie Chrystal has done a fantastic job of bringing together a wonderful collection of cars and bikes. In addition to getting a close-up view of all these vehicles, there will also be stalls, music, a barbecue and of course, The Barn Tea Room for visitors to enjoy.’

“Every penny raised by Carfest will help St Vincent’s Hospice to provide very special care for local people living with life-limiting medical conditions.”

Carfest will take place at St Vincent’s Hospice, Midton Road, Howwood from 11.00am til 3pm on Saturday 27 June. Entry will be a £2.00 suggested donation for adults, free for children. Free parking for visitors is available nearby at St Anthony’s Primary School.

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Paisley residents are gearing up for one of the favourite family days out in the area’s annual events calendar when Barshaw Gala Day returns next weekend.

The popular free event will be on in the park between noon and 4pm on Saturday 27 June, with a range of fun activities planned.

Attractions include live music on the main stage provided by the Erskine Music and Media Studio.

Elsewhere in the park there will be: fairground rides, kids’ entertainers, magicians, face-painting, music jam sessions, pizza-making workshops and arts and crafts.

There will also be a selection of stalls from various local groups from throughout the community.

 

Visitors will also be able to pay a visit to other attractions in the park such as Pets’ Corner, the BMX track, the Rowantree Café and the boating pond.

The long-running event has been a long-running fixture in the park – which celebrated its centenary in 2012.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said: “We are fortunate to have some outstanding green spaces here in Renfrewshire and Barshaw Park is one of the finest examples.

“Barshaw Gala Day is always a popular family favourite and is still going strong after many years.

“There are loads of attractions planned for the day and I am sure there will be something for everyone so I would encourage residents to come down and join the fun.”

Other big family events coming up in Renfrewshire include Sma’ Shot Day, which will be in its usual place in the town centre on Saturday 4 July.

For more information on events in Renfrewshire, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events

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Nearly 200 young people from Renfrewshire are preparing to launch their future careers into orbit by joining former NASA astronauts and scientists on a week-long space school.

Mission Discovery Renfrewshire returns at the end of June, with local school pupils and students getting to work hand in hand with a panel of space experts to design experiments that could be launched into space.

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It is only the second time Mission Discovery has taken place in Scotland, having first been brought to Paisley in 2014.

This year the panel of experts will include Stephen Bowen, who has completed three spaceflights to the International Space Station and is the first and only astronaut to fly on consecutive shuttle missions.

This unique educational programme, run by International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET), gives young people the chance to learn:

  • NASA leadership, team building and personal development skills
  • About biomedical research
  • How space exploration benefits life on earth
  • What the space environment feels like (from those who know)
  • About scientific research, experiments and innovation – on earth and in space

Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “I am delighted to be welcoming the team from ISSET back to Renfrewshire and really excited for all those taking part.

“We want to raise young people’s awareness of career opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths. Mission Discovery is an amazing way of doing that by providing the opportunity for young people to not only meet but work alongside astronauts and scientists from the highest level.

“A key aspiration of Mission Discovery Renfrewshire is also to ensure that all young people have the opportunity to develop their academic potential, irrespective of social background. Thanks to our wide range of sponsors from the business community we are able to offer this programme to all young people free of charge.”

Mission Discovery is being offered to Renfrewshire school pupils as part of a drive to establish Renfrewshire as a centre for excellence in the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM).

Last year’s winning team, Apollo 12, developed an experiment to test bacteria to help find a cure for the eye condition conjunctivitis. Their experiment is due to be tested on the International Space Station this summer.

Mission Discovery Renfrewshire 2015 is sponsored by University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, Clyde Marine Training, Fission Creative, Muir Slicer Associates Ltd, PM Information Solutions Ltd, Scottish Leather Group Ltd, The Experience – Kibble, Peak Scientific, Thermo Fisher and 29 Studios.

A programme of public events will also run throughout Mission Discovery Space Week, 29 June – 3 July. For more details go to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/missiondiscovery

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Hundreds of young people have been taking part in one of the highlights of Renfrewshire’s sporting season.

Renfrewshire’s Primary and Secondary Games and the Primary and Secondary Special Games have been taking place at the On-X centre in Linwood.

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The popular annual event has again been organised by Renfrewshire Council’s Sports Services team with support from local sporting and community organisations.

Hundreds of young people have been taking part in one of the highlights of Renfrewshire’s sporting season.

Renfrewshire’s Primary and Secondary Games and the Primary and Secondary Special Games have been taking place at the On-X centre in Linwood.

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The popular annual event has again been organised by Renfrewshire Council’s Sports Services team with support from local sporting and community organisations.

Over 200 pupils had the chance to try out a wide range of sports on an individual or team basis.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “The Renfrewshire Games have become a well-established event on the local sporting calendar. Every year, hundreds of pupils take part to showcase their talents and try out different sports.

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“There’s always a great atmosphere and that has certainly been the case again this year.

“I would like to thank everyone involved with the event for what has again proved to be an outstanding festival of sport.”

Among the activities available were athletics, golf, football, boccia, bowls, dance, tennis and martial arts.