Local performers and venues are being urged to sign up and take part in a brand new ‘fringe’ event to Paisley’s national arts festival.

The Spree for All, announced this week, aims to build on the success of The Spree, now in its fifth year and taking place in the town from 14-22 October.

The Spree for All is being organised by local music charity LNP Promotions.

LNP founders Gary Kerr and Tommy McGrory hope the recent Paisley Music Week is a taste of things to come for the new fringe festival. The two joined forces this week with Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan to launch the Spree for All.

Gary said: “Paisley Music Week just confirmed the wealth and variety of talent we have here, and it was great to see musical acts take over the town for a full week – with a bonus performance in The Cave from a home-grown superstar, Paolo Nutini!

“The Spree is a fixture in Paisley’s events calendar now and, as well as the performances by bigger names, people have always supported events like ModStuff that celebrate the local music scene. We want to build on that and take The Spree out into venues across the town. There is such a vibrant cultural scene across the town, and we want more people living here or visiting the town to experience that.”

Tommy McGrory added: “The Spree has a great mix of musical styles as well as comedy, drama, spoken word and poetry – and that’s exactly what we want for the Spree for All.
“We want as many different performers and venues to contact us as possible so we can bring them together and have a great week celebrating all that Paisley has to offer.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Our vibrant cultural scene is a huge part of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and we want to make sure that everyone across our communities has the chance to get involved. The Spree for All is exactly the sort of event we’re looking for and I would urge any performer or venue to get in touch with Gary and Tommy and be a part of it all.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the Spree for All should contact LNP Promotions via their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/LNPPromotions or, if you already know Gary and Tommy, you can contact them directly.
Tickets for The Spree festival are on sale now at  www.thespree.co.uk  or from Renfrewshire Arts and Museums Box Office on 0300 300 1210.

A collection of rare textiles, many not seen by the wider world for many decades, has been revealed at Paisley Museum to mark the launch of the PaisleyMake Festival of Creativity and Design (from Wednesday 31st August to Saturday 3rd September).

Cllr Mark Macmillan and Dr Dan Coughlan

Paisley, hometown of the world famous Paisley Pattern and one-time centre of the global textile industry, opened up its museum archive to provide a glimpse of the renowned collection. Paisley Museum is the subject of ambitious £56.7m plans to turn it into an international-class visitor attraction and it is intended that the textiles collection become a key exhibit in the refurbished museum.

The plans for Paisley Museum and wider regeneration of the town centre form part of the Paisley’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021. The bid aims to use Paisley’s internationally significant collection of heritage and cultural assets to transform the town and Renfrewshire’s future.

The town’s vibrant cultural scene is underlined by its hosting of the first PaisleyMake Festival of Creativity and Design. This four-day celebration of creativity welcomes makers and artisans from around the world to Paisley for a range of seminars and workshops in the town.

PaisleyMake aims to inspire designers to work with Paisley Pattern, engage people with the wider conversation around the commercialisation of the Paisley Pattern and reconnect it with the town and its people.

Hosted by Renfrewshire Council in partnership with Scotland Re:Designed, the festival showcases the depth of talent in Scottish fashion, textiles, accessories and interior design, all within the historic surroundings of  Paisley Abbey.

Full details of the PaisleyMake programme of events can be found at:  www.PaisleyMake.com

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Mark Macmillan, said: “We are proud to be bringing some of the most respected figures from Scotland’s creative and design communities to Paisley for the inaugural PaisleyMake festival. The town is a fitting host for such an event as there few places with the textiles tradition, heritage and talent as Paisley.

“That tradition continues today with the UK’s largest leather manufacturer, Scottish Leather Group, being based in Renfrewshire. The company plays an important role in the local economy and we are pleased to have their involvement in PaisleyMake too.

“Events such as this underline the vibrant cultural scene in Paisley and highlight the pedigree of the Paisley 2021 bid to become UK City of Culture which will benefit the whole of Renfrewshire.”

Paisley’s first ever yarn storming installation is also taking place as part of PaisleyMake. Local artist and businesswoman, Dyane Lanez, has wrapped the famous cloisters of Paisley Abbey in a selection of bright wool, inspired by the Paisley 2021 bid to become UK City of Culture. Members of the public are invited along to take part in a yarn storming workshop at Paisley Abbey between 1pm and 4pm, on Saturday 3rd September.

James Lang, Director of Scottish Leather Group, said: “We are excited to be involved with PaisleyMake and helping a new generation understand the potential for establishing new futures in the creative industries, including through our own Apprenticeship Academy.

“The inaugural PaisleyMake has an impressive programme of industry meetings, talks and public workshops. There has been much enthusiasm to take part and it’s great that more than 25 companies are backing the event with their involvement.

“As a Paisley maker born and bred, it has been fantastic to work with the teams at Scotland Re:Designed and Renfrewshire Council to make PaisleyMake happen.”

The Scottish leather group Apprenticeship Academy was launched in 2012 in partnership with Invest in Renfrewshire, Scottish Enterprise and West College Scotland. It offers two apprenticeship programmes; Engineering, and Leather Production and Manufacturing, with the aim of encouraging personal development throughout the entire Scottish Leather Group organisation.

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021aims to transform the town and Renfrewshire’s future by using its unique cultural and heritage offering as the home of the Paisley Pattern and one-time centre of the global textile industry.

Bids are expected to be lodged with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport in Spring 2017.

For more information on Paisley 2021, visit  www.paisley2021.co.uk, like /Paisley2021 on Facebook or follow @Paisley2021 on Twitter and Instagram.

Anybody interested in arranging a viewing of the Paisley Pattern archive should contact Dr Dan Coughlan, Curator of Textiles at Paisley Museum, via  dan.coughlan@renfrewshire.gov.uk or on 0141 4618 5085

One of the top electric/ blues bands to emerge from Scotland over the last six years will be performing at Paisley Arts Centre this month. Main Street Blues are a highly experienced and exciting blues band from the East of Scotland who perform top quality R ‘n’ B with their own unique twist on blues that’s influenced by soul and funk. They will be performing at Paisley Arts Centre on Sat 10 September at 7.30pm.

The band regularly performs around the Scottish and North of England Blues festival circuit, and has played sell out shows at the Edinburgh international Jazz and Blues festival every year since 2012 as well as playing the Main Stage at the Tartan Heart Festival at Belladrum in 2014 and having part of their set broadcast by BBC Alba.

Main Street Blues have an excellent reputation for putting on a top class, exciting and energetic live show and have supported many international touring bands, such as Wishbone Ash, Caravan, Paul Jones and the Blues Band, Hot Chocolate, King King, Stan Webb and many more.

Tickets for Main Street Blues are £10 (£8 conc ) + bkg fee* and are available at the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or www.renfrewshireleisure.com

Gavin Newlands MP

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has responded to data which confirms that Ferguslie Park has been identified as the area of Scotland with the greatest level of deprivation.

Gavin Newlands MP

It is the second time in succession that the area has been at the bottom of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

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

“The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation published today makes it clear that there is a lot of work to do to tackle the problems facing Ferguslie Park. As the local MP, I hear first-hand of the issues faced by the local people, many of whom know the full cost of Tory austerity.

“These issues are longstanding and complex. This is why Scotland needs a government with the full powers to tackle deep-seated deprivation, poverty and inequalities. Despite the Scottish Government allocating more than £100m to mitigate the worst aspects of Welfare Reform, finding solutions to these longstanding problems will be challenging as long as the Tories’ austerity agenda continues and the necessary powers are not devolved to Holyrood.”


‘Glentanar Court provides ‘retirement housing’ for those aged 50 plus.  Situated in large and well-kept gardens in an established residential area, Glentanar Court offers the convenience of your own flat within a secure complex with an office staffed part time to ensure you have assistance with reporting repairs, accessing our welfare rights service and  customer focussed property management . The Social Group arranges a wide range of activities, many taking place in the communal lounge and  often open to family and friends.

The Gardening Club supports tenants in getting more involved in planting and improving the garden area with the added bonus of providing a ‘green gym’! There is a weekly bowling night, a games night, a Film Club –  and the Social Group is developing community partnerships.

The waiting list is open for applications for one person flats.

Those wishing to make an application can call 0800 990 3405 to arrange to have a cup of coffee with the court co-ordinator, and ask any questions. You will also be able to get assistance with completion of the housing application form.



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Ambitious programme to tackle poverty remains key to improving life for communities

Civic leaders believe statistics labelling part of Paisley as Scotland’s most deprived neighbourhood do not tell the full story – and say a long-term plan to change the area’s fortunes is already under way.

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Figures published today by the Scottish Government show part of Paisley’s Ferguslie Park area sits at the top of the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation table.

But council bosses and poverty campaigners believe a pioneering anti-poverty programme started last year is already making a difference – while major regeneration programmes including Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 will transform the life chances of residents over the long term.

Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan said: “The council has adopted an innovative approach to tackling poverty, recognised as leading the way in Scotland – and the SIMD stats are based on data from last year which does not fully capture the impact of that.

“The figures show the overall picture for Renfrewshire has improved and we believe we are making a difference on the ground.

“Last year our Tackling Poverty Commission provided a detailed study of the root causes of deprivation and was the first of its kind in Scotland to look at child poverty on a local level.

“We backed that up with a two-year £6m Tackling Poverty programme – with 50 projects covering education, health, digital and cultural participation, employability and income advice.

“That included an extension of our pioneering early-years programme Families First, described by independent research as ‘having a profound impact’ on the lives of families in Ferguslie and Linwood.

“We made that investment a key priority for the council despite the challenging financial situation councils have been placed in by the Scottish Government.

“In the four years since the last SIMD figures were released, Renfrewshire has seen a 10% real-terms drop in the cash coming our way from Holyrood.

“It’s also worth saying Ferguslie itself has a strong sense of community – a recent survey showed 47% of people rated it as a very good place to live.

“The deprivation issues affecting Ferguslie and similar areas are long-term and deep-rooted – there are no easy solutions but through our unique approach, we believe we are on the right track.”

The SIMD figures rank almost 7,000 data zones in Scotland according to a series of statistical measures.

Overall, they show the picture across Renfrewshire has improved – the area has a lower share of local datazones ranked within Scotland’s most deprived 20% than in 2012.

And the wider regeneration of Renfrewshire includes a number of massive projects intended to bring about far-reaching economic, cultural and social change.

The town last year launched an ambitious bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, based on Paisley’s unique place as the one-time home of the world’s textile industry and thriving contemporary cultural scene.

Councillor Mark Macmillan added “We are bidding for UK City of Culture because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform Paisley and Renfrewshire’s fortunes.

“There is a clear link between culture and wellbeing – we want to harness the power of culture to change people’s lives for the better.

“The UK Government tends not to award the title to a city with everything in its favour, it goes to one which can demonstrate need and knows how it wants to use the title to change that.

“At the same time we will also have massive infrastructure projects as part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal, which are worth £274m to Renfrewshire and will create thousands of jobs – and the work to make sure local people have the skills to fill those jobs is under way.

“And Ferguslie itself could become the site of a planned regional sports village which is currently being consulted over, potentially to be built on land adjacent to St Mirren’s Paisley 2021 stadium.”

And poverty campaigners have backed up the assertion that the SIMD statistics don’t tell the full story.

Dr Jim McCormick, Associate Director Scotland to the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, was one of Renfrewshire’s Tackling Poverty Commissioners.

He added: “Ferguslie Park is not unique – there are neighbourhoods like it in other parts of Scotland.

“Renfrewshire’s approach to tackling child poverty is comprehensive and the council was the first in Scotland to do it in that way.

“But it will take some time for impact to be felt and the SIMD is a snapshot based on last year’s data which does not show that yet.

“The SIMD stats are useful but don’t show everything. The geography of deprivation has shifted in the last generation – struggling and better-off families can be living a street away from each other.”

Wm Phelps are a family run business that specialises in selling only the finest Dry Aged, locally sourced grass fed , beef ,pork ,and lamb from selected local farmers.

Established in 1965, they make all of their own sausages, pies and puddings, using their own secret recipes.

So why not pop into 41 Causeyside street, and see for yourself the variety and quality meats that they have to offer.

Proudly serving the people of paisley since 1965.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has met with Sanctuary Scotland to find out more about the housing association’s developments in Renfrewshire.

Mr Newlands joined area housing manager Robert Campbell to discuss a number of common housing issues that he’s been working on as a constituent MP, as well as speaking about housing developments that Sanctuary Scotland is engaged in.

During the meeting, Mr Newlands was given a tour of new-build Sanctuary schemes at Shortroods and Gallowhill.

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

“I was grateful to Robert for taking the time to meet me to speak about a number of issues that have been raised to me as the local constituency MP. Housing is the number one issue that is raised with me by local people, so it was good to meet with Robert and find out more about the work that Sanctuary Scotland is doing to address the housing need in Renfrewshire.

“It was also good to be shown around Sanctuary’s new-build housing at Shortroods and Gallowhill. These new houses not only make a massive difference to the lives of the families who live in them, but they also go a long way in helping to regenerate the area.”

The latest figures from the Office of National Statistics show Renfrewshire is experiencing ongoing economic growth with 140 more businesses starting during 2014 than closing.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said, “In every year between 2009 and 2014, more businesses have opened in Renfrewshire than closed.

“While these figures are a snapshot in time, they reflect positive news for Renfrewshire’s performance. This steady growth highlights the importance we place on economic regeneration and shows that our investment is paying dividends.

“We will soon start to see the benefits of the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal feeding through into benchmark figures like these. And Paisley’s bid to be the UK City of Culture for 2021 will be another driver for business development, helping to realise our vision for a connected, energetic and innovative economy.

“Renfrewshire Council has and continues to create the conditions which have allowed the area’s economic base to expand. We nurture businesses because we recognise that well established companies provide permanent jobs for local people.

“In the last three and a half years 1,112 new companies have been set up with help from the Business Gateway. Over the last six years, unemployment in Renfrewshire has fallen by 43%.

“In June 2012 we set up Invest in Renfrewshire. Since then 1,027 new paid jobs have been created and nearly 900 firms have signed up to the Invest in Renfrewshire Initiative.

“We have given 374 companies a total of £1.6million to help them pursue development, training and ICT projects. The Retail Improvement Scheme has also given local firms grants worth nearly £1million to help them upgrade their premises.

“Clearly these figures aren’t all good news, especially for those employed by the firms which have shut, but the overall balance sheet is well in the black.”

While Renfrewshire saw a slight slow-down in the number of business start-ups between 2013 and 2014 – 0.8%, this was significantly smaller than the average fall in new business start-ups across Scotland over the same time – 1.4%.

Business start-ups are defined as those which have registered to pay VAT or PAYE (Pay As You Earn). Businesses closures are defined as firms which have cancelled their registration with Companies House. This doesn’t necessarily mean they have stopped trading.

Companies House is an executive agency which incorporates and dissolves limited companies on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

Meet Renfrewshire’s Rapid Response Team – the Council’s mobile patrol squad aiming to boost civic pride in Renfrewshire’s key streets and open spaces.

The three-strong team of Community Safety Wardens provides a fast-track service for preventing build-up of unsightly rubbish and street clutter in key hotspots through:

·         daily street patrols on week days

·         on-the-spot removal of offending items where possible

·         offering advice and information to traders and residents on waste disposal

The aim is to supplements the routine street cleaning and waste disposal work done by the Council’s army of hard-working waste workers.

Team members – who also have powers to track down and prosecute rubbish-dumping rogues – target the types of waste which cause most everyday nuisance, offence and slip or traffic safety risks from:

–          stray trade and commercial waste
–           uncollected household bin bags
–           illegal flyposting
–           fly-tipping of food, construction materials and households goods
–           unsightly street litter and overflowing litter bins.

Team Leader and Community Safety Warden Liz Borland came up with the idea of setting up a small team of Community Safety Wardens who could carry out their monitoring and enforcement duties while doing on-the-spot removal of small items themselves.

And that also means a faster response to complaints about nuisance dumping, littering and flyposting.

The trio can give local businesses helpful guidance on strict and sometimes tricky-to-get-a-grip of nationwide laws governing how every single business must get rid of their rubbish and waste.

With at least five private companies and the Council removing waste from businesses in Paisley town centre alone, one of the key areas of the Team’s disposal work is monitor the right bags are out on the “right” days.

Helping residents in high-density town centre tenements learn how to manage their household waste disposal – such as bin collection dates – is another task which the Team may be called on to do.

Jennifer McKay, owner of Malatso bistro in Paisley’s High Street, said: “Having the Rapid Response Team is fantastic.

“You can see it’s really making a difference in the streets and they’re so helpful in going above and beyond in doing things to make the town centre look better.”

Business leaders are also supportive of the initiative.

Andrew Mitchell, Manager of Paisley First, said:

“The Rapid Response Team provides a valuable and worthwhile service for businesses and visitors in Paisley town centre which helps to keep our streets clean and free from litter. 

“We have reported litter and graffiti issues to the Team and, as their name suggests, the issues are dealt with quickly.  If you see any issues, then please do not hesitate to contact the Council.”

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said:

”The Rapid Response Team is an excellent example of the Council’s determination to encourage greater pride in the streets and public places used by businesses, residents and visitors.

“It support the work of other Council resources which focus on handling the large volumes of waste generated in modern day life.

“This initiative shows the power of personal contact at local level to advise and inform businesses and residents alike of how best to keep Renfrewshire a place we can all enjoy and take pride in.”

See  www.renfrewshire.gov.uk or phone 0300 300 0380 if you want 

–           more information about safe disposal of trade or household waste

–           to tell the Council about fly-tipping, street litter, fly-poster, graffiti

West College Scotland are pleased to report that  over 60 people come along to their Ferguslie Open Day last week. The good news is that they still have places left on a few courses.

Browse the Learning Programme here:

For further information or to book a place call Kathleen on 0141 842 1015.

Core 2 Computing are offering 20%  off all labour charges with this voucher.  Simply print it off or just show it when calling into the shop.   Offer Valid throughout September 2016.

core2computing offer

For more information on Core 2 Computing, you can visit their website here.