Derek Mackay - SNP

The Small Business Bonus Scheme (SBBS) provided record relief to 2,665 Renfrewshire businesses in 2017/2018.

Derek Mackay – SNP – Renfrewshire North and West
Pic – Andrew Cowan/Scottish Parliament

The increased number of recipients benefitting from total relief under the scheme, which removes or reduces their rates bills, rose to £6.6million – an increase of £1.2 million from £5.4 million from last year. This amounts to an average saving per property of over £2,400.


The number of Renfrewshire properties receiving SBBS relief has increased from 1797 to 2665 since it was first introduced nine years ago, with the total amount of relief being given to local premises almost trebling from £2.3miliion to £6.6million.

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay, who also serves as Scotland’s Finance Secretary, has today confirmed he will be writing to ratepayers who are potentially eligible for the SBBS but not claiming it.


He said:


“Since its introduction, the Small Business Bonus Scheme has saved businesses in Renfrewshire over £45 million and offers the most generous package of reliefs available to small businesses anywhere in the UK.


“The scheme has rejuvenated our local town centres, breathing new life into some areas of Renfrewshire with previously empty units benefiting from relief now being occupied.

“We have gone beyond the Barclay Review recommendations with new measures to drive investment. In addition to the growth accelerator, where businesses pay no rates for the first year on new or improved properties, we will ensure every new build property does not pay a penny in rates until it is occupied for the first time.”


The tenants here at Glentanar Court are organising a Christmas party for  15 children and their mums affected by domestic abuse and supported by Renfrewshire Womens’ Aid. They have secured the ‘gratis’ services of a puppeteer and singer for entertainment and are now focussing on presents for the Santa sack. They are seeking donations of toys, arts & crafts gifts and clothing for children aged 10 and under and donations of fluffy socks, jewellery, perfumes, nice toiletries, chocolates etc for the mums. They are also seeking the loan of an XXL Santa Suit.

The tenants will lead traditional party games for the children and have secured funding for catering from Cairn Housing Association’s Community Fund This will be a lovely wee inter-generational event with lots of smiles and very much in the spirit of Christmas giving.

Have a happy Crimbo in oor Hoose with this fantastic special Buy One and Get One Free on your traditional Christmas dinner, we keep the cost of Christmas to a minimum for you and your family, book early to avoid disappointment on 0141 561 7105
As well as great prices on our Christmas and regular menu we also offer promotions on our drinks, A pint of Carling, Guinness, Cider and Best for £2.75 Monday to Friday and on the Carling at £2.75 is available all day every day of the week plus a 35ml of hoose whisky or Vodka and a dash for only £2.50. Hamishes’ keeping the cost of Christmas and all year round down.
Re-Start are a great Mod band playing all the songs from the great era of the Kinks, the Who, Jam, Small Faces and many more. A real talented bunch they will have your wee heids full of nostalgia for the Fred Perry’s and the Vespa’s. Bring yer Parka, it will be cool.

Jeanie Martin, who is the oldest resident at the care home, can often be found taking part in the varied activities and exercise classes at HC-One’s Kyle Court Care Home in Paisley.

Jeanie, who has recently celebrated her 104th birthday said: “Fitness classes and eating lots of salt are the key to a long life!”


To celebrate her special day, Jeanie was joined by her family for lunch and enjoyed an afternoon singsong with her fellow residents.


HC-One Kyle Court Home Manager, Kirsty Faulds said: “We all love Jeanie, she really is the boss. It was lovely to see her being able to enjoy such a wonderful day celebrating with her friends and family.


“She’s extremely independent and always takes part in activities held at Kyle Court, in fact a lot of the time, she leads the exercise classes herself!”

Jeanie moved to Paisley in 1936 at the age of 23 and later married Joseph, a Singer sewing machine engineer.  Joseph who was 28 at the time became Jeanie’s hero when he came to her aid after falling on the floor in Woolworths.

Since then the pair didn’t look back. By the 1940’s they had two children, Margaret and Bert and set up a home in Albion Street.

Jeanie took a job at the famous J and J McCallum dyeworks. She worked there until the plant closed 43 years ago. Joseph worked at Rolls-Royce in Inchinnan, but sadly passed away in 1984 at the age of 76.

Kyle Court is situated in a residential area of Gallowhill, just outside Paisley. The purpose-built care home offers nursing and nursing dementia care.


For more information on Kyle Court, call 0333 999 8541 or visit

Paisley’s Lisa Kowalski has made it into the final six of a nationwide music competition.
Lisa, and her fellow 5 contestants, all pick up £10,000 each for making it though. The winner of the competition receives a no-strings-attached, top prize of £50,000.
Shortly after the results came through she took to Twitter to announce the news and to thank everyone who voted for her.
Almost instantly she received kind words of support from fans from Renfrewshire and beyond.
Lisa said: “Being recognised on a national level in such a ground breaking competition was a wonderful surprise. It means a lot that success was the result of selection by music industry professionals as well as incredible support from the public.”
The other 5 contenders who made it through are:
Fin Henderson – A million Places
Malaika – Stop For A Minute
Liam Doyle – I Won’t Let Go
Franc & Baby Pink – Erykah & Red Wine
Happi – Forever
Salute Music Makers have developed a whole new way for Music Lovers to vote and become curators in their own right. The final voting stage will be split into two rounds via the innovation interactive voting system, which utilises Facebook Messenger and a specially-designed Facebook Messenger bot.
Round one will see the Top six tracks go head to head with each other via a playlist , for one winning vote by the public, who will give their favourite track some love by clicking on the heart.
The playlist will unlock at midnight on the 29 October and voting will close at 9pm on Wednesday 1st November.
Round two will see the six finalist release a new track via a second playlist that will unlock at midnight 1st November, again the six tracks will fight for one winning vote. Voting will close at 9pm on Saturday 4th November.
The winner will be the songwriter who has the most combined votes from round one and two and will be announced to the world at 6pm on Sunday 5th November.
After round one we will release the rankings of the top six and, so it could all change once the release of the new track has been voted on.
In 2018, further opportunities await the finalists with home-town gigs arranged to champion them in their local community.

THE team at Renfrewshire Leisure has come up with a new version of a well-known proverb – a friend indeed is a friend in need of a free gym session, swim or exercise class!

And it means that this weekend, November 4 and 5, Renfrewshire Leisure members can bring a friend along to one if the gyms, sports centres and swimming pools for free.
The Bring a Friend For Free offer is available at Paisley’s Lagoon Centre, The ON-X, in Linwood, Johnstone Sports Hub, Renfrew Sports Centre and the town’s Victory Baths and Erskine Sports Centre and swimming pool and Ralston Community Sports Centre.

And any friends coming along during that weekend can become a member of the sports and leisure organisation with a ‘join now pay in January’ special offer.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “We have some of the best sports and leisure facilities in the country and people will be doing their friends a favour by bringing them along to try out what we have to offer.
“Keeping fit and healthy is a great idea, but it’s even better when you can do it with friends.

“So, if anyone knows a friend who would like to try out a a fitness class, enjoy a workout in the gym or take a dip in the pool, just invite them along to our Bring A Friend For Free weekend.”

Flybe franchise partner Stobart Air’s new service is a gift for serious shoppers, business passengers and leisure travellers


Flybe franchise partner Stobart Air has today (Tuesday, October 31) launched a new daily service between Glasgow and London Southend airports.

Glasgow Airport announce new Flybe route to Southend.
Pic of, Glasgow Airport business development manager Paul White with flybe crew Sheila Freitas, Luke Kilcullen-Morris and Rosie Stowe.
Picture by Chris James 30/10/17

The service will now operate up to nine flights per week during the winter season using a 118-seat Embraer aircraft, with double daily flights on Mondays and Fridays. During the summer months from May the service will operate 12 flights per week with a double daily service Monday to Friday and one rotation at weekends.  


Paul White, Glasgow Airport’s business development manager, said: “London is easily the most popular destination for our passengers, so the introduction of this new route by Flybe franchise partner Stobart Air is welcome news.


“As well as being a popular route with both business and leisure travellers, London is the UK’s top shopping destination. Glasgow is the most popular city for shoppers outside of London, so we expect this route to be very popular for short breaks in both directions for those looking to enjoy a bit of retail therapy while taking in the sights.


“We’re really pleased to also establish our first link with London Southend Airport. The introduction of the new service means that our passengers now have access to more than 32 flights per day to six airports based in and around London.”


Glyn Jones, CEO Stobart Aviation, owner of London Southend Airport, said: “The Glasgow route launch is an exciting addition to our current destination offering.

“We are passionate about offering passengers the best way to travel and improving domestic connections is key on our agenda. With London only being 45 minutes from London Southend Airport, it is an incredibly easy trip to make.”

Bookings can be made by visiting:

Thousands are expected to turn out to see Paisley’s historic skyline light up in the annual fireworks extravaganza this Saturday.

With Paisley the only Scottish place on the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021, the 80s themed event will show the town knows how to stage a huge event, with a silent disco, kids workshops and retro arcade games.

The twenty minute fireworks spectacular will burst into life across the Paisley skies from 7pm, accompanied by an 80s soundtrack.

Radio Clyde DJs Callum Gallacher and Grant & Amber will be playing classics from the decade from 4pm, with George & Cassi also playing 80s classics from 6pm at Paisley Town Hall leading up to the dazzling display.

The funs starts in Paisley Town Hall from 2pm, with a series of free family activities throughout the afternoon.

Remode Redesign will run workshops where participants will print fabric using a range of 80s games themed wooden blocks and create their own pencil case or make up bag.

Numbers are limited to 20 per session and the free event starts at 2pm.

The 80s themed silent disco kicks off on the ground floor at 2pm, where two sets of music fans of all ages dance to different music played through headsets.

The sessions are suitable for all ages and will run throughout the afternoon.

At the end of each one, the best dressed 80s costume or best dancer will win a prize.

Kids drop in workshops start at 2pm in the Artmania zone, with crafts suitable for pre-schoolers to kids of Primary 4 and beyond.

All of the workshops should be booked through Eventbrite.

Arcade games will continue the 80s theme, with iconic favourites like Pac- Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong available to pit your skills against.

Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is part of a wider push to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural story to transform the whole of the Renfrewshire area.

The town is on the shortlist alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “It’s great to be able to showcase Paisley as a large scale events venue as we bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

“Big events like these show our proven capacity to host big crowds and Paisley town centre makes a unique venue, especially with the back drop of the Abbey.”

Residents should be aware that a series of road closures will be put in place from early on Saturday 4th November at Gauze Street, St Mirren Street, Cotton Street, Lawn Street and Smithhills Street until after the event.

County Place, Gilmour Street, High Street and Bridge Street will be closed in places, while Abbey Close and the Lagoon South Car Park will be closed.

From 3.30pm, Seedhill Road  will be closed in places, with Causeyside Street to follow from 4.30pm onwards, while Mill Street will  be closed from Lonend to Bank Street from 6.45pm.

The fireworks display follows the Halloween festival and parade in the town centre and precedes the Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On on November 18.

For more information and to book go to:

Local singer-songwriter Lisa Kowalski has thanked ‘Paisley’s Hearts of Gold’ for voting for her in a national competition.
Lisa entered a competition, which closed yesterday, held by Salute Music UK. It has been spearheaded by former front-man of The Undertones, Feargal Sharkey.
She was selected by industry judges and made it on to a list of 100 of the best UK talents, featuring artists of more than 50 different nationalities who all live in the UK. It includes every genre from techno to heavy metal and classical music.
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Lisa had been in the top 6 of the list for a while but last week dropped further down. She was hoping, that after a last-minute dash for votes, she may have made it back into the top 6 which is necessary for her to compete in the final.
Lisa said: “We have to wait until Sunday at 6 to find out if I have made it into the Salute Music UK finals. Regardless of the result, I have been overwhelmed by the support I received from all over and especially how local people have gone out of their way to get me votes.
“I was sat at 8th on Monday and if I have managed to jump back up to the top six, I think it will be thanks to the Paisley’s Hearts of Gold.
“If I don’t make it, it’s still been a wonderful experience, the support will really encourage me to keep making music and I still have the release of my Paisley 2021 funded music video to be excited about.”
Lisa’s entry is a song called ‘I do’. The song was written by Lisa when she was in the midst of a breakup and has been well received when played live at events like Mugstock festival this year.
Each finalist who makes it into the top 6 will receive £10,000 and get to participate in the SALUTE Finals.  The winner will be voted for through a world’s first truly interactive playlist voting system on Facebook Messenger. They will walk away with £40,000, taking the total winnings to £50,000 – the biggest of any independent music prize worldwide.

Our spectacular Halloween Parade is always a festival highlight!
With a Fire Monster on a Paisley Chariot, the Spark! Drummers, LED lanterns, Mr Wilson’s Second Liners Band and lots more colourful participants, this is one not to be missed.

Parade route: New Street – Causeyside Street – St Mirren Brae – Gauze Street- Cotton Street

derek mackay MSP

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the unveiling of the Scottish Government’s national British Sign Language (BSL) plan. The action plan which aims to make Scotland the best place in the world for British Sign Language (BSL) users to live, work and visit was announced by the Scottish Government’s Minister for Childcare and Early Years on Tuesday (24th October).

The plan, the first of its type in the UK, sets out the Scottish Government’s ambition to ensure deaf and deafblind BSL users are fully involved in all aspects of daily and public life, from early years and education to culture and transportation.


It describes a range of key actions to be implemented by 2020, including:


  • Removing the barriers that prevent BSL users from becoming registered teachers


  • Enabling more pupils to choose to learn BSL in school and developing Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) awards in BSL


  • Guaranteeing all Scottish Government funded employment initiatives are fully accessible to BSL users


  • Researching technological solutions to providing information in BSL in transport hubs such as train stations and airports


  • Building the skills of qualified BSL interpreters to work in specialist settings like health, mental health and justice


SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:


This plan is a welcome step in the Scottish Government’s long term ambition to bring about real positive change to the day to day lives of BSL users and put Scotland right up there as one of the best places in the world for Deaf people to live, work and visit.


“The Scottish Government have worked in partnership with BSL groups to ensure that the plan reflects the priorities of BSL users. I hope that the actions to be implemented can make a real practical impact to Renfrewshire’s Deaf community.”

gavin newlands

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has called on the UK Government to provide long-term and sustainable funding to support those who help women and children fleeing domestic violence.

The Prime Minister announced her latest U-turn on Wednesday, stating that the UK Government would abandon their plans to impose a cap on funding for supported housing.


This was a welcome relief but refuge providers are still concerned that the Government will fail to offer the long-term and sustainable funding that is urgently needed to prevent further refuge centres from closing.


Mr Newlands serves as the Chair of the White Ribbon cross party group, which highlights the positive role that men can play in ending violence against women and girls.


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


“Thankfully due to pressure from the supported housing sector, the UK Government have performed their latest U-turn and abandoned their plans to impose a cap on the Local Housing Allowance on supported housing.


“This would have been disastrous for women refuge services with Women’s Aid suggesting that it could’ve resulted in 67% of refuge services closing their doors for good.


“Next week, the UK Government will bring forward their plans on how they plan to fund supported housing. They have to recognise the distinct nature of women’s refuges and provide the long-term funding that these life-saving services urgently require. Failure to do so will result in more women and children fleeing domestic violence to be turned away in their moment of need.”