• Glasgow Kelvin College students team up with Indian colleagues to host an exciting fashion extravaganza.
  • Paisley Pattern forms the heart of cultural exchange show for Deputy First Minister and VIP Guests in India.

A group of fashion students are heading off to India to stage a spectacular fashion show in the heart of India’s bustling Mumbai.

Students from Glasgow Kelvin College will be meeting up with their counterparts from the Government Polytechnic for Women in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh to reveal their exquisite designs for an invited VIP audience.  

The Show, “Fashioning the Future – Sharing Skills, Culture and Sustainability”, forms a key part of a cultural trip to India and is the climax of a British Council/UKIERI-funded programme where Scottish and Indian students have shared knowledge, skills and experience over the last two years.

Scotland’s Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, will join guests from key learning and skills organisations throughout India, plus Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid, University of West of Scotland (UWS), Glasgow Caledonian University and the British Council.  Focus will be on the bonds which unite India and Scotland and the uniqueness of that relationship in the development of the iconic Paisley Pattern.

There will be presentations around the exciting UWS ‘Paisley Pearls’ project which reimagines the Paisley pattern, with its origins in the ancient Kashmiri pattern for the digital age and Glasgow Caledonian University’s sustainability initiative.

However, the stars of the show will be the fabulous garments designed and crafted by Glasgow Kelvin College’s HN and degree level Fashion Design & Production with Retail students and the exquisite creations from the ten Guntur students.

Glasgow Kelvin has also developed links with two social inclusion projects in India – the globally recognised Make Love Not Scars project which supports the rehabilitation and employment of survivors of acid attacks and the Project Tres campaign which creates opportunities for women survivors of domestic violence.

Joining the models will be survivors from these organisations who will courageously strut their stuff on the catwalk to showcase the myriad of designs and textiles created by the students.

The event shines a spotlight on the great contribution which colleges and their students can make at an international level, expanding their own skills and cultural experience as well as promoting the role they can play in helping develop the global economy in a sustainable and inclusive way.  

Encapsulating the Scottish Government’s ambitions around internationalisation to encourage global citizenship, this visit is another prime example of the valuable contribution to be made by both colleges and universities working together to deliver a world-class model of collaboration, skills and cultural exchange.  

Alan Sherry, Principal of Glasgow Kelvin College, said;

“The College is privileged to be a key part of this delegation to India.  We are amazed at the creative skills shown by our own talented students and those of our partners at Guntur Polytechnic.  The students should be very proud of what they have achieved and they are excited to be showcasing their work to the Deputy First Minister and important guests – it’s an incredible experience and opportunity for them all.

“We are extremely grateful to the British Council and UKIERI for making the programme possible and are looking forward to meeting with our partners in India and collaborating with our education colleagues to host a hugely successful event.”

Jackie Killeen, the British Council’s Director, Scotland said;

“Bringing international experience to life for young people in Scotland is at the very heart of our work, so we are delighted to have supported the students from Glasgow Kelvin College to take part in the special cross-cultural event in India.  The project is an inspirational example of a mutually beneficial collaboration between learners in both countries and we look forward to seeing and learning more about their outstanding work.”

Paisley 2021 Bid Director, Jean Cameron, said;

“We are honoured to be part of the delegation and it’s wonderful that the Paisley Pattern is at the centre of such a worthy project that strengthens the links between students in Scotland and India and the bonds between the two countries themselves.

“The Paisley Pattern has had a huge cultural impact and made the name of the town famous across the globe.  As we await a decision on the UK City of Culture 2021 title, the pattern is as relevant today as ever and is at the heart of plans to transform the town.”

Prof Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland said;

“UWS is delighted to be taking part in this exciting event in Mumbai, in particular collaborating with our partner organisations including Glasgow Kelvin College, Renfrewshire Council and Scottish Government, as part of this visit to enhance the already strong links between Scotland and India. Innovation is key to India’s continued growth and we hope that this visit will enable us to build on our current collaborations and also develop new and positive relationships. UWS’s Paisley Pearls project is a prime example of innovation in digital technologies and we are proud to be part of the Mumbai event and the wider visit to help promote expertise and innovation in Scotland’s education sector.” 

Prof James Miller, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Strategy), Glasgow Caledonian University, said;

“Glasgow Caledonian University’s Fair Fashion Centre, located at our New York college, is proving the business case for sustainability by turning global industry issues into opportunities.

“When considering the impact the fashion supply chain has on other industries – from farming an manufacturing to transportation, real estate and waste management – there are many distinct but entangled elements that must evolve together to create an industry that supports people, planet and profits.

“We’re proud of our mission, as the University for the Common Good, and delighted to be working with Glasgow Kelvin College and the University of the West of Scotland in demonstrating the collaborative approach to higher education, finding real solutions for real world challenges.”

PRIMARY school pupils were enthralled when Renfrew’s award-winning children’s author, Ross MacKenzie read them extracts from his books.

A winner of the Scottish Children’s Book Award and the Blue Peter Best Story Book visited the library at Barrhead Foundry as part of East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure’s Book Week Scotland activities.
Ross told the Carlibar Primary P6 and P7 youngsters how he started as an author and how his love of books as a child played a big part in encouraging him to start writing.

The author of The Nowhere Emporium and Shadowsmith books, Ross had the youngsters listening intently when he read extracts from both titles.

Chief executive of ERCL, Anthony McReavy said: “Ross had the youngsters eating out the palm of his hand when he was speaking to them and they were asking him to read even more from his books.
“Having someone like Ross visit one of our libraries is a great way of encouraging youngsters to read and that’s exactly what we want to do.”

An innovative plan for a film and arts space at Paisley’s Baker Street has been overwhelmingly voted by the public as winner of the national “FutureTown” Design Competition.

Plans to transform a derelict site at Smithhills Street, close to Gilmour Street station, into a new cultural quarter include a flexible 500 seat theatre space and 5 mini-screen film theatre – GFT/ Grosvenor in style with 170 to 70 seats.

An unkempt wasteland currently greets 7 million passenger journeys passing through the town by rail. The potential to transform this site and in doing so the perception of the town is obvious and desperately needed.

A new destination; a new place will be created featuring indoor and outdoor spaces that will make full use of the space to create something truly special.

The new building (designed by award winning architects Stallan Brand) features light cannons designed to create a new skyline silhouette mirroring the famous Paisley Skyline in a contemporary way. Paisley has no better location or possess the imagination and transformational potential than Baker Street.

Gary Kerr, Chairman, Paisley Community Trust  

“We’re totally thrilled for Paisley to win this competition. It’s terrific to see Baker Street Paisley gain widespread recognition and endorsement through a national competition.

A massive thank you to everyone in Paisley, Scotland and further afield who voted for Paisley to win.
What we are creating is everyone’s. A facility, venue, space and hub for the community to use.

It continues to inspire and drive us forward when Paisley people tell us they can’t wait to pop into town again to see a movie or theatrical performance. This award will give those who voted added pride in the town and the project. “

“As we move into our next phase; we’re asking everyone to take Baker Street Paisley forward to the next level with financial backing.

Local and national government as well as Paisley supporting businesses and individuals will all have a part to play. Now is the time to get behind Baker Street Paisley – we’d be delighted to hear from you if you can help.”  

MSP George Adam

George Adam MSP is encouraging consumers in Paisley and across Scotland to shop locally and support the local economy this Small Business Saturday (2nd December).

Small Business Saturday boosted takings by £717m last year in Scotland, and with research showing that money spent locally is more likely to stay in the local economy, a key aim of this campaign is to encourage lasting, year-round support for small businesses.

There are 4,685 small businesses in Renfrewshire, employing 28,430 workers.

George Adam said:

“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and account for 99% of all businesses across the country, supporting jobs and growth in our communities as well as providing an invaluable service to consumers.

“Since 2009, the SNP Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme has provided a total of £1.5bn rates relief and last year a £500m growth fund was set up to cope with the new challenges posed by a Tory hard Brexit.

“Paisley has a huge variety of brilliant independent, locally run businesses such as Bianco Nero, Zambretto, Castlevecchi, With Love Flowers, Eigen & Helen’s Haberdashery. Each small business offers something unique and special, and it’s important that we support them in a market that’s increasingly dominated by the big players.

“That’s why I’d suggest kicking off your Christmas shopping this weekend, if you haven’t already, by sampling the delights on your door step and visiting your local businesses this Small Business Saturday and beyond to ensure our local businesses thrive.”

Renfrewshire’s policing plan for the next three years has been welcomed by Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

The Renfrewshire Local Police Plan 2017-2020 details Police Scotland’s main objectives for policing, tackling crime and keeping people safe over the next three years.

It has been formed following extensive public consultation and detailed discussion with the Council and its community partners to identify common issues across Renfrewshire.

The plans details five strategic priorities covering: protecting people at risk of harm; serious and organised crime; violence, anti-social behaviour, disorder and acquisitive crime; road safety and road crime; and counter terrorism and domestic extremism.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Local communities are at the heart of everything the Council and local policing does.

“The policing priorities outlined in this plan are rightly formed by listening to the views of local communities and have been aligned with the new 10-year Renfrewshire Community Plan.

“This joined-up, collaborative approach being undertaken in Renfrewshire supports our aim to create a safe, strong and thriving Renfrewshire.

“I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome the new Divisional Commander and extend the support of the Council to deliver on these policing priorities.”

The plan details enhanced training and education to protect people at risk of harm, with a growing demand on policing from mental health incidents in Renfrewshire.

Serious and organised crime will be targeted through proactive enforcement to disrupt drug dealing.

The plan will also build on the success of the state-of-the-art Community Safety Hub, which sees Council teams and police working together to identify and address community issues quickly and effectively, targeting problem areas for anti-social behaviour, violence and disorder.

Chief Superintendent Gordon Crossan, Divisional Commander for Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, said: “This key document reflects our commitment to deliver policing which is visible, accessible and responsive to the needs of Renfrewshire’s communities.

“Excellent local policing can only be achieved through a collaborative partnership approach and with the continued support of the communities we serve.

“We have achieved much success locally in partnership with Renfrewshire Council through initiatives such as the Community Safety Hub and together, we will work to ensure Renfrewshire is a safe place to work, live and visit.”

Police performance is reported through the Council’s Police and Fire & Rescue Scrutiny Sub-Committee while officers also provide updates to community planning committees, the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drug Partnership and community councils.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Police and Fire & Rescue Scrutiny Sub-Committee added: “Scrutiny and transparency is vital as it enables us all to achieve our ambitions for Renfrewshire and support our local communities.

“I look forward to continuing the close partnership working with colleagues in Police Scotland to ensure Renfrewshire is a safe and welcoming environment.”

#givingtuesday is the global day of giving that follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday, as a day to give back. Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, was in Parliament to celebrate the great things that are achieved by charities every day.

This is the fourth year #givingtuesday, a campaign which encourages people to ‘do good stuff’ for charity, has taken place in the UK. Over 2,000 charities and businesses have signed up as partners in the campaign including Cancer Research UK, The Big Give, Royal Bank of Scotland, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, the Co-Op and Radley.

Last year, #givingtuesday broke a Guinness World Record for the most online donations in 24 hours as people gave $48 million to good causes globally, with the UK being the second largest contributor. #Givingtuesday now runs in over 70 countries including the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Tanzania, Russia and Ireland.

It is led in the UK by the Charities Aid Foundation, one of Europe’s largest charitable foundations which supports charities in managing their money and helps people and businesses give to good causes.  The strapline for the campaign is ‘do good stuff’, encouraging people to do anything from donating money, volunteering, or simple acts of kindness that have huge impact.

Charities, businesses and individuals can sign up to be part of the event at www.givingtuesday.org.uk or connect via Facebook and Twitter.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North said:

“I am delighted to support #givingtuesday, supporting my local charities and I encourage all my constituents to get involved to do good. #givingtuesday is a great event and an exciting opportunity for charities and businesses in Renfrewshire to showcase the work they do all year round.”

Ashleigh Milson, #givingtuesday project lead at the Charities Aid Foundation said:

“#givingtuesday is a day all about giving back, and we’re delighted to have Gavin Newlands MP on board.

“The UK is one of the most generous countries in the world, and we at CAF are proud to run this campaign here – it’s a fantastic opportunity to showcase all the great things that people and businesses are doing for charity.”

Parents, community police and school staff got together to support Riverbrae School by getting their hands dirty.

Taking advantage of a recent school break, the volunteers got digging to lay the new turf, which was donated by Scotlawn.

Riverbrae School New Turf
PIC SHOWS The ground force ready for the new turf

The new Riverbrae School is a purpose-built facility for early years, primary, and secondary children with additional support needs, the first one of its kind ever built in Renfrewshire.

The turf enhances the outdoor space around the building, which opened its doors to pupils at the start of term.

Kay Quinn, one of the parents who got involved in the turf laying event, said: “As parents, we want the outdoor learning opportunities and experiences to be positive for all the children in the school.

“The generous donation from Scotlawn and the support and donation of time from local people have made this possible. It is a wonderful welcome to Riverbrae as part of the local community in Linwood – a relationship we very much look forward to developing in the future.”

Catherine Gilius, Headteacher at Riverbrae, added: “Riverbrae feels very much part of its community and it has been great to see parents and community police get together to support the school.

“The kids are enjoying being in the new building, which has been designed to improve the approach to educational and personal development throughout the pupils’ school career.”

The start-of-the-art building was joint-funded by Renfrewshire Council (£10.1m) and the Scottish Futures Trust (£8.7m) and designed to transform the learning opportunities available to children with additional support needs.

Between then they formed three of Paisley’s most important families.

Now their remarkable stories have been captured in ‘Dynasty: the Stewards, Coats & Clarks Heritage Project’.

The Disability Resource Centre (DRC) and ROAR – Connections for Life undertook genealogical research into the clans to produce  an interactive digital Story Map.

Led by social historian Lil Brookes, the nine month project is part of the Townscape Heritage/Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (TH.CARS2 project) and is funded by the National Lottery, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.

A demonstration of the Story Map took place at the University of the West of Scotland this week as Paisley bids to be named UK City of Culture 2021. A decision is expected from the Department  for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport which organised the competition, in December.

The Stewards founded the 12th century Paisley Abbey and later took the name Stewart, becoming the most famous family to sit on the Scottish throne.

The Coats and Clarks were two of the town’s great manufacturing families , on whose wealth much of Paisley was built.

Lil Brookes, who also uses sensory techniques to bring history alive, said: “We set out to rediscover the history of the three families by using archives and maps and newspapers. We used digital resources and carried out searches of family records online.

“We also did some sensory work as some of the ladies in our group are blind.

“They can’t use news archives but can use their other senses of hearing, touch and smell.  Even by sensing something like an atmosphere, like the air moving, we can actually sense history without using our eyes.”

Lil held a sensory quiz in Paisley Abbey where everyone was blindfolded and used the scent of Lavender and other herbs to bring to life the site’s past use as a hospital.

She added: “We also looked at people like Thomas Coats from the famous textiles family and what they were like as real people and not just statues. Like all families they had their squabbles and skeletons in the cupboard.”

Renfrewshire Council Depute Leader, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “This is a great project which shows the importance of the history of Paisley and how much we can still learn from looking to the past, as well as the legacy of these influential families.

“It’s a very effective way of helping open up our heritage for everyone.”

Megan Leishman from Historic Environment Scotland (HES) said: “It’s fantastic to see the HES funded Paisley TH.CARS2 initiative reach a new audience. To see such a diverse group of people interested in exploring the history of these prominent local families, made possible thanks to the help of Disability Resource Centre, ROAR – Connections for Life and UWS, is great.

“We’re excited to see the results of their research and to learn more about the Stewards, Coats, and Clarks and the legacy they have left behind in Paisley.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Thanks to National Lottery funding, our heritage can be a living part of a community bringing people together to learn from and enjoy their shared identity. Paisley is to be congratulated on its commitment to making heritage more accessible to everyone. Through projects such as this people are discovering a new love of history.”

The Story Map can be found at: www.paisleyhistory.co.uk.

Paisley opens new £3.7m museum store in first for UK High Street

UK City of Culture 2021 contender Paisley is unveiling a treasure trove of museum items – as a new £3.7m facility believed to be a first for a UK High Street prepares to open its doors.

Pupils from St Marys Primary School in Maxwelton ,Paisley visit Paisley :The Secret Collection a new Museum Resource Archive based on the High Street.
Pictured Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes and Pupils round an Original Rare Scale Model of Paisley Town Hall
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
All images © Gibson Digital 2017. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the commissioning client’s press-released story. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission


Paisley: The Secret Collection will house tens of thousands of items from Renfrewshire’s collections in a purpose-built publicly-accessible storage unit in a former retail property, aimed at bringing new footfall into the town centre.

Paisley will find out in early December whether it will be crowned the first Scottish place – and first ever town – to win the prestigious title, awarded every four years by the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The bid is taking place as part of a wider push to transform Paisley’s future by using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural assets to turn it into a key destination for visitors and events.

And councillors and bid bosses believe by using its unique past to inject new life into the town centre, Paisley can serve as an example to struggling towns everywhere.

Paisley’s place as the one-time home of the global thread industry helped it build a massive museum collection – with many of the items donated by the mill-owning Coats and Clarks families.

The collection includes some of Paisley’s world-famous textiles, plus a mix of ceramics, world cultures, social history, art and sculpture, natural history and local archives – with many of those items unseen by the general public in decades or longer.

While other areas have public-accessible museum stores, it is believed Paisley’s is the first on a High Street.

A dedicated decant team are due to complete the first phase of a major project to populate the store by the end of the year.

Phase two will see thousands more items moved from the town’s main museum – itself initially gifted to the town by the Coats family in 1871 – before it undergoes a £42m revamp to become a world-class destination with the town’s textile heritage at its heart.

The facility will be operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd and was funded by Renfrewshire Council as part of a wider push to revitalise the town centre.

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes visited the facility this week and said: “It’s called Paisley: The Secret Collection for a reason because it will house some amazing items the people of Paisley and Renfrewshire will never have known were in their midst.

“The timing of the opening is fitting, with a decision due on the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid very soon – the bid aims to tell Paisley’s untold story and show why we matter to Scotland, the UK and the world, and this facility helps showcase why that is.

“The museum store is also key to the council’s wider plan to revitalise Paisley’s town centre by using our unique selling points to attract visitors and give people new reasons to come into the town.

“The wider retail environment has changed forever and Paisley has been affected by the same issues as towns everywhere – as shoppers move online or to out-of-town centres.

“But in Paisley we believe that by finding innovative ways like this to bring new footfall into the town, surrounding traders will get a boost, and new ones can set up.

“With Heritage Lottery Fund support confirmed for the new £42m museum, a new £5m Paisley Library to be built in another vacant High Street unit and a confirmed £46m council investment in venues including Paisley Town Hall ahead of 2021, Paisley is investing in culture and heritage as a route to transform our situation.

“In doing so we hope to the show the two-thirds of the UK which doesn’t live in a city that towns matter and that others can use what sets them apart to change their future, just as we hope to.

“The store will also be a really valuable educational resource which will allow the next generation of local school pupils to learn about the world and their town’s role in it.”

The facility is at 9 High Street – in a basement underneath the Bargain Buys store historically occupied by a Littlewoods store – and accessible through a specially-built shopfront entrance.

A number of school groups will be among the first to see inside the store, with pupils from St Mary’s Primary getting a sneak peek this week.

General public will only be able to view the store by appointment – but bookings are now being taken from public tours and research facilities from January 2018 onwards via www.renfrewshireleisure.com/thesecretcollection


  • Revamp follows recent £700k investment in state-of-the-art body scanners
  • Capacity to increase from 10 to 12 security lanes



Work on a £1.4million project to increase capacity in Glasgow Airport’s Central Search facility in the main terminal by 20% is now underway.

The overhaul will see a complete reconfiguration of the entrance to the airport’s Central Search area which will increase the number of security lanes from 10 to 12.


Existing self-service boarding pass scanners will be relocated to a pre-search preparation area on the first floor at the top of the escalators with capacity doubled from five to 10.

Two wider gates will also be installed to support passengers with restricted mobility as they pass through security. The first phase of the project commenced this month and will be completed by March 2018.  

Mark Johnston, Glasgow Airport’s Operations Director, said: “Providing our customers with a safe, convenient and reliable security experience is at the heart of everything we do.


“Passengers travelling through the airport rightly expect a security procedure that is fast, efficient and friendly. This is a real asset to any successful airport and it’s an area I’m pleased to say we excel in.


“The airport is fast approaching the 10-million passenger mark, so it was important to get ahead of the game by expanding the security facility.  Our current satisfaction ratings sit at 99% of passengers moving through security in under 10 minutes.


“We are confident this latest expansion will further improve performance, particularly during the peak travel times we are seeing more frequently as the airport continues to grow.”


This is the most significant improvement work undertaken in Glasgow Airport’s centralised search area since it was opened in 2008 as part of a £31-million terminal extension programme.

gavin newlands

Local women who have had their State Pensions affected by the UK Government have organised a public meeting in Paisley to build support for their campaign in Renfrewshire.

Women from across Renfrewshire have been invited to attend an information and drop-in session at Paisley Grammar School on Thursday, 7th December from 6pm – 8pm, to learn more about the Glasgow and Lanarkshire WASPI campaign and how to complain to the DWP over the lack of information given to them about their pensions delays as a result of the Pensions Acts of 1995 and 2011.

The Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) are calling on the UK Government to help the 3.8 million affected women across the UK, over 340,000 of them in Scotland and a total of over 6,200 in Renfrewshire.

Both of Renfrewshire’s MPs, Gavin Newlands and Mhairi Black have been active on this campaign at Westminster and have helped to organise this event.  The meeting will also be supported by MSPs Neil Bibby, Mary Fee and Tom Arthur.

Anne Potter and Rosemary Dickson, WASPI Glasgow and Lanarkshire Group Co-ordinators, said: “The aim of the campaign is to bring the pensions plight of 1950s women to the attention of the government.  Now we find that after a lifetime of doing the right thing, the government is taking away our security in retirement. Many of our women have lost as much as £48,000 of pension income, many without any notice of a six- year increase to their State Pension age.

“WASPI does not object to the increase in the women’s SPA, but simply the unfair and discriminatory way the changes were carried through. WASPI are now calling on the government to make fair transitional arrangements to their new pension age.”

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

“I am delighted to be working with the local WASPI women to help them organise this public meeting which will raise awareness of the financial plight that so many of them are facing due to the changes that have been made to the State Pension without adequate notice or communication.

“Successive UK Governments have failed the WASPI women and this public meeting will allow the people of Renfrewshire to unite around a common message which calls on the UK Government to finally take action to help the WASPI women.”

Mhairi Black, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South, said:

“The government can no longer continue in their blind path and refuse to help the WASPI women who have been negatively affected by changes made to their State Pension. These women paid into the system, upheld their end of the bargain and at the very last minute the rug has been pulled from under their feet, pushing many of them into poverty.

“I am looking forward to speaking at this public event in Paisley and I’d encourage as many people as possible to attend in support of the WASPI women.”

Local WASPI women from Renfrewshire said:

“We feel very fortunate to have the support of MPs and MSPs across all parties for this event and are hoping that other invited guests, including Councillors, may be able to attend.”

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