Paisley town centre will host a free Halloween spectacular featuring pyrotechnics, parades and performances – including a new finale production starring a 50-strong cast of young people who will take part in a breath-taking aerial show.

The town’s annual Halloween Festival returns on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 October and the ever-popular family event – which typically attracts a crowd of tens of thousands – will be the biggest yet.

This year’s event – run by Renfrewshire Council – is enhanced by Year of Young People event funding, managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and will be one of the major events as part of the year, with the performances shaped by young people.

Highlights over the weekend’s free frightfest – launched at Paisley Abbey by young people from PACE Theatre Group and assisted by make-up students from West College Scotland – include:

– more than 500 young people parading through the streets of Paisley town centre on the Saturday in unique costumes, featuring new large-scale parade artworks created by Renfrewshire’s young people, plus top-class performers Spark! LED drummers, Beltane Fire Society and Mr Wilson’s Second Liners, co-ordinated by parade specialists Bridgeman Arts;

– the Flying Witches performances, which follow the parade and sees a cast of young people work with Scotland’s leading aerial dance company All or Nothing for a show inspired by the town’s 17th-century witchcraft trials – the last mass hanging for witchcraft in Western Europe – 40 foot in the air above Paisley Abbey and Town Hall;

– a spectacular pyrotechnic performance from award-winning specialists 21cc to close the Saturday evening show

– a Halloween Ball and Prom Night in Paisley Town Hall on the Friday with live performances and music (note: ticketed event)

– Halloween-themed children’s entertainment in Paisley Abbey and town hall on the Saturday including animation workshops, face painting, soft play, arts and crafts, kids disco, craft workshops, balloon modelling, ghost stories and pumpkin carving;

– much more, including live stage, big screens around the town centre, outdoor funfair, and cinema screening horror films.

The Year of Young People 2018 is a Scottish Government initiative consisting of a year-long programme of events and activities aimed at inspiring all ages of young people by celebrating their achievements, valuing their contributions to communities, and creating new opportunities for them to shine on a local and global stage.

Much of the Halloween Festival activity will be driven by a specially-convened 20-strong youth panel, who will take a lead role in the design and delivery of the event.

Year of Young People funding will also provide 180 young people with the chance to take part in a new youth training programme offering a unique learning experience through masterclasses and workshops in all aspects of event delivery and performance from circus skills to technical production, and support a volunteering and internship programme.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “The Paisley Halloween Festival is now in its fifth year and has grown into one of the biggest events of its kind, bringing tens of thousands of people to the town and helping establish Paisley as one of Scotland’s key destinations for major cultural events.

“The programme for this year is the biggest and most ambitious yet – and will see two days of entertainment across the town centre, almost all of which will again be free.

“And thanks to the involvement of EventScotland, we are delighted hundreds of young people will get the chance to help shape or take part in the event as part of the Year of Young People 2018.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Paisley Halloween Festival to expand its offering as part of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

“Young people will have the chance to showcase their own unique skills and talents while getting invaluable hands-on experience.

“It is a great opportunity for young people to take a leading role in designing and delivering a fantastic event within their local community, further reinforcing Scotland as the perfect stage for events as the youth training programme will educate the event organisers of tomorrow.”

Valerija Tkacenko, who will be working on the festival as an intern with Renfrewshire Council’s events team, added: “I will be co-ordinating the work of the youth panel, who will be helping to co-design the event.

“I’m really looking forward to that as it will help me develop new skills. The Halloween festival is going to be a great event for all the family.”

The full programme for the Paisley Halloween Festival 2018 is available at

The festival is part of Renfrewshire’s programme of winter events which also includes the annual Spree festival (12 to 20 October) and Paisley Fireworks Spectacular (Saturday 3 November) and Christmas Lights Switch-on (Saturday 17 November).


• A global first, YoYP 2018 is a part of the Scottish Government’s themed year programme which focuses on celebrating Scotland’s greatest assets.

• A year-long programme of events and festivals are taking place across the whole of the country for all ages to enjoy, led by EventScotland part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate. More information at

• Paisley Halloween Festival is supported by the Year of Young People 2018 Event Fund, managed by EventScotland, part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate. EventScotland is working with the events and festivals sector to develop an exciting portfolio of Year of Young People 2018 public-facing events which provide opportunities for young people to express themselves through a wide range of activity.

• Local authorities, schools, youth groups and organisations are running their own YoYP 2018 activity. Search #YOYP2018 on Twitter for the latest news.

• Young people co-designed the Year. A group of young leaders, Communic18, lead on all key decision making. More than 380 Ambassadors are championing activity.

• The Year is delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and EventScotland – part of the VisitScotland Events Directorate, Young Scot, Scottish Youth Parliament, Children in Scotland, YouthLink Scotland and Creative Scotland.

More information can be found at, searching @YOYP2018 #YOYP2018 on Twitter or by emailing

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, took to the skies as he visited one of the oldest flying clubs in the UK.

Gavin Newlands MP with Archie McClelland and Iain Elborn from Glasgow Flying Club

The Member of Parliament for Paisley and Renfrewshire North visited the Glasgow Flying Club which was founded in 1963 while based at Renfrew Airport. The flying club is located at the north side of Glasgow International Airport where it has been for the last 52 years.

Gavin was invited to the club to meet with club representatives to discuss the issues that general aviation faces in the UK and the proud history of pilot training the club provides which has also helped commercial aviation in Scotland with a high proportion of Loganair pilots having come through Glasgow Flying Club. Another issue high up the agenda was the work of the General Aviation APPG, of which Gavin is a member. Many people involved in General Aviation (GA) feel that the CAA – the UK aviation regulatory body – has solely concentrated on commercial aviation, to the detriment of the concerns of private pilots and others involved in GA.

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

“As someone who has always been interested in aviation, I’m proud of Renfrewshire’s aviation history, be it commercial, RAF, or the fact that Scotland’s first flying club was established at Renfrew in 1927. For well over 50 years, Glasgow Flying Club has helped to train a generation of private pilots, many of whom have gone on to become commercial pilots. As one of the oldest flying clubs in the UK, with a glowing reputation, they are sought out by aspiring pilots from across Scotland and beyond.

“It was great to meet Iain, Archie and Jim from Glasgow Flying Club to learn more about the club’s history and the range of the issues that they face. I even got to go up in the air, and take the controls, on a trip down the Clyde on what was a blustery and cloudy day. Despite the weather it was still one of the most thrilling visits I’ve made during my time as the local MP.

“Aviation is obviously crucially important to Renfrewshire’s economy but also significant to Scotland’s national economy. Brexit will undoubtedly pose a number of challenges to the aviation sector and like with most other sectors, greater clarity is urgently required.

“However, putting that to one side for the moment, it’s clear that we could all do more to support and encourage the growth of general aviation. Clubs like Glasgow are doing great work and we need to build on that to help support this vital sector.”

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, is encouraging local constituents to donate their old bikes that are not being used to a local group that teaches young people how to strip, build and restore bicycles.

The Member for Paisley and Renfrewshire North donated his old bike to Kustom Kruizers, a community project based in Renfrew but which also works in Paisley, Erskine and Bishopton. This community project promotes more sustainable ways of travelling and holds a number of free bike safety checks, helping to fix people’s bicycles.

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

“I spent last weekend cleaning out my shed and was embarrassed at the condition of my bike which I’ve sadly neglected since I was first elected – and by the looks of the bike, the decade prior to my election too!

“Instead of taking my bike to the dump, I decided to donate it to the local community project Kustom Kruizers, who do amazing work repairing old bikes, ensuring that others can make use of the bikes.

“I’ve met with Dave from Kustom Kruizers before and was thoroughly impressed with the work they do with young people in Renfrewshire, running workshops to teach them how to repair bikes.

“I know that my old bike will go to good use and would encourage anyone with old or unused bikes to donate them to Kustom Kruizers. They will make great use of them and will help to ensure that young people in the area benefit from them.”

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Renfrewshire Council is looking for the views of Paisley town centre businesses on how it can best work with them during the ongoing £100m investment in town centre venues and infrastructure.

The council is leading an overhaul of the town’s cultural venues as part of wider push to use the Paisley’s unique cultural, heritage and events offer to drive new footfall and help transform the whole area.

That includes a £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections, and a £22m revamp of Paisley Town Hall into a landmark performance venue to stay at the heart of local life for future generations.

But that work means the museum is planned to close in September until 2022 and the town hall at the end of the year until 2021 – so the council is keen to talk to businesses now about how best to work with them during that period.

An online survey has been created which is available now which aims to inform Paisley town centre businesses about the upcoming work and invites their views on its impact, and asks how they would like to be kept up to date, and their views on ongoing town centre regeneration work.

Staff from the council and Renfrewshire Leisure will also be contacting some of the businesses closest to the museum in coming weeks to talk to them in person about how the building’s closure and future construction work might affect them.

Anyone interested in keeping up to date with news relating to Paisley town centre can now sign up for Paisley town centre email news updates via the council’s new news service – available via

Other projects coming over the next few years include a new learning and cultural hub housing library services on the High Street, a £2.5m upgrade to Paisley Arts Centre, and major investment in key outdoor public spaces and transport junctions.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson launched the survey this week while meeting local business at a question-and-answer event organised by Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

He said: “The upcoming investment in cultural venues is the next stage of a journey aimed at transforming the whole area by promoting culture, heritage and events.

“Changes to the way people shop and live have changed the role of town centres everywhere – but we believe investing in our unique assets is the way we have to go to bring new life to Paisley.

“We are already seeing the benefits of that through our successful major events programme and in the boost to our reputation and profile which came through Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

“We predict the revamped museum will quadruple current visitor numbers to 125,000 a year and the town hall will see visitors double to around 100,000. That will create new footfall, jobs and opportunities for the long-term – which will create benefits across Renfrewshire.

“But there will be a period of disruption while we get there and we are determined to work hand in hand with businesses to understand how we can help them during that period.

“Our starting point for doing that is this survey – I would encourage as many Paisley town centre businesses as possible to fill it out as your feedback will help us work with you better.”

The survey is at

SNP Councillor Natalie Don has welcomed the news that free sanitary products will be available to pupils, students and learners at schools, colleges and universities across Renfrewshire thanks to £5.2 million Scottish Government funding.
Delivering on the SNP’s Programme for Government commitment to fight ‘period poverty’ in Scottish schools, colleges and universities – this initiative makes the Scottish Government the first in the world to make free sanitary products available to all pupils and students.
Cllr Natalie Don said: 
“The SNP Government’s £5.2 million investment in free sanitary products will allow students in Renfrewshire to remain focused on what matters – their studies.” 
“Many of us know what it is like to struggle for these products and it is a horrible feeling. Periods are a part of life but they shouldn’t be a point of inequality. Basic sanitary provision is a right and it is unacceptable that anyone should suffer the embarrassment and distress caused by period poverty.”
“No-one should have to struggle for sanitary products – it is simply not acceptable and I am very proud that Scotland is leading the way in the fight against period poverty.”
“I would encourage everyone to get firmly behind initiatives like this, including the UK government.”
paisley from drone

Why Your Family Needs to Have a Financial Plan

Raising a family can be an exciting adventure, but it also takes a lot of work. There are so many things to think about, such as how to ensure that everyone is happy, healthy and secure. Another aspect of raising a family that is a challenge for many happens to be the family finances. In order to ensure your family has the best quality of life possible, it’s imperative that you have a plan. Unfortunately, very few people will win the lottery or have money growing on trees in their back garden! For this reason, if you want to ensure security for your family, you need a financial plan, and this article is going to explain why below.

To Live Comfortably

One of the reasons that your family needs to have a financial plan is to live comfortably. The reality is that money can help improve your quality of life as well as create more opportunities for you. In light of this, a financial plan helps you clearly define goals such as when you want to retire, what kind of lifestyle you want when you do so, how much you want to set aside for your kids’ education, or when you want to be done paying your mortgage. Some budgeting tips which should help you reach your financial goals include cooking at home more, shopping around for the best savings account, using a budgeting planner, and seeing how you can save on transport.

To Avoid Inheritance Disputes

If you want to avoid disputes over who gets what when you pass away, it’s imperative that you have a financial plan. Although death isn’t a subject people like to visit often, it is an inevitable part of life. You should, therefore, think about your wishes for your family and what assets you want to allocate when you pass away. It could be ensuring your funeral is fully paid for, leaving enough behind for your kids to maintain a healthy lifestyle, or ensuring no heavy debt has to be cleared. As a result, you may need to get life insurance, pay off your debt as quickly as possible, or write a will. This is important to avoid family disputes in the event of you passing away. If you’re currently facing an inheritance dispute, then you should consider visiting to see how they can both help resolve the dispute and help prepare your will.

To Survive Rainy Days

The saying goes that when it rains, it pours, and the same can be said in terms of financial challenges. For this reason, you should have a financial plan to ensure you’re well-prepared for such days. It could mean putting away money in savings as well as having multiple streams of income. Some saving tips you may find useful include trying couponing, switching energy suppliers, addressing debt, seeing if you can get things free before buying them, and not impulse buying.

Planning your finances as a family isn’t the easiest thing to do, but it can be extremely useful. Being in control of your finances gives you more flexibility as well as power when it comes to your future. A failure to do so, however, could mean that you’re unable to create a life that you and your family deserve. Hopefully, this article has given you the inspiration you need to get started on your financial planning.

paisley from drone

Looking out for your family: A guide

Being a parent is the most wonderful thing that can ever happen to you. Taking care of a child and raising them to be an upstanding member of the community is a task that will fill you will pride and achievement. While parenthood is filled with all these wonderful things, you do also need to be prepared to take the rough with the smooth because for as many wonderful moments, there will be your fair share of hardships. Knowing how to deal with some of the biggest problems that might arise in the future now will give you peace of mind in the long run and help you become a better parent.

Dealing with the bullies

One of the things you will hope your child never has to go through is bullying, be it in school, a club, or at their first Saturday job. Nevertheless, you will want to know how to approach talking to the school about bullying in case this ever does occur so that you can act quickly to resolve the issues they are having. The first thing you can do is to ask your child about the precise details of the incidents, where and when they happened, as well as the exact nature of what was said and or done. This will give you something concrete to present the school with that gives them all the information they need to start making positive changes for your child so that they can get back to enjoying their youth.

In case of emergency

Raising a young person comes with the inevitable truth that they will sometimes get into scrapes, and this may mean they are then in need of some medical attention. Whether you are dealing with the emergency services or a GP surgery, it is important to keep an eye out for if there is any lapse in the care given or mistakes made, as this would constitute medical negligence. The Medical Negligence Experts should be your next port of call should you find yourself in this position as they can help you find justice for your child if they have not received the high level of care expected from the health service.

Failing grades

There are many reasons why a child may be falling behind at school and, as their parent, you will be able to work out the causes of why they are not doing as well as they should better than anyone else. However, knowing what you can to actually help their grades improve is another matter altogether. The idea of helicopter parenting has grown in the past few decades, but the continuous involvement of parents in their child’s education has been proven not to have any real positive effect on a child doing better at school. Rather, things such as reading together before bed or making them have an earlier bedtime, so they get some extra sleep will help them improve. Another thing is if they are refusing to do homework, for example, to do nothing and let them understand the consequences of their actions so they can learn and grow from them.

Looking out for your family is no easy task, but with these helpful hints, it will hopefully become a little easier.



Musical Maestros

Children aged 3-5 years love music and love to explore instruments and sound. These classes teach young children about beat, rhythm and pitch using puppets, percussion and singing games. They learn how to keep a beat, clap rhythms and even start to read music. They get a head start in music, so that learning an instrument becomes natural to them.

Classes are on Saturdays at 10am in our Paisley school.  They cost £72 for an 8 week term (£64 with the family discount).

For more information, contact us at or by phone at 07896689816

Junior Musicianship
For young children aged 5-9 years, we run Musicianship Classes. The classes follow the principles of Kodaly and increase the child’s musicality and overall musicianship. They learn more about the beat, rhythm and pitch in a fun way, through games and percussion, becoming more confident and musical in their approach to playing an instrument. They eventually learn to sight sing by learning sol fa.Children have fun whilst learning. They also get a chance to try out a variety of musical instruments including piano. drums, ukulele and guitar.

Classes on a Saturday are at 10am and 1.30pm. They cost £72 for an 8 week term (£64 with the family discount).


For more information, contact us at or by phone at 07896689816

A new bridge over the Black Cart will connect cyclists and pedestrians to a major investment area being developed in Renfrewshire.

Councillors on the Communities, Housing and Planning board have given the green light to construction of the purpose-built pedestrian bridge and cycleway at the south end of Greenock Road.

It will provide a safe route for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the busy junction with Inchinnan Road and enable access to a new development site which has already secured significant investment.

The crossing forms part of the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project, funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal. Planning consent has already been granted for the realignment of Abbotsinch Road and a new link bridge being built over the White Cart.

These infrastructure improvements underpin a 150-acre development site next to Glasgow Airport and enhance connections to the nearby Westway, Inchinnan and Airport business parks.

Two national innovation centres have already been confirmed at the new site, the £65million National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland and the £56million Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, which will be at the heart of an emerging manufacturing district.

It is anticipated the district will create thousands of new permanent jobs and 365 jobs are required during the construction of the City Deal-funded roads, bridges and cycle routes, which is expected to be completed by 2020.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Renfrewshire is open for business and this investment in the roads, bridges and active travel around Glasgow Airport will further enhance our potential to attract public and private sector investment.

“For many years now Renfrewshire has played a vital role in Scotland’s manufacturing sector and this is set to grow exponentially as these national innovation centres attract others to base themselves at this fantastic new facility, connected by air, sea and land.

“Not only will this project enable the continued growth and expansion of the airport and surrounding businesses, but it will also help to make Renfrewshire a more attractive, vibrant and sustainable place to live and work. Communities and businesses will be better connected, resulting in more employment opportunities for residents in Renfrewshire and the wider City Region.”

Public feedback signalled strong support for the Glasgow Airport Investment Area, with 94 per cent backing the plans during extensive engagement over the last two years.

It is one of three projects in Renfrewshire funded through the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, an agreement between the UK Government, Scottish Government and eight local authorities across the Glasgow City Region to deliver improved infrastructure, create new jobs, tackle unemployment and drive innovation and growth.

Renfrewshire’s award-winning diversionary programme Street Stuff delivered youth activities to 31,218 young people during 2017/18.

Young people can take part in football and dance, as well as gaming and DJ workshops provided on a specially designed Youth Bus.

Working with the Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership, the programme identifies hot spot areas of anti-social behaviour and aims to divert young people into more meaningful activities.

The programme also includes the provision of healthy meals to young people, with 5081 provided in 2017/18 – taking the total number of healthy meals provided since the extended programme began in October 2015 to more than 20,000.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “We’re extremely proud of our Street Stuff programme and the success it has achieved since it was introduced in 2009.

“There has been a sustained reduction in anti-social behaviour in Renfrewshire and young people are actively seeking out the activities within their community.

“The programme is not only providing a place to play though, with almost 80% of the sessional workers being former participants of the programme and this volunteering experience is boosting their future employment prospects.

“Add to that, the focus on healthy eating and the provision of a healthy meal at activities and it is clear to see why the programme has been, and continues to be, so successful.”

An independent evaluation into the programme undertaken by the University of West of Scotland in June 2017 delivered an extremely positive outlook, outlining that Street Stuff provides positive activities, improves social inclusion and gives young people access to facilities and experiences within local communities they otherwise wouldn’t receive.

Stephen Gallacher, Street Stuff Manager, said: “The volunteers and staff take immense pride in the success of the programme and the difference being made to the lives of young people in Renfrewshire.

“We are actively working to engage with young people, ensure they have positive activities to take part in and aim to guide them into positive destinations which they may otherwise not be able to achieve.

“I’m delighted to see the number of attendees who go from taking part in the activities to helping to deliver them to the next generation of young people and we’ll continue to give young people the skills and experience they need for the future.”

The success of the programme was recognised with three high-profile awards in 2017, with success coming at the COSLA Excellence Awards, ROCCO Business Awards and Scottish Public Sector Awards.

For more information on the project and for the current timetable of activities, visit

An innovative smart travel project developed by Renfrewshire Council has inspired a wider Scottish Government scheme to tackle the attainment gap.

Renfrewshire is one of the first three local authorities chosen to take part in the new national Young Scot Attainment Challenge partnership, which will enable young people to take part in activities and opportunities and get the most out of their Young Scot National Entitlement Card (NEC).

The project by the Scottish Government, Young Scot and partnering local authorities, was launched today in Paisley by Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, John Swinney, with some of the young people it will benefit.

The partnership scheme with Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government Improvement Service, will run over three years and eventually involve six councils, with the first stage also focussing on North Ayrshire and the Highlands.

It follows the success of an earlier initiative by Renfrewshire Council which harnessed the smart chip technology in the Young Scot Card, where bus tickets for local company McGill’s were pre-loaded onto the cards.

The project will help young people to be more mobile and be able to attend groups, clubs, health activities or opportunities which might not have been possible because of distance or cost.

It also offers specific groups of young people Young Scot Card discounts with opportunities focussing on health and well-being.

They are also offered the opportunity to volunteer and take part in skills development during Year of Young People and at the same time collect Young Scot rewards and experiences along the way.

The project aims to support the Raising Attainment Challenge by improving their access to services and experiences that can help make a difference to their lives.

Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Cllr Michelle Campbell, said: “We are pleased and proud that the work of the Council’s Youth Services and our partners has inspired the Young Scot Attainment Project.

“We want to ensure that all young people reach their potential no matter what their start in life and this project allows us to make sure all young people across Renfrewshire have access to learning and other opportunities.

“Financial barriers, such as transport and the cost of the school day are reduced, which raises the ambitions of young people and helps their money go further.

“At the heart of the project has always been to offer targeted help without stigma and in the Year of Young People, through this groundbreaking initiative we can continue to tackle inequalities and improve attainment for all our young people.”

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said: “We know that educational inequality can have significant repercussions. It is totally unacceptable that some young people have their life chances narrowed by circumstances out of their control.

“That is why I am extremely pleased to launch the Young Scot Attainment Challenge partnership today, an exciting new project which offers a totally different approach to supporting improvement in attainment, challenging rural poverty and tackling inequalities in a non-stigmatising way.

“By using the Young Scot card, young people can access services and products that may otherwise be inaccessible to them – it is such a simple idea but could make the world of difference.

“The Scottish Government is committed to closing the attainment gap in our schools and addressing the root causes of poverty and inequality. This project will help to deliver on that ambition, address inequalities facing young people living in Scotland, close the attainment gap and empower young people to reach their full potential.”

Louise Macdonald, Chief Executive of Young Scot said: “The Young Scot Attainment Challenge partnership is such an exciting and innovative way to bring some meaningful bespoke entitlements to young people. Through the Young Scot card we can continue to close the attainment gap across Scotland.”