surrogate productions presents The Guitar Man. Performer Renee Williams. Photo credit Daniel Brecher (1)

The debut production from surrogate productions, The Guitar Man, opens as part of Platform’s Outskirts Festival on Saturday 27 April, before embarking on a tour around Scotland in May.

‘Everything has its time, a man and a piece of music…’

surrogate productions presents The Guitar Man. Performer Renee Williams. Photo credit Daniel Brecher (1)

A man makes his living singing the same songs day after day on the edge of town. He plays to an audience that is always on the move, always passing him by. People call him The Guitar Man.

On a winter’s night, he takes shelter and tells us his story: he came here because of a woman, and stayed here because of a son. Searching for answers to the past, present and future, he reaches a decision: to stop playing.

In a world made up of winners and losers, The Guitar Man asks what is left when we reject the role we are expected to play? Written in 1997, by Norwegian writer Jon Fosse, the play speaks anew to a post-industrial society in crisis, where rootlessness and homelessness have become a common experience.

surrogate productions presents The Guitar Man. Performer Renee Williams. Photo credit Daniel Brecher (1)

Weaving text, song and silence to create an intimate, physical and disquieting
theatrical experience, this tender study of a so-called ‘outsider’ traces the delicate balance between loneliness and longing, loss and salvation.

The Guitar Man will be played by female performer Renee Williams, and is directed by actor and director, and Artistic Director of surrogate productions, Nora Wardell. The production features a composition of vocal and guitar fragments by artist, composer and performer, Hanna Tuulikki with sound design by Kevin Murray. The creative team also includes dramaturgy by Eszter Marsalkó, set and costume design by Sarah Beaton and lighting design by Emma Jones.

Paisley Arts Centre | Wed 1 May | 7.30pm | £10/£8 (+ bkg fee)
0300 300 1210 |

george adam


360 families in Renfrewshire received a payment of £600 on the birth of a first child, and £300 on the birth of any siblings, thanks to the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant scheme.

Since opening for applications in December, nearly 10,000 low income families across every area of Scotland got help from the new Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby payment, with the new benefit paying out £3.5 million in the first three months.

george adam 

This week, the First Minister announced a brand-new benefit as part of the Scottish Government’s new Best Start Grant package, which will build on the success of the Pregnancy and Baby Payment.

Applications are open for the new payment, which will see low-income families paid a further £250 when their children start nursery and school.

The Early Learning Payment is for children aged between two to three and a half and can be used for anything from children’s clothes and shoes to toys, books or days out.


SNP MSP for Paisley, George Adam said:

This substantial increase in support for families and new babies shows what can be achieved if we take a different approach to social security – using Scotland’s new powers to support families across the country. 

“In just the first two months of the Best Start Grant, the Scottish Government got more money into people’s pockets than the DWP had managed under the old system in an entire year.

“The SNP in government has consistently demonstrated a commitment to increasing financial support for families, bringing equality to Scotland’s children by helping them towards the best possible start in life.

“With full powers over social security, Scotland can be the best place for a child to grow up.”

Kilbarchan Primary pupils prepare for the Safe Kids event

Every primary six pupil in Renfrewshire will benefit from a series of safety workshops designed to keep young people safe.

Around 2000 pupils are taking part in the annual Safe Kids event organised by the Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership and the programme has delivered safety messages to more than 30,000 young people since it was first introduced.

Kilbarchan Primary pupils prepare for the Safe Kids event

Pupils from every school in Renfrewshire have been invited to take part in a wide range of workshops, including internet safety, drugs and alcohol, emergency situations, anti-social behaviour, littering and dog fouling, water safety and railway safety.

Young people were asked to design their own posters outlining what safety means to them and seven winners were selected by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

The winners and their families were invited to a special VIP day at Lapwing Lodge in Paisley, where they joined pupils from Woodlands Primary and Kilbarchan Primary taking part in the programme.

The seven winners were:

Aneesa Lilah Maan – St James Primary
Casey Addison-Lyle  – Bridge of Weir Primary
Cole Rowan   – Thorn Primary
Samira Speirs  – Todholm Primary
Michael McClelland – St Peters Primary
Emma Donaghy – St Anne’s Primary
Leanna McCarthy – St Catherine’s Primary

The workshops are delivered by a range of partners including Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Team, Wardens Service, Civil Contingencies Service and RADAR (Drugs and Alcohol) teams, as well as Police Scotland, British Transport Police and Scottish Fire and Rescue.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “Safe Kids plays an important part in ensuring that our young people are prepared for any potential dangers they may face, both in and out of school.

“Our teams from the council work alongside our partners to deliver extremely important information and advice to the primary six pupils which can make a big difference and it’s fantastic that more than 30,000 young people have taken part since it began.

“The workshops are fun and engaging and it’s great to see our young people taking the messaging on board.”

The Safe Kids programme runs between 23 April and 3 May and visits all 49 primary schools in Renfrewshire, as well as the three additional support needs schools.


LOCAL artists and performers are being given the chance to showcase their talents in a new pop-up space in the centre of Paisley.

Renfrewshire Leisure has launched POP – a temporary community arts, event and exhibition space in the former Post Office, at the Piazza Shopping Centre.

For the summer months Renfrewshire Leisure are offering it free of charge to local artists and creative groups to host workshops, events, exhibitions, performances and shows with the possibility of extending the offer if the space remains available.

Already local groups will be using POP over the next few weeks featuring creative workshops, craft activities, local film showings and music workshops.


The POP launch events on Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, between noon and 4pm includes free drop-in family friendly activities, screenings of local films and an acoustic workshop from Paisley singer-songwriter, Michael Cassidy.

Other events being held during May include the launch of Renfrewshire Mental Health Arts Festival; an advice session with Creative Scotland for Renfrewshire’s new Visual Artist and Craft Makers Award scheme.

There are also several performances and showcases of new work commissioned as part of Renfrewshire Leisure’s Out of Place programme including BINGE, a new video installation curated by Brian Lobel as part of Glasgow Tramway’s Take Me Somewhere Festival.

And on June 4,5 and 6, Buddies can relax and enjoy our Cosy Cinema sessions, hosted by the Paisley Camcorder Club.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We’re giving the many gifted artistic people of Renfrewshire the chance to showcase their talents to the public free of charge.

“We’ve already got a packed programme for the month of May and we’d love to hear from others who would like to use this pop-up venue in the coming months.

“As well as being a boost for local artists and performers, POP will be great for members of the public to drop and be entertained.”

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Manager Rikki Payne said, “Thanks to a partnership with Edinburgh Printmakers who hold the lease, and with the support of the Piazza shopping centre, we have the opportunity to occupy the space on a temporary, low cost basis.

“It’s a real pop-up space, and we are opening up the opportunity to local artists and organisations to use the space to showcase their work.

“My advice to artists, makers and Renfrewshire’s creative community is make the most of it while it’s here. It’s an amazing accessible space and a great chance to get your work to new audiences.”

To book space at the POP venue, contact Kate Drummond by email at .

paisley from drone

Saving money can be a challenge. Many people can only save money if they are saving for something specific, for example, a holiday, a car or a wedding. It’s a little bit harder to save when you don’t have a specific goal to work toward. However, putting a little money aside each week or month is a great idea. Here’s why you should consider saving for a ‘rainy day’.

Reduced income

Imagine suddenly being out of work, having to take time off for sickness or having your benefits cut unexpectedly. How would you survive? ‘Rainy day’ money could help you cover the essentials while you look for another job, recover from illness or sort out your benefits. If you can save enough money to cover three months’ worth of rent, food and bills, then you will give yourself peace of mind should your income be reduced for any reason.

Unexpected expense

When a car, boiler, washing machine, fridge or cooker breaks down, it is not only inconvenient, but it can also be a big cost. Your ‘rainy day’ money can be used to cover these types of unexpected expense, meaning you can replace essential items straight away.

Children’s future

Perhaps you want to save some money for your children for when they are older, so you can help them buy their first car, assist with the cost of university or give them money towards their wedding or first home. Put a little away each month into a separate account, and you’ll have a nice lump sum saved when the time comes that they need it.  Saving as little as £20 per month means that in five years, you’ll have over £1000 saved for whatever they need.

Put a little aside every payday

Rainy day money might not be very exciting, but it can give you some peace of mind and financial security. Having savings means that if unexpected costs crop up, you don’t have to borrow from friends and family or rely on credit cards or loans.

The best way to save is to decide how much you can afford once you have budgeted for the essentials such as rent, bills and food. Every time you get paid, transfer this amount to a separate account. If you put it away straight away, you’ll find it easier not to spend it. If you can afford a little extra some months, transfer that too.


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Cllr Cathy McEwan at Inchinnan Road (2)

Plans for the first set of roads and footways to be improved in Renfrewshire have been announced – with every community in the area set to benefit.

Cllr Cathy McEwan at Inchinnan Road (2)

The £40million investment programme is being delivered over a five-year period as part of the biggest ever sustained investment in Renfrewshire’s roads network, with more than £8million set to be invested in 2019/20.

More than 125 roads will see improvements undertaken in the forthcoming year, with 95 benefitting from carriageway resurfacing and a further 31 receiving initial work ahead of future resurfacing.

The programme also includes work to improve 57 footways across Renfrewshire and outlines a focus on quality, long-term repairs, with a significant emphasis on post-repair inspections.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’ve made the largest-ever investment in our roads network as, through speaking to our communities, we recognised it was a key priority for local people.

“More than £37million will be invested in the first four years of the programme to make immediate changes to the quality of our roads and footways and ensure their safety for our road users.

“We’ll continue to review all roads across Renfrewshire through our ongoing inspection programme and where resurfacing works not part of the 2019/20 programme are identified, they will be captured on a priority basis in future years.

“As we continue to develop Renfrewshire into an inviting place to live, work, visit and invest in, we realise the importance of our transport connections and this significant investment will help ensure we have the correct infrastructure to meet these aims.”

The resurfacing work will be complimented by an ongoing programme of pot hole repairs which will focus on long-lasting repairs, as well as repairing any other pot holes identified when attending the reported area.

For a full list of the roads and footways incorporated in the 2019/20 programme, visit

Summer is officially just around the corner and with it, some of the highlight events of the calendar year. As locals and tourists alike descend on the pub gardens, cafe terraces and riverbanks, the second the mercury pushes above 10 degrees, this wonderful city truly comes alive. As always, there is plenty planned for the summer season, so make sure to mark these events in your calendar whether you’re a long-time local or a first-time visitor. Here are the most unmissable events in Paisley this summer.

Fox & Hounds Beer and Music Festival 

The award-winning Fox & Hounds pub is putting on yet another annual edition of its hugely popular Beer and Music Festival, which in the past has seen hundreds of revellers cram into this 200-year-old pub to sample the array of Scottish produce and ales on offer.

The first day of the three-day extravaganza kicks off the 26th May and features a number of performances from both local indie groups and tribute bands.

Attendance is completely free, and there will also be a roaring barbeque pit in the beer garden for anyone who just fancies a classic grilled burger. There will be over 30 ales to choose from, which explains why this is one of the most popular events around. 

Dundee vs St Mirren 

Paisley isn’t exactly known for sporting greatness, but our own St Mirren F.C. have managed to make some waves in recent years for their ability to take on some of the more established teams and bag some surprise wins. 

At the end of May, they’ll be playing against long-time rivals Dundee, so expect a festive atmosphere throughout the city in the run-up to the 14:30 kick-off. If you’re unable to bag a ticket, all of the local pubs will be hosting live screenings, so you’ll still be able to get a piece of the action. 

Bookmakers will be offering all of the latest odds on this one, with platforms like Oddschecker highlighting all of the places to score some free bets in anticipation of the game, should you want to place a wager on St Mirren without dipping into your own pocket. 

The British Pipe Band Championships 

In 2019 Paisley will have the honour of hosting the British Pipe Band Championships, where the 100 best pipe bands in the world will converge to battle it out over the course of Saturday 18th May. Thousands of people are expecting to be in attendance, so be sure to rock up early if you’re planning on getting a good view of the performances. 

A free shuttle bus will be running from Gilmour Street station to the events space throughout the day, so you don’t need to worry about parking. Alongside the music performances, there will also be a Highland Games competition, featuring some classic Scottish strongman matches. Plenty of food and drink stalls will also be in attendance. 

This is another event that’s completely free, in addition to being great for the whole family. 

Sma’ Shot Day 

This is by far the most important day of the year for the people of Paisley. It’s a worker’s day and a celebration of the city’s long history of radicalism and supporting labour movements. Back in 1856, the weavers of Paisley managed to negotiate a pay increase from the big textile tycoons, who had refused to pay them worthwhile wages for the high-quality product which the city was known worldwide for. 

The pay increase was modest, but it was a symbolic victory for worker’s rights and one of the earliest known examples of effective unionisation. On the first Saturday of July, you’ll be able to join the people of Paisley in a massive celebration which takes over the whole city, featuring talks from literary figures, politicians, and celebrities. 

This year will be the biggest celebration yet, with a record number of gigs, performances, stand-up events, and discussions planned. Again, most of the festivities are completely free, so join Paisley as it looks back on one of the most significant episodes in its history. 

Anyone is Paisley this summer will have no excuse for staying indoors. Come rain or shine, there will be plenty to keep you busy, so make to pencil in these events now. 

More than 16,000 people turned out to enjoy a two-day feast of delicious street food and live entertainment at this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival.

The fifth annual event, which took place on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April, attracted crowds from Renfrewshire and beyond to the town’s Abbey Close for one of Scotland’s largest outdoor food and drink festivals.

Visitors were able to tempt their taste buds as more than 40 traders and vendors served the finest street food and drink, alongside fascinating cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs, children’s workshops and more.

The party started on Friday evening with Glasgow’s award-winning Gin71 bar hosting two expert gin tasting sessions, while the popular Rum Shack provided a Caribbean flavour with music from their resident DJs.

Glasgow’s popular PLATFORM independent street food market went out on tour to Paisley Food and Drink Festival for the first time, bringing along a range of delicious street food traders for foodies to enjoy across the two days, including British Street Food Awards finalist Ginger and Chilli, Brigston & Co. Artisan Hot Dogs and delicious vegan gummies and desserts from Crema Caravan.

Festival-goers could unwind with cutting-edge cocktails in the giant Kata tee-pee tents, packed with colourful furniture and tunes from the PLAFORM DJs.

Hilary Goodfellow, Project Manager for PLATFORM on Tour, said: “We’ve had an absolutely brilliant weekend being part of this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival. The feedback has been brilliant with so many people embracing street food and enjoying trying some new foods.

“We love taking our traders out on tour, especially to events like this with something for everyone to enjoy. It was great to see people turn out in their numbers. The vibe at the festival was just fantastic.”

Paisley Food and Drink Festival ensured there was something to suit all tastes, with gluten-free and dairy-free options and a brand-new vegan and vegetarian zone at this year’s event.

Other street food stalls included Babu Kitchen,  Scozzese Pizza, POKE, Edin Burger, Flip n Fast Crepes and There’s No Catch, while the unique Fizzbuz prosecco van and Dispensary Bar also returned to delight the crowds.

Local resident, Beth Miller, said: “The festival has been brilliant. There’s so many different choices of food and drink – and they’re all really tasty! There’s lots of great music and things for kids too.”

The popular cooking demonstrations were back at this year’s festival, with celebrity chefs, Gary Maclean, winner of MasterChef – The Professionals 2016, Matt Pritchard, star of hit MTV series Dirty Sanchez and BBC TV’s Dirty Vegan, and baking sensations Three Sisters Bake all on hand to offer their top tips.

The cooking demonstration tent was sponsored by Zero Waste Scotland’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign, who provided advice on how to avoid wasting good food.

Chef Gary Maclean said: “I was so happy to be part of this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival. It’s a fantastic event and an amazing place to hold cooking demonstrations.

“For me, the festival is all about the people of Paisley and I love the fun I have with Paisley’s cooking enthusiasts when I’m here. It really is one of my favourite places to come to.”

Families were able to enjoy top music and entertainment all day on Saturday at the Main Stage, sponsored by Paisley’s The Bungalow music venue, and the Burger and Keg tent.

An interactive show from kids favourites Sprog Rock, tributes to the music of Ariana Grande, Little Mix and Steps by Princesses of Pop and ska sensations Esperanza were just some of the highlights on the Main Stage, while a number of local acts showcased their talents in the Burger and Keg tent.

Beer enthusiasts could take their pick from over 70 craft conditioned ales and craft beers at the Renfrewshire CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) Beer Tent on both Friday and Saturday.

Other highlights of the weekend included children’s pizza making workshops with Glasgow’s Tennent’s Training Academy and Chocolate Making with Limetree Larder, food, science and games sessions with children’s entertainer Captain James Tea Cook and gardening workshops with Renfrewshire Growing Grounds Forum.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is the first major event in Renfrewshire Council’s popular events calendar. Other fantastic events taking place this spring and summer include, The British Pipe Band Championships on Saturday 18 May, Sma‘ Shot Day on Saturday 6 July and the annual Renfrew and Barshaw Gala Days on Sunday 2 and Saturday 22 June.

To find out about more upcoming events in Paisley and Renfrewshire visit:

heriot primary fire

There has been outrage about the fire in the Outdoor Classroom fire which was started last night (Thursday 25th April) There has been a gofundme page setup by one of the parents, first of all here is some info from the bbc news, The photos were courtesy of Elaine Adams who witnessed the sickening act.

heriot primary fire

From the BBC:

Vandals have torched an outdoor primary classroom in Renfrewshire, prompting outrage in the local community.

Firefighters were called to the grounds of Heriot Primary in Foxbar, Paisley at about 20:20 on Thursday.

No one was injured and the crew left the scene by 21:40. Police are treating the incident as wilful.

Local residents have since expressed frustration over the loss of the wooden gazebo online.

heriot primary

One parent, who has since set up a crowd funder to restore the structure, called it a “valuable resource that we cannot do without”.

While staff at the school tweeted: “We are absolutely devastated at losing such a well used outdoor classroom.

“We have been so overwhelmed with the support we’ve had from our local community. Thank you everyone!”

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said inquiries were continuing.


To help please visit

Paisley Food & Drink Fest 2019 _D3A8373

The Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 is well underway with visitors enjoying a fantastic first day at one of Scotland’s biggest outdoor food and drink events.

Paisley Food & Drink Fest 2019 _D3A8328

The town’s fifth annual event is taking place today (Friday 26 April) and Saturday 27 April, with more than 40 food and drink traders and live entertainment – all in the stunning surroundings of Paisley’s historic Abbey.

This year’s line-up also features delicious street food traders from the popular PLATFORM on Tour – the independent street food market who reside in Glasgow’s Argyle Street Arches, expert tasting sessions with the award-winning Gin 71 bar, Glasgow’s popular Rum Shack, live music on The Bungalow Main Stage, children’s workshops, the Renfrewshire CAMRA Beer Tent and much more.

Festival-goers can also enjoy cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs Gary Maclean, winner of MasterChef – The Professionals 2016, Matt Pritchard, star of hit MTV series Dirty Sanchez and BBC TV’s Dirty Vegan, and baking sensations Three Sisters Bake.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is one of the highlights in the area’s annual events calendar. Renfrewshire’s major events generated almost £5m for the local economy in 2018 and saw total attendance figures of over 160,000.

Day two of the festival begins at 12pm tomorrow (Saturday 27 April) with traders open and entertainment right up until 9pm, so make sure you don’t miss out on all the fun.

the bungalow
🎪The Bungalow are proud to announce that we are sponsors of the Paisley Food and Drink Festival Main Stage 2019🎪

We are delighted to be part of this brilliant family festival this year and will be entertaining you with a variety of live music from 12 till 9 pm on Saturday the 27th April

the bungalow

This festival is a must do, it’s free and suits all ages! See more

 — with Little Mix MagicStepz,SPROG ROCKMandulu & HephzibahUncut,EsperanzaThe Audiorayz and Simply Ariana.

White Ribbon_Renfrewshire 2

Renfrewshire politicians join forces with White Ribbon Scotland and local bookies to tackle violence against women

A campaign to tackle violence against women is being launched in betting shops in Renfrewshire with the support of local politicians Tom Arthur MSP and Gavin Newlands MP.

Betting shop staff from bookmakers William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Paddy Power will take part in the week long campaign in support of White Ribbon Scotland, a charity which campaigns with men to end gender based violence.

White Ribbon_Renfrewshire 2

The campaign is the result of an ongoing partnership between White Ribbon Scotland and ABB Scotland, the trade association for high street bookmakers.

During the campaign, betting shop staff will ask men who enter their shops to sign the White Ribbon Scotland pledge ‘never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women in all its forms.’

Previous campaigns in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Hamilton and Inverness have secured around 2,200 pledges of support for the charity. The latest campaign will involve betting shops in Paisley, Renfrew, Johnstone and Linwood and will run from 29 April to 6 May.

Ahead of the launch, betting shop staff took part in a White Ribbon Scotland training workshop attended by Renfrewshire South MSP Tom Arthur and Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Gavin Newlands, an ambassador for White Ribbon Scotland.

Tom Arthur MSP said: “Unfortunately, male violence against women and girls remains prevalent in our society. However, the White Ribbon Campaign has created a vital platform to engage men to help make the changes required to end violence against women in Scotland. It is not about stigmatising men, but rather encouraging them to take a vocal stand against domestic abuse. In doing so, we can reinforce the notion that this violence will not be tolerated, and nor will the sexism and inequality that accompanies it.”

White Ribbon_Renfrewshire 2

Gavin Newlands MP said: “Violence against women affects many people in our society. It is essential that whilst providing services to support survivors of coercive control and violence that we also look to prevent crimes happening in the first place. White Ribbon Scotland provides training to educate men about what they can do to help eliminate this scourge. With this campaign through local bookmakers they are taking the messages of their campaign to our communities in Renfrewshire and I would urge everyone to sign the White Ribbon pledge not to ‘commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women’.”

Davy Thompson, campaign director of White Ribbon Scotland, added: “If we are to end violence against women in Scotland it is essential that we engage men to help make the changes required. The first of these is to speak up and create an atmosphere in which it is clear it will not be tolerated and neither will the sexism and inequality which condones it. Engagement through local bookies has been shown to reach large numbers of men who step up to take the pledge and make it clear that they will not ignore this issue.”

ABB Scotland spokesman Donald Morrison said: “This campaign is not about stigmatising men, the vast majority of whom would never contemplate violence against women. It is about encouraging men to take a stand against domestic abuse. The success of our previous betting shop campaigns shows that more and more men are prepared to take such a stand. In each campaign, customers sent a very clear message that it is entirely unacceptable to commit, condone or ignore violence against women. We look forward to working with betting shop staff in Renfrewshire to spread this important message.”

The partnership between ABB Scotland and White Ribbon Scotland has been shortlisted in this year’s Business Charity Awards which take place in May.

For more information about White Ribbon Scotland visit