Drone

AGS Airports, which owns and manages Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, is to lead a consortium that will develop and trial what will be the UK’s first national distribution network to use drones to transport essential medicines, blood, organs and other medical supplies throughout Scotland.

Drone

The AGS led consortium, which brings together 14 organisations including the University of Strathclyde, and leading air traffic control provider NATS, successfully secured £1.5 millionfrom the UK Industrial Strategy Future Flight Challenge Fund to demonstrate how autonomous drone technology can enhance access to essential medical supplies, particularly in rural parts of Scotland.

The CAELUS (Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland) project started on 1 December and will involve live drone flight trials. In addition to developing the ground infrastructure needed to recharge the drones and the systems to control them while flying, a key aspect of the project will be designing pathways to ensure the drones can safely share airspace with civil aviation. The project will also ensure critical aspects such as public safety, security and noise levels are considered.

A digital blueprint of the drone delivery network will then be created with the potential to connect hospitals, pathology laboratories, distribution centres and GP surgeries across Scotland. The project is scheduled to run until Spring 2022.

Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, said: “This project has the potential to completely revolutionise the way in which healthcare services are delivered in Scotland. Not only does drone technology have the ability to speedup the delivery of critical medical supplies, it could reduce waiting times for test results and, more importantly, help provide equity of care between urban and remote rural communities.

“The organisations within this consortium are some of the most skilled and experienced in drone technology. The funding from UK Industrial Strategy will allow us to work together to overcome some of the challenges associated with scaling drone operations to deliver atransport network that is technically, socially and financially viable.

Although our focus is on healthcare, the CAELUS project could pave the way for the deployment of drone-enabled logistics in other sectors and has the potential to change the way airspace is used by manned and unmanned vehicles. It also has clear environmental benefits as it will play a key role in reducing the carbon emissions generated by existing, road-based distribution networks within Scotland.

NHS Ayrshire & Arran and the NHS West of Scotland Innovation Hub, which supports health and social care innovation across the West of Scotland, will work alongside the AGS led consortium on the project

Karen Bell, Head of Research & Development – Innovation Lead for NHS Ayrshire & Arran said: “NHS Ayrshire & Arran are excited to be leading on the delivery of this project on behalf of the West of Scotland Innovation Hub.

This is an opportunity to work with aviation colleagues to explore the innovative use of drone technology to address some of the potential challenges facing daily delivery of NHS services, not only within NHS Ayrshire & Arran but across the West of Scotland.”

The Scottish Government’s Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This innovative project will help position Scotland at the forefront of drone technologies to deliver essential healthcare supplies to people more quickly, especially those living remote locations. It also demonstrates, once again, that when businesses, universities and public sector work together they can deliver for Scotland and outperform the competition, attracting welcome funding at this challenging time.”

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Strathclyde is a founding member of the UK Aviation Research Consortium and we are delighted to play a central role in this exciting project, applying our expertise from across multiple disciplines. The project aligns with our health technologies research cluster and our long track record of working with industry and the public sector. We look forward to demonstrating the potential value of drone delivery of medical supplies for the public, NHS, the economy, social equality and for the aviation manufacturing industry in Scotland.”

Gary Cutts, Future Flight Challenge Director, added: “At this very challenging time for the international aviation industry, it is a great testament to the UK’s drive and ambition that we have had such a strong response to the first funded Future Flight competition. The breadth, quality and creativity of the bids has been exceptional and the economic and social benefits offered are very significant. The projects we are now launching will position the UK strongly to drive the third revolution in aviation.”

The CAELUS consortium comprises:

AGS Airports Limited​​​​​NATS (Services) Limited

ANRA Technologies UK Ltd​​​​Schneider Electric (UK) Limited

Atkins Ltd​​​​​​Avy – Drones for Good

The Drone Office Ltd​​​​​Connected Places Catapult

Trax International Ltd ​​​​​DGP Intelsius Limited

uAvionix Ltd​​​​​​Leonardo MW Ltd​​

University of Strathclyde​​​​Dronamics

kirsty logan
In 1880, Benjamin Disraeli famously said “Keep your eye on Paisley!” Paisley has a long history of radicalism, of finding strength in facing up to and overcoming adversity in whatever shape or form it might take.
The theme for the 2021 Paisley Book Festival, Radical New Futures, emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic and the resilience and fortitude that people and communities have shown. It has also been motivated by the importance that green spaces have played as solace and recuperation over the last year.
kirsty logan
Books and reading have been a great source of comfort for so many people during lockdown, evidenced by increased borrowing figures at Renfrewshire Libraries.
The Paisley Book Festival is supported by Future Paisley, a programme of economic, social, and physical regeneration continuing the excitement and momentum experienced during the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 Bid. It is delivered by Renfrewshire Leisure and funded by Renfrewshire Council.
The 2021 Festival will be a digital forum with contributors coming from across the globe into your own home. It is delighted to welcome the 2020 Booker Prize winner, Douglas Stuart, who will be joined by Scottish literary giant, Andrew O’Hagan and debut writer, Graeme Armstrong. Other headline events will include Janey Godley, Melanie Reid, Chris Brookmyre and Dr. Marisa Haetzman, writer for Small Axe series Courttia Newland, Salena Godden, Jenny Kleeman, Kirstin Innes, and Kate Charlesworth in conversation with Val McDermid. Events for children will include Ross Mackenzie, Vivian French, Patience Agbabi, Karine Polwart and Kate Leiper.
Setting the tone for the Festival on its opening night – Radical New Futures – will be poet, playwright and performer Hannah Lavery (The Drift and Lament for Sheku Boyah), writer Laura Waddell (Exit) and Renfrewshire local Alan Bissett with his new novella Lazy Suzan. The opening night will also include Newtopia: Women with Fierce Words, a multimedia performance of writing emerging from women’s disrupted lives as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, presented by Women With Fierce Words and joined from India by the award-winning poet, Saima Afreen.
Paisley Book Festival welcomes novelist, poet, performer, Kirsty Logan and author and singer-songwriter Malachy Tallack as guest curators. Kirsty has curated a strand Understories: Reclaiming the stories we think we know with authors Intan ParamadithaSarah Maria GriffinKiran Millwood HargraveRebecca TamasMichael Lee Richardson and Tasha Suri. Malachy welcomes authors Alastair McIntoshKapka KassabovaPatrick LaurieCal Flyn and Lisa Wollett to the festival as part of an event strand called A Place for Hope: land, loss and the politics of care.
Writer in Residence Imogen Stirling presents... c. Sarah Grant
Full programme can be viewed on: paisleybookfestival.com – listings document attached. 
Victoria HollowsChief ExecutiveRenfrewshire Leisure said: 
“I am delighted we are able to launch the 2021 Paisley Book Festival, albeit in a different format from last year but with the same energy and inspirational programming that made our first festival such a success. This year’s theme of Radical New Futures embodies the feeling of strength and innovation that has been evident in communities throughout the pandemic and I am delighted to see this is reflected in the excellent line-up of writers involved in the festival, from headliners such as Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart to local writers, poets and children’s authors. I am sure that this festival will be a huge success and will put the Paisley Book Festival on the map for years to come.”
Paisley Book Festival Co-Producer Jess Orr said: “Whilst current restrictions mean that this year’s festival will be very different to its inaugural iteration back in February 2020, we are thrilled to be bringing the energy and spirit of Paisley and its people, their resilience and determination to look forward to a new and different future, to digital audiences this year. Whether you live in Paisley or not, we hope you’ll join us from wherever you are to celebrate the radical spirit that is well and truly alive in the world of books, and in the acts of reading and writing.”
book festival
The Festival also welcomes Glasgow-based writer, musician, and educator, Imogen Stirling, as its first Writer-in-Residence. This residency will see her hosting online workshops with Renfrewshire community groups in January and February 2021, and writing her own response to this year’s festival theme, Radical New Futures. Imogen will curate and host three festival events which include Imogen’s Big Night In with Dean AttaIona Lee and Emme Woods and Radicalism in Stillness with her  in conversation with Sarah Grant
Paisley Book Festival Co-Producer Keira Brown said: “Through support from Creative Scotland, we were delighted to appoint Glasgow-based writer, musician, and educator Imogen Stirling as our first Writer-in-Residence. Imogen has this week kicked off her online workshops with community groups across Renfrewshire enabling us to engage more local people as well as curating three of our wider book festival events. This new post has been such a significant addition to the Festival, and one which we hope will continue with future festivals.”
In addition, the Festival will host a schools and learning programme (branded #YoungFutures) by releasing a series of original videos, created by some of the UK’s most talented children and young adult authors. It will encourage schools across Paisley and Renfrewshire to watch these videos either at home or in their classrooms and engage with the authors’ ideas about what a radical future looks like to them.
The 2021 Paisley Book Festival programme has something for everyone and it looks forward to welcoming you to its digital stage.
Information | interviews | photographs contact: Wendy Niblock PR | wendyjniblock@btinternet.com | 07961 814834
Samaratans

STAFF at Braehead shopping centre will be turning Blue Monday into Brew Monday as a way of keeping in touch with one another during lockdown.

They are supporting the Samaritans’ Brew Monday event, on January 18 and have organised a virtual quiz on Zoom along with everyone having a cuppa.

Samaratans

The third Monday in January is traditionally known as Blue Monday – the saddest day of the year – and with many Braehead staff on furlough or working from home it was decided to do something to keep in touch with each other.

Lydia Brown, Braehead’s community development manager explains: “We usually have an event in the centre to bring a smile to everyone’s face on Blue Monday.

“But with this year being so different and the centre only open for essential shopping we decided to stage a Braehead Zoom quiz for staff. It’s a nice way to keep in touch with each other, have a quiz, a chat and a cuppa during these tough times.

“Because many of us are either on furlough or working from home, we don’t get to see and talk to each other as much as usual.

“It’s important that everyone reaches out to their colleagues and friends during lockdown.”

Braehead will stage two Brew Monday quiz sessions on Monday, with the centre’s operations manager, Paul Lucas acting as quizmaster.

The Samaritans launched Brew Monday to turn Blue Monday into something positive by encouraging people to get together over a warming cuppa. 

Go to www.samaritans.org for more information about Brew Monday and the charity, or if you want to chat to someone, call 116 123 for free.

A proposal to move Paisley Grammar School to a new-build community campus on the town’s Renfrew Road is going before councillors for approval next week.

Renfrewshire Council last year ran a six-week consultation where the school community and general public were asked their views on the plan for a new school on the former Chivas site.

And members of the council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board will next week consider the contents of the consultation – and whether to agree to move the school.

The current Paisley Grammar building has been assessed as in need of improvement, and the current site on Glasgow Road doesn’t allow room to expand.

A new community campus would let pupils and staff to move to modern accommodation with outdoor areas, state-of-the-art technology, and high-quality media, drama and sports facilities not possible on the current site.

The formal consultation allowed the public to have their say online, via letter, or through one of two virtual public meetings, where senior officers answered questions from the public.

All questions received and answers given were published on the council website and attached to the report going to members of the board to consider before they meet on 21 January.

The results demonstrated overall support for the proposals and officers have recommended councillors give the green light to the move.

Officers from Education Scotland examined the consultation and concluded the proposal ‘has clear educational benefits’ and ‘the potential to provide a high-quality learning environment’.

Some parents raised concerns over traffic at the proposed site, which the council would work with all concerned to find solutions for.

It was confirmed in December Paisley Grammar was one of 25 schools across Scotland to receive funding from the Scottish Government’s £1bn Learning Estate Investment Programme, which – along with money already set aside by the council – would help fund the new building.

Councillor Jim Paterson, convener of the Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “It is a big priority for us to make sure all our pupils are learning in the best possible setting.

“The current Paisley Grammar building has served the town well for generations but is now outdated. We have had to look at other ways to provide the type of modern accommodation and facilities which will give pupils the best chance to reach their potential.

“I would like to thank everyone who took part in the public consultation last year and can assure you all views expressed have been taken into account. It will be for councillors to carefully consider all those comments and make a decision on whether to approve the proposals.”

Should the proposal be approved next week, council officers would start work on the next stages of the work. It is estimated any new school wouldn’t be complete until at least 2025.

Pro Score Academy

ProScore Academy are offering 1 to 1 coaching in adherence with ScotGov guidelines at Pro Fives in Paisley.

Pro Score Academy
Get in touch to stay active and book your session now.

Youngsters were encouraged to muck about during their last few days at school before the holidays.

Although Covid-19 put paid to their annual Christmas party, pupils from Rashielea Primary 4-7 were given the chance to take part in a fun Rough Mudder assault course, organised by Renfrewshire Leisure’s Active Schools team.

The Rashie Rough Mudder event saw youngsters don their waterproof clothing – funded by the school’s Parents’ Association – and start their messy journey at the bottom of a hill outside their school.

They clambered over logs; weaved through obstacles; jumped in and out of giant tractor tyres, donated by the Hamilton Ross Group; rolled on their stomachs over barrels; crawled under a parachute and slalomed on a space hopper.

As part of their work that led to being given the John Muir Award for improving the environment, Rashielea Primary 6 pupils had cleared a nearby wood and part of the Rough Mudder course included passing through this area and finishing on a mudslide.

Renfrewshire Leisure Active School and Community Club Development Officer, Tammy Johnston said: “We didn’t want the pupils to miss out a last day of fun before breaking up for the Christmas holidays.

“The children weren’t afraid to get muddy and were more than up for a day of messy fun. As soon as they had their waterproofs on they tackled the course with great gusto.”

School staff and volunteers from the nearby Park Mains High were also on hand to help direct the children through the course.

It had been a busy school term for the pupils at Rashielea, as they took part in a reverse Advent Calendar with each pupil bringing in an item for each day for donation to local food banks.

Youngsters video recorded their Nativity Play for residents of LittleInch Care Home, at Inchinnan to watch and pupils also organised a Christmas jumper day raising money to buy toys for the Salvation Army Toy Appeal.

Pupils from Primary 1-3 used technology to transport themselves to Bethlehem for a Christmas carol concert with a difference. They used special green screen recording techniques to video their performance. However, because singing is still not allowed in schools due to Covid restrictions, they used Makaton to sign the words of the songs while accompanied by pupils playing instruments.

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Jacobite Receipt to Paisley Town Magistrates (1745 Rebellion)

Jacobite Receipt to Paisley Town Magistrates (1745 Rebellion)On 29 December 1745, exactly 275 years ago to the day, the Jacobites led by Bonnie Prince Charlie issued a summons to the then Paisley Town Council to meet and account for raising a local militia against them.

This summons, along with a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary for a £500 fine paid just five days later by the people of Paisley, will go on display when Paisley Museum reopens following its £42m redevelopment.

Jacobite Propaganda Medal commissioned by Charles Edward Stuart

Unlike other towns, that were also fined by the Jacobites but later reimbursed, Paisley’s money has never been returned. Glasgow received £10,000 for its loss in 1749, and in 1750 Dumfries was indemnified with £2,800, however every application Paisley made was refused.

Archie Henderson, Social History Research Assistant for Paisley Museum said: “The history of the Jacobites is full of fascinating tales and having the opportunity to reinterpret the museum’s collection, tell new stories and retell old stories in a more engaging way is all part of the museum’s redevelopment. On 30th December this year Bonnie Prince Charlie will celebrate his 300th birthday, so what better time for us to remind people of this part of our town’s history.” 

Originally, Bonnie Prince Charlie fined Paisley £1,000 and took Bailie Matthew Kyle and former Bailie William Park hostage to ensure the fine was paid. However, this fine was later reduced to £500 providing it was paid in full by the following evening. When the time came, the town only managed to pay £300, and the payment window was extended by 12 hours. At the final hour the remaining payment was made to the Jacobites and a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary John Murray of Broughton was issued.

Henderson goes on to explain: “After the Jacobites were defeated at Culloden, and money started to be repaid to other towns, Paisley Council was advised that they should take John Murray to court, which they did in 1753 and the case dragged on for seven years without success. In 1760 an appeal was launched but again there is no record of any response or positive outcome, so the debt has remained outstanding.”

It is believed that £500 in today’s money would be worth more than £100,000.

The redevelopment of the museum will enable the number of objects on display to be increased by 100%. Significant items from the Jacobite collection that will go on display alongside the summons (dated 29 Dec 1745) and the receipt (dated 3 Jan 1746) include a Culloden sword passed down from the Carlile family; a Jacobite silver medal commissioned by Bonnie Prince Charlie; a painting by David Wilkie (1819) of The Veteran Highlander; and a headstone originally from the grounds of Paisley Abbey commemorating John Orr, one of eight Paisley volunteers killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1746.

Paisley Museum is part of the town’s radical regeneration plan, and the redesign of the campus is led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam. When it reopens it is expected to attract over 125,000 visits each year and provide a £79 million economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Paisley’s collections are culturally significant and the museum’s refurbishment is a wonderful opportunity for the town to reinterpret our objects for public display in a way that is engaging and meaningful to visitors.

“It is also a real tribute to our curatorial teams past and present, that our objects are still in such good condition, and are able to illustrate the area’s rich culture and the people’s story.”

Paisley Museum Reimagined is supported by Renfrewshire Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. The museum’s final phase of fundraising is now under way, with the museum website reimagined.paisleymuseum.org showcasing the project’s ambitious vision.

Val Bissland for Paisley & District U3A

The secrets for a happier New Year will be shared soon with Paisley & District U3A members.  Guest speaker, Val Bissland explores how to develop a positive outlook and create greater enjoyment in life.  As an experienced psychology tutor at the University of Strathclyde’s Centre for Lifelong Learning, Val also welcomes questions at the interactive monthly zoom meeting at 2pm on Thursday 7 January.

Val Bissland for Paisley & District U3A

U3A chair, Kathy O’Donnell said: “Life hasn’t been normal since the pandemic began and this has taken its toll on our emotions and mental health.  Some older people seem to deal better with uncertainty than others and part of it is down to coping mechanisms.  So we decided to find out how members could boost their own happiness during 2021.  Val Bissland will explain how helpful choices can make us become emotionally resilient.”

“We often overlook our mental strengths.  Positive psychology has identified many ways we can soothe our anxieties and become a bit happier. I’ll talk about some strategies that seem to work well for most people”, Val remarked.

For details on how to view this free live talk, please visit the U3A website: https://u3asites.org.uk/paisley/welcome

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

But vibrant programme of digital content and services will be in place to support residents’ health and wellbeing during restrictions

Venues operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will temporarily close in line with the Scottish Government Covid-19 restrictions from Boxing Day.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

The Level 4 measures coming into place across mainland Scotland on December 26th will be in place for at least three weeks, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

 

These restrictions mean that all leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and the heritage centre run by Renfrewshire Leisure must close to the public during that period.

 

While in-venue facilities will be closed, a vibrant and varied package of content – covering everything from fitness and wellbeing to storytelling and nostalgia – will be available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com and via the online REN TV channel.

 

A vast selection of library books are also available for download via the array of services offered online by Renfrewshire Libraries.

 

Outdoor non-contact sports will also continue, whilst they remain in line with Government guidance and that of individual sport governing bodies.

 

Direct Debit payments will not be taken in January in light of this latest announcement.

 

Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive Victoria Hollows said: “We hope that people understand why we have to suspend in-venue services to help protect our communities. We all hope that this latest period of increased restrictions will have the desired effect in reducing rates of transmission and that we can reopen later in January.

 

“Even though our venues will be closed, we remain here for our communities and our team will be working hard to continue to create and deliver content for our members and the wider community online and via social media and also through outdoor activity.

 

“While we cannot offer services in-venue, we hope that our work online and outdoor will help the wellbeing of the region’s residents and keep people safe and well at what is a challenging time for us all, perhaps even more so at this time of year.”

 

Plans had already been in place for a revised festive programme – as is normal – from December 24th until January 3rd (inclusive).

 

Details on service updates will be shared as soon as they are available online and via Renfrewshire Leisure’s social media channels.