Spree for all

Music fans can enjoy a bumper line-up of gigs across Renfrewshire in September with the announcement of this year’s Spree for All.

Spree for all

The programme, established in recent years as a ‘fringe festival’ to Paisley’s annual The Spree festival, will see live music events take place in the area’s towns and villages across 1 – 11 September.

This year’s Spree for All has been programmed by Tommy McGrory of local music charity Loud ‘n’ Proud and Alan McEwan, director of Brick Lane Studios.

The packed programme will see venues in Paisley host fantastic gigs and open nights across the 11 days, with something to suit everyone’s tastes at The Bungalow, The Cave, The Keg, The Old Swan and Rocknrolla’s.

There’s an afternoon of performances to enjoy at Johnstone Band Stand on Saturday 3 September before live music at The Trust Inn and Habbies Bar and Grill in Kilbarchan later that evening.

Lochwinnoch’s Lochbarr Centre will host a Village Live night on Friday 9 September, while Lochwinnoch Golf Club, The Three Churches, The Brown Bull and The Corner Bar will stage a variety of shows on Saturday 10 September.

There’s a packed weekend in Renfrew with live entertainment at the Victoria Bar on Saturday 10 September before performances from top local acts in Robertson Park from 12pm – 5pm on Sunday 11 September.

Alan McEwan said: “I am absolutely delighted to be involved with what is going to be a fantastic Spree for All again this September. It’s great to be back working with artists in venues this year and we have a mix of indoor and outdoor shows for you to come and see free of charge across Renfrewshire.

“We have great artists such as Spiders on Mars, The M65s, Berry Tweed and The Chasers and North to Abeline to name a few – and also the wonderful Village Live youth project at our partner venues.

“I would like to thank Morag (Lochwinnoch Arts), Danny (Raptor Studios) and Ali and Jason (Erskine Arts) for helping make this happen.”

Pauline Allan, Events Manager at Renfrewshire Council, said: “We’re really looking forward to welcoming back the Spree for All events next month, which will once again provide a great accompaniment to The Spree festival in Paisley.

“The exciting programme offers something for everyone to enjoy and provides even more opportunities to get out and enjoy the wealth of talent we have here in Renfrewshire at our fantastic local venues.”

Full listings for the Spree for All programme are available online at www.thespree.co.uk/spree-for-all.

The Spree music and comedy festival is organised by Renfrewshire Council. This year’s events take place from Thursday 1 – Saturday 10 September, with tickets still available for top shows including Tinariwen, The Bootleg Beatles, Barbara Dickson & Rab Noakes, Horse McDonald, Altered Images, Susie McCabe and The Slow Readers Club.

The Wee Spree programme for kids and families will take place from Saturday 15 – Sunday 23 October to coincide with the mid-term break for Renfrewshire schools. Tickets for the Wee Spree events are on sale now.

For tickets and further details of shows at The Spree and Wee Spree, visit: www.thespree.co.uk.

Rocknrollas have an absolutely superb band in tomorrow night called The Signatures. They are a ten-piece soul backing band and they play rare soul associated with the 1970’s underground dance scene “Northern Soul”.

​The Signatures can be seen across the UK playing at many music festivals, live music venues as well as hosting their own Northern Soul nights working with various DJ’s across the UK. The Signatures have been fortunate enough to work with many original Northern Soul artists and so far have worked with and backed the following: Tommy Hunt, Dean Parrish, Tobi Legend, Brenda Holloway, Spyder Turner, Jimmy Thomas, Pat Lewis, Ruby Andrews, Chairmen Of The Board FT Ken Knox, The Flirtations, Nolan Porter and also worked with Bobby Wilson (son of the late Jackie Wilson).

The Signatures have supported March of the Mods for several years. Joining them will be Stefan Taylor for an evening which sees them playing the very best of Northern Soul. All profits raised from the event will go to Teenage Cancer Trust via Glasgow March of the ModsTickets are £12.50 and doors are 7.30pm. You can get tickets on entry. On Sunday it is Hitsville PA1 from 2pm.

Tonight The Best Bad Influence returns to The Bungalow with their outstanding Rock n Roll Live performance. They are one of the most energetic and exciting bands on the circuit and their brand of old and new Rockabilly is exceptional. The gig is free and doors open are at 7pm.

It is Rock Day at The Bungalow on Saturday and the venue has a full line up of the best local rock covers bands around. The day starts with: Heavy Traffic 2.30pm: Drty Luv 4.15pm: Canyon 6pm: Shardlake 7.45: The Dead Flowers 9.30pm. Local guitarist Iain Forbes will be performing outside in outside stage from 2.30pm.

Introducing Night this week features another line up of emerging talent and they are Ghostbaby, Frog Mountain and Catlash. Tickets are £5/£3 and available from Eventbrite/on the door on the night. Doors are 7pm with the first band going on approx 8pm. 

The Keg have 3 piece band Canyon in tonight from 9pm and tomorrow night at the same time of 9pm  up and coming Glasgow band Northern Holiday bring their blend of groovy garage rock and spaced-out psychedelic swagger. In support is Tape Deck 45.

The Cave have local new band on the scene Bits n Pieces in tonight from 8pm. No Class are playing tomorrow in the early slot at 6pm then later from 9pm playing till late it will be Wildcard. To finish off the weekend Rumours will be on stage at 6pm on Sunday.

Rheumatoid Rockers are playing at The Swan tonight from 8pm then tomorrow Inn He ‘Shoppers Slot’ at 4pm it is Headhunters. As it is Paisley Fair, The Swan has put on aextra gig on Sunday from 5pm and local band Abbey Road will be playing at this tea time special. The rest of the week looks like this: Clyde are in their usual slot at 5pm on Mondayand Lee James on Tuesday and Thursday at 3pm. Just announced – It’s back for the 6th year running on 3 September, T in the Swan a live music all day festival. This is a belter of a day and is jam packed with 8 live bands, solos, stage inside and out, BBQ and cocktail bar. All this for £6.You can get tickets at The Swan but be quick, this is a very popular event, so to avoid disappointment get down quickly and get your tickets.

Sunday Live continues at Kennedy’s on Sunday from 3pm and Jenni and the Blockheads are at The Anchor also on Sunday from 4.30pm.

This week’s Open Mic sessions are: Abbey Bar on Monday with Dunky Hunter at 8pm, Jason Flood is the host at Gantry on Tuesday from 9pm; Johnny Barr will be at The Keg on Wednesday from 8.30pm. Have a great week and Keep Music Live.

Ide MacNeil

YOUNGSTER Ide MacNeil had a wizard time dressing up as Harry Potter at Braehead shopping centre at the weekend.

The five-year-old from Paisley was at the mall when it played host to Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity for a Harry Potter Weekend of fun-filled activities including a treasure hunt and some magical arts and crafts.

Ide MacNeil

Kids also had their photograph taken in front of a green screen and thanks to some Harry Potter magic, when the pictured is emailed to them, the backdrop will make it look like they have been in Hogwarts.

The three-day event was held to raise much-needed funds for the charity’s life-changing projects and services for children in hospital and their families.


Anyone taking part was asked to make a minimum of a £1 donation for each activity to the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

Braehead’s community development manager, Lydia Brown said: “We had a magical weekend of wizards and witches and everyone enjoyed becoming Harry Potter – even for just a little while.”

Ide MacNeil 1

William McGowan, Head of Partnerships and Events, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity said “We are incredibly grateful to Braehead for their continued support and generosity.

“Funds raised through our Harry Potter Weekend activities will help to continue our charity-funded play and events programme, family support services and well-being support for NHS staff, giving children and their families the best possible hospital experience.”

The Dughoose Ska Band

The first of 3 free gigs at The Bungalow starts tonight with Parliament of Owls and The Dughoose Ska Band.  This will be a high energy night of Ska, Punk and Soul from these two popular bands who are no stranger to The Bungalow. Doors are at 7pm. 

The Dughoose Ska Band

Tomorrow afternoon The Byres Road Big Band are playing at The Bungalow for the first time. They were booked to play way back just as the Covid Pandemic started and unfortunately the gig was cancelled. It is free entry, doors are 1pm and the band fires up at 2pm.

Tomorrow evening is Summer Festival 90’s Club Night which re-Lives the 90’s. Why don’t you join in on the fun celebrating all things 1990s. This is an era of music defined by The Stone Roses, Oasis, Pulp, Blur and many more iconic bands. Be prepared for a Now That’s What I Call the 90’s kind of night. Seems like yesterday but it was 30 years ago, so it now qualifies as long enough ago to be a nostalgic tribute night. It’ll be a memory jogger reminding you of not only the music but also it’s a time to remember Beanie Babies, Furbies, and Tamagotchis. Dressing up for the occasion is absolutely encouraged. The staff wants to see a crowd rocking up wearing sportswear, slip dresses, bucket hats, and combat trousers. It will be a fun night and really is a blast from the past and you’ll be sure to feel like you’ve been taken back in time and make sure to sing along on your trip down memory lane. Doors open at 7pm. 

On Thursday it is Introducing Night and The Bungalow welcome up and coming indie band Flair and young Paisley punks The Wee Reprobates to the stage for a night filled with young talent. Tickets are £5/3 students. Doors are 8pm.

At The Cave tomorrow night at 6pm is North to Abilene and in the later slot at 9pm it is Sad Ida. On Sunday from 6pm the Jim Keilt Blues Jam is back for their monthly get together. Just in case you didn’t know how A Blues Jam is run it is an inclusive night when everyone is welcome to take part and play with the house band. The jam is headed by someone in the band that is usually a local musician that has some following or reputation in the local scene. In this case of course it is the very popular and talented Jim Keilt. That band supply the “backline” for the jam including the amps, drums and PA system and if you don’t bring your own instrument Jim will sort you out. The session usually attracts some of the best players but anyone can join in. 

The Old Swan have Sin City in tonight from 7pm. Memphis are playing tomorrow in the ‘Shopper’s Slot’ at 4pm and Clyde are in their usual slot at 5pm. Lee James will be singing some swing on Tuesday and on Thursday he’ll be taking you through the decades. Both gigs start at 3pm. Mike Edwards is at The Keg from 9pm tonight then it is the turn of Peely Wally tomorrow night also at 9pm. Peely Wally are a  rock cover band who play nothing but classics from the likes of AC/DC, Metallica, Nirvana, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Queen to name a few.

Jenny and the Blockheads are at The Anchor on Sunday from 4.30pm. Unfinished Business will be playing at Kennedy’s Sunday 3pm. I saw them on stage at The Bungalow’s Sunday Open Stage afternoon having a jam and they were great fun. Well worth going to see.  

This week’s Open Mic sessions are: Abbey Bar on Monday with Dunky Hunter at 8pm, Jason Flood is the host at Gantry on Tuesday from 9pm; Johnny Barr will be at The Keg on Wednesday from 8.30pm. Have a great week and Keep Music Live.


Causeyside St

Local residents, businesses and community groups are being asked to ensure they submit their feedback on regeneration plans for Causeyside Street in Paisley before the engagement period closes on Sunday 7 August.

The plans aim to make Causeyside Street an attractive place to live, work and visit by enhancing walking provision in the area with clearer footways making it safer for residents, commuters and visitors, as well as improved accessibility at bus stops to make it easier for passengers to board and disembark.

Causeyside St

There would be increased parking spaces, with four being added north of the Canal Street junction and the potential to add a further 51 spaces and designated loading bays south of the junction by removing the current single yellow line restrictions.

Causeyside St

A new two-way cycle route on Causeyside Street would connect Paisley Gilmour Street train station with Canal Street Station, as well as the popular National Cycle Route 7, and would be separated from the main road carriageway and pedestrians.

Council officers have been visiting businesses on Causeyside Street in-person to answer any questions and found support from local butcher James Peacock of WM Phelps who believes the plans will improve the look and feel of the street.

James said: “I’m all for investment coming into Causeyside Street as it’s important that regeneration takes place to improve the look and feel of the town.

“The addition of parking spaces as well as new cycle lanes will bring more people into the town and, as long as it is policed properly, it should make a positive difference.

WM. Phelps Butcher

“I know the Council and Scottish Government are encouraging people to use sustainable transport more often and this will definitely help people to do that on Causeyside Street.”

In addition to the bus and cycle improvements, pedestrian crossing facilities would also be upgraded and new electric charging infrastructure is currently being added at Stow Brae to support the move to sustainable transport.

The proposals form part of the ongoing transformation of Paisley town centre, in which major investment is being made in its historic venues, including the plans to turn Paisley Museum into a world-class destination, Paisley Town Hall modernisation into a landmark entertainment venue, the new Learning and Cultural Hub on the High Street, and an extension and upgrade to Paisley Arts Centre.

Causeyside St

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “These proposals would modernise Causeyside Street by providing sustainable transport links that walkers and cyclists will want to use and feel safe while doing so, as well as improving public transport connections too.

Causeyside St

“We recognise it would be a substantial change to the current infrastructure on Causeyside Street, but the plans could actually increase the parking available by more than 50 spaces in addition to the active travel improvements.

“We want the proposals to make a positive difference to Causeyside Street and support the community and our businesses, so please take the time to look through the plans and give us your feedback so we can incorporate this into the next stage of the project.”

Concept designs, visualisations and a short survey for feedback are available on the Council website at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/CauseysideStreetSurvey, with a closing date for responses of Sunday 7 August 2022.

Renfrewshire Council’s project team are keen to hear from local Paisley residents, nearby businesses and regular users of Causeyside Street and will be available to meet with the public every Wednesday and Friday between 12pm-2pm at the PaisleyIs branded 5A High Street in Paisley during the engagement period.

braehead potter

It’s a kinda magic the way Braehead shopping centre plans to raise money for Glasgow Children’s Hospital charity.

The mall is hosting a Harry Potter Weekend with lots of wizard activities to raise much-needed funds for life-changing projects and services for children in hospital and their families.

braehead potter

The Harry Potter Weekend at the Braehead mall takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 29, 30 and 31, between 10am and 6pm, in the central atrium.

Witches and wizards of all ages are invited to come along to the fun-filled weekend and take part in some magical arts and crafts.

Families can have their photograph taken in front of a green screen and thanks to some Hogwarts’ magic, when the pictured is emailed to them, the backdrop will make it look like they have paid a visit to Hogwarts.

Anyone taking part is asked to make a minimum of a £1 donation for each activity to the Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity.

William McGowan, Head of Partnerships and Events, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity said: “We can’t wait for our Harry Potter Weekend, at Braehead and look forward to bringing the spirit of Hogwarts to the shopping centre.

“We are incredibly grateful to Braehead for their continued support and generosity.

“We rely entirely on fundraising and donations to fund our life-changing hospital projects to make sure that young patients and their families receive the extra special care they deserve.

“Funds raised through our magical Harry Potter Weekend activities will help to continue our charity-funded play and events programme, family support services and wellbeing support for NHS staff, giving children and their families the best possible hospital experience.”

Braehead’s community development manager, Lydia Brown said: “We hope lots of Harry Potter fans will come along to our special weekend dressed as their favourite characters from the books and films.

“Not only will everyone had lots of fun, they’ll also be helping a very worthy cause. Now that is something magic!”

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Get ready for a bit of Reggae tonight at The Bungalow from Riddemption a multi-national collective and a mix of youth and experience. Riddemption have a mission to deliver UK based original roots rock reggae that pays tribute to the forefathers and queens of the genre that have gone before them. Formed in 2019, the collective brings together the best available reggae minded talent in Scotland and solid original Riddems. Riddemption have so far released Three Eps and two singles. All are recent studio projects built around their traditional Riddim versions


The band, along with various regular and guest singers have so far created a real buzz in the UK and are working hard to reach as many new fans as possible to pay their dues and keep roots rock reggae alive in a full band setting. Doors open at 7pm and you can get tickets on entry. 


The Bobby Deans Big Band will be back at The Bungalow tomorrow afternoon.  The band performs music from many well known artists: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee, Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller and many more. The line up of 4 Trumpets, 4 Trombones, 5 Saxes, Piano, Bass, Drums, Guitar and Singers is in keeping with the traditional bands from the swing era. The band has performed at many venues across the UK has spread across the country. Doors are at 1pm and it is free entry.


The Bungalow which is synonymous with Punk Rock converts itself nicely into a comfortable candlelit jazz bar. Tomorrow night get ready for a night of live jazz. You don’t need to be a Jazz enthusiast to enjoy the evening, simply sit back and savour the stunning atmosphere and pieces you’ll hear. Have a gin cocktail and enjoy some great music where everything will be flickering by candlelight to create a magical atmosphere. The music is provided by two great local acts, Evelyn Laurie and Leana Zaccarini and The Moonlighters. You can be guaranteed a night of fantastic musicianship and a bit of banter from both Evelyn and Leana. Doors are 7pm. 


Wednesday is Sma’sh Hits night and the evening is intended for musicians who are interested in meeting other artists to collaborate, share practise and nurture talent. Whether you want to perform, network, or simply enjoy the music; everyone is welcome. Doors are 7pm. The Bungalow Introducing Night line up on Thursday next week is Angrego, Guns for Hire and Joseph Craig Miller. Doors are 7pm and tickets are £5/3


Dean Freeman and Emma Nailen are at The Old Swan tonight from 7pm and tomorrow The Old Swan has a cracking all-dayer in store from 2pm. The line up includes: support acts, The Festivals, Dean Freeman, Emma Nailen and the headliner is Strictly UB40. Strictly UB40 were founded in late 2013, Members of the band have played with a who’s who of UK reggae and ska, including Steel Pulse, The   Specials and The Selecter. The band have received acclaim from UB40 themselves for their stagecraft, amongst them founder member and saxophonist Brian Travers.  This is a day not to be missed. Clyde are back in their usual slot at 5pm on Monday and Lee James will be performing on his Swing Show on Tuesday and a Songs Through the Decades Show on Thursday from 3pm. 


The G33’s will be playing at The Cave from 6pm tomorrow and at 9pm they have a band TBA. On Sunday starting at 6pm it is Emergency Exit. Kennedy’s continue their Live Sunday Sessions at 3pm 

The Anchor has Ragamuffins on at 4.30pm. Drty Luv will be performing at The Keg from 9pm tonight and tomorrow night at the same time it is Mike Edwards. 


This week’s Open Mic sessions are: Abbey Bar on Monday with Dunky Hunter at 8pm, Jason Flood is

the host at Gantry on Tuesday from 9pm, Johnny Barr will be at The Keg on Wednesday from 8.30pm. Have a great week and Keep Music Live.


Stephen Dock and Jude

“After 4 weeks using my bike, I had gone from using my car daily to once per week – it was then I decided to ditch the car altogether.”

When Stephen Dock spotted Renfrewshire Council’s Not Far? Leave the Car campaign, it was the push he needed to make a huge change in his life – and it’s one he’s not looking back from.

Recently, he’d been considering using his bike to commute to Inverclyde where he works as a student nurse but hadn’t quite worked up the courage to take the plunge.

Stephen Dock and Jude

The Council’s new campaign was the driving force behind his decision to ditch the car for his bike and set a positive example for his two young sons, Jack and Jude.

Stephen said: “I found the campaign to be very motivational as it adds another good reason to cycle, walk or use public transport, and being able to see what I have achieved on a daily basis is rewarding.

“I thought I would do a test run of not using my car at all and mainly use my bike and public transport when required to see how it went.

“Commuting for me involves cycling to the train station, getting the train and then cycling to the hospital. I use the bus on occasion, but the majority of the time is cycling.

“My bike still allows me to do the nursery and school run, have days out using the cycle path and visit family and friends.

“After 4 weeks, I had gone from using my car daily to once per week and it was then I decided to ditch the car altogether.

“The end result is now that I have sold my car and now only use my bike and public transport.”

Having initially embraced the campaign as a way of getting healthier, Stephen has been surprised at how easy it has been to travel on his bike and on public transport in Renfrewshire.

“The fact that I no longer have the car has opened my eyes to how easy it is to still get through my week without relying on a car.

“I was a bit apprehensive at the start of this journey wondering about how to get big shops done and how safe the roads would be on a bike, but these have totally gone now and I have found the cycle network around Renfrewshire very useful and easy to navigate.

“I’ve also loved the added benefit of saving money, getting healthy, being a role model to my sons and helping the environment – so I don’t see me reverting back anytime soon.

“I think I have now made the leap and changed my behaviours for good”

With Jack and Jude travelling for free on buses as part of the Scottish Government’s free bus travel for under 23s scheme, it’s been easy for Stephen to travel without a car and even more so as Jack’s excited to get on his bike at every opportunity.

“I have two sons who have really had to get involved as I used to drive them around, but my oldest son Jack, who is 9, now cycles with me when we need to go places and I do my best to keep up!

“My youngest son Jude is 2 so isn’t quite big enough to cycle with us himself yet, but he goes into a kids seat on the back of my bike and loves it so much that it’s now his preferred mode of transport.

“When we need to use public transport for longer journeys, Jack and Jude both travel for free on buses, so we save on costs and it’s great to travel together as a family in sustainable way.”

Not Far? Leave the Car rewards people for taking sustainable journeys with points that can then be exchanged for discounts or freebies from more than 100 local businesses in Renfrewshire.

Stephen’s racking up the points every day and the campaign has encouraged him to visit more local businesses in Renfrewshire as he looks to spend local whenever possible.

“The app has been very easy to use and I like that it confirms which activity you have been doing, gives me a daily snapshot of how active I’ve been and also a summary of how much CO2 I would normally have used. The options to redeem points or donate them to charity is clear and very simple to do as well.

“I haven’t actually exchanged my points yet but when I do, I will be rewarding myself with a nice coffee using the Renfrewshire Gift Card as I was pleasantly surprised at the number of businesses that accept it.

“I have visited local businesses as my days out with the kids are mainly around the Renfrewshire area so we spend local where we can and everywhere is relatively easy to get to without a car.

“We do enjoy heading into the town centre or to the local parks so always stop for a coffee or ice cream as well.”

More than 750 people like Stephen are now signed up to the campaign and are getting healthier and being rewarded for leaving the car at home.

The free app works just like a sport or fitness watch and participants can choose to track their journeys themselves or do this automatically, with all sustainable journeys rewarded with points.

To sign up for free, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/leavethecar.

braehead 1

BRAEHEAD shopping centre has helped the police and local community wardens support this year’s Anti-Social Behaviour Awareness Week.

The mall hosted police officers and members of Renfrewshire Council’s Community Wardens initiative as they pledged to do all they can to stamp out anti-social behaviour in the community.

braehead 1

The aim of ASB Awareness Week, from July 18 to July 24, is to highlight the problems of and take action against anti-social behaviour, particularly when young people are the victims and engage with the public in ways they can help tackle anti-social behaviour.

The awareness week is being organised by the Resolve organisation whose aim is to encourage police and other agencies along with the local community to work together to find solutions to anti-social behaviour.

The week is supported by key stakeholders including the Home Office, Local Government Association (LGA), National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the National Fire Chiefs’ Council (NFCC).

Resolve chief executive, Rebecca Bryant OBE said: “I hope partners will take this opportunity to work with their networks to pull together the examples of best practice they would like to showcase.

“Last year we secured huge amounts of publicity and moved the need to tackle ASB up the public and political agenda. This year we plan to go even further – but we will need your help.”

Peter Beagley, Braehead Centre director added: “People deserve to feel safe where they live and we’re happy to give any support and assistance we can to get the message out there that anti-social behaviour is not to be tolerated and needs to be tackled in the strongest possible way.”

Richard Lochead

Three new job support programmes worth £750k aimed at breaking down barriers to getting people into work and boosting Renfrewshire’s recovery from the pandemic have been launched.

Renfrewshire Council’s convener for Economy and Regeneration Cllr Andy Steel made the announcement today during a visit to the area by Scottish Government Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work, Richard Lochhead.

Richard Lochead

The new programmes are mainly funded through Renfrewshire’s share of the Scottish Government £80m Local Authority Covid Economic Recovery fund, which allows councils to develop local schemes to help businesses grow, stimulate economic activity, and support low-income households.

The three new Renfrewshire programmes will target support to people and businesses to help overcome some of the issues preventing people getting back into work. They are:

Transition Fund for Parents – for parents who are out of work and on Universal Credit. This will see grants of up to £1,000 paid over the first three months in the job, where they may be waiting on their first wage and while benefits change, to help with practical costs such as travel, childcare, clothing or training.

Richard Lochead

Skills and Training Grant Programme – a new fund for to help people on Universal Credit, either unemployed or on low-pay, gain new skills and move into better-paid work. This will see support of up to £3,500 made available to help the costs of training which will help them advance their careers.

Parental Employment Support Employer Recruitment Initiative – a pilot scheme which will pay wage subsidies to help businesses create new part-time jobs which start and finish within school hours – for parents who want back into work but for whom working 9 to 5 isn’t possible.

Mr Lochhead was in Paisley today where Cllr Steel gave him a tour of the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire employability hub in the Russell Institute building on Causeyside Street. There, he met staff, businesses and residents who have benefitted from existing support to help people into jobs.

Richard Lochead

Cllr Steel said: “Here in Renfrewshire, supporting people on low incomes and helping drive the area’s recovery from the pandemic are two of the central missions of this council, so I am delighted to today launch three new programmes targeted at doing exactly that.

“We know that in Renfrewshire the number of people out of work rose sharply during the pandemic but has now fallen to pre-pandemic levels, and that businesses are actively trying to fill vacancies.

“Our Invest in Renfrewshire team speak to jobseekers and businesses every day, so have real insight into the barriers which are holding those who are out of work back from getting into employment.

“So these three funds have been designed to overcome those – by helping cover the costs people will experience when starting a new job, supporting people to get the training they need to move into better-paid work, and helping employers offer more flexible and childcare-friendly hours.

“These programmes will help businesses fill vacancies and retain staff, which will in turn boost their own productivity, and hopefully create further opportunities down the line.”

Employment Minister Richard Lochhead said: “It’s great to see Scottish Government funding being used to make such a difference in Renfrewshire. This additional support shows the principles of our No One Left Behind approach to employability.

“We will continue to work with partners in local government, the third sector, private sector and others to realise Scotland’s ambitions for a wellbeing economy – tackling poverty and securing better lives for people and communities across the country.”

Invest in Renfrewshire is the council’s programme to help people find work and to support businesses to grow.

Their approach, based on integrated services and a partnership approach, has had an enormous impact on local employment figures since it was launched in 2012.

In that time, Renfrewshire has seen the biggest growth in youth employment of any area in Scotland – at 21.1% – and the area’s unemployment rates are now at an all-time low.

All three of the funds launched today are now open for applications and more information on how to do that can be found by emailing invest@renfrewshire.gov.uk, or calling 0300 300 1180.

Other Invest in Renfrewshire projects also covered by Renfrewshire’s share of the Covid Recovery fund include an expansion of the existing business growth grant scheme, support to help employers retain trainees hired through the existing Kickstart scheme for another six months, and extra funding for the council’s net-zero business grant scheme to help businesses reduce carbon emissions.


Scotia Trampoline Academy are opening our online bookings system.


On our system, you only need to insert your details once and they’ll be stored for all future bookings. You can book anywhere, anytime, on any device, when it’s convenient for you.
To get started follow this link to book: https://scotia-trampoline-academy.class4kids.co.uk/
Once you find your class, select “info and booking” and follow the steps to create a ClassForKids account (if you don’t already have one). You’ll automatically be taken straight through to complete your booking and pay.
You can log into your account at any time to view your bookings, pay and edit your personal details: https://bookings.class4kids.co.uk/dashboard