Paisley Halloween Festival 28.10.17

Community groups throughout Renfrewshire are set to benefit from a new pot of funding and expert advice to help them stage their own events.

Renfrewshire Council is making a festive events fund of £20,000 available to help local groups stage events in towns and villages across the area.

Paisley Halloween Festival 28.10.17

There will also be an events toolkit offering detailed advice on how to plan, organise and promote their own – as well as a series of public surgeries run by the council events team

Paisley’s festive events programme is being boosted with a series of special events to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Glen Cinema disaster, including a torchlight procession featuring local schoolchildren and community groups.

Plus some of Paisley’s upcoming festive events are being reprogrammed to spread the benefits to different parts of the town – Sma’ Shot Day will take place in a new location around New St/Shuttle St next month, and the event sites for Halloween and Christmas lights will include the area at top of the High St.

Scottish Power Win BPBC MFG

The events toolkit has been produced by the council’s events and marketing team and contains their expert advice on everything from applying for licenses and public safety to generating media and online profile.

Public surgeries to help local groups will take place in Paisley, Renfrew, Linwood and Bridge of Weir during July and August and are open for booking now – along with details of how to apply for the new fund – via www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/event-checklist

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Renfrewshire’s major events programme is a massive success story – it has put the area firmly on the map as one of Scotland’s key destinations for great days out, and brings huge numbers of people into our town centres.

Paisley Food Festival 28.4.18

“We want to build on that success and evolve the programme further – and the ongoing work in and around Paisley Town Hall gives us the chance to spread the benefits of some of the major events around other areas of Paisley town centre.

“The new community events fund and toolkit will also help those benefits reach the rest of Renfrewshire by equipping community groups across the area to stage their own – by offering a mixture of funding and expert advice.”

The developments are included as part of a report to the council’s Leadership Board yesterday which covered a number of highlights around the area’s growing events and visitor profile, including:

– the 2018 events programme was worth £4.7m to the local economy and attracted 160,000 attendees (34% of whom were visitors to Renfrewshire)

– this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival saw attendees rise 32% to almost 20,000, with an economic impact of 1.1m – and was listed as one of the best food festivals in the UK

– there were nearly 340 million chances to see or hear something positive in the media or online about Paisley and Renfrewshire in the past year

– the paisley.is website to promote the area as a place to live, visit and invest saw nearly 250,000 page views in its first year, while its social media content had a reach of 3.5m

– a new partnership has been formed with Visit Scotland to drive national awareness of Renfrewshire attractions

The next events in the council’s programme are Sma’ Shot Day in Paisley on Saturday 6 July, and the Johnstone Fire Engine Rally on Saturday 10 August.

MiniManoeuvres

Paisley is set for a festival of family fun when The Wee Spree comes to town this October.

The popular programme of kids activities will take place as part of the annual Spree arts festival from 11-19 October with thousands set to be entertained during the school holiday period.

MiniManoeuvres

The festival coincides with The Spree festival of music and comedy set to take over the town centre. The magical Salon Perdu Spiegeltent will be located in the town’s County Square for the duration of the festival and will host much of The Wee Spree programme.

Youngsters can learn how to be Circus Stars (Weds 16 Oct) from hula hooping and juggling to tightwire with the team from Glasgow’s Aerial Edge.

AerialEdge

For budding young comedians, Comedy4Kids (Fri 18 Oct) will host a free workshop helping kids ‘find the funny’ before putting some of the best stand-ups and sketch artists on the circuit in front of a family audience in the Spiegeltent.

Families can get active together with two sessions of Family Yoga (Fri 19 Oct) led by Renfrewshire Leisure, while little ones will love the Bookbug sessions (of song, rhyme, music and stories organised by Renfrewshire Libraries.

Family celebrations of music are at the heart of the programme with Mini Manoeuvres (Sun 13 Oct) and Baby Loves Disco (Sun 13 Oct) shows letting families have ‘a gig experience’ together.

the wee spree

The ever-popular FUNBOX gang bring their Rocking All Over the World show to the festival (Tues 15 Oct) and the Spiegeltent will host two special BSL-signed screenings of Dance Along Mary Poppins Returns for families (Thurs 17 Oct).

Paisley’s strong tradition of commitment to Gaelic music and culture will be celebrated during the festival when the popular local Fèis Phàislig host a Stramash in the Spiegeltent (Fri 19 Oct). Traditional music will also be showcased at the free Trad Tunes for Tiny People and Big Music for Little Ears shows (Weds 16 Oct).

There will also be two shows specially designed for young people with additional support needs and their carers (Fri 18 Oct) – a film screening of kids favourite Paddington 2 in the Spiegeltent and an Animation Workshop run by Cinemor77 in the Methodist Central Halls. A second animation workshop open to all will run in the same venue later on that day.

Brickz4Kids

Entertainment of another kind comes from the Computer Xplorers (Sat 12 Oct) who will teach kids how to program their own robot using the latest technology. Fans of LEGO will want to sign up for one of the Bricks4Kidz camps (Tues 15 Oct) in the Methodist Central Hall which will have a Paisley-inspired twist featuring lions, walruses and crocodiles.

And the fun isn’t limited to Paisley – the Wee Spree will also reach Johnstone this year with the Soundplay Dome in Johnstone Town Hall (Fri 18 and Sat 19 Oct) supported by Creative Scotland – a magical sensory space where children and adults of all ages can explore sound and light.

Tickets for The Wee Spree go on sale from 10am on Friday 21 June and can be bought online via www.thespree.co.uk or from the festival box office at InCube Shop, 9b Gilmour Street, Paisley PA1 1DG.

The Spree is Paisley’s annual arts festival and one of the events which has made Paisley and Renfrewshire one of Scotland’s key destination for events in recent years.

Some of the big-name music acts playing as part of the main Spree bill include Glasvegas, Hue and Cry, Gruff Rhys, Hayseed Dixie, PP Arnold, Karine Polwart and a Gerry Rafferty Songbook night, as well as comedy from Jerry Sadowitz and more. Tickets for all shows are on sale now.

The line-up will be announced over the summer for the Spree for All fringe festival – which will see shows take place across all of Renfrewshire.

The Spree is organised by Renfrewshire Council, programmed by Regular Music, and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

Armed Forces Day Flag raising at Renfrewshire Council 22.6.18

Renfrewshire and Inverclyde residents are being encouraged to attend a ceremony to celebrate our serving military men and women.

 

Serving troops, veterans and their families will join the Provosts of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, as well as the Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Colonel Peter McCarthy, to mark Armed Forces Day with a service in Paisley Abbey on Saturday 22 June.

armed forces day

Reverend Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey, and Canon Oliver Freney from St Mirin’s Cathedral will lead a short service at 10am in Paisley Abbey to celebrate the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, both past and present.

A collection will be held at the service with donations going to Bravehound, a charity providing companion dogs and support in training them to former servicemen, women and their families.

Following the service tea and coffee will be provided within the Abbey.

Both Provost’s and the Lord-Lieutenant will then move on to Hawkhead cemetery where they will lay wreaths at the memorial.

Armed Forces Day Flag raising at Renfrewshire Council 22.6.18

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “I am proud that we continue to recognise the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces each year in Renfrewshire. I have been honoured to speak with many ex-servicemen and women over the past two years who have shared their stories and memories.

“Armed Forces Day allows the communities of Inverclyde and Renfrewshire to come together to celebrate those who have served, and to recognise the contribution being made by members of our Armed Forces today.

“It’s important to show our support and I would encourage as many people as possible to attend.”

armed forces day

Inverclyde Provost Martin Brennan said: “Seventy five years ago Allied forces invaded Nazi-occupied France. Many of those brave men and women laid down their lives to save Europe and the world from the dark menace of Fascism. We should never forget that their bravery was instrumental in restoring peace and democracy to millions of people across the globe.

“Today our servicemen and women stand constantly ready to protect us from danger just as their grandfathers and great grandfathers did 75 years ago. We should never take for granted their willingness to safeguard us, possibly at the cost of their lives. That is why we recognise and honour them all today.”

As well as the joint service with Inverclyde, Renfrewshire will host a flag raising ceremony on Friday 21 June, at 11am, outside Renfrewshire House.

Veteran Ronnie Scobie, member of Scottish War Blinded, will raise the flag which will fly for seven days. Scottish War Blinded supports blind and partially sighted ex-service men and women and their families. They have recently opened an activity hub at Hawkhead in Paisley, providing specialist support and activities for veterans who have lost their sight.

Inverclyde will host a flag raising service on Monday 24 June, 10:30am, at Clyde Square, Greenock.

LEADER - Lapwing Lodge

Lapwing Lodge in the Gleniffer Braes will soon have a new indoor activity hall thanks to major funding from a community development scheme.

Construction is now underway on the multi-purpose hall after its owners West Region Scout Council secured £184,000 from the European Union funded Greater Renfrewshire and Inverclyde LEADER programme.

LEADER - Lapwing Lodge

“Lapwing Lodge is already a popular outdoor centre offering bike trails, canoeing, archery and even has its own Hobbit’s ‘Shire,” explains Jim Duffy, West Region chairman.

“We wanted to broaden its appeal even further with a facility which can cater for a wide range of indoor activities and crucially provide a wet weather refuge.”

The new stand-alone hall will come complete with toilets and showers for people camping and be fully-equipped for a range of sports including football and basketball.

Jim added: “The funding from the LEADER programme together with other grants has made this a reality and all going well we hope to have the hall in use later this year.

LEADER - Clyde Muirshiel

“Lapwing Lodge is well-known as a scout centre, but it’s also used by lots of school and community groups. It’s already very popular at weekends and we’re really keen that it is well-used during the week and that as many different groups right across Renfrewshire can benefit from all the facilities on offer.” 

LEADER funding also meant thousands of people got to participate in a Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park project, learning about different birds and tagging-and-tracking Lesser Black-backed Gulls as they migrated to Europe and Africa.

Clyde Muirshiel Countryside Officer Alan Brown said: “Over the two-year programme we had community events and school workshops helping children to understand aspects of bird behaviour as well as the importance of satellite technology in tracking birds.

“The grant funding from LEADER and the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled us to employ two members of staff to tag the gulls, organise events, do school visits and to purchase equipment such as the satellite tags and tablets. The project was really well-received, and people learned that, as one pupil said to us, gulls aren’t just pesky birds who eat stuff and annoy us.”

Three more Renfrewshire-based projects recently had funding support confirmed as Larch Green Lodges in Langbank were awarded £179,000 to create two eco-friendly holiday lodges, while Carli’s Kindergarten received £94,000 to establish a Reggio Emilia-inspired children’s nursery in Linwood and Semple Stories and Lochwinnoch’s Glories has received £18,600 to bring the region’s local history to life, including guided walks from Castle Semple Visitor Centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The LEADER programme has helped support a range of fantastic projects which are delivering great benefits to rural communities in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde.

“These projects are a success thanks to the passion and pride of our local people and in Renfrewshire we are building on this further, having established new funds for community groups and created Local Partnerships to give local people a louder voice than ever as together we can create a thriving Renfrewshire, benefiting all our communities.”

Find out more about the LEADER programme and future funding opportunities at: www.grileader.co.uk

After
There can be no growth without leaving your comfort zone, they say, well Saturday 15 June 2019 saw 20 of Iconic’s members leave their comfort zones and venture south to Drumlanrig Castle to take part in the Tough Mudder event.
“Tough Mudder is and endurance event series in which participants attempt an 8 to 10-mile long obstacle course tattiest mental and physical strength. It was co-founded by Will Dean, a former British counter-terrorism officer and Guy Livingstone, a former corporate lawyer. the obstacles play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. The Tough Mudder organisation values camaraderie throughout the course, designing obstacles that encourage group participation.” Wikipedia
Before
A combination of a cross country run, with extra mud, an assault course with electric fences, and mud, climbing ropes, with mud, cargo nets over mud, monkey bars, with mud, freezing cold water, with mud and mud, with extra mud thrown in.
Conor
Iconic PT James Miller had prepared the team well training way in advance, James is no stranger to Tough Mudder having completed the course last year along with other Iconic members Angela Little, Mia Mortimer andMartin Millar (who used a trip to Uganda to build a school as an excuse to avoid this years event), under James excellent tutelage they were ready to take on any obstacle, no matter how high, how wet, how muddy, how physically and mentally challenging, so forewarned if not forearmed  we set off from Lawn St, in an excellent luxury coach organised by the excellent luxury John Rae, a two hour journey to the dark heart of Dumfriesshire.
After
Bit drizzly on arrival we bundled together and got through the registration process, got our team start time of one o’clock and made last minute preparations for the race, wrote letters to loved ones, completed the wills forms that the chaplains passed out, sorry no, that was D-day, we were just running up a hill in the mud.
I’ll get the obstacles out of order but from the start they were a stretch, a rope climb, a ducking under three huge pipes, hurdling over straw bales, and then it got worse! Swinging from ropes, electric shocks, having to be carried for 50 Metres (thanks Mia), you get the idea, it was muddy and wet and cold, weather was nice though I got a lovely beetroot coupon as you can see below, thanks also to our support team Craig, Fiona and Katie who popped up occasionally with cider and chocolate.
Twenty of us started, aged between 16 and 56, and I’m happy to say 20 of us finished after an afternoon of laughter, terror, pain, cooperation that I’ve never seen before, both from team members and from complete strangers, when faced with a 15 foot high barrier to have 2 Edinburgh Bikers say “stand on me” was the one way any of us were getting over!
Money raised for charity at time of writing stands at an amazing £5000, achieved the unacheivable, had one of the most insane days of my life and enjoyed every minute of it.
Would I do it again?
Aye, right, it’s called a comfort zone for a reason!!!
Italian Scotland is a charity which exists to promote, help and encourage the life, culture, language and art of the Italian community in Scotland. Every year we organise various events aimed at bringing together Italians and Scots, events past and future.

Every year we support initiatives designed to promote Italian – Scottish exchange and friendship and we are always open to new ideas for fund raising events. We are always looking for new members with fresh ideas to join our committee.
As a result, this year at our annual Scampagnata event we have a new exciting event for 2019, Cheese Rolling. Read more here
Barshaw Gala Day

People from all over Renfrewshire will be heading to one of Paisley’s prettiest parks this weekend for a gala day for all the family.

This year’s Barshaw Gala Day takes place at Barshaw Park on Saturday 22 June, from 11am until 4pm.

Barshaw Gala Day

The Barshaw party is one of the most popular events in Renfrewshire’s events calendar – and this year, it’s packed with more activities and entertainment than ever before.

Talented musicians and dancers from the McCallum School of Music, Vision Dance Academy, Razzamataz, RockUs Choir, Inspire School of Dance, and Spangled Cabaret will be wowing the crowds from the Community Stage, alongside indie rockers Atomic and Zoe Tait.

Magic Daze and Cheeko are all set to entertain with their tricks, and nature fans will love Frog Life – a pond wildlife and conservation virtual reality experience.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will be on hand with a safety demonstration, and youngsters can have a go on the go-karts, take part in freestyle football sessions, and enjoy pirate walkabouts.

And of course, the gala day favourites of inflatables, stalls, and funfair rides will keep everyone entertained.

The park will also have designated smoke-free zones on the day.

Barshaw Park also has play areas, a nature corner, a pond, a BMX area and the ever-popular ride-on train.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming people from all over Renfrewshire to Barshaw Park on Saturday to celebrate our local area.

“Our gala days are very important for our communities, as they encourage people of all ages to get together and enjoy some fantastic free activities on this family day out.

“We hope to see people of all ages having fun on the day.”

Find out more at www.paisley.is

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson - high-res

Renfrewshire business leaders will recommend a strategy to support the region’s future economic success this autumn.

Members of the region’s Economic Leadership Panel have been working together on the proposals which will underpin the approach over the coming years.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson - high-res

The panel was set up in 2017 drawing from leaders across the private and public sector, enterprise agencies and education and skills experts.

This brings together major local employers including Glasgow Airport, Hillington Park, Intu Braehead and DXC Technology, as well as SMEs and microbusiness, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, West College Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland.

“I’m incredibly proud of what Renfrewshire has to offer locally, nationally and internationally,” explains Economic Leadership Panel Chair James Lang, Director of Bridge of Weir-based Scottish Leather Group.

“There’s a strong collective pride in our place across the panel and we are all determined to deliver a bright future for Renfrewshire. The panel has been looking at the key sectors to the region and identifying how we make Renfrewshire a prosperous place to live, visit, work and invest, a place which leaves no-one behind.

“Once we present these plans for the council’s consideration, that is just the beginning. For the strategy to succeed everyone will need to play their part and having this panel ensures we can keep communicating, evaluating and adjusting the strategy as we move forward.”

James Lang

Panel members have been considering how to grow key sectors of the local economy. This includes manufacturing, which already accounts for one-fifth of the area’s economic output and employs 9000 people, with the potential for significant growth to make Renfrewshire one of the largest locations for manufacturing industries in the UK.

The strategy will also set out how Renfrewshire can improve its competitiveness and capitalise on £1.4billion being invested in world-class research and development facilities, infrastructure and skills, while thousands of new homes being built here will support growing the working age population.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We have high levels of employment in Renfrewshire and have committed substantial investment to grow the economy, creating new neighbourhoods to live in, new jobs to work in and new places to visit. Combined with our proud heritage, as a place rich in creativity and innovation, we have fantastic foundations to build upon.

“We face significant challenges and barriers too, not least areas of persistent poverty and we know that the only way to achieve inclusive economic growth is through collaboration and by listening to what our communities tell us they need.

“I look forward to seeing the strategy brought forward for the council’s consideration later in the year and know that working together we can ensure a thriving Renfrewshire.”

Coats Memorial

THE campaign to save an iconic Scottish building for future generations has received a major funding boost.

An overseas benefactor has stepped in with a six figure donation after visiting Thomas Coats Memorial, the former church in the centre of Paisley.

coats support

Locally based sculptor Alexander Stoddart is working on a statue for one of Harlan Crow’s properties in the USA. During a visit to the sculptor’s studios, Mr Crow was invited to visit Coats Memorial.

He was so impressed that his donation of £100,000 will boost the fund raising effort to create a multi-purpose venue in the threatened Grade A listed building.

Ian Henderson, chairman of Coats Memorial Preservation Trust, said: “We showed Mr Crow, who is a keen supporter of the arts, round Coats Memorial and he was hugely impressed not only with the building but also with our plans to preserve it as a multi-purpose venue to be used by the local community.”

Alexander Stoddart is the Queen’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland and is well known for a wide variety of work including statues of Hume and Playfair in the centre of Edinburgh and Burns and his publisher in Kilmarnock.

Ian Henderson added: “This is a very generous donation that not only takes us much closer to our fundraising target but also gives us a great personal boost. It is wonderful to know that someone from more than 4000 miles away is thinking about Coats Memorial. The donation is fantastic news for the project and for the town.”

Thomas Coats Memorial was designed by Hippolyte Blanc and completed in 1894 for the Coats family who had made their fortune in the thread industry. It was known as the Baptist Cathedral of Europe but dwindling congregations and rising costs led to its closure as a church last year.

It is planned that Coats Memorial will become a venue for weddings, concerts and a wide range of events serving the local community and beyond.

child poverty

Two initiatives designed to tackle child poverty in Renfrewshire have helped boost the incomes of struggling families and households by a total of almost £2million in one year.

Families First, a service that provides low-income households with health and relationship support as well as money and benefits advice, has generated £1,114,234 for 413 struggling families, while Healthier, Wealthier Children put £885,526 in the pockets of new and expectant parents in Renfrewshire between April 2018 and March 2019.

child poverty

Both initiatives receive funding from Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty Programme.

The programme, which was set up in 2014 following the ground-breaking Tackling Poverty Commission, has made significant investment in projects and activities to reduce child poverty, with the council announcing a further £5million funding for the initiative over five years in March 2018.

Projects within the programme are designed to provide support for families that need it most, remove barriers to participation for children and young people, and support health and wellbeing for young people.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are committed to ensuring that all children in Renfrewshire have the best start in life no matter what their background.

“Our Tackling Poverty Programme was the first of its kind in Scotland and the work we have been doing through the programme, in our schools and in partnership with other organisations is making a real difference to the lives of children in Renfrewshire and families who are struggling to make ends meet.

“Families First and the Healthier, Wealthier Children Service are helping ensure low-income families in Renfrewshire have enough money coming in to make their child’s early years the best they can be.”

The figures were released as Renfrewshire Council published its Local Child Poverty Action Report.

The report, which has been developed in partnership with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership, highlights the work the council and its partners are doing to improve the lives of children in poverty and address the Scottish Government’s three key drivers of child poverty: income from employment, costs of living and income from social security and benefits in kind.

Highlights include:

  • Invest in Renfrewshire’s work to boost the local economy and tackle unemployment, which has led to Renfrewshire’s employment rate being significantly higher than the national average
  • The number of Living Wage accredited employers in Renfrewshire rising to 57
  • The Energy Advocacy Service securing £116,253 in ongoing savings and £103,638 in write-offs for Renfrewshire’s most vulnerable citizens
  • Education Scotland commending the council for its ‘excellent’ progress in closing the poverty related attainment gap in schools

The Council Leader added: “It’s fantastic to see the positive impact the work being done to tackle child poverty and improve the lives of children in Renfrewshire is having.

“We still have work to do but if we keep working together with our partners we can continue to make a difference in the lives of families across Renfrewshire.”

Child poverty in Renfrewshire is currently in line with the national average of 24%.

If you are struggling and need support and advice, there are a number of services in Renfrewshire you can contact, including Advice Renfrewshire. For more information, visit http://advicerenfrewshire.org/ or call FREEPHONE 0808 164 2922.

For more information on the Tackling Poverty Programme and Renfrewshire’s Local Child Poverty Action Report, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk.