A survey of businesses from across the West of Scotland, designed to give them a say on the Glasgow Airport Access Project (AAP) has closed, with early results indicating a strong level of support for the project.

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The AAP is the flagship project of the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal and is intended to provide a rail link between Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow Airport via Paisley Gilmour Street station.

The survey, issued by the Renfrewshire and Glasgow Chambers of Commerce, sought the business community’s views on the potential economic benefits of the AAP and the two options for the airport link. Results from the survey, which closed on Friday 2nd September, will be used to help inform the choice between the two options.

The full results are currently being collated and evaluated by the project team in an appraisal process which will be included in the Outline Business Case. That is expected to be presented for consideration to Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board and Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee in December 2016.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said; “The business community is central to our drive to create permanent jobs and revitalise Renfrewshire’s economy, and the Glasgow Airport Access Project is a key component of that strategy.

“We’re pleased that businesses, of all sizes, took the opportunity to have a direct input into the project. While we’re just beginning to analyse the results, early indications are that the local business community is right behind the project and eager for it to be delivered as soon as possible.

“Glasgow Airport is Renfrewshire’s economic engine and its continuing success is vital to the future of the wider economy of the Glasgow City Region. The AAP will promote and support growth by offering passengers a better experience and improving links with the already existing transport network.

“In order for this project to progress, the transport agency Transport Scotland, needs to include it in future rail planning proposals due to be finalised next year. The project’s inclusion in this document is critical.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “A new direct link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre is essential for the thousands of travellers who fly into and out of Glasgow every day.

“The Glasgow City Region City Deal will deliver that link, generating jobs and inward investment. I’d like to thank all of the businesses who proactively engaged with the business survey, as we value the input of those who will ultimately benefit from the project.

“We’ll be looking for the full support of the Scottish Government and its agency, Transport Scotland, to not only commit to helping us deliver the rail link but also to speed up its delivery.”

Councillors Macmillan and McAveety are meeting with Transport Minister Humza Yousaf tomorrow (14 September) to press the case for including the £144 million project in high-level rail plans due to be finalised next year and critical to the successful delivery of the project.

One option for the AAP is a tram-train link which would provide passengers with a direct link between Glasgow Central station and Glasgow Airport. It would run on the existing heavy rail network before switching onto a new tram line from Paisley to the airport terminal building.

The estimated cost of the tram-train link is £144.3m. This includes construction, rolling stock, inflation and land acquisition.

The other option is a light-rail, Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system where passengers would travel by normal train to Paisley Gilmour Street. At Paisley Gilmour Street they would change onto a new light-rail system to complete their journey.

Around 30 airlines operate from Glasgow Airport, serving 120 destinations around the globe and moving more than nine million passengers. In one month alone, July 2016, more than one million passengers passed through the airport, a significant increase on the corresponding week during the previous year of 6.4%.

The AAP will be delivered by Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council. Glasgow Airport, Transport Scotland and Network Rail are key stakeholders. Construction is expected to start in 2022 with services scheduled to begin in 2025.

See www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/citydeal for more information on Renfrewshire’s other City Deal projects.

See www.glasgowcityregion.co.uk for more information on the Glasgow City Region City Deal projects. Follow us on Twitter: @GlasgowCityDeal

 

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Some £3million is being spent upgrading and improving six Renfrewshire community centres over the next 12 months.

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The programme starts on Monday 12 September at Johnstone Castle Community Centre. The centre will be closed for around 10 weeks during its refurbishment.

Cargill Hall, Foxbar, Gallowhill, Glenburn and Ralston Community Centres are all in line for major work under the programme.

Specific proposals are being drawn up for each building but the work is likely to include: repairing or replacing the roof; re-rendering external walls; replacing the windows; redecorating; replacing floor coverings, ceilings, toilets and sinks; re-wiring; new lighting and the replacement of under floor heating with more efficient systems.

Councillor Jim Harte, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Limited, said, “Across Renfrewshire millions of pounds are being spent on regeneration projects and new affordable housing.

“This refurbishment programme is a major cash injection into local facilities which provide services directly to their communities and are often run by those same communities. This investment will make our community centres more attractive for users and extend the buildings’ lives into the 2030s.

“It’s also good news that some of the works will be carried out by council’s own Building Services, a team which is developing a deserved reputation for delivering high-quality work, on time and on budget.

“This project has seen employees from across the council working with Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd to make sure that the cash available generates the biggest benefit for local communities.”

Renfrewshire Leisure Limited (RLL) manages Renfrewshire Council’s indoor sports centres and swimming pools. In July 2015 RLL also took over the management of town halls, libraries and museums.

Over the next six weeks, seven young people are learning the tricks of the trade at Renfrewshire Council’s Retail Academy.

Left to right::  Moroaj Alkenani, Morag Doig (Retail Coordinator), Cllr Mark Macmillan, Amrit Pall, John Docherty, Pauline McAree (Retail Academy Assistant)

Left to right:: Moroaj Alkenani, Morag Doig (Retail Coordinator), Cllr Mark Macmillan, Amrit Pall, John Docherty, Pauline McAree (Retail Academy Assistant)

The Retail Academy is based at the InCube shop in Gilmour Street, Paisley. It offers employer led training which is designed to help young people gain the knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience they need to work in a customer service or retail environment.

The trainees are: Natasha Aitchison, Moroaj Alkenani, Ruth McCallum, John Docherty, Nicole McGregor , Amrit Pall and Kelsey Robin

Trainees initially spend three weeks at the InCube shop where they learn to: deliver high standards of customer service, process till point sales and gain product knowledge and selling skills. They will also take part in merchandising activities and stock control. This is followed by a three week work placement where the trainees demonstrate these skills to potential employers.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said, “We want to make sure that there is a pool of well trained, customer focused staff available for local retailers to choose from. Our trainees will graduate in time for the Christmas rush when many retailers are looking to recruit new employees.

“But our aim is to do far more than just provide extra staff for shops during busy times. The council’s Invest in Renfrewshire initiative has been particularly successful in reducing unemployment amongst young people. Over the last six years we’ve seen a 60% drop in the number of 18 to 24 year olds claiming unemployment benefit.

“The Retail Academy is about giving young people the skills and experience which will be the foundation for long-term employment in retail or a customer service role.

“The InCube shop, itself, is an important part of our drive to regenerate Paisley’s town centre. It is more than just a Retail Academy. It is a real shop, selling high quality goods made by local manufacturers and designers. It is the kind of niche establishment that represents the future for traditional town centres in a time of expanding out-of-town shopping centres.”

Morag Doig, Retail Coordinator, said, “The InCube shop offers a unique live retail trading environment for trainees to learn in. The programme we offer isn’t just classroom-based, it is actual work experience which involves engaging with customers on the shop floor.

“An important part of our programme is helping our trainees break down any barriers that may be holding them back. This includes issues such as a lack of qualifications and limited work experience. At the end of the programme our trainees are talented, job-ready, potential employees with practical shop floor skills and an up to date work history.”

If you are a local retailer and would be interested in offering a work placement to a Retail Academy trainee, please contact Morag Doig, 0141 618 6040 or stop by the InCube Shop, 9b Gilmour Street, Paisley.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has met with Sanctuary Scotland to find out more about the housing association’s developments in Renfrewshire.

Mr Newlands joined area housing manager Robert Campbell to discuss a number of common housing issues that he’s been working on as a constituent MP, as well as speaking about housing developments that Sanctuary Scotland is engaged in.

During the meeting, Mr Newlands was given a tour of new-build Sanctuary schemes at Shortroods and Gallowhill.

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

“I was grateful to Robert for taking the time to meet me to speak about a number of issues that have been raised to me as the local constituency MP. Housing is the number one issue that is raised with me by local people, so it was good to meet with Robert and find out more about the work that Sanctuary Scotland is doing to address the housing need in Renfrewshire.

“It was also good to be shown around Sanctuary’s new-build housing at Shortroods and Gallowhill. These new houses not only make a massive difference to the lives of the families who live in them, but they also go a long way in helping to regenerate the area.”

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New figures show Renfrewshire Council initiatives have almost halved unemployment among local people.

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Over the last six years the number of Renfrewshire residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit has dropped by 43%.

More than 2,000 adults have found work, bringing the overall unemployment rate down to 5.8%. The reduction is most marked amongst young people with the number of 18 to 24 year olds, who are claiming unemployment entitlement, dropping by 60%. Currently there are 620, 18 to 24 year olds out of work, a fall of 920 since 2010.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said, “The massive improvement in the unemployment figures is largely down to the efforts of Renfrewshire Council. Year on year we have been getting people into real jobs with real prospects.

“Our drive to end youth unemployment has paid particular dividends. We’ve seen a 60% drop in the number of 18 to 24 year olds claiming unemployment benefit.

“It is one of the most basic lessons of economics that getting people back into work is the best way to kick-start the economy. People who have jobs, which pay a decent wage, have the means to buy goods and services. This supports and creates other jobs in a virtuous circle.”

Invest in Renfrewshire is one of the key Renfrewshire Council programmes which offers a range of funding packages, designed to boost the local economy and help companies grow.

The business growth fund can pay up to 50% of costs of specific projects, up to a maximum of £10,000 while employer recruitment incentives help businesses meet the costs of hiring an unemployed young person for a new post.

Under the scheme, Invest in Renfrewshire pays 50% of their wage bill, at national minimum wage, for up to 40 hours a week for a maximum of 39 weeks. An extra £1,000 is available for companies paying the Living Wage of £7.50 per hour. Some 900 firms are signed up to the Renfrewshire Recruitment Incentive scheme. The jobs created must be new, additional to existing staff and, importantly, permanent.

Invest in Renfrewshire also matches companies with unemployed graduates, helping businesses benefit from new ideas and skills.

Microloan funding is available to help existing small businesses grow. It offers unsecured loans of between £1,000 and £5,000. The West of Scotland loan fund offers loans of up to £50,000, which can be used for working capital, equipment or property.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available to help retail businesses improve their shop-fronts and interiors and help is also on offer to find new premises.

InCube is another key part of the Invest in Renfrewshire programme. InCube is a business incubator designed to give new businesses the best possible start in life. The services provided by InCube are backed, quite literally, by a shop window for the unique goods created by local entrepreneurs.

The InCube shop itself has revitalised a vacant unit on Paisley’s Gilmour Street and sells textiles, paintings, jewellery, accessories, hats and children’s clothes.

Renfrewshire Council has unveiled a five-year plan to target £34million in grant funding into projects which will provide local people with more than 700 high-quality, affordable homes in neighbourhoods where they want to live.

The homes will be a mixture of council and housing association properties.

The draft Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2017/18 – 2021/22 will be presented to Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety (HACS) Board on Wednesday 23 August.

Board members are expected to give the green light for a four week consultation on the draft plan. If approved the public, housing associations, developers and other key partners will be asked for their views on the proposals.

Copies of the draft plan will then be sent to local tenants’ and residents’ associations and the 15 housing associations working in Renfrewshire. The plan will also be made available to the public through the council’s website.

The final plan will be published by the end of the year as part of the Local Housing Strategy.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said, “Good Quality, affordable housing helps to improve people’s quality of life.  It is essential to achieving the council’s priorities on regeneration, economic growth and prosperity and has a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

“Renfrewshire Council is committed to providing high-quality homes that people can afford to rent and buy. But the draft Strategic Housing Investment Plan isn’t just about building more houses. It is about creating homes that people want to live in, in places where they want to live.

“We are already well on track to delivering our target of 1,000 new affordable homes by 2020 and I fully expect that the final version of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan will take us beyond that.”

Affordable housing includes a range of options for people who are looking for a home to rent or buy: new council homes for rent, housing association homes for rent, low cost home ownership/shared equity schemes and intermediate/mid-market rental.

Since 2011/12, 842 homes have already been completed in Renfrewshire under the Affordable Housing Investment Programme.

The draft Strategic Housing Investment Plan contains details of a range of projects which are: due to start on site soon, have recently been completed or are expected to be finished this year.

Proposed projects over the next five years include:
·        Bishopton Community Growth Area. Renfrewshire Council – Phase 1, 100 new council homes. Phase 2, 100 new housing association homes.
·        Johnstone Castle. Renfrewshire Council – 100 new council ‘back and front door’ houses
·        Smithhills Street, Paisley. LinkGroup – 24 flats.
·        Milliken Road, Kilbarchan. Williamsburgh Housing Association – 18 one and two bedroomed flats for rent.
·        Inchinnan Road, Renfrew. Sanctuary Scotland – 67 affordable homes
·        West End, Paisley. Sanctuary Scotland – redevelop Co-op site in Wellmeadow Street and regenerate Well Street area.
·        Orchard Street/Causeyside Street, Paisley. Renfrewshire Council, Scottish Government and Paisley South Housing Association – Comprehensive Tenement Improvement scheme.

Renfrewshire schools have recorded an improvement on exam results compared to last year, according to early indications.exam-results

Initial data from this year’s SQA exams shows the percentage of local young people leaving school with three or more Highers has increased by 2%, to 27%.

And there has also been a jump in the numbers getting five or more awards at National 5 level – up by 1.5% to 55% of all pupils.

Pupils across Renfrewshire were among 142,000 across Scotland ending a nervous summer-long wait today when they found out their individual results, either online or via the post.

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “This year’s results are very encouraging – we have achieved an improvement on last year across two of the key measures and we are very pleased with how the overall picture is looking.

“We want to congratulate all our pupils for all their hard work, as well as thanking our school staff for the great job they do all year round.

“And as important as exam results are, we want our pupils to leave school not just with academic achievements, but with a full range of individual achievements too, through schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh award.”

For any pupils who didn’t get the results they hoped for or who want more information over their next steps, help is available through a free national helpline for pupils and parents.

The Skills Development Scotland helpline will be open from 8am to 8pm on 9 and 10 August and from 9am to 5pm until 17 August. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.

Pupils will be able to speak to qualified careers advisers with access to information on course vacancies at colleges and universities, and advice about apprenticeships, employment or volunteering.

Local careers advice is also available via the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire team, by visiting investinrenfrewshire.com or calling 0300 300 1180.

Cultural groups, performers and charities from across Renfrewshire are being encouraged to submit their applications to the Culture, Heritage and Events (CHE) Fund before the 1st August deadline.

PACE Youth Theatre performing at the launch of the CHE Fund earlier this year

PACE Youth Theatre performing at the launch of the CHE Fund earlier this year

Created by Renfrewshire Council, the CHE Fund is a key component of Paisley 2021, the town’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021. It was established to unlock and support the area’s creative potential by helping the cultural community organise its own events and projects in the run-up to the bid.

Applications are being sought for the second round of funding to be provided by the CHE Fund, which will deliver £500,000 during the next five years. Launched in March 2016, the fund made awards totalling more than £62,000 to 12 Renfrewshire projects in its first round of funding.

It’s open to any organisations or individuals from Renfrewshire, who wish to create or develop cultural or heritage activities specifically inspired by Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Successful proposals will demonstrate a compelling connection to Paisley’s bid, strengthen cultural activity in neighbourhoods and town centres across Renfrewshire, enhance the annual cultural calendar in Renfrewshire, and showcase the region’s talent, not just locally but in other parts of the UK.

Jean Cameron, Bid Director for Paisley 2021, said: “Applications are once again pouring in for the CHE Fund, highlighting the breadth, depth and quality of the cultural scene across Renfrewshire.

“The deadline for the next round of funding is fast approaching and we don’t want anybody to miss out on the opportunity to be in with a chance of securing support for their project. The passion and creativity contained in the applications we’re receiving is fantastic to see and further emphasises why Paisley is in a prime position to be named UK City of Culture in 2021.”

The first round of funding attracted 72 applications and the benefits are already being felt by the 12 groups who received awards. The successful applicants included Right2Dance, who received £13,946 to run free weekly dance classes and stage a new performance in 2017.

Another group to benefit were Renfrewshire Disability Art Forum, who will use their £6,000 to develop a range of creative solutions to help address cognitive impairment among the program’s participants. This will include digital artforms, printmaking, animation and music technology.

Information about and application forms for Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage and Events (CHE) Fund can be found at: http://www.paisley2021.co.uk/culture-fund/

Plans for a multi-million-pound transformation of Paisley town centre have now cleared the final funding hurdle after receiving a £1.9m national lottery grant.

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Renfrewshire Council will now start work on a five-year £4.5m Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest.

The Heritage Lottery Fund last year awarded the council £113,000 to prepare detailed plans for the scheme, and earmarked a further £1.9m subject to approval of those plans – which has now been given.

Historic Environment Scotland has already confirmed an award of £1m towards the scheme to cover repairs to historic buildings, with the rest of the total to be made up by Renfrewshire Council and investment by the building owners themselves.

The programme will start this year and will focus on a defined area covering the west end of the High Street – from the junction with New Street to the university – plus parts of New Street and Shuttle Street.

A series of priority buildings have already been identified for repairs and restoration, while the HLF money will also fund a programme of community activity designed to complement Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

It will build on the success of the £3.5m THI/CARS scheme which has transformed the area around Causeyside Street over the past few years, including shopfront repair grants, public realm improvements, and a revamp of Paisley Arts Centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted this award has been confirmed and we would like to thank our friends at Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland for supporting our ambitions.

“Paisley town centre has a tremendous built heritage – with only Edinburgh having a higher concentration of listed buildings of anywhere in Scotland.

“This project will deliver some much-needed investment to bring some vacant historic buildings back into use.

“In doing so we will not only be improving the look and feel of the town centre, but also stimulating the local economy, and hopefully increasing footfall in the area around the High Street.

“The project is scheduled to run until 2021 – making it a perfect fit for the UK City of Culture bid and the planned £56.7m revamp of Paisley Museum – and will deliver a programme of activity designed to complement both.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The regeneration of town centres is an obvious way in which we as an organisation can make an important contribution to improving the economy of an area and the standard of living for the people resident there.

“Investing National Lottery money to revitalise historic buildings at the heart of a community, not only makes a place more attractive to live, visit and invest in, it also provides jobs and training opportunities for local people.

“Building on the success of what has been achieved already, we are delighted to make this award to Paisley. It is part of our on-going commitment to preserving Scotland’s heritage in a way in which is relevant to the needs of today.”

Renfrewshire’s council leader was given a behind-the-scenes look at work on Paisley’s iconic Russell Institute building…and declared it will be ‘spectacular’ when it reopens next year as a skills and employability hub.

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The striking A-listed former health centre on the corner of Causeyside Street and New Street is halfway through a year-long £5m council-led project to restore it to its former glory.

When it reopens next year it is expected to bring around 80 new office jobs into the town centre, with national skills body Skills Development Scotland moving in as anchor tenants, alongside staff from the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire employability team.

And Councillor Mark Macmillan and SDS director of operations Danny Logue donned their hard hats for a tour of the facility to see the latest progress.

Since construction kicked off at the end of last year, main contractors CBC Ltd have been cleaning the external stonework and repointing some of the distinctive and intricate statues on the outside of the building.

Internally, the recognisable entrance hallway, staircase and balcony remain in place but work has been ongoing to turn the small rooms and cubicles of the former clinic into bright and open office space.

Councillor Macmillan said: “It was great to get a look inside the building and to see how the work is progressing – the revamped building will be spectacular.

“Along with Arnotts, the planned museum revamp, and with work starting soon on the museum store on the High Street, this is just one of several current major regeneration projects making the most of Paisley’s unique architecture and history.

“That unique heritage will be key to the town’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 and – as people will have noticed – the scaffolding around the Russell Institute has been used as an opportunity to help showcase the bid.

“From speaking to people around the town you realise how many residents have their own stories and memories of visiting here while growing up, so from that point of view it is great we are keeping the building alive for future generations too.

“The work taking place here is preserving the original 1920s features while creating bright and open 21st-century office space which people will enjoy working in.”

Danny Logue of SDS added: “It was fantastic to see the work that has been done already to breathe new life into this building.

“We are really looking forward to moving in and continuing to help the people of Renfrewshire to achieve careers success, as well as supporting businesses to grow and develop the skills of their workforce.”

The work is being funded by Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.

The Paisley Development Trust kicked the project off by commissioning an initial feasibility study into its use.

The Russell Institute was opened in 1927 and was gifted to Paisley Burgh by Miss Agnes Russell, who wanted it to be used as a child welfare clinic as a memorial to her two brothers.

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The proposed next steps on ambitious £56.7m plans to transform Paisley Museum into an international-class visitor attraction have been unveiled by council bosses.

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This week, councillors will be asked to approve a fresh application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the project, and the creation of a project team to continue detailed development work over the next year.

An initial £15m funding bid lodged with HLF earlier this year was unsuccessful but lottery staff gave positive feedback on the project’s ambition, quality, and likely impact on the town’s regeneration.

If given the green light by members of the Leadership Board on Wednesday, council staff will now start work on a new application to go to HLF in December.

Last year the council set aside £15m for the project, which aims to extend the current building – operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd – into a major attraction based on Paisley’s unique textile heritage.

Studies estimate the project would be worth £89m a year to the local economy, triple annual museum visitor numbers to 150,000, and support 238 jobs.

Work will run alongside Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture and it is hoped the museum will have a phased opening for 2021 – but if that timescale is to be hit, design work needs to continue.

For that reason councillors are being asked to spend £1.2m from existing regeneration resources on staff costs and detailed business case development.

At the same time, discussions are being planned with the UK and Scottish Governments and other agencies to help bring in other funds for the project before going back to HLF.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “While we were disappointed not to be funded first time around, we are certainly not disheartened as HLF made clear it was an extremely competitive round of funding and it is often the case projects like this are not successful on the first go.

“It was encouraging that HLF spoke so highly of what we are trying to do and the benefits it would bring to Renfrewshire – and we now have a clearer idea of what we need to do to be successfully funded at a later date.

“Part of that is further development of the museum’s fundraising strategy and we will be pushing ahead with that over the next six months.

“This project could have an utterly massive economic impact on Renfrewshire, creating new jobs, bringing large numbers of day-trippers and tourists into the area, and creating new footfall for Paisley High Street.

“Alongside the UK City of Culture 2021 bid, it will also have major community and educational benefit, helping reconnect the people of Paisley with the unique heritage and Pattern which bears the town’s name.

“For those reasons and more we remain utterly committed to delivering it in full and as planned, and the proposals going to councillors next week will help us do that.”

Alongside the museum project, work is well advanced to create a publicly-accessible museum store in a vacant unit on Paisley’s High Street for next year, opening up access to parts of the town’s collection currently not available for viewing.

Money has also been set aside to relocate the town’s lending library to another empty High Street unit, although the heritage library will stay as part of the museum.

A major investment in new, hi-tech LED street lighting across Renfrewshire has got underway in Paisley. 

Councillor Eddie Devine (left) fitting one of the new LED lamps

Councillor Eddie Devine (left) fitting one of the new LED lamps

Lighting contractors started the installation in the Foxbar and Glenburn areas and will complete work in Paisley before moving to other parts of Renfrewshire later in the year.  

The new lights will save a massive £750,000 a year due to lower electricity consumption, reduced maintenance costs and a reduction in carbon tax payments.

Council chiefs say the £11m investment will protect the environment, save money on running costs and improve street safety at night.
Almost 29,000 streetlights across Renfrewshire are being fitted with new, energy-efficient lamps which consume around 60% less power than conventional lamps and last five times longer. 

Another benefit of the new LED technology is that it emits a more natural white light that allows colours to be seen more clearly. The light also produces better quality CCTV images which can help to deter crime and antisocial behaviour, and improve detection rates for incidents.

Councillor Eddie Devine, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, said:

“This investment will bring a wide range of benefits. 

“At the moment, street lighting accounts for one-fifth of the council’s CO2 emissions. By making this major investment in new, green LED technology, we are taking a significant step to meeting our carbon reduction targets.

“By using less energy to light our streets, we are also protecting council tax payers against the effects of future energy price increases.”

The replacement programme is expected is expected to be completed by May 2017. In most cases, the new LED lamps will be fitted to existing lamp-posts, making the exercise quick and straightforward. 

Residents will receive a postcard before installation starts in their area and lamp-post signs will be put up to remind them to keep installation spaces clear.

More information on LED street lights and details of the installation schedule are available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/LEDlights