Paisley and Renfrewshire Newsletter

Congratulations go to West College Scotland’s HND Interior Architecture and HNC Graphic Design students that worked on a fantastic re-brand and refurbishment client project with Multan Tandoori in Paisley – Paisley’s oldest established Indian restaurant.

David Kandola, Owner of the 44-seater George Street restaurant got in touch with the College last year looking for some concept ideas for a face-lift for the popular curry haunt’s bar and restaurant areas.

After an initial consultation with the Graphic Design department, the project brief was to include logo redesign and typeface for all the branding in the restaurant. As the project gained momentum, the brief was expanded further to involve the HND Interior Design students to revamp the whole of the interior too. This included walls, floor, ceiling, tables, chairs and bar area.

David invited both the HN Graphics & HN Interior Design students into his restaurant for a site visit and to consult with him, he also visited the colleges Paisley campus to see progress. The next stage of the project entailed students presenting their (halfway stage) concepts to David in the restaurant. This was a great experience for students to gain feedback of their ideas to see if they were on the right track and received feedback from David whilst they were sitting in the premises.

Design Lecturer, Alison Quinn commented, ‘David’s passion for the project shone through from his initial meeting with the students. As the client, David provided valuable feedback to the students individually during the design process.  The great thing about Live Client Design Briefs is that they give the students real time experience and an opportunity to interact with the client directly.’

David said, ‘We’ve had our logo updated twice over the past 10 years, but we never considered an interior update other than wall colour palettes and table layouts. As the discussions went on, we were keen to see the dining area updated as well as the restaurant signage outside. We wanted to create a new dining area which is modern, cosy but yet have a personal touch to what the restaurant is about and that’s the love of Indian food.’

The final presentation was due to take place and prizes issued for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. Sadly, we’ve not had the opportunity to pitch the final designs however, we’re looking forward to welcoming the students and David back onto campus in the new term. In the meantime, we’ve got some feedback from some of our students who were involved.

David commented, ‘The development of the student project came out extremely well, a lot of very unique outlooks and much variety. We’re looking forward to taking forward the winning designs and make them a reality – it’s the perfect way to showcase their achievements and show their hard work throughout this project.’

Curriculum & Quality Leader Billy Kinnear said,‘The Multan project has been a great success for our students and their client. The Art & Design department pride themselves on working on a high volume of ‘live client briefs’. This allows our students to engage with real industry and allows them to develop their skills and networking. They also have a chance to actively populate their CV, which is essential for their career.

It was a pleasure to work on this project on a large-scale with Multan, Graphic Design and Interior Design students. The standard of work was very high and they did themselves and the college proud.’

HNC Graphics Student: Sean Kelly

HND Interior Design Student: Abby Craig

Ronnel Caliwag: HND Interior Design

Andrew Eaglesham: HND Interior Design

Gryffe High School has become the first secondary school in Scotland to receive an ‘excellent’ grade under the government’s short model inspection format.

Gryffe High pupils Lewis Da Silva, Rachael Bell, Lauren Rodgers, Rowan Johnson, Aaron Mills, Gregor Speir and Roisin Wright with head teacher Colin Johnson

A team from Education Scotland visited the Houston school earlier this year to speak to staff, pupils and parents – and today issued a glowing report over the standard of the work they found.

The school was rated as ‘very good’ for learning, teaching and assessment, and as ‘excellent’ for ‘raising attainment and achievement’ – the highest grade on the six-point scale.

That is the first time the top grade has been given out to a secondary school under Education Scotland’s short model inspection format, which judges schools on two quality indicators as opposed to four under the full inspection model.

The inspection team said the following about the school’s work:

– strong and highly effective leadership by the headteacher and senior leadership team;

– highly-skilled analysis of progress and attainment data of all young people’s results, leading to outstanding levels of attainment and achievement;

– aspects of outstanding practice in primary to secondary transition;

– highly-motivated, articulate and ambitious young people who have high aspirations;

The one area of improvement identified was around building on the work already being done to improve the reliability of assessment evidence in S1-3 pupils, to help teachers set tasks and activities at the right level.

The school also had self-evaluation verified as excellent by the council on two other quality indicators – leadership of change, and improving wellbeing, equality and inclusion.

Gryffe High School head teacher Colin Johnson said: “To say I am proud of our pupils and staff is a complete understatement. To be the head teacher of a school where the pupils, day in day out, impress with their enthusiasm, drive and persistence is an absolute pleasure and privilege.

“Even over the very difficult last few months our pupils remained positive, thoughtful and supportive of one another and I have been amazed at the lengths they have gone to in supporting others.

“That has included delivering packs and resources to other pupils houses, and taking additional packs to the local church as a collection point for other pupils.

“Our pupils efforts and achievements are outstanding, supported by dedicated staff, supportive parents/carers and close links with a wide range of external partners.

“I eagerly await the return of our pupils to school this week, and then supporting them as they pick up where we left off – supporting the wellbeing of all, striving for improvement, and keeping their focus as ambitious, but caring, young people with high aspirations.”

Lewis Da Silva, who was last year’s school captain, said: “I’m proud to say I went to Gryffe High – it’s an amazing school. I will miss the learning side and the social side.”

And this year’s school captain Rachael Bell added: “We get great support from teachers and pupils. We have lots of societies and clubs and even if there isn’t one they will help you set it up.”

Councillor Jim Paterson, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, added: “We are thrilled by this inspection report on Gryffe High, which shows why the school is considered one of the best-performing in the country.

“That is testament to the hard work and dedication of the pupils, staff and school community to raise attainment for all and I am sure they will all be as delighted as we are by the grading in the report.”

The Renfrewshire Council Trusted Trader scheme is a local business partnership which aims to increase consumer confidence, promote good practice within local businesses and to help prevent doorstep crime.
It is the only official trader scheme in Renfrewshire that is Council backed, fully vetted by Trading Standards and supported by Police Scotland.

Use businesses you can trust such as an Renfrewshire Trusted Trader.  We provide the following services:

  • Bathroom refresh
  • Cleaning
  • Driveway Repairs
  • Electrics
  • Gardening
  • Gas appliances
  • Window repairs
  • Boiler replacement
  • Handyman
  • Home improvements
  • Decorating
  • Renovations
  • Plumbing
  • Removals
  • Leaking Roofs
  • Security

So why not lower your stress and reduce the risk, use an Renfrewshire Trusted Trader –  visit   #OpenForBusiness #Renfrewshire #TrustedTrader



During the Coronavirus shutdown, Shopmobility Paisley and District had to close down their base in the Paisley Centre Car Park in Storie Street, Paisley.

However, following a deep clean of their base and the adoption of strict hygiene measures, Shopmobility is pleased to announce they are back in business, with their mobility scooters now available for hire.

Shopmobility is a free service helping people with limited mobility to visit Paisley town centre independently, with freedom and confidence.  You don’t have to be registered disabled or a Blue Badge holder to make use of the Shopmobility service. The service is available to anyone with temporary or permanent mobility impairment, whether through disability, illness or injury.

Shopmobility Paisley and District offers free daily hire of manual and powered wheelchairs and powered scooters, to allow people to access shops and other facilities in Paisley independently. Manual wheelchairs and portable travel scooters are also available at a small cost for longer term hire.

Shopmobility board member, Margaret Dymond, performed the opening ceremony, complete with her safety visor as she cut a tape to officially open the office.

Margaret said:

“It’s great to be back in business.  We know that many of our clients have been in shielding and are desperate to get back out and do their own shopping, so we’re pleased to be able to help them by having our range of mobility scooters and wheelchairs available for hire.

Shopmobility Manager, Karen Miller added:

“We’ve missed our regular clients and the chats we used to have with them.  I’ve phoned some of them up during the lockdown just to check they were doing okay and everyone was desperate to get back out and about. We’ve brought in strict hygiene measures to make the hire of our scooters as safe as possible for all our clients.”

Shopmobility Paisley & District is based in the ground floor of the Paisley Centre Car Park in Storie Street, Paisley and is open between 10am to 4pm on Mondays to Fridays and 10am to 3pm on Saturdays (closed on Sundays).  You can call ahead to book a scooter/ wheelchair by calling 0141 889 0441 or by emailing

A FILM about the legendary Communist MP from Paisley, Willie Gallacher is being premiered on an online TV channel.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s internet channel, Ren TV will show the 50-minute film, called A Lion Rose in Paisley, on Wednesday, August 12, at 7pm – 55 years to the day Gallacher died.

The docudrama by local filmmaker, Alex Cathcart stars TV and film actor, Steven Duffy as the left-wing firebrand Gallacher.

Alex Cathcart: Film maker Alex Cathcart made the film, A Lion Rose in Paisley

The film also features Renfrewshire Council’s Labour leader, Eddie Devine who ironically plays the famous Tory Prime Minister, Winston Churchill. And fellow-councillor, Bill Brown plays an MP asking a question in the Houses of Parliament.

Paisley Abbey was used as the film location for Parliament, as was the Beechwood Community Centre, in the town’s Shortroods area, when scenes were shot of a stormy public meeting involving Gallacher and the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George.

Gallacher was one of the famous Red Clydesiders at the beginning of the 20th century and campaigned against the First World War. He was twice jailed for his political activities, but remained steadfast in his socialist principles and continued campaigning on behalf of the working class.

In 1920, Gallacher travelled to Moscow and met the Bolshevik leader of the Russian Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, who encouraged the Paisley Buddie to form a communist party in the UK. On his return, Gallacher was one of the founding members of the Communist Party of Great Britain.

Gallacher, who was born into poverty in Paisley’s Back Sneddon, on Christmas Day 1881, became the Communist Party MP for West Fife in 1935 and served his constituency until 1950. But he remained active in politics all his life and was known by political leaders throughout the world.

When he died on August 12, 1965, it was estimated that 30,000 people lined the streets of Paisley for his funeral procession.

A street in Foxbar – Gallacher Avenue – was named in his honour in the mid-1980s along with Gallacher Court, a sheltered housing complex in Paisley’s West End. A cairn in Paisley’s High Street to commemorate Gallacher was also erected in 2016.

Filmmaker Alex Cathcart said: “I only knew the barest of facts about Willie Gallacher, but after the cairn was erected I was curious and wanted to find out more.

“I soon realised that his life was incredible, he was globally feted, but remained one of Paisley’s own – a true Buddie we can be proud of.”

Labour Councillor Eddie Devine revealed he had taken a lot of ribbing about playing the part of a Tory Prime Minister after the filming had been completed. “And I’ve no doubt there will be some more Mickey-taking when the film is shown on Ren TV,” he said. “But I want to assure everybody that I’m definitely not a Tory!”

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This is a great film, and I’m sure local people will enjoy learning more about Willie Gallacher and his principles, particularly his lifelong commitment to improving workers’ rights.”

“It’s a good way of paying tribute to one of Paisley’s most famous sons and even just as a piece of drama, the film is well worth watching.”

Renfrewshire Council’s Culture Heritage and Events Fund supported the making of A Lion Rose in Paisley. The film can be seen by logging on to at 7pm on August 12.

Renfrewshire Council has joined forces with Zero Waste Scotland to promote their anti-littering campaign, Scotland is Stunning – Let’s Keep It That Way.

Highlighting the beauty of Scotland’s lochs and mountains, city parks and country woodlands, the campaign is backed by the Scottish Government and Keep Scotland Beautiful and aims to inspire people to enjoy the great outdoors, but without leaving litter behind.

In Renfrewshire, local people will be reminded that Renfrewshire is Remarkable and Paisley is Picturesque, as part of a drive to encourage local people to take pride in where they live.

The campaign aligns closely with Renfrewshire’s award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign which has seen thousands of local people tidying their communities and has created a dedicated community of like-minded volunteers.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We’re delighted to continue our work with Zero Waste Scotland by promoting this campaign as we want to ensure that Renfrewshire remains a beautiful place to live, work and visit.

“Our own Team Up to Clean Up campaign has the same values and we’ve been delighted to see its success as local people come together to make a real difference to our communities.

“Renfrewshire really is remarkable so please, let’s work together to eradicate littering and take pride in where we live.”

As well as being an eyesore, dropping litter is a criminal offence. Discarded waste can also be a danger to young children and animals, and it is estimated that 80% of marine litter washing up on our beaches started out on land.

Iain Gulland, Zero Waste Scotland chief executive, said: “People are understandably keen to enjoy everything Scotland has to offer this summer, and onwards. If you are camping, exercising, having a barbecue or just enjoying the scenery, have fun, but remember to bin what you don’t need or take it with you.

“I’m delighted Renfrewshire Council is getting involved in our campaign. Go home with happy memories and leave Renfrewshire litter-free so others can do the same. We know Scotland is stunning, let’s keep it that way!”

The campaign can be followed on social media using the hashtag #BinYourLitter and volunteers are encouraged to post their pictures of beautiful scenery in their area, as well as their efforts to keep it tidy.

Barry Fisher, CEO of Keep Scotland Beautiful, added: “We welcome this new campaign highlighting the beauty of Scotland and all it has to offer. Litter levels across Scotland are unacceptable, and in many places are getting much worse. Alongside this campaign we will continue to offer support to all those who have already stepped up to tackle this problem in their own communities with litter clean ups and projects to improve and protect the places they care about.”

For community groups and other local organisations keen to spread the message, a free downloadable campaign toolkit is available online at and for more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, visit

Families across Scotland are being encouraged to check if they qualify for the Best Start Grant School Age Payment as schools re-open next week.

The one-off cash payment is open to people who receive certain benefits or tax credits and are a parent or carer of a child born between 1 March 2015 and 29 February 2016.

Parents do not need to take up a school place to get the money – people who are home schooling or have deferred their child’s start date can still apply.

Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“The move from nursery to primary school can feel like a huge step for parents as well as kids. It can also come at a cost – putting extra pressure on low-income families.

“As parents gear up for kids starting school next week, many will be feeling the financial impact of Covid-19. I urge them to check if they are eligible for the School Age Payment and apply today.

“I’d also encourage people to check what other support is available to them at this difficult time, such as the school clothing grant and free school meals.”

Chief Executive of Social Security Scotland David Wallace said:

“Since the outbreak of coronavirus, we have been working in different ways with the vast majority of our colleagues now working from home.

“Despite these restrictions, we remain committed to getting payments to people who need it.

“We are encouraging people to apply online in the first instance. For those that cannot access the online application, a limited telephone service is available where people can speak to one of our Client Advisors.”

People can get more information and apply at


  • Applications opened on 1 June 2020 and will remain open until 28 February 2021
  • Parents who have deferred entry to August 2021 should still apply in the 1 June 2020 to 28 February 2021 window. If they wait until after then it will be too late and they will miss out on their payment
  • There is no requirement to take up a place at school to be eligible for the payment
  • To be eligible you have to live in Scotland and be receiving certain benefits or tax credits. To find out more, including the eligibility criteria, visit
  • In last year’s application window 1 June 2019 to 29 Feb 2020, we paid a total of £4.6 million in Best Start Grant School Age Payments supporting over 18,000 families at this key stage in a child’s life. The latest stats can be read at
  • Demand for School Age Payment has been high and so processing time might take longer than usual. Once we receive an application, we will write to the client with the outcome.
  • Since coronavirus restrictions were put in place, the majority of our colleagues moved to working from home. This means we’ve been unable to offer our full inbound telephone service. We have a limited number of lines available for inbound calls. This is aimed at those who need help with their applications and cannot access our services online. Clients can speak to one of our advisors by calling 0800 182 2222 between 9am and 3pm Monday to Friday.

Many of the restaurants, bars and cafes at the shopping destination and Soar at intu Braehead are taking part in the Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Visitors will receive a 50 per cent discount, up to a maximum of £10 per person, when dining-in at participating eateries on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from August 3 to August 31. Diners can take advantage of the money-off meal deals as many times as they want.

The discount is available for food and non-alcoholic beverages, but does not include takeaway purchases. Visitors will not need a voucher, as participating establishments will simply discount their bill.

Marketing manager for intu Braehead, David Lyon said: “Many of our cafes, bars and restaurants are now open and have signed up to the Eat Out Help Out scheme.

“This is a fantastic incentive for people to treat themselves with a meal out after months of lockdown. A family of four that would normally pay, say £80 for their meal will only be charged £40 thanks to the initiative and the eateries at intu Braehead taking part.

“We’re seeing more and more visitors returning every day, so we’re confident that plenty of people will be taking advantage of the fantastic Eat Out to Help Out scheme and will enjoy a delicious meal together.

“Of course, we’ll be continuing to do everything we can to make sure intu Braehead is a safe place to visit and work.”

The cafes, bars and restaurants participating in the Eat Out to Help Out scheme will be regularly updated at, but they currently include:

Five Guys; Lord of the Isles; McDonalds; Nando’s; Pizza Express; Pizza Hut; Prezzo; TGI Fridays; Yo! Sushi; Frankie & Benny’s – open August 10 and Harvester, which is opening soon.

braehead drive in movie

It was a full house when drive-in movies came to the boardwalk at intu Braehead for the first time last night. (Wednesday, July 29)

Grease was the first film shown and it was the one that everyone seemed to want as 150 cars packed with movie fans turned up to watch the iconic film featuring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John.

braehead drive in movie

And as a thank you for their work on the frontline during the coronavirus pandemic, anyone who works for the NHS was given free entry to the first screening.

Later during the second show, which was family favourite, Back to the Future a similar amount of cars were parked up in the boardwalk in front of a giant screen.

The Arena at intu Braehead has teamed up with the Catherine McEwan Foundation charity to help raise much-needed funds to help people living with Crohn’s and Colitis get better care, treatment and quality of life.

There will be two films shown on a giant screen every night and four movies this weekend, with the audio broadcast via a frequency that car radios can be tuned to.

Tickets are still on sale for the drive movie screenings that go on until Sunday, August 2 and the movies being shown are Grease, Jurassic Park, Mama Mia, Goonies, Finding Nemo, Lion King, The Lost Boys, Back to the Future and Dirty Dancing.

Refreshments are provided on site by the UK’s top street food operator, The Big Feed.

Derek McEwan, who launched the Catherine McEwan Foundation after his mother, Catherine passed away after years of suffering from Crohn’s Disease said: “It’s great to be at the iconic Braehead Boardwalk raising funds to help children and adults battling Crohn’s and Colitis.

“Our first night has been great and the fact that we could give a little back to our NHS superheroes tonight made it a bit special.”

Scott Martin, intu Braehead Leisure general manager added: “People seemed to move like greased lightning to snap up the tickets when they went on sale.

“It’s a novel way to have a good night out with the family and there are still a few tickets left for some of the drive-in movie showings during the rest of the week.”

Tickets costing £35 per car plus booking fee are on sale from


Safety the priority as Renfrewshire Leisure has to wait for “green light” on leisure service, including gyms and pools.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today (Thursday, 30th July) confirmed a further delay before gyms and swimming pools can reopen, with opening now identified as likely to be allowed on 14th September. That timeline is dependent on maintaining low levels of virus in the community as well as ensuring that all social distancing and hygiene protocols are followed, although the First Minister held out the prospect of particularly favourable conditions perhaps permitting an opening date at the end of August.


Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “We really do value the support of our members and the wider public and know how much people in Renfrewshire have missed these services. These centres are important parts of our communities, playing important roles in helping our health and wellbeing. We are looking forward to welcoming people back and working with them to ensure their return is both safe and enjoyable.” 


Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We know how eagerly the community is waiting for news on a date for reopening our leisure facilities, not least of all because of the vital part they play in ensuring we can get everyone active again after a long period of closure during lockdown. 


“With reopening now no earlier than the end of August, and perhaps not until mid September, we will continue to use the time before then to refine our procedures – continuing to reflect that our first priority for opening will be the safety of our customers and staff.”


Renfrewshire Leisure will also be working with Renfrewshire Council’s education department towards the recommencement of its Active Schools programmes from the start of the new school term, as well as working with local sports clubs and teams to make earliest possible use of courts and pitches after confirmation that these can commence from specified dates in August.