Paisley and renfrewshire Events

paisley museum

The first images showing how Paisley Museum will become a world-class destination telling the town’s globally-significant stories and bringing huge volumes of new footfall to the town centre are today revealed.

The museum is undergoing a £42m transformation into a leading European museum telling the stories of Paisley’s people and Pattern, and home to its internationally-significant collections.

paisley museum

When it reopens in 2022, the reimagined museum is expected to draw audiences from Scotland, the UK and abroad – almost quadrupling visitor numbers to 125,000 a year.

And today sees the first reveal of images, showing how international architects AL_A – led by Stirling Prize winner Amanda Levete – plan to restore and reinvigorate the museum, including:

– fully accessible entrance courtyard and a dramatic red glazed entrance hall, creating a dynamic and inviting presence on the High Street and a contemporary face for the museum;

– a new wing to the west of the existing building providing step-free access through the museum up to the Coats Observatory (the oldest public observatory in Scotland), containing learning spaces and with views onto the new museum garden;

– an attractive outdoor garden, creating a new public space for the town, and opening up previously-hidden views of the observatory while reconnecting it and the museum to the town’s High Street;

– internal renovations will improve accessibility and circulation, deliver international environmental standards for gallery spaces, and allow the museum to more than double the number of objects on display to 1,200;

– an interactive weaving studio keeping alive the town’s traditional textile skills;

paisley museum

The renovated museum and library buildings will be in conversation with the new. Together they create a cohesive museum campus and a visitor experience of international quality.

The project is expected to create a £79m boost for the local economy over 30 years, with 138 jobs supported during construction, and 48.5 jobs per year through revenue and visitor spending.

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The transformation of Paisley Museum will create a world-class destination right here in the heart of the town, delivering huge volumes of new footfall to our High Street, and boosting local traders.

paisley museum

“The work is part of a wider investment by the council in Paisley’s venues to transform the town centre, and take the work already making us a key destination within Scotland for culture and events to a new level.

“Paisley is a town whose people and pattern influenced the world – the revamped museum will use our unique – and in some cases untold – stories to put Paisley back on the map.

“The project team have already worked with hundreds of local people and groups to capture their stories. And we will be working closely with neighbours and surrounding businesses to make sure they are involved throughout construction and ready to benefit from the massive boost this will bring.”

paisley museum

Amanda Levete, principal of AL_A, said: “The brief for Paisley Museum is one of the most radical I’ve encountered. Paisley has a proud industrial past and a history of innovation and radical thinking. We have embedded this into our design to create an extraordinary place for the community of Paisley.”

Professor John Hume OBE, former Chair of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments Scotland, said: “I am thoroughly impressed by the thoughtful and sensitive approach of the architects to a remarkable group of buildings in a critical location for this unique place.

“At a time when there is a real risk of erosion of cultural experience, such interventions are of the utmost importance, and it is fitting Paisley should be at the forefront of what will be not just regeneration but also in the best sense, renaissance.”

The Paisley Museum Reimagined project includes Round One funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Paisley Museum was opened in 1871, designed by renowned Glasgow architect Sir John Honeyman. The building was gifted to the town by Sir Peter Coats of the Coats family, whose Paisley-based thread-making empire stretched around the world.

Renfrewshire’s collections are among the best in Scotland and include the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls and pattern books, artwork from the world-renowned Glasgow Boys, one of Scotland’s best collections of studio ceramics, and a unique offering of mediaeval manuscripts dating back to before the Reformation.

The project is being co-designed in partnership with the community – the project team have already worked with hundreds of local people and groups to capture and help tell their stories.

The museum transformation is the flagship project within Renfrewshire Council’s £100m investment in venues and outdoor spaces aimed at using Paisley’s unique and internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to transform the area’s future.

The programme includes turning Paisley Town Hall into a landmark entertainment venue to preserve its place at the heart of life in the town, and finding new cultural uses for former retail units – including a new learning and cultural hub offering library services at the heart of the town’s High St.

Paisley’s collections remain available to the public while the work is happening – at Paisley: The Secret Collection, the only publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.

coats memorial

The Official Most Haunted Experience (as seen on TV) are very proud and honoured to hold their event at this magical building. They are entering virgin territory, never investigated before to such a degree. What will they uncover in the dead of the night at Coats Memorial in Paisley..

coats memorial

Click Link below for more information and ticket purchase

https://www.mosthauntedexperience.com/coats-memorial-events

Dates:

Dates 2019

  • Sat 5th Oct 2019 – 7pm – 2.30am
  • Fri 18th Oct 2019 – 7pm -2.30am
  • Sat 9th Nov 2019 – 7pm – 2.30am
  • Sat 30th Nov 2019 – 7pm – 2.30am
  • Sat 14th Dec 2019 – 7pm – 2.30am

 

Dates 2020

  • Friday 17th Jan 2020  – 7pm – 2.30am
  • Friday 7th Feb 2020 – 7pm – 2.30am
  • Sat 8th Feb 2020 – 7pm – 2.30am
  • Sat 7th March 2020 – 7pm – 2.30am

 

 

‘Coats Venue is managed by CMPT (Coats Memorial Preservation Trust) a registered charity Coats Memorial Preservation Trust SCO48088. Proceeds from Events and Venue Hire will be used to maintain this Grade A listed building for future generations.  Any excess profit will be used for community projects.

renfrewshire, buisness park, paisley

A new manufacturing district in Renfrewshire which will create thousands of new jobs for the sector took a step closer today as work started on site.

The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS) will be based next to Glasgow Airport and is expected to put Renfrewshire at the heart of Scotland’s manufacturing industry, estimated to create up to 6,000 jobs and boost Scotland’s manufacturing sector by £535million in GVA a year.

renfrewshire, buisness park, paisley

Renfrewshire Council is leading the district’s development in partnership with Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise.

A 52-hectare campus at the heart of the district will house companies harnessing new technologies and accessing cutting edge research. With 1.6million square feet of available floor space, the site is already confirmed as the location for the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

renfrewshire, buisness park, paisley

Work has now started on constructing the enabling infrastructure, which includes new roads, bridges, cycling routes and pedestrian walkways, funded through the £1.13 billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, jointly funded by the UK and Scottish governments.

Derek Mackay, Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work joined Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Steve Dunlop and local Inchinnan Primary School pupils at the official groundbreaking.

renfrewshire, buisness park, paisley

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Derek Mackay said: “I am delighted to celebrate work starting on the new Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland (AMIDS).

“Building on our rich and diverse manufacturing heritage, this development will help Scotland develop the clean, green, technologically-advanced industries of the future. The first tenants of this new district will be the Scottish Government’s £65 million National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the £56 million Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre which will both provide an attractive proposition for further inward investment.

“Manufacturing is vitally important to the Scottish economy and AMIDS, and the companies it will attract, will help realise our ambitions for Scotland to become a global leader in advanced manufacturing.”

renfrewshire, buisness park, paisley

UK Government Minister for Scotland Colin Clark said: “I want to see the Glasgow City Region thrive as a powerhouse of economic growth.  It’s vital that we invest in the skills, industries and infrastructure that will help businesses create high-paying jobs for the future.

“The UK Government is contributing £32 million to unlock the region’s potential through the Glasgow Airport Investment Area and Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre. Across Scotland our £1.4 billion City and Growth Deals programme is helping to create opportunities and sustainable growth for generations to come.”

Renfrewshire pupils were also on hand to plant a tailor-made time capsule packed full of local manufacturing mementos together with the children’s ‘dream inventions’ – covering everything from glasses that can see emotions to a self-navigating bike.

The ground breaking also included a reception and tour of family-owned Inchinnan company Peak Scientific, who design and manufacture the world’s leading gas generators, used for laboratory analytics across a wide range of sectors including cancer research and screening newborns.

They have embraced manufacturing innovation to grow the business, now employing more than 450 employees worldwide, with major operations in North America, China and India and exporting to more than 110 countries.

Provost Cameron said: “Renfrewshire has a rich manufacturing heritage and right now 9000 people work in manufacturing roles across the region, generating more than £1billion in exports.

“The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland will provide fantastic employment opportunities and support companies of all shapes and sizes to prosper. Its success will be built on close collaboration and cooperation.

“We know that from great connectivity to a highly-skilled workforce, we have the right ingredients in Renfrewshire to deliver on its amazing potential and place Renfrewshire at the beating heart of Scottish manufacturing. I am personally very proud that new products for a new world will be made in Renfrewshire.”

Scottish Enterprise has committed £2.47million grant funding towards the project and is also providing its expertise to help shape the district masterplan, creating a high-quality environment that fosters collaboration, supports sustainability and promotes health and wellbeing, with places for work, leisure and socialising.

Scottish Enterprise Chief Executive Steve Dunlop said: “This site represents one of the most exciting and important developments for Scotland’s manufacturing community in a generation. Once completed, it will significantly enhance Scotland’s excellent worldwide reputation for attracting inward investors.

“Working collaboratively with our partners, we can help build more resilient and agile manufacturing businesses, offering high quality jobs for local people that will positively impact their communities, Renfrewshire and all of Scotland.”

The enabling infrastructure is scheduled for completion in early 2021 and will also strengthen connections to nearby Westway Park, Scotland’s largest fully enclosed industrial distribution and office park, and to Inchinnan Business Park, home to more than 30 businesses including Rolls Royce PLC, Peak Scientific and the University of Strathclyde’s Advanced Forming Research Centre.

Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, University of Strathclyde, which is the anchor university of the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and research partner in the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, said: “The University of Strathclyde is proud and excited to play a key role in the development of Scotland’s burgeoning manufacturing industry.

“The Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland will play a hugely important role in attracting investment in research and development in the manufacturing sector and in developing and sustaining the skills required by industry. This is a pan-Scotland activity and we are enthusiastically involving universities from across the country to bring engineering and technology expertise to bear in achieving the enormous potential of AMIDS.”

Dave Tudor, Managing Director, Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, said: “We are delighted to be part of AMIDS. The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre promises to enhance Scotland’s reputation as a trusted centre for high value manufacturing while transforming the UK’s standing with the global pharmaceutical industry. Being at the heart of what promises to be a hub for advanced manufacturing and leading innovation is what makes AMIDS the location of choice for the centre.”

GLA_StarterPacks

Glasgow Airport restaurant plates up support for homeless charity

 

It was a case of daylight crockery at Glasgow Airport today (Wednesday 28 August) as big hearted bosses at one of the travel hub’s restaurants donated dozens of dining sets to a city-based starter pack charity.

GLA_StarterPacks

Popular airport eatery Frankie & Benny’s recently changed crockery supplier and was left with hundreds of surplus plates, bowls, saucers and cutlery – all brand new and still boxed.

Rather than simply dispose of the crockery and cutlery, the restaurant’s manager Graeme Emslie asked Glasgow Airport’s sustainability team if they knew of any way the dining sets could be put to good use.

The airport’s sustainability assurance manager Kirsty Webster said: “As a responsible business we are committed to reducing our environmental impact and being a good neighbour. We were determined not to just dispose of the cutlery sets as there were so many of them and they were brand new. Luckily, one of my colleagues told me about the charity Starter Pack Glasgow, which is based in Govan.

“The charity helps new tenants, many of whom have been previously homeless, get started with household items they may struggle to afford when moving into a new home.

“It was a win-win situation really. We were really chuffed that staff from Starter Pack Glasgow were happy to take all the items and put them to use and in doing so Glasgow Airport could further cut down on waste.”

The reuse of the Frankie & Benny’s crockery is the latest move by Kirsty and her team to reduce waste and ensure Glasgow Airport continues to build on its green credentials while also supporting local charities and organisations.

In June this year, the airport donated a surplus bus to Help the Homeless Glasgow to be transformed by the city-based charity into a mobile drop-in support unit.

Kirsty also issued more than 5000 branded reusable water bottles to staff across the airport in February to help cut down on single-use plastic. To help get the message across, she enlisted the support of anti-plastic primary school pioneering pupils the Sunnyside Ocean Defenders.

In March, the airport invested more than £200,000 to introduce an eight-strong fleet of Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV hybrid vehicles and charging stations to its operation.

Gavin Dunbar, general manager at Starter Packs Glasgow, said: “We are so very appreciative of the donation of crockery from Frankie and Benny’s facilitated by the folks at Glasgow Airport.

“We’re supporting 25-30 households a week currently, and with every pack containing a minimum of four place settings to help people settle into their new homes, this is a huge help to us in supporting folks making a fresh start. Thank you so much!”

 

To find out more information on the charity visit: www.starterpacks.org.uk

CHRISTMAS FAIR
It may only be August, but RAMH have already announced the date and venue for their Christmas Fair! The event will be held on Saturday 7th December from 11.30am-3.30pm at Holy Trinity & St Barnabas Church (between Paisley Sheriff Court & Gilmour Street Station).
CHRISTMAS FAIR
We will have shopping, live music, a festive bake sale, refreshments and various other entertainments still to be confirmed. It is family friendly and free to attend.
We have had lots of interest so far, but we are still looking for some more local businesses who would like to take a stall for the shopping part of the event (boutiques, jewellers, gifts & crafts, etc)
 *The stalls are £15.00 each*
For more information or to book a stall, contact jade.gallagher@ramh.org
We hope to see you all there!
Eaten by Mamoru Iriguchi
Independent Arts Projects presents
Eaten by Mamoru Iriguchi
The award-winning performance artist, Mamoru Iriguchi, is back out on tour this autumn with Eaten, a show for children aged 6yrs+ about food, eating and being eaten!
 
What if your food started talking back? Meet Lionel McLion. He’s just eaten a human called Mamoru. But Lionel hasn’t chewed his food well. So Mamoru’s alive and well in his stomach, and now wants to say hello. A strange friendship between the eater and the eaten starts to grow. Eaten invites children to the fascinating world of food chains and digestion. 
Eaten by Mamoru Iriguchi

“Whimsical hi-jinks” The Herald ★★★★ “Big Cuddly and Clever” The Times ★★★★ “Daringly inventive” The Stage ★★★★
 
Donning a lion costume, Mamoru simultaneously plays the roles of the eater (Lionel the lion who dreams of being a vegetarian) and the eaten (Mamoru the human who loves meat) resulting in a dialogue about food between the predator and his prey, locked in one body. 
 
With a surrealist and humorous storyline, Iriguchi, together with director Ivor MacAskill and co-performer Suzi Cunningham, invite children and grown-ups to the fascinating world around food: eating, being eaten, digesting, defecating and everything in-between and beyond, in nature and on our dining tables. Eaten encourages young audiences and adult audiences to carefully examine what they eat and re-think their relationship with food and nature. 
Paisley Arts Centre
Sun 15 Sep | 2pm | £4
BSL interpreted performance

New life is set to be breathed into an underused play park in Elderslie following a £50,000 award from the Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas and Villages Investment Fund.

Elderslie Community Council submitted their application to reinvigorate Queens Road Play Park after extensive consultation in the local area showed a desire for new equipment for young people and families to use locally.

New dynamic, inclusive and exciting equipment will be installed in the park, with local children having their say on what they’d like to see as part of the newly-refurbished park.

Anne-Marie Balfour, Elderslie Community Council, said: “We were looking at what people wanted for the village and after a survey revealed that a large majority wanted a play park, it became clear that this was a project we should take on.

“Having no decent park in the village means there are children growing up here without opportunities to play and socially interact with each other outside of school, so we have made a conscious effort to make the park inclusive so that children of any ability can come and play with their friends and enjoy the park once it is built.

“Residents have engaged with us and attended fundraising efforts which have resulted in over £10,000 being raised so far.

 

“Elderslie Community Council has worked hard to make a difference in the village, installing planters and procuring Christmas Lights and we see Queens Road Park as the next milestone in our journey.”

The group hope to entice local families to use the park and plan to host community events in the area including an Easter egg hunt and Halloween activities.

The Community Council are also active members of Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign and regularly clear unwanted vegetation and litter pick the area, something they pledged to continue as part of their application.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted to see that this park will be brought to life with fantastic new play equipment for young people and families in Elderslie to enjoy.

“So much work and commitment has gone into making this idea a reality and it’s great that the fund has been able to reward the efforts of the group and this will make such a difference for local people in the area.

“If you’ve got a similar idea, please get in touch with the team and we’ll support you to make your application.”

The £1.87million fund aims to regenerate and make physical and environmental improvements to areas across Renfrewshire identified by the local community.

Awards from the fund will assist in bringing in external funding, increase community participation in local areas and encourage the process of transferring assets to local communities.

Each application must show it has consulted the local community to ensure there is a need and desire for the project and that it would improve community life.

£370,000 has been ringfenced from the overall £1.87million fund specifically for investment in Renfrewshire’s villages, through the Villages Investment Fund, and applications for this must show that they will strengthen the unique identity, heritage and character of village life.

For more information and to find out how to apply, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/greenspacesfund.

Renfrewshire is set to sparkle as hundreds of volunteers show their support for the latest event in the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Every town and village in Renfrewshire has been challenged to make it a Spotless September by hosting a clean-up in their area, whether that’s through a lone litter pick or every class in a school taking part.

Litter pickers, bibs, bags will be provided by the council to allow volunteers to take part in their clean up, with the collected rubbish also being cleared away by the council’s StreetScene team afterwards.

Lyle Brown, Principal Teacher at Lochfield Primary, said: “The Spotless September initiative has been fantastic at getting the children more involved within their own community and helps to foster care and respect for their local area.

“The children loved taking part last year and are always astounded by the volume of litter collected during the campaign. It helps them recognise the impact that litter can have on their local and wider community and as teachers, we can use this as a catalyst for further learning around the topic of living in a more sustainable and eco-friendly way.

“We are all excited to be taking part again this year and doing our bit for our community.”

The campaign has proved a success with the local community and saw a 474% rise in community clean ups in its first full year, with more than 7000 volunteers having taken part in the campaign so far.

The Big Spring Clean in April saw more than 1750 volunteers take part in 103 events across the area, with more than 1850 bags of rubbish cleared from the streets.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I can’t wait to don my bib to take part in events throughout September and I hope that everyone can join me and the hundreds of other volunteers in making a difference to Renfrewshire.

“We continue to see so many enthusiastic people making our area cleaner and brighter and Spotless September is a chance to bring more people into the campaign.

“It would be fantastic if every community in Renfrewshire could host a litter pick. We were close to seeing this happen in April’s Big Spring Clean so fingers crossed that we see this happen in September!”

The Team Up to Clean Up campaign forms part of a five-year, £2.5million investment across five years to make a real difference to the cleanliness of the streets in Renfrewshire and improve the local environment.

As well as the support from local communities, an enhanced programme of operational activity is underway to clean gullies, sweep the roads and repair the roads infrastructure to ensure the campaign is a joint approach between the council and its residents.

If you’re keen to take part in the Spotless September Challenge, call 0300 300 1375, email wardens.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SpotlessSeptember.

Fountain Gardens

A project to build a labyrinth designed to improve wellbeing and mental health in a Paisley park has received support from Renfrewshire Council’s Community Empowerment Fund.

The STAR Project has been awarded £20,000 from the fund to build the labyrinth in Fountains Gardens. A community asset transfer for the site is currently underway.

Fountain Gardens

It follows the group’s successful Labyrinth of Light project earlier this year, which highlighted the benefits walking labyrinths can have on mental health and wellbeing. The group will carry out a piece of research as part of the new labyrinth project which aims to provide further evidence that creativity can help reduce mental health symptoms.

The funding will allow building work on the labyrinth, which is being designed by artist Jim Buchanan, to begin.

The group hopes the new art installation, which is being created in partnership with Create Paisley, Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH) and Engage Renfrewshire, will open to the public in the autumn.

Sharon McAuley, Project Manager at The STAR Project, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. For us, this project is about using creativity to improve wellbeing and involving the community in creating a beautiful piece of public art that will become an asset.

“We’ve never created anything this permanent or huge before. Walking the labyrinth will promote health and people being in green spaces, tap into our heritage and history, and improve community wellbeing.

“It will leave an ongoing legacy. I think people who take part in the labyrinth will feel better able to overcome their barriers and realise more of their potential, it will build resilience and wellbeing and increase the sense of pride and belonging in the community.”

The final labyrinth design will incorporate the Paisley Pattern and wildflowers as well as stones that have been painted and decorated by the local community.

A number of groups have already expressed an interest in using the labyrinth for activities and Sharon hopes it will also attract tourists to Paisley.

She added: “I think this project will be really exciting. The labyrinth will improve an area that’s not used hugely because of where it is in Fountain Gardens and will encourage visitors.

“There is a worldwide labyrinth locator and people do travel all over the world to visit them so I think it will bring in more visitors to Paisley.”

The £1.5million Community Empowerment Fund was set up in 2018 and provides grants to community groups that want to take over ownership and the running of a publicly owned building or piece of land in their local area through Community Asset Transfer. It is currently in its sixth round of funding, with applications to the seventh round of the fund closing on Tuesday 3 September 2019.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing & Planning Policy Board, said: “This is a fantastic project that will have lasting benefits for the people of Renfrewshire.

“We launched this fund in 2018 because we wanted to work with community groups and empower them to transform their local areas. This project is a great example of what can be done when a group works with local people to find a creative approach to address an issue like mental health which is becoming more prevalent in today’s society.”

STAR Project was not the only group to receive money in the latest round of the Community Empowerment Fund. Paisley Opera also received £6,700 to develop a business plan to create a community hub and rehearsal space in the East End of Paisley, while the 18th Paisley & District (Coats) Scout Group and Foxbar Community Garden & Environmental Projects Group were each awarded £10,000 to carry out feasibility studies into new community facilities in Foxbar.

To find out how to apply to the Community Empowerment Fund, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/CommunityEmpowermentFund. If you want to find out more about the fund or you have an idea you would like to discuss before applying, contact Kellie Miller, Community Empowerment Lead, on 0141 618 3920.

For more information about mental health services in Renfrewshire, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/article/2473/Mental-health.

Whitehaugh Barracks

A proposal to turn an ex-army barracks into a community hub and rehearsal space has received funding from Renfrewshire Council.

Paisley Opera has been awarded £6,700 from the council’s Community Empowerment Fund to carry out a commercial building survey, community consultation and develop a business plan for the former Whitehaugh Barracks in the East End of Paisley.

Whitehaugh Barracks

The group, which currently rehearses in church halls across Paisley, launched two years ago with the aim of introducing opera music to people who would not normally listen to it. It now has over 50 members in its community chorus and is working with local schools to start a children’s chorus.

Pat Kelly, Treasurer of Paisley Opera, said: “Having this facility in the East End of Paisley would be fabulous for us.

“We’ve been successful at getting people to sing with us over the last couple of years, we’ve generates a fair amount of interest and our two full-scale performances have been very well received and attended. What we need now is a space where we can rehearse.”

Paisley Opera now intends to carry out a commercial building survey to check the building is suitable for their purposes before consulting with the community on their plans for the ex-barracks. The group will also have to apply for a Community Asset Transfer for the plans to go ahead.

whitehaugh barracks

Pat added: “We don’t want this building for ourselves, we want it to be a facility for people of all ages in the area.

“We want to carry out a community consultation to see what the people of Paisley really want to do with this building and whether they support our ideas. We’ve got a list of what we think people would like but, at the end of the day, it’s the community that will decide what goes in there. We have the expertise in-house to manage the building but we’ll be guided by what the community want to do with it.

“We are very excited about the project, it’s perfect for our purposes. If configured properly, it could be a very welcoming place.”

The £1.5million Community Empowerment Fund was set up in 2018 and provides grants to community groups that want to take over ownership and the running of a publicly owned building or piece of land in their local area through Community Asset Transfer. It is currently in its sixth round of funding, with applications to the seventh round of the fund closing on Tuesday 3 September 2019.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing & Planning Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted Paisley Opera has received this funding from the Community Empowerment Fund.

“The work the group is doing to introduce children and adults in Renfrewshire to opera music is fantastic. This money will allow them to expand their work while also creating a new hub that will make a difference to the lives of local people in Paisley’s East End.”

Paisley Opera was not the only group to receive money in the latest round of the Community Empowerment Fund. The STAR Project also received £20,000 to build a labyrinth in Fountain Gardens in Paisley, while the 18th Paisley & District (Coats) Scout Group and Foxbar Community Garden & Environmental Projects Group were each awarded £10,000 to carry out feasibility studies into new community facilities in Foxbar.

To find out how to apply to the Community Empowerment Fund, visit http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/CommunityEmpowermentFund. If you want to find out more about the fund or you have an idea you would like to discuss before applying, contact Kellie Miller, Community Empowerment Lead, on 0141 618 3920.