Paisley and renfrewshire Events


THE fitness suite at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre is to have a £180,000 refurbishment.

There will be 43 new pieces of fitness equipment installed with a larger general exercise area and the gym will be given a fresh new look.


The gym will be closed for a week from Sunday, November 24 until Sunday, December 1 to allow the work to be completed.

And to celebrate the new-look and upgraded gym re-opening, an Open Weekend is being held on Saturday and Sunday, December 7 and 8.

Anyone can come along to the gym and try out the new fitness machines for free, book a place at one of the fitness classes and take part in an exercise class in the gym being held every hour from 9am until 3pm.

There are also two special offers to coincide with the new-look Lagoon gym. Anyone taking out a monthly membership in December 19 will only have to pay a reduced joining fee of £10 – a saving of £20. And two people can get a  six-month gym-only membership that gives them access to Renfrewshire Leisure’s six fitness suites for only £179.

Call our memberships team on 0300 300 0250 or visit one of our centres to find out more.

Head of Leisure and community services, Mark Tokeley said: “We’re always looking at ways of giving our gym members even greater value for money by providing top-class fitness facilities.

“By refurbishing the Lagoon gym anyone coming along can’t help but be impressed at the standard of the equipment they will have to use.”

eve spa

A luxury spa in Paisley is celebrating its seventh birthday – by giving every else a present!

Eve Spa, in The Lagoon Leisure Centre is hosting as special three-day birthday party on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 7,8 and 9.

eve spa

Between 10am and 8pm on Thursday and Friday and between 10am and 5pm on Saturday there will be complimentary drinks and nibbles along with the obligatory slice of birthday cake for everyone.

There is also a host of special birthday offers. Clients who book a £30 VIP treatment will get a free gift and £20 back to spend on a minimum of two beauty products.

The VIP treatments people can choose from include a Caudalie Express 30-minute facial; Caudalie Fleur de Vigne 25-minute back massage; Ishga Express 30-minute facial; Ishga salt and oil 30-minute scrub and a Comfort Zone Express 30-minute facial.

The spa’s Thermal Experience can be added on to any of the birthday treatments booked for only £5.

For the whole of this birthday week until Saturday Gel Fingers will only cost £11 and Fake Bake Spray Tans will be £10.

Log on to for more information or call 0300 300 0266. Advanced booking is advised.


Paisley will be celebrating all things merry and bright at this year’s Christmas Light Switch-On event with thousands expected to turn out to enjoy the fun.

Santa and his sleigh will ride into town from 12.30pm on Saturday 16 November, signalling the beginning of this free, festive, family event.


A highlight of the day’s activities is the Santa parade, which has a new extended route for 2019. The parade will be led by Santa on his sleigh, who will guide this year’s 300-strong parade through the town – dazzling spectators with giant festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers. Following the parade there will be a number of street performers entertaining the crowds.

New for 2019 is the fantastic, ticketed Winter Roller Disco in County Square. Visitors can take a spin around the rink at one of the six sessions taking place.

There will be plenty of music and entertainment on the live stage with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests and The X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols, and where better to hear them than the majestic Paisley Abbey where a series of local community and school choirs will perform to put everyone in the festive mood.

There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained as Coats Memorial will be transformed into the perfect Christmas playground bursting with activities to keep the little ones entertained such as writing letters to Santa, making Christmas cards, face painting, soft play and much more.

The Piazza Shopping Centre will be home to Santa’s Grotto for kids to tell Santa what they want for Christmas and for those looking to do a bit of Christmas shopping there will also be an Urban Market offering plenty of fabulous gift ideas.

A Creative Craft Trail will be taking place as part of the event in some of the town’s fantastic local cafes and businesses, where visitors can learn to make festive jewellery, decorations and fascinators among other activities.

The yuletide activities culminate in lighting up of the town with the big switch-on moment at 6pm.

This year the lights will extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be located in the grounds of Coats Memorial Church offering the perfect festive selfie spot.

Renfrewshire Provost, Lorraine Cameron said: “The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is one of the biggest events in the winter calendar and this year’s programme is packed with plenty of festive, fun activities for everyone.

“It’s an event that always brings visitors into the town and it’s one of my personal favourites. I’m looking forward to helping celebrate the start of the festive season in the town and I hope to see lots of smiling families there.”

There will also be a funfair at the event located on Bridge Street with smaller rides on Gilmour Street.

To find out more about future events taking place please visit:


Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership’s Alcohol and Drugs Commission – one of the first of its kind in Scotland – is working to build a true picture of alcohol and drug use across Renfrewshire to help improve life outcomes for people in our communities.


Since its inception in March this year, the Commission has discussed the impact that alcohol and drug use has on individuals and families, and members have made recommendations about how partners can work together to take a fresh approach to tackling alcohol and drug use.

At the outset, Commission members agreed to support those with the highest need who are suffering the most severe disadvantage. In the meetings which have followed, the Commission – which comprises key figures from across health and social care, housing, justice, third sector and higher education – has discussed how we currently support people affected by alcohol and drug use; our services across prevention and early intervention; recovery; the impact of trauma; and how we engage with children and young people.

Cllr Cameron Recovery Cafe2

One of the most important parts of the work of the Commission continues to be listening to the voices of those with lived experience: talking to service users and people in recovery.
To hear these voices, Commission members have visited Renfrewshire services including the Sunshine Recovery Café, the Renfrewshire Men’s and Women’s Groups, Renfrewshire Family Support Group, and Renfrewshire Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Resource (RADAR).

Lead officer for the Commission, Laura McIntyre, said: “The sessions that Commission members have had with local groups and organisations and staff are really what this Commission is all about – listening to those who know what it’s like to live with or support people who are experiencing issues with Alcohol and Drugs.

Lorraine outside Sunshine Recovery Cafe

“Local organisations like The Sunshine Recovery are fantastic, and through the Commission we are recognising the need for everyone in Renfrewshire to work together to support recovery and to build strong relationships with each other.

“As we move into 2020, it’s exciting to see possible recommendations emerging, with a huge opportunity for Renfrewshire as a whole to come together to positively support recovery, and to improve the life chances of local people.”

Before the end of this year, the Commission will continue to review how services are operating across Renfrewshire and consider how best to reach people most in need of support, before reporting on its findings in early 2020.


Recovery case study

Voice of lived experience is vital in tackling drug and alcohol use, says Paisley mum in recovery

A Paisley mum believes listening to the real-life experiences of people affected by alcohol and drugs is integral to the work being done by the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Commission.

Lorraine, committee treasurer at the Sunshine Recovery Café in Paisley, used alcohol and drugs for more than 15 years before turning her life around.

The mum-of-two was in primary six when she started smoking cigarettes and by the time she was in first year at high school, she was smoking hash and taking acid.

At 14 she started going to ‘unders’ nights before meeting up with her older friends, taking ecstasy, and heading out to clubs.

She fell pregnant at 15 and had a termination, which caused her life to spiral out of control.

She said: “The termination was the turning point for me.

“At 16, I ended up in a homeless unit in Renfrew but was kicked out when I started smoking heroin.

“A friend told me that to make the pain go away, I should take more of it, so it just became a cycle.”

Even after technically dying in the operating theatre, she kept using.

She said: “I woke up in hospital one morning and had no idea how I got there.

“My mum told me that she got a call saying her daughter had taken a drug overdose and was going to die. I was completely out of it. They had to resuscitate me and give me adrenalin and I ended up on life support.

“But as soon as I got out of hospital, I started using again.

“When I look back, I know there was no real reason for me to be doing it. I just enjoyed the feeling of not having to worry about things.”

At 21, she started injecting heroin, while taking 200 Valium a day and smoking crack cocaine.

But at 26, she realised she wanted to change.

She said: “I just started to grow up a wee bit. Everyone I knew was going to jail.

“My friends started dying and I realised that I didn’t want that for myself. I wanted to have a life.

“People talk about their friends from years ago but I can’t as so many of mine are dead.”

Lorraine received support from Renfrewshire Drug Service where she would meet her key worker weekly to talk about how she was feeling and her plans for moving forward.

She also used the Cactus service when her addiction was active and she had pending court charges.

Two years after being drug free and on methadone, Lorraine became pregnant. The Family Matters service helped her reduce her methadone dosage throughout her pregnancy so that it had significantly reduced by the time her first son was born.

Lorraine got back into work around three years ago when one of the Family Matters team told her about the Scottish Drug Forum’s Addiction Worker Training Project. She applied for the training and thanks to two successful paid placements at Turning Point Scotland and the RCA Trust, she completed her SVQ 2 in Health and Social Care.

Lorraine’s mum tragically passed away just as she was finishing her placement, and she struggled to adjust to life without her.

One year later, Lorraine contacted Colin Turner at the Sunshine Recovery Café, who offered her a voluntary position, which led onto a committee secretary post and role as treasurer.

She said: “My mum was my best friend. I’m very proud that she got to see me make it through to the other side and to meet my two boys.

“I didn’t think I would be employable due to my past. Renfrewshire services provided me with fantastic support and were a huge part of my recovery.

“The Sunshine Recovery Café is my second home. I love the people there – everyone is in recovery and everyone is supporting each other through it.

“I know that I will always be in recovery but that feels normal to me.

“If I hadn’t been through it all, I wouldn’t be the person I am now.”

Lorraine is pleased that the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Commission has been set up and has no doubt that hearing from people – and family members – who are living with the impact of alcohol and drug use will be a vital part of how Renfrewshire moves things forward.

She said: “It’s so important that we talk about these issues and bring them out into the open. Everyone is affected by addiction and mental health but some people still have a fear of talking about it.

“I hope that the work of the Commission will encourage services to share information so that we can work together to improve lives.”


Cllr Jacqueline Cameron blog – look back on first six months of the Commission

Over the past few meetings, it has been good to see how enthusiastic the Commission members are about our aims – and while everyone has their own specific area of interest, it feels very much like we are a united group with a common goal.  Commission meetings are alive with debate, discussion and ideas, and I have my work cut out as a Chair to ensure everyone’s voice is heard; which is a very positive problem to have.

Many of us have met with staff, service users and their families. I have found this a truly eye-opening, at times emotional, and wholly uplifting experience.   Not only has this given us as Commission members an opportunity to get to know each other, it has provided us with a chance to hear first-hand from those with lived experience, their families and the staff who support them.  What came through to me most was how well informed and engaged family members were on national strategy and policy, and that there role is very much a caring one that should be supported.  The dedication of staff to provide a respectful, supportive service has been demonstrated in our meetings and I think frontline staff really benefitted from the opportunity to make their views heard.

What I took most from the meetings was that everyone commented on the stigma faced by people using drugs, particularly.  It was saddening to see how much the words that people use, hurt; words that so easily trip off the tongue when people only see the addiction and not the person.  It is clear that people would like to see a robust campaign to tackle this stigma, in the way that we have approached the stigma of mental ill health.  I think this will be a challenge but I would like to see Renfrewshire at the forefront of facing this head on.  I was so grateful for service users allowing us as guests into their forums: at times I felt like I was invading their safe space but by the end of each session, we had all opened up to each other, which was both humbling and moving.

Our next few meetings are crucial as we will be setting out our recommendations – the tangible outcomes that we said from the start we wanted to achieve. We have a wonderful facilitator in Professor Phil Hanlon, who keeps us on track, to ensure the discussion and debate moves in a direction where we make decisions and look at how it will change practice in Renfrewshire.

The Commission has many skilled members and we are lucky to have them. Many sit on the national Drugs Deaths Task Force, including Professor Catriona Matheson who chairs the national taskforce, so we have a direct link to what’s happening in terms of approaches to tackling drug and alcohol use at a national level.

I look forward to learning what our recommendations for the future will be, and to hearing how we will continue to make lives better for people and their families living with drug and alcohol use across Renfrewshire.

Paisley Fireworks 2016

A dazzling display of fireworks will be set off in the skies above Paisley Abbey on Saturday 2 November.

Paisley Fireworks 2016

Crowds will gather in Paisley town centre to watch the magnificent array of Catherine wheels, rockets and sparklers on display backed by a soundtrack of popular 90s classic hits.

Gus from Pulse FM will welcome crowds with music and banter from 6.30pm before the fireworks get underway at 7pm lasting approximately 20 minutes.

Paisley’s winter events programme will continue with the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On on Saturday 16 November. There will be plenty of Christmas family fun including the popular Santa Parade in the town centre, Christmas Choir concerts, Santa’s Grotto and much more. Visitors will also be able to enjoy exciting street artists, fantastic performances on the live stage and even head along to the festive roller disco.

The festive fun will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday 23 November and Johnstone on Saturday 30 November. The town centre also sees the return of the WinterFest event from 23 November until 30 December, run by Paisley First, featuring an outdoor ice rink, LEGO Paisley Penguin Parade Trail and plenty of festive fun.

For more information about Paisley Fireworks Spectacular, visit:

Veterans at the Cenotaph in Paisley

Hundreds are expected to turn out to pay their respects to the fallen as parades are carried out in towns and villages across Renfrewshire, with services taking place to mark Remembrance Day.

A weekend of remembrance will begin on Friday 8 November as the annual Children’s Remembrance Service takes place at Mossvale and St James Primary in Paisley at 10.30am.

Veterans at the Cenotaph in Paisley

Veterans from the Royal British Legion will visit the school to see a presentation from the pupils on what they’ve learned about Remembrance Day, before speaking about their experiences of having served in Armed Forces.

Veterans marching in Paisley

On 10 November, parades will then take place from 10am to mark Remembrance Sunday, with a two minutes silence at 11am, and all are invited to attend at the following locations:

Start                Finish (Approx)

Houston                       10.00am          10.30am

Kilbarchan                   10.00am          10.30am

Renfrew                      10.45am          11.15am

Paisley                        10.45am          11.30am

Lochwinnoch               10.45am          11.15am

Howwood                    12.15pm          12.45pm

Johnstone                   12.30pm          1.00pm

Elderslie                      2.30pm            3.00pm

Bridge of Weir             3.00pm            3.30pm

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Every year at this time we stop to remember those we have lost, and I would encourage all who are able to attend to come to one of the services taking place across Renfrewshire.

“It’s so important that we pay our respects to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and I look forward to the community once again coming together to show their gratitude for all that have gone before us.

“Through our Children’s Remembrance Service, we will work closely with our veterans to educate our young people and show exactly why we mark Remembrance Sunday each and every year.”

For more information, visit:

Paisley Halloween Festival 2019

Paisley’s annual Halloween Festival launched tonight with plenty of thrills and chills for visitors.

Paisley Halloween Festival 2019

The two-day spectacular is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK. This year’s event has a Dark Circus theme and promises to be the biggest and best yet with internationally acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou, helping to transform the entire town centre into the perfect Halloween playground.

Paisley Halloween Festival 2019

The festival continues on Saturday with a whole host of frighteningly fun, free activities for everyone to enjoy including the spectacular Mardi-Gras style parade, with the entire town serving as the stage.

To find out more visit:

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

More than 12,000 festival-goers turned out for The Spree festival as figures show record attendances at this year’s events.

The festival, which is now in its eighth year and is organised by Renfrewshire Council, took place over nine days from 11-19 October.

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

Music and comedy fans were treated to sell-out shows from Hue and Cry, Glasvegas, The Snuts, Jerry Sadowitz and spectacular performances from Soul legend PP Arnold, Hayseed Dixie, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook and two Friday comedy nights compered by Fred MacAulay and Scott Gibson.

This year’s opening night also saw a fitting tribute to one of Paisley’s favourite musical sons – A Gerry Rafferty Songbook with Roddy Hart, Emma Pollock and Rab Noakes, who thrilled a sell-out crowd with a set spanning the musician’s rich career.

Most of the shows at this year’s festival took place in the stunning Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square – with a bigger tent than in previous years allowing for more people to enjoy the performances.

There was lots of fun for families as the Wee Spree programme of kids activities took place during the school holidays and saw over 2,000 youngsters enjoy events from music and circus skills workshops to cinema and comedy.

This year also saw the return of the popular Spree for All fringe programme, which was extended across Renfrewshire and saw 2,500 people attend events across Lochwinnoch, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Renfrew and Paisley.

Paisley also played host to an all-day festival within-a-festival on the opening Saturday with LNP Promotions’ ModStuff celebration in the Spiegeltent, which saw the spectacle of over 100 scooters ride off around the town from County Square.

The Spree is a centrepiece in Renfrewshire Council’s annual major events calendar, which has made Paisley one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations in recent years.

This year’s festival was programmed by Regular Music and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “This has been another fantastic year for The Spree as we’ve seen record attendance figures and more fans coming out to enjoy their favourite acts and musicians at the festival.

“The Spree has grown in recent years to become a popular fixture in Scotland’s festival calendar, attracting a wealth of local and international artists and bringing more and more visitors from across the country to see what Paisley has to offer.

“The extended programme of amazing events across towns and villages in Renfrewshire will also boost our local economy and will go some way to benefiting local businesses.”

Mark Mackie, Director of Regular Music, said: “We are proud to have been involved with Renfrewshire Council in programming this year’s The Spree festival in Paisley and are delighted that the concerts were so well attended and enjoyed by everyone that came along.”

The festival also provided a boost to local traders with many festival-goers choosing to spend local and sample the great bars, restaurants and cafes in the area.

Jacqueline McCaig, owner of The Old Swan Inn which hosted the Spree Festival Club of daily events during the festival, said: “We absolutely loved hosting the Spree Festival Club this year at The Old Swan – it was a fantastic week of live music. The pub was really busy with a great atmosphere and a great mix of customers old and new, who came to see what the Festival Club was all about and enjoy the variety of talent we had on show.”

The Spree festival marked the start of Renfrewshire Council’s winter events programme, which continues with the Paisley Halloween Festival (Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October), Paisley Fireworks Spectacular (Saturday 2 November) and Christmas Lights Switch-On events in Paisley (Saturday 16 November), Renfrew (Saturday 23 November) and Johnstone (Saturday 30 November).

To find out more about each of these events, visit

HB Film Festival

The first year of the HB Film Festival was a sell out success this weekend, and with over 300 tickets sold over its 2 day run at The Wynd Centre. 


Over 40 independent films were shown plus live music, comedy, film quiz and a glittering awards ceremony. The event has been deemed a great success by organisers and guests alike. 

HB Film Festival


Guest Alasdair Marshall said:


I highly recommend The HB Film Festival. A delight from start to finish with amazing and carefully selected film screenings. This was only the first year and it was a fantastically run event – I can’t wait for next year!


Awards were picked up by filmmakers from far and wide, with several awarded to Scottish filmmakers including Best Comedy, awarded to Crackpot, and Best Female Lead picked up by Sarah Grant for her performance in comedy short film Scare. See the full list of winners on the festival’s Facebook page.

Organised by former Paisley Grammar pupil and filmmaker Gary Hewitt, the festival’s aims are to bring independent films to the community, and showcase the talent of both local and international filmmakers. 


If you missed it this year, not to worry – after its sell out success, the HB Film Festival is set to return next year! Festival Director Gary said:


“After a fantastic weekend, we are delighted with the outcome of the inaugural HB Film Festival – our selection of quality independent films went down a storm with all who attended. We welcomed guests from the local area, across the UK, and even as far as the USA! We are absolutely thrilled with the response and look forward to bringing you and even bigger and better festival next year!”


If you’re a budding filmmaker, submission for next year’s festival will open in the next few weeks – head over to Film Freeway to find out how your film could be shown at next year’s HB Film Festival!


Keep up to date with HB Film Festival news:


Twitter: @TheHBFilmFest



Paisley’s annual Halloween Festival returns on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October with a Dark Circus theme for 2019 promising plenty of chills and thrills for visitors.


One of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK, this year’s event promises to be the biggest and best yet with internationally acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou, helping to transform the entire town centre into the perfect Halloween playground.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

The two-day spectacular, which routinely attracts tens of thousands to the town, will serve up a whole host of frighteningly fun, free activities for everyone to enjoy with the entire town serving as the stage.

The main spectacle of the festival is the carnival-style Halloween Parade which takes place on the Saturday and will see more than 300 costumed performers and community groups led through the town by the sinister Svengali ringmaster. The parade has a new, extended route for 2019 taking over the entire town centre and will boast magnificent floats and ferocious fire performers, creepy clowns and curious creatures, along to thrilling live music.

Immediately following the parade, no matter where visitors are positioned around the town centre, there will be something to see or experience as a series of live acts and activities will restart.

Aerial artists, All or Nothing, will also perform their death-defying act ‘Into the Dark’, which will see the artists circle and swirl around the haunted carousel over the grounds of the town’s iconic Abbey.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

A new addition to this year’s festival is the ticketed spooky silent disco. Held in the heart of the town the disco is sure to deliver plenty of dancing, singing and Halloween fun for all the family.

The weekend will offer plenty of opportunities to join in the fun with a range of family-focussed Halloween-themed arts and crafts activities and workshops including pumpkin carving. Street theatre acts and walkabout performances will pop up around the town centre featuring the likes of the Spark LED Drummers and Mr Wilson’s Second Liners as well as acrobatic and hula hoop artists. There will also be a creative craft trail in a number of local cafes where visitors can do everything from building a bug to creating their very own gargoyle from clay.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The annual Paisley Halloween Festival is always a highlight in our events calendar. Our increasingly ambitious programme attracts thousands of visitors each year and is now regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK.

Paisley Halloween Festival - Big Grey

“The festival has really cemented the town’s position as a key destination for visitors and is great for the local economy, with last year’s event worth more than £1.9m to the town and attracting 34,000 people. This year we aim to attract even more visitors to enjoy fabulous performances taking place across the town from high wire acts to the spectacular parade, and to sample our great selection of cafes, restaurants and shops.”

The Paisley Halloween Festival, which was supported in 2018 through the Year of Young People event fund, was awarded £16,950 of National Programme funding from EventScotland for this year’s event.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland, said: “The Paisley Halloween Festival continues to go from strength to strength and it is hugely exciting to see it sporting its biggest ever programme for 2019. This year’s exciting and innovative programme will no doubt engage audiences of all ages with aerial performances, arts & crafts activities, outdoor street theatre and the stunning Halloween Parade. Scotland is the perfect stage for cultural events and the festival is a great boost for Paisley, drawing thousands of visitors and locals alike to the town centre to enjoy this spectacular annual celebration.”

To find out more about Paisley Halloween Festival please visit