Paisley Photographs, official Paisley website containing Photographs of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland with some superb videos of Paisley and the town.

paisley town hall

THE final fling before Paisley Town Hall closed for a major refurbishment was of the Highland variety.

A sell-out Festive Family Ceilidh was the last event before the doors closed until the Town Hall re-opens in 2021 as a major venue attracting events and people to the town.

ceilidh

The festive ceilidh featuring traditional Scottish music and dancing has been a popular event for several years.

Victoria Hollows, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “There was no better way to celebrate both the end of the year and the Town Hall closing for renovation than to have a full-house of people enjoying themselves.

“And when the building re-opens there will be many more exciting events and shows taking place there to look forward to.”

The refurbishment of the Town Hall is one of the key projects within Renfrewshire Council’s £100 million investment in venues and infrastructure over the next few years, as part of a wider plan to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural assets to transform its future.

Halloween youth panel, volunteers and mentees (3)

Scotland’s Year of Young People in Renfrewshire has provided the perfect backdrop to showcase the talents of young people in the area through a year-long programme of events and opportunities to get involved, according to Renfrewshire’s specially appointed Children’s Champion for the year, Councillor Michelle Campbell.

Halloween youth panel, volunteers and mentees (3)

The Year of Young People 2018, delivered by the Scottish Government, working in collaboration with VisitScotland, EventScotland, Young Scot, Children in Scotland, Scottish Youth Parliament and YouthLink Scotland, saw thousands of Renfrewshire’s young people get involved in a year-long programme of events across the region.

Halloween parade

Renfrewshire Council Youth Services has been working with youth work partners and youth groups to deliver activities focussing on the YoYP six themes that young people had identified as most important for them – participation, education, health and wellbeing, equality and discrimination, enterprise and regeneration and culture.

Halloween parade

More than 200 young ambassadors were selected from across Scotland to represent their local communities, including ten young people from Renfrewshire. The YoYP Ambassadors and Renfrewshire Youth Voice Groups worked together to raise awareness and promote young people’s participation across the authority.  Several events were successful in securing national funding through the Event Scotland Create18 grants offered as part of the themed-year.  These events included a young writers festival, community fun days, a cheerleading taster session, and positive mental health event.  Renfrewshire Council also awarded local funding to support a series of youth activities throughout the year to help put ideas into action including holiday programmes, pop up cinema, mobile laser quest sessions, Escape Rooms and community-based youth events – all co-designed by local young people.

The Halloween Festival signature YoYP project was led by the Renfrewshire Council Events team in conjunction with Renfrewshire Youth Services, attracting more than 34,000 people to the area in October. The event involved more than 700 local young people who had the opportunity to help shape the programme for the event and took part in the parade, aerial displays and also gained valuable work experience by working as part of the council’s events team, and with artists, and youth workers.

A lasting legacy of this partnership working across Renfrewshire is increasing young people’s involvement in the existing Renfrewshire events programme, including Sma’ Shot Day. This included working to make events accessible to wider youth participation, including working to reduce barriers to participation by making tickets and transport to events available to targeted groups. Around 3,600 young people engaged in Renfrewshire’s events throughout the year. The formation of a Youth Events Panel will work into 2019 to continue the involvement of young people shaping and creating youth friendly events in the future.

Councillor Michelle Campbell was selected as Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion and has been attending a range of events across Renfrewshire throughout the year.

Councillor Campbell said:

“I was delighted to be appointed as the Council’s ambassador for young people during this specially themed year and I’ve been privileged to spend a lot of time meeting and listening to young people from across Renfrewshire over the last year. It’s delivered a real shift in welcoming young people to not just share their views, but also to include them in decision making and planning so they help inform our policies going forward.

“The Year of Young People gave our local young people a chance to really showcase their ideas and talents and to celebrate their achievements throughout the year and it’s been fantastic to see all the opportunities they’ve been able to take up as part of our events programme.

“Young people have a key role in their own education and we can continue to work to support that through the networks that have developed as a legacy of the Year of Young People 2018.”

Renfrewshire Youth Voice celebrated the end of the YoYP with their Positive About Youth Awards, which was a celebration of young people’s contribution to their peers and communities.

Jade Lochhead, the current Chair of Renfrewshire Youth Voice said:

“2018 gave us an opportunity for young people and youth work to be valued and listened to. Our Youth Assembly this year gave young people a platform to speak out on matters that we think are important.

“RYV will continue the theme of “Participation” into 2019 – Look out we’ve got more plans coming to Renfrewshire to keep us on the map.”

The Young Scot Renfrewshire portal hosted digital content created and curated by young people during the YoYP campaign. This will remain as a space to host films, photographs, blogs and reviews by young people and allow a wider youth audience to participate and engage with youth events in 2019 and for the years to come.

Caste Study

How Renfrewshire’s young people took centre stage at Paisley’s Halloween festival

Around 34,000 people flocked to Paisley for the Halloween Festival in October, celebrating the town’s witchcraft past.

The festival, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 and EventScotland, was significantly enhanced for the themed year with a full town centre takeover.

Young people were at the heart of the festival’s development, with a 28-strong Youth Events Panel working alongside Renfrewshire Council’s Events Team and Youth Services to design and deliver the programme, while more than 700 took part in a new creative learning programme. This offered the opportunity to participate in all aspects of festival delivery from performance to live event management and technical production.

The Youth Events Panel involved young people from across Renfrewshire with differing needs which ensured a diversity of voices in the event’s creation and helped act as a driving force that shaped, developed and delivered the event activities.

Throughout the programme, the young people were supported to learn new skills and make new connections that will prove invaluable.

One of the young people involved in the aerial performance, Patrick Doherty, said he enjoyed having his creative ideas listened to in an open and fun environment.

Patrick said:

“My personal challenge was meeting new people and working in a group with people I didn’t know, but I was able to overcome this and really enjoyed the experience.”

Andi Brogan, who was also part of the aerial performance, enjoyed learning a new skill and being able to network with aerial dance theatre company, All or Nothing.

Andi said:

“As someone who wants to be a professional dance artist, this was an invaluable experience.”

Youth Events Panel member, Jessica Willcox, said:

“Being involved in Halloween allowed me to have a completely new experience. I’ve made new friends and been able to socialise, which has increased my confidence.”

Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, Louisa Mahon said:

“To have so many of our young people at the heart of the festival’s planning and staging as co-creators made it extra special and we have been delighted to have delivered such a major event in partnership with Event Scotland.

“Our high profile, high impact, ambitious Halloween Festival working with leading creative partners All or Nothing, Bridgeman Arts and 21CC, ensured our children and young people’s skills, talents and diversity shone on a local and national stage.

“Thank you to all the young people who were involved in making this year’s event such a huge success.”

Paisley museum

Renfrewshire’s future is bright, despite tough challenges facing all local economies, says Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

More than £100million is currently being invested in Paisley town centre cultural venues as part of plans to use the region’s rich heritage to drive its economic regeneration.

Paisley museum

And 2019 signals the start of construction of an advanced manufacturing innovation district next to Glasgow Airport which is set to bring thousands of highly skilled jobs to the region.

“Every high street in every town and in every city is facing tough challenges, but we have a bold vision and are already taking significant steps towards securing Renfrewshire’s long-term economic future,” said Councillor Nicolson.

“This year will see us take the next steps on this exciting journey, working together with the business community and skills agencies as every organisation has an important part to play in delivering a bright economic future for Renfrewshire.”

Glasgow Airport Investment Area manufacturing district

Celebrating the region’s rich traditions – from weaving the paisley pattern to the iconic Paisley Abbey – and establishing Renfrewshire as a key visitor destination are at the centre of the regeneration plans.

New figures show great progress, with visitor numbers more than doubling to 5.3million between 2015 and 2017, while hosting major events attracted record numbers and ploughed £3.5million into the local economy this winter.

Paisley town centre cultural venues are about to undergo a total transformation – including the flagship project turning Paisley Museum into an international-class destination anticipated to attract 125,000 visitors each year.

There’s also been the launch of destination brand Paisley Is showcasing all the area has to offer and new funds rolled out to help grow the cultural sector, encouraging the sustainable growth of local arts, music and other creative organisations.

Alongside this are major infrastructure projects funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal, including the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project, with construction starting in spring on new connections underpinning the site which has already been confirmed as home to two multi-million pound national innovation centres.

Councillor Nicolson added: “I’m immensely proud that Renfrewshire will once again be the beating heart of Scottish manufacturing, soon to be home to national innovation centres transforming the future of manufacturing and inspiring future generations.

“And as the town centre cultural venue work progresses, we are already seeing the positive impact of our focus on culture and tourism as visitor numbers have increased exponentially and events like Paisley’s Halloween Festival are proving immensely popular, drawing on our rich history and attracting large local, national and international audiences.”

Renfrewshire already boasts an employment rate outstripping its city region neighbours, while weekly earnings for Renfrewshire residents exceed the national average.

And the council has committed a further £4.5million until 2022 to provide business support and help people into employment.

Building on the success of business incubator InCube, 2019 will see the launch of Start-Up Street – providing low cost workspaces helping companies make the leap into their first commercial premises.

Councillor Nicolson added: “We’ve committed long-term funding for business development and to help people find and sustain employment. Our focus is on inclusive growth, ensuring we target support to the people and places most in need so that we can make the greatest difference and improve the opportunities for future generations of Renfrewshire residents.

“Renfrewshire has so much to offer and it is our priority to make it a place people want to visit, live, work and invest in. The next year will see more houses built and we will continue to listen to what our communities tell us they want and need, ensuring everyone benefits as the economy grows.”

Incube

The latest line up of InCube entrepreneurs are seeing their businesses bloom through the innovative business support and employability programme, run by Renfrewshire Council.

InCube developed by Invest in Renfrewshire, allows local creative start-ups to benefit from support to improve their growth.

Incube

InCube’s Class of 2018 are already seeing their businesses benefit from the package of support offered by the programme, including attending a range of workshops and having the chance to sell their products in the dedicated InCube shop.

Designer Geraldine Donnelly, of textiles and homewares brand Obsidian Ore, said her time at InCube has been amazing and a helpful experience for both herself and her business.

Geraldine added: “Without the support of InCube, I wouldn’t have won the chance to design the prizes for the 2018 Scottish Album of the Year Awards – my first big commission as a professional designer.”

Designer Eva Arnaudova who designs childrens clothing under the name Atelier Eva Art, said that InCube helped her to develop new ideas and gave her confidence in her own abilities.

She said “Incube covers all the steps for creative businesses and was a great help to me in every possible way.”

The programme is now accepting applications for the 2019 intake and is open to those wishing to start or grow a business in the creative retail, textiles, jewellery, design, fashion, crafts and makers sector.

Designer Sohelia Keyani said that InCube offer warmth and guidance to help fledgling businesses become strong and self-sufficient.

She added: “If you’re a creative needing support and business acumen, then InCube is the place to be!”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “InCube continues to nurture local creatives every year and this is helping to establish Renfrewshire as a place where creativity thrives.

“The support in 2018 has been phenomenal and I would encourage everyone to continue to visit the InCube shop in 2019 and continue to support local designers who are showcasing the skill and talent we have here in Renfrewshire.”

Applications for the 2019 InCube intake close on Monday 11 February. For more information and to apply visit www.incube.ren/incube-competition-2019

Emergency services Renfrewshire

The work of the emergency services has been praised by Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson as they continue to operate throughout the festive period.

Emergency services Renfrewshire

While many places close or offer a reduced service during the festive period, our Police, Fire and Rescue, Ambulance and NHS staff continued to serve Renfrewshire at full capacity.

The festivities can often be one of the busiest times of the year for our emergency responders and the Council Leader has offered his thanks for the work they do to keep the area safe.

Councillor Nicolson said: “The festive period can often bring added pressures to our emergency services, with Christmas nights out sometimes ending in a need for their assistance.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson

“However, each of the emergency services copes admirably and provide an outstanding service to those in Renfrewshire who need them.

“We often don’t realise how lucky we are to have such dedicated and highly-skilled staff available to help us and I want to thank them for all they do to keep us safe.

“If you’re heading out for Hogmanay, or even just during the festive period, please be careful and ensure you are safe at all times.”

Anyone who needs the assistance of the emergency services should call 999 immediately. If the situation is not an emergency, then please call 101.

Most council offices will be closed over the festive period, although all essential services will continue to operate.

A handy guide on how to access council services during the closure period has been created and can be found on the council website or in your local library, leisure centre or at Renfrewshire House.

For full information on council opening hours and emergency contact numbers, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/festiveclosure.

taxi

As the bells get set to toll to bring in another year, revellers are being advised to plan ahead and book their taxi home in advance if they’re heading out on Hogmanay.

taxi

Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland have joined forces to give passengers some important safety tips as the New Year celebrations get set to begin.

Party-goers should ensure they plan how to get home from their night out in advance and, where possible, pre-book their taxi home.

They should also only use licensed taxis or private hire vehicles to make any journeys and never be tempted to accept the offer of a lift from a passing car.

Councillor John MacNaughtan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Board, said:  “Hogmanay is one of the main party nights of the year so planning your journey to and from your destination can save you a lot of hassle later in the night, as well as keeping you safe.

“Book your taxi in advance if possible so you know how and when you are getting home and always ensure you are using a licensed taxi or private hire vehicle.

“These will have Renfrewshire Council plates which display the licence details, and the driver’s badge should be displayed within the vehicle.

“If this is not the case, then don’t accept the lift and call your taxi company to confirm that it is the correct vehicle.”

Police Scotland will have additional patrols in Renfrewshire on Hogmanay to ensure that revellers are safe at one of the busiest times of the year.

Chief Inspector Simon Wright, Area Commander for Paisley, said: ” The festive period is an exceptionally busy time of year, with large numbers of people out enjoying themselves across Renfrewshire.

“My message would be to have a fantastic, but safe time while out across Renfrewshire. Always plan ahead and make arrangements to ensure you can get home, preferably in the company of friends.

“Never get into a private hire you have not booked in advance and always ensure that the driver is displaying their drivers badge. If you are in any doubt, seek alternative transport.”

Should you enter a vehicle which you believe to be a taxi or private hire vehicle and become aware it is not, or if you feel unsafe in any way you should contact Police Scotland using 101 or 999 in an emergency.

For more information on taxis in Renfrewshire, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/taxisandprivatehires.

Highland Fling Swing

Throughout 2018, Provost of Renfrewshire, Lorraine Cameron, has been doing her piece for charity, helping to raise funds and awareness for her chosen charity – MND Scotland.

Highland Fling Swing

From hopping aboard trains spreading awareness to all corners of Renfrewshire, to taking a team up to Killiecrankie for a sponsored swing, Provost Cameron has been keeping busy.

MND Scotland was founded as the Scottish Motor Neurone Disease Association in 1981 by John Macleod, a Strathclyde police officer and his wife Peggy.

At the time, services were limited, and health professionals had little or no knowledge of the condition.

John had been visiting Charing Cross Hospital in London when he learned about a charity that was already providing support for people with Motor Neurone Disease in England, and became determined to set up a similar organisation here in Scotland.

Today, MND Scotland strive to reduce the impact of MND on the lives of those affected, by offering services such as benefits advice, equipment loans, counselling, advocacy and a grants programme.

There are over 450 people in Scotland currently living with MND and on average almost 200 people are diagnosed each year.

Sadly, around 53% of those diagnosed will die within one year.

Provost Cameron said “I lost my mum to MND in 2011 and the charity is very close to my heart. I really love that as part of my role as Provost I’m able to support the amazing work that charities such as MND Scotland undertake in our communities.

“It’s been a brilliant year from start to finish and I’ve had a ball getting out and about in the community spreading the message far and wide.

“One of the highlights was taking a team of daredevils up to the Garry Bridge in Killiecrankie to take part in the Highland Fling Swing. Our brave fundraisers experienced a 15-metre free fall from the bridge and everyone had a great day.

“I’ve also been honoured to work closely with Scotrail this year, who also support MND Scotland. For MND Awareness Day I travelled around Renfrewshire by train, raising money and awareness for the charity, and I also worked for a day at Johnstone Train Station as part of my Working Challenge.

“There are currently 14 people living in Renfrewshire with MND – but when you consider the number of family, friends, and colleagues the number of people affected by MND locally is actually much higher. All the money raised this year will help MND Scotland offer essential services and go towards research to find treatments and a cure for MND.”

As well as working with Scotrail, Provost Cameron also spent a day working with City Gate Construction and hosted a charity ball to raise essential funds.

Iain McWhirter, Head of Fundraising at MND Scotland said: “MND Scotland was very grateful to be chosen as one of Provost Cameron’s chosen charities and we have enjoyed following her activities throughout the year.

“This summer we announced the launch of the first Motor Neurone Disease clinical drug trial in Scotland, in over 20 years.

“This funding is part of a total commitment of over £1.5 million into clinical drugs trials being made by MND Scotland, and developments like this can only happen thanks, in part, to the support given by Provost Cameron and the people of Renfrewshire.”

Provost Cameron will support local charities, St Vincent’s Hospice and ACORD Hospice, in the next two years and will return to fundraising for MND Scotland in 2021.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (1)

Snow is falling outside; the presents are wrapped under the tree and a family favourite is just about to begin on tv – then the phone rings.

Tony Fitzpatrick, Eric Phillips, Cllr Natalie Don and Sean Batty (1)

While many of us may get to experience that stereotypical cosy night in at Christmas, for workers on the frontline they could be called out at any minute.

Renfrewshire Council’s gritting teams work on a 24/7 schedule from October to March to keep the roads clear and free of ice, and sudden weather can have big effect on their festive plans.

Gritter drivers Eric Phillips and John Clark

Eric Phillips has been working as a gritter driver for more than ? years and has faced many challenges along the way.

Eric said: “Along with the rest of the team, we work non-stop throughout the winter to stay one step ahead of the snow and ice as best we can.

“When cold weather is forecast, we head out during the day to grit the roads before the ice gets a chance to take hold and then again overnight to clear any snow and put down more grit for the morning commuters.”

Renfrewshire Gritters

More than 4000 tonnes of salt is stored in advance of the winter period to ensure that the gritters are fully stocked to protect Renfrewshire’s 800km of roads.

Eric added: “It’s not always straightforward though as the Beast from the East showed last year, with sudden downpours of snow meaning we couldn’t clear it fast enough.

“Many drivers were caught out on the roads, with one car even climbing the Gleniffer Braes in front of my gritter when really it should have been the other way around!

“We often hear that the gritters haven’t been out which can be frustrating when you’ve just driven for hours throughout the night, so I’d ask people to take the time to think about our teams and the work we put in all winter.

“Unfortunately, we can’t reach every residential road, but we do the best we can to keep our main routes, including schools and hospitals, clear and keep Renfrewshire moving when bad weather strikes.”

The team in charge of the gritting vehicles, who were newly-named by the public this year and include famous names such as Ploughlo Grittini and William Wall-ice, are constantly on weather watch and take decisions throughout the day dependant on the forecasts.

Duty controller, John P Wallace, said: “We’re always looking ahead in this role and we do three weather checks, at 7am, 12pm and 7pm, before deciding how many of the gritters need to be on the roads.

“We have 20 drivers on each shift, day and night, meaning we can provide a 24-hour service for winter gritting and the teams do a great job in keeping our roads safe and clear.

“If need be in extreme weather events, we can call on our stand-by workers to help strengthen the team’s efforts and return the roads back to normal as quickly as possible.”

The nine gritters in Renfrewshire have set priority routes to follow which include main roads within Renfrewshire, and bus, emergency and schools routes – before moving onto more residential roads once these are clear.

The vehicles are loaded with salt at the depot before the automatic spreading system ensures that it’s spread evenly across the roads when the gritter is moving.

Once the route is complete, the vehicle returns to base where any leftover salt is weighed and returned to the store and the vehicles are cleaned ahead of their next outing.

For more information on winter gritting and Renfrewshire’s #RenReady campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/readyforwinter.

Paisley International Tango Festival 2018 (2)

Almost 30 projects have been supported in 2018 through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – including a two-day music festival, a mini Mela and jewellery making classes.

Paisley International Tango Festival 2018 (2)

The fund was launched in February 2016 to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 and has continued as part of a wider plan to use culture and heritage to transform the area’s future, supporting 27 projects in 2018 alone.

It aims to create more chances for people to get involved in cultural activity, help young people develop, boost the local economy, raise Renfrewshire’s profile, and show how creativity can boost education, social inclusion and quality of life.

Three rounds of the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund have been completed in 2018, with a fourth round closing for applications in early December.

Paisley International Tango Festival 2018 (2)

Local groups and organisations supported in 2018 include The STAR Project, Paisley YMCA, Right2Dance, Media Monty, Johnstone Band, Paisley Opera and Renfrewshire Carers Centre.

Since 2016, almost 300 applications have been received to the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund from communities, businesses and cultural organisations in Renfrewshire and across Scotland – with a total funding request of £3,422,984. Over a third of these have been supported, with a total of £886,544 spent.

Successful completed projects to date include teenage animator Morgan Spence’s Lego stop-motion animation about Paisley – now seen by millions – and local dance group Right2Dance bringing Sir Matthew Bourne’s Re:Bourne company here for a week-long residency.

The CHE Fund is part of a wider cultural regeneration plan for Paisley which also includes a £100m investment in town centre venues, including the £42m project to turn Paisley Museum in to an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections.

Drew Moir, who was awarded funding to host the 2018 Paisley International Tango Festival, said: “The Paisley Tango scene would not exist without support from the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund. We now get approached by two or three professionals a month who want to be invited to perform here, a testament to the quality of the event and the friendly environment our town can create.“

This year, Renfrewshire Council have also launched a new fund, designed to support Renfrewshire’s cultural sector. The Cultural Organisations Development Fund is open to cultural and creative organisations across Renfrewshire and will complement the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, providing support to build the resilience and sustainability of local organisations, helping them realise their cultural ambitions.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Iain Nicolson said: “The CHE Fund has been key in involving local people in cultural and creative activity and it’s great to see so much interest in the fund over 2018.

“We know involvement in culture has a positive impact on health and wellbeing and the projects supported have given people the chance to take part in new experiences and benefit in a number of different ways.

“Through the CHE Fund we’ve seen activities supported in communities right across Renfrewshire and I’m looking forward to seeing what projects the fund can support in 2019.”

The results of the current round of funding are due to be announced in February, with further funding rounds to be announced for 2019 in the new year.

For more information on Renfrewshire’s cultural grants, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/culturalgrants

Paisley Christmas Lights 2018

Paisley businesses have hailed a multi-million economic boost thanks to major events this winter.

A new economic impact study has found that three Renfrewshire Council events – Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch-On; the Halloween Festival and The Spree – delivered a combined £3.5million for the local economy.

Paisley Christmas Lights 2018

Record numbers flocked to the town for each event, as 72,000 people enjoyed the activities on offer.

More than 27,000 people packed the Paisley streets for the Christmas Lights Switch-On as Santa and his reindeer were joined by Princesses of Pop and X-Factor stars The Cutkelvins.

The family fun day delivered a £1.07million economic boost – more than double the 2017 tally – while visitor spend soared to £406,000.

Paisley Halloween Festival

Paisley Halloween Festival was supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

It brought in almost £2million and achieved a 300% increase in visitor spend as 34,000 people flocked to experience the town’s dark and deathly witch history.

And the seventh year of The Spree saw the highest ticket sales yet, as almost 11,000 people enjoyed the 87 shows on offer right across Renfrewshire, raising £434,700.

Satisfaction levels soared at all the events and attendance surveys also showed they reached new audiences from across Scotland and further afield.

Spree Festival - Martha Reeves

The Winter bonanza adds to the £1.25million boost from major events in the spring and summer – with more than 70,000 people coming to April’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival, May’s British Pipe Band Championships and Sma’ Shot & Weave festival in July.

Revellers in the town have also been enjoying Paisley First’s WinterFest which features an outdoor ice rink, a Big Wheel and a free festive Nutcracker Trail.

Paisley restaurateur Colette Cardosi said: “The way people shop and socialise has changed and we have to offer something different, an experience, to attract visitors to the town. Recent events organised by Renfrewshire Council and Paisley First have shown that people are happy to visit Paisley town centre when there are events on. Whether it’s one day events like Sma’ Shot and Halloween or longer events like Jurassic Bricks and Paisley First WinterFest, it’s a great opportunity to raise awareness of the diverse range of businesses within the town to different audiences.”

Paisley-based multimedia production company Brick Lane Media was commissioned to capture the events on camera, with three young Renfrewshire filmmakers producing the final videos.

Director Alan McEwan said: “Being part of the council events has given us opportunities to up-scale our filming operations and grow our business model and at the same time has seen young filmmakers from Renfrewshire gain experience and earn an income. Without these opportunities we would not have seen the positive growth we’ve had this year.”

Paisley Abbey provided the perfect backdrop for Halloween and has hosted a range of family activities throughout the winter events.

Reverend Alan Birss said: “We’ve been very happy to support Paisley’s winter events programme, which have brought many people into the Abbey for a whole range of activities and our volunteers have been able to welcome them and share their enthusiasm for this wonderful place.

“The stalls, the shop, the café and donations made by visitors at these events all help raise the funds needed to keep the doors open every day of the year both as a place of worship and prayer and as a visitor attraction and the income from these events is an important part of our annual revenue generation.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Our winter events programme is going from strength to strength and these numbers underline the huge impact they are having with more people attending and spending more than ever before, which puts millions into the local economy and into the pockets of local businesses.

“It was also great to see these winter events reaching new audiences including many people from across Scotland and the rest of the UK, which is testament to the high quality of these events and the fantastic programme on offer having a wide appeal.

“Alongside the numbers, to see satisfaction levels hit the highest levels yet and for the first year of Spree for All so well received across Renfrewshire’s towns and villages gives us many reasons to be cheerful. We are working hard on another brilliant programme of events in 2019 which will build upon this and further extend support to events across our communities.”