Chloe Wright

A new project in Paisley will support start-up businesses looking to make the leap into their first commercial premises.

Chloe Wright

The town’s George Street will become Start-Up Street as vacant Renfrewshire Council-owned units are adapted into a range of low-cost, high-quality digitally-connected workspaces for up to 20 businesses.

It follows a survey of new and early-stage Renfrewshire businesses, with more than 80% looking for subsidised space to grow, but many citing high costs and a lack of know-how preventing them taking this significant step.

George Street is next to the University of the West of Scotland business school and close to the council’s existing economic development hubs.

Businesses based here will benefit from an on-site business advisor, training space and a shared reception.

George Street

Each company can rent the space for up to two years, with lease costs incrementally increased until they are ready to move to an alternative commercial space in Renfrewshire.

The Council’s Leadership Board rubber-stamped the proposals yesterday (Wednesday 5 December 2018) and now its economic development team will further develop the plans, working jointly with London Youth Support Trust, a charity which specialises in supporting young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We have a responsibility to nurture new businesses and Start-Up Street is being developed in response to what local businesses are telling us they need.

“It will provide a whole package of support to enable businesses to overcome any barriers and grow sustainably, offering an environment which helps them achieve long-term sustainability, moving into commercial premises in our town centres.

Laura Provan

“We’re excited to be working in partnership with the London Youth Support Trust, who have an excellent track record in helping young people progress, adding to our own economic development team’s fantastic achievements in helping local businesses to grow and local people to find jobs.”

The project comes as Renfrewshire’s regeneration continues to make excellent progress, according to the latest economic indicators.

Renfrewshire’s Economic Profile published this week highlights an employment rate outstripping its neighbouring local authorities and well above the national average.

There are more than 4500 private companies based in Renfrewshire, with a lower average closure rate recorded than across the rest of the country.

And over a two-year period, visitors to Renfrewshire attractions have risen by more than 400,000, while ambitious housebuilding targets remain firmly on target, with 630 new homes completed in the first nine months of 2017.

Councillor Nicolson added: “The latest economic figures give us many reasons to be positive and Start-Up Street is the latest investment in Renfrewshire’s future, building on the five-year funding we have put in place to deliver support to the people and places who need it most.

“We boast the best performing employability programmes in Scotland and our local economy is growing, bolstered by an incredible rise in visitor numbers to the area.

“Against a tough financial outlook for all councils, we remain committed to creating the conditions which attract more companies and bring more jobs to Renfrewshire, ensuring inclusive growth across the region.”

Interested businesses can contact InCube Start-Up on 0300 300 1180 or email incube@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Loopy Lally Designs

Textile designer Chloe Wright is excited by the opportunity Start-Up Street will offer for creative businesses. The former Paisley Grammar School pupil founded Loopy Lally Designs in 2017, producing colourful, abstract interior products including cushions, framed prints and lampshades.

Having outgrown her Paisley house, Chloe is now looking to establish her own premises. She said: “I work from home in the wee spare room, but I’m fast running out of space and from a professional perspective, I don’t want to be inviting people into my house.

“My business is growing and moving into new premises is the natural next step for me, it’s really exciting. You can be waiting for years for studio space so Start-Up Street is coming at the perfect time.

“It sounds great, especially having business advice available whenever you need it. Sometimes you can be too close to your business and so it helps to pick people’s brains and get helpful feedback. It’s really exciting what’s happening in Paisley and for school kids to know that there is an opportunity to do creative arts and set up your own business in the town is great.”

www.loopylally.com

Paisley Pins

For Laura Provan, the buddie behind Paisley Pins, the opportunity Start-Up Street will provide is a “no-brainer” for businesses.

Laura took on her own workspace in her hometown this summer and has not looked back as her popular product continues to build a local, and international customer base.

“It’s amazing the amount of people with connections to Paisley that I meet, I even get orders from Paisley in Oregon in the USA. The acrylic pins continue to fly off the shelves and now there’s a much more diverse product range on offer, with ear-rings and necklaces, tie pins and cuff links.

“I’d been looking for premises for a while as I just didn’t have the space I needed to keep working from home and it was a lonely experience being there, with no opportunities to meet people or collaborate and lots of distractions like tidying up after my kids.

“Having a dedicated workspace has been fantastic, having somewhere where people can find me has definitely improved my business-to-business relationships. Upstairs there’s workspaces for other jewellers to rent out and downstairs we’ve space to run workshops.

“The emotional connection people have with jewellery is very important and people want to know the provenance of a product so it was so important to me that my Paisley product is made here in Paisley.

“Start-Up Street is a fantastic idea and it’s the one thing myself and other creative businesses have always said was sorely missing. It is definitely something people should go for if they’re looking for space, advice and being able to move their business forward – it’s a no-brainer and can only be a positive move.”

www.paisleypins.com

Skyline Paisley

A new fund designed to support Renfrewshire’s cultural sector launched this week as one of the legacies of Paisley’s UK City of Culture bidding process.

Skyline Paisley

The Cultural Organisations Development Fund is open to cultural and creative organisations from across Paisley and Renfrewshire, it will provide support to build the resilience and sustainability of organisations, helping them realise their cultural ambitions and fulfil their potential.

The fund will run for the next three years (to 2022) and could support organisations to cover core costs such as staffing, improve their governance and management, and build new audiences and partnerships across Scotland, the UK and internationally.

It is open to Renfrewshire based organisations or groups that have a cultural or creative purpose.

The fund will complement the existing Culture, Heritage and Events Fund which was set up during the Paisley 2021 bid and has supported more than 100 one-off events and projects since 2016.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “This new fund is key to continuing our ambitions to support Renfrewshire’s cultural sector to fulfil it’s potential.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson

“The Culture, Heritage and Events Fund has already succeeded in increasing the number of people getting involved in creative activity in Renfrewshire and the Cultural Organisational Development Fund will support organisations to develop their capacity and progress with longer term planning.

“The fund will support organisations within Renfrewshire to build and strengthen partnerships both locally and further afield and develop national and international profile.

“The ongoing work to expand our creative capacity goes hand in hand with our £100m investment to transform our cultural spaces, allowing Paisley to attract a wider range of cultural activity and events, and cement our place as a cultural town and as one of Scotland’s key destinations.”

Potential applicants are encouraged to contact the Renfrewshire Leisure Cultural Services team, who administer the fund on behalf of Renfrewshire Council, before applying.

The first application deadline is 1 March 2019 with funding decisions due to be made in May 2019. Further funding rounds will take place in October 2019 and February 2020.

Advice surgeries will be held in January 2019 to allow organisations who are considering making applications to attend and seek further information and guidance.

To find out more and to view the application guidance, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/CODF or email codf-enquiries@renfrewshire.gov.uk

tony and paolo

SINGING star Paolo Nutini bumped into his old football coach, Tony Fitzpatrick and asked him where he could buy a copy of the former footballer’s recently-released autobiography.

tony and paolo

The pair met up in Paisley’s Bianco E Nero coffee shop and Paolo revealed his dad, Alfredo had told him about Tony’s book, Fitzy – The Story of My Life being published.

When Paolo told Tony he was looking forward to reading his autobiography, Tony fetched a copy of the book from his car, signed it and handed a complimentary copy over to the singer.

Tony revealed that while he was an SFA community coach in Paisley during the mid-1990s, Paolo would come to his Saturday morning football sessions in the St Mirren FC leisure complex at the club’s former ground at Love Street.

The pair have kept in touch over the years and Tony has looked on with pride, as Paolo became a massive worldwide music star.

Tony says: “It was great bumping into Paolo like that and having a chat with him. I’ve known him since he was a young boy when he was about eight or nine years old.

“I remember him coming along to my coaching sessions all those years ago and like many young boys, he wanted to be a professional footballer when he grew up. As things turned out football’s loss was the music world’s gain and I’m sure his millions of fans would agree with that.

“He was a normal wee boy, very enthusiastic and loved playing football.

“I hope Paolo enjoys reading my life story and maybe one day he’ll get round to writing his autobiography and I’ll get him to sign a copy of his book for me!”

Fitzy – The Story of My Life is published by Macdonald Media Publishing and is available from www.fitzybook.co.uk for only £11.99.

paisley christmas lights photograohs 2018

Families enjoyed a full day of free fun, with Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron carrying out the big switch on.

She was helped by 11-year-old Skye Thomson, from Paisley’s Heriot Primary School, who won the annual Christmas card design competition.

paisley christmas lights photograohs 2018

 Earlier in the day, a glittering parade with hundreds of tinsel-clad youngsters and Santa Claus and his reindeers wound its way through the town centre.

Photographs of the Cutkelvins performing on stage before the big switch on was made as well as some photographs around the town taken by David Cameron on behalf of www.paisley.org.uk

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

St Mirren football legend Tony Fitzpatrick escaped a life of poverty and violence to become a trophy-winning footballer, manager and now chief executive.

Tony Fitzpatrick book launch

Tony has penned his autobiography, Fitzy – The Story of My Life, revealing many humorous and heart-breaking tales of his time in and out of football.

Bullied at school, he was seconds away from taking his own life by drowning himself in the Forth and Clyde Canal and was saved when he found a tiny statue of the Virgin Mary he had been carrying around in his pocket.

Tony tells of the violence that was the norm in his life and how he was arrested for carrying a knife and attacked by a machete-wielding thug, who left him with his pinkie hanging off his hand by a thread.

He tells how as a teenager he was left devastated after Aston Villa told him he would never make it as a footballer because he was too small.

Tony defied his Celtic-daft father and signed for St Mirren. It was a good move on his part though, as when he was still a teenager, Saints manager, Alex Ferguson made him team captain. But not before Tony’s dad had to phone Fergie pretending to be the family doctor assuring him the young footballer was fit enough to play after suffering pleurisy!

Tragedy struck at the height of Tony’s football career when his six-year-old son, Tony Jr. died from cancer. And if burying his boy wasn’t heart-breaking enough, when Tony returned home after the funeral, he discovered callous thieves had ransacked his house, stealing anything and everything they could load on to a furniture van.

Tony goes on to win the Scottish Cup with St Mirren and tastes alcohol for the first time by drinking champagne from the trophy in the Hampden dressing room. He also describes at length the worst moment of his football career. The St Mirren game against Hammarby, who scored two last-minute goals to put them out of the UEFA Cup, still haunts him.

Tony twice becomes manager of St Mirren and admits he behaved like a “mad chimp” during his first stint in the dugout – trying and failing to emulate Fergie and his infamous hairdryer treatment.

But in charge for a second time, he tricked his players with a bogus scouting report to get them fired up to win a game that would save the club from relegation.

He was sacked after constant battles with the board and Tony goes on to run Livingston FC’s youth development programme. He pours thousands of his own money into the club and loses it all when the club goes into administration. But he bounces back and as part of a groundbreaking police initiative, works with some of the most violent young men in Glasgow’s gangs encouraging them to give up the blade and the gun.

Now the chief executive of St Mirren FC, Tony’s must-read autobiography is a heart-warming story of personal triumph over adversity.

Fitzy – The Story of My Life is published by Macdonald Media Publishing and is available from www.fitzybook.co.uk for only £11.99.

Nutcracker-Trail-Map-Square-Social-Media-11-11-18pdf

Paisley First’s free Festive Nutcracker Trail returns to Paisley town centre this weekend.

Starting Saturday 17th November, this Christmas trail will help the town get into the festive mood, running daily apart from Christmas Day and Boxing Day, until Sunday 30th December!

Nutcracker-Trail-Map-Square-Social-Media-11-11-18pdf

There will be 15 Nutcracker Kings and three mini-nutcrackers spread throughout the town…can you name them all?

Collect your free trail booklet at the Paisley Centre or the Piazza Paisley Shopping Centre and complete the trail for your chance to win prizes in a weekly draw!

If you are feeling extra adventurous, you may also wish to undertake the search for the special hidden nutcrackers, Sven and Kristoff!

They seem to be spotted in different locations every few days and are enjoying the festivities throughout the town centre so you may wish to check out Paisley First’s website www.paisleyfirst.com or social media for clues!

Once completed, post your entries in the special mailboxes located in both shopping centres.

One overall winner at the end of the Nutcracker Trail will also win an iPad mini. Good luck!

SANTA PAISLEY

It’s his busiest time of year, so no wonder Santa Claus was spotted getting ship shape for Paisley’s Christmas Lights Switch-On.

SANTA PAISLEY

The big man checked out the Abbey and Town Hall ahead of the event this Saturday, 17 November, in Paisley town centre.

Santa himself needs to look his best and so his famous white beard was given a timely trim, and he popped into Houston Kiltmakers in Paisley for a new belt.

SANTA PAISLEY

He also found time to enjoy a mince pie and catch up on local news ahead of the festive cracker, as well as indulging in a bit of his own Christmas shopping.

His reindeer weren’t forgotten as he stocked up on armfuls of carrots for his faithful friends. They will take part in a glittering parade along with hundreds of tinsel-clad youngsters and of course, Santa Claus himself, which will wind through the town from 1.30 – 2.15pm.

SANTA PAISLEY

There will be activities galore for children and families from 12pm, including a funfair and storytelling igloo, with Santa’s Grotto, face painting and Christmas crafts in the Paisley Centre and a dedicated Kids Zone in Paisley Town Hall.

SANTA PAISLEY

For anyone with a sweet tooth who is aged five and upwards, Lime Tree Larder’s free chocolate making workshops are a must. Have a go at making your very own chocolate Dasher, Dancer, Prancer or Vixen and book ahead to secure your place. A food marquee on the grass at Paisley Abbey will ensure nobody goes hungry, with sweet treats provided by Ta Ta Bella’s.

Christmas shopping is covered too, with the town centre shops open for business. The Urban Market will be at Paisley Abbey for the very first time and head there for original gifts and creative crafts from some of the best artists and makers in Scotland.

There is entertainment from Capital FM DJs Des Clarke, Steven Hill and Garry Spence, who will be on the main stage with music and chat from 1pm.

There will also be performances from family favourites Funbox, while the Princesses of Pop will pay tribute to the music of Ariana Grande and Little Mix.

X-Factor stars The Cutkelvins will play in front of a crowd of thousands before Provost Lorraine Cameron carries out the big switch on at 6pm. She will be assisted by 11-yearold Skye Thomson, from Paisley’s Heriot Primary School, who won the annual Christmas card design competition.

There is also a specially designed ‘Sensory Safe Space’ in the Town Hall for those with additional support needs and their carers, with sensory arts and crafts, musical instruments and lighting, as well as gentle music and soft seating, from 1pm. The  45 minute sessions are bookable via Eventbrite.

The Sma’ Shot cottage complex which showcases Paisley’s weaving heritage will also be open to visitors on the day from 12 till 4pm.

The winter event thrills will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday, 24 November and Johnstone on Saturday, 1 December.

Paisley First’s WinterFest also opens in the town centre on 24 November and runs daily until December 30 except for Christmas Day.

For full details and timings on the Christmas Light Switch-On please visit: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-christmas-lights-switch-on/

To book a space in a sensory safe space session please visit: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/paisley-christmas-lights-switch-on-sensory-safe-space-tickets-52264005046

mirren house

AFFORDABLE OFFICES TO LET IN PAISLEY WITH CAR PARKING LAST THREE SMALL OFFICES AVAILABLE MIRREN COURT,119-123 RENFREW ROAD, PAISLEY

mirren house

SPACE TO LET FOR 1-5 PEOPLE

mirren house

Rents inclusive of service charge, utilities and car parking space.

Office size and rent:
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250 sqft – £350 pcm + VAT
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CALL 0141 843 4211TO ARRANGE A VIEWING 

Paisley First WinterFest is returning to Paisley town centre this Christmas.

In association with M&D events, this Christmas spectacular will help the town get into the festive mood from 24th November, running daily apart from Christmas Day, until Sunday 30th December!

 

This year’s plans will see the return of the outdoor ice rink, a Big Wheel and an improved continental Christmas market, as the town looks to attract visitors and shoppers from further afield.

Paisley First is also bringing back its successful free festive Nutcracker Trail with 15 Nutcracker Kings spread throughout the town from Saturday 17th November until Sunday 30th December.

M&D Events is currently submitting the necessary consent applications to Renfrewshire Council.

Paisley First Chairman, Graeme McGowan, said: “These will be two great events to showcase everything that Paisley has to offer during the festive season.

“We will also be running our Christmas Golden Ticket competition where visitors shopping and socialising in the town centre will have four chances to win £500 of town centre gift vouchers. And when it comes to festive shopping we have a lot of fantastic independent retailers as well as national chains throughout the town centre.

“After hitting the shops and enjoying the Christmas entertainment, visitors can take advantage of our many cafes, restaurants and bars.

“Following the success of Jurassic Bricks in the summer, the return of our Christmas events will help cement the town’s reputation as a visitor destination.”

M&D’s Events Director, Douglas Taylor, said: “WinterFest was a great success in Paisley last year and those who enjoyed the festivities made it clear that there was an appetite for it to return.

“We are working with Paisley First to ensure this event will be a great attraction for the local community, who will be eligible for discounted rates, as well as visitors from further afield.”

Registered Office: 51 Moss Street, Paisley, PA1 1DR Business Registration No: SCO 493420 VAT Reg No 209371317

Paisley First 1 County Place Paisley, PA1 21BN Tel: 0141 237 8120 Email: ask@paisleyfirst.com www.paisleyfirst.com

Graeme added: “WinterFest is an ideal addition to the town and we are hoping it will become an annual Christmas tradition in Paisley town centre for many years to come.”

The Nutcracker Trail will see visitors collect special booklets and complete the trail for a chance to win a special WinterFest prizes!

Christmas Golden Tickets are already available in most town centre businesses with draws being made on Saturday 24th November, Saturday 1st December, Saturday 8th December and the final draw on Saturday 15th December.

All the details of these fabulous Christmas events can be found at www.paisleyfirst.com .

Early Bird Discounted Tickets for the outdoor ice rink are available now at www.mdsevents.co.uk/events/