Even though we have moved into Level 4, you can still support our local businesses!

Many essential businesses remain open for food, medicines and other essentials.

A large number of our town centre hospitality businesses are still offering takeaway and delivery services.

And a number of retail businesses are also still operating by offering click and collect, shipping or delivery services so you can still order Christmas presents, Christmas flowers, homeware and clothing by phone or through social media.

For those in the food and drink sector, and those in our health, hair and beauty salons, gift vouchers can also be purchased remotely.

You can see the full list on our website here https://bit.ly/33aebdg

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “We’ll be keeping you updated on social media during the next few weeks on what’s available and where!

“This also means there are still plenty of chances to be one of our Golden Ticket competition winners!

“So please continue to put Paisley First when it comes to getting your essentials and your Christmas shopping.

“Our local businesses need your support more than ever!”

Remember, even in Level 4, there’s no limit on outdoor exercise.

Plus, six people from two households can still meet outdoors and children under the age of 12 are not included in this maximum number.

So, if you are looking for a good walk and some fresh air, then why not enjoy some  festive cheer with Paisley town centre’s Christmas Buddie Bear Hunt!

Paisley First has joined forces with Renfrewshire Council to pay tribute to the heroes of 2020 with every Buddie Bear dedicated to a key worker!

All the bears are on display inside business windows so it’s the perfect activity to help the kids have some fun and get outdoors for a little while.

Plus watch out for the Paisley Advent Calendar, beginning on 1st December on Paisley First Facebook, where there will be prizes up for grabs every day until  Christmas Eve!

Love Local, Love Paisley this Christmas!

Plans to open up Paisley town centre car parks for free throughout December are set to be considered by councillors next week.

As part of a drive to support local businesses and encourage people to Spend Local during the festive period, all council-owned car parks in the town centre would be free to park in from 1 December to 3 January.

With the current Coronavirus pandemic causing reduced visitor footfall, Renfrewshire Council is proposing the festive initiative to encourage residents to visit their local town centre and support local businesses.

If the plans are approved, parking would be free in all Paisley off-street council car parks although charges would still apply in on-street spaces.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “At this time, we want to do all we can to support local businesses in Renfrewshire as we recognise the impact that the Coronavirus pandemic has had on them.

“We’re working hard to support them to access the funding provided by the Scottish and UK Government, as well as creating the £1.3million Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund which was developed following detailed discussion with 500 local businesses and provides a package of interest free loans and grants for businesses affected by the pandemic.

“Therefore, by providing free parking in Paisley town centre as part of our Covid-19 response, we would hope to encourage people to shop in the town centre and recognise the value of local products, people and produce at this most difficult of times.”

The offer of free parking would build on the current parking pilot running in Paisley town centre which sees people given their first three hours of parking free at six of the town centre’s car parks, and this pilot was recently extended for six months at the Leadership Board in September.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Our businesses need all the support possible during these difficult times and this proposal would give people further opportunity to visit Paisley town centre and spend locally during the festive period.

“The pandemic has made it hard for businesses as they’ve had reduced income and footfall for a sustained period of time so this proposal aims to make it as easy as possible for local people to visit the town centre and give those businesses the much needed support they require.

“Please continue to follow the restrictions in place to avoid any further measures required for Renfrewshire and ensure that retail businesses can remain open in advance of and over the festive period.”

The proposal will be considered by the Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board on Wednesday 4 November 2020.

Paisley-First-October-Fiverfest

Save money and grab yourself a bargain in Paisley town centre with great £5 offers  from our local businesses as part of October FiverFest! 

Paisley-First-October-Fiverfest

Paisley is joining with hundreds of High Streets across the UK, and thousands of  independent businesses, to put on special £5 offers across two weeks in October, as  part of the Totally Locally FiverFest Fortnight! 

Paisley has a great mix of retail shops, food and drink venues, and health, hair and  beauty salons. 

Around 65p from every pound spent locally, stays local – so by picking up that  coffee, going for lunch or buying that gift, you can do your bit to support the local  community and its businesses. 

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “Local businesses need your support more  than ever this year, our independent shops and businesses are what helps to make  Paisley town centre special. 

“We appreciate it when our community support us, so these offers are to say thank  you for that support, and to show just what great value our local businesses are. 

“Spending just £5 a week in Paisley town centre can make a big difference to our  local businesses and helps keep our town centre alive!” 

So, come and show your local High Street some love and take advantage of our  great FiverFest offers! 

October FiverFest runs from Saturday 10th – Saturday 24th October 2020. 

Pick up a FiverFest leaflet from the Paisley First leaflet racks in the Paisley Centre or  the Piazza Shopping Centre or see the full deals online at www.paisleyfirst.com – keep checking as new deals are being added every day! 

Love Local, Love Paisley!  

More details on all Paisley First projects and events can be found at  www.paisleyfirst.com or follow Paisley First on social media @paisleyfirst

Original-Love-Local-with-Strapline

Dee dental teeth

A week of updates at Dee Dental paisley:-

1)At Dee dental paisley we aim to offer the best in care for your teeth and gums! We are still adding patients to our list so you can join us today by messaging us! We have got complimentary cosmetic consultations ongoing so take advantage of this offer today. Please leave us a wee review with the link below if you’ve met us:-

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http://bit.ly/Dee-Dental-Paisley-Review

thank you

 

2) Our new dentist joined us from Canada to do his training in Paisley! Here is his bio- Hello! My name is Yehyah Hamandi and I am all the way from Toronto, Canada! I studied dentistry at Queen’s University Belfast. Very impressed with Glasgow and Paisley! The people are so friendly and welcoming and the city is stunning; it really has become a second home to me. Looking forward in meeting all of you guys soon! 

 

3) Invisalign post- Both selfies taken by the patient showing their Invisalign journey this pearly straight smile was achieved in ONLY 14 aligners at the top and two more were needed at the bottom to achieve a perfect straight smile (after this photo)! 16 weeks to a straight smile

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Our Invisalign open day is on Saturday 24th October AND FRIDAY 23rd as we filled us within 12 hours! More dates will be added soon- DM us today to see what your smile could look like with Invisalign for free! Extending our free composite bonding with every case and many more perks only for the 24th

Dee dental teeth

4) More ZO skin consults this week! Following up from my skincare Sunday (on Instagram stories) about retinol here is why we all need some in our lives! 👆🏻Now is the time to start using this from your mid 20s onwards. Invest in your skin with Zo skin – still offering free consults DM today 🔥

 

Dee dental teeth

5) Did you know we also carry out implant restoring at the practice? Look at this incredible transformation! There are some incredible offers on atm- free implant consultation, CT scans available and only 2k for a single implant at CID!

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DM us today even if you are not registered with us and we can carry out a free consultation

 

Dee dental teeth

ReCycle or Dye

ReCycle or Dye – classes for 12 – 17 year olds

Fun and creative sessions where you’ll learn to adapt and make your own clothes! Two blocks of weekly classes taking place in person at our Paisley shop.

ReCycle or Dye

Tuesdays 7pm – 9pm  6 weeks starting 29th September

Creative Upcycling – led by guest designed Niki Taylor.  Bring along your own garments to upcycle,  or choose from ReMode’s stock.

 

Thursdays 4pm – 6pm 6 weeks starting 1st October

Shirt Making  – led by ReMode’s Carolyn Edmondson – learn to make a shirt from scratch using upcycled fabrics. No experience necessary

 

£12 for 6 session course. BOOKING ESSENTIAL – class size restricted to allow for social distancing.  Book via our website www.remodeyouth/whatson

Ben

Bailey’s Antiques recently opened on Paisley High Street, and in the lead up to its opening, their window displays caught my eye. I love a browse of unique items and artwork, which Bailey’s Antiques have in abundance. I had a chat with owner Ben Bailey about how the shop came about and all that goes on there, as well as what his plans are for its future. 

Ben

Can you start off by just telling us a bit about Bailey’s Antiques and how it came to be?

 

So, my name is Ben Bailey, hence where the name is from, and my grandad was into antiques and things like that, and my dad as well. My grandad passed away a couple of years ago so when it came to naming it I just thought that would be nice. I didn’t want it to sound big-headed but it was more a tribute to him and my dad, really. 

So I’ve been self-employed, buying and selling antiques for about six years or so. I’ve worked for a few auction houses and things, but decided to go self-employed, just because I wanted to work for myself. But I’d been selling online, mostly vintage and antique watches and jewellery, smaller things that I could post. And then, before lockdown, I came into the previous shop that was here, UpHub, and rented out a small space from them, one cabinet actually, just to sell some jewellery from. That went quite well so I rented out a bit more space, and in the end I had a good sized area that I was selling from and doing quite well. Then COVID hit and UpHub shut down unfortunately, but I really liked the idea of this place, not just because I was doing well selling things, but because it’s nice to be part of the community. My girlfriend works at the museum, we’ve just had a baby, so we’re quite settled here and I want to be part of Paisley. It’s really nice to be part of Paisley High Street especially. I ummed and ahhed for a long time and I just thought: ‘I’m just going to go for it.’ 

So I opened the shop myself and 80% of it will be me personally selling antique and vintage furniture and jewellery. And it isn’t all antiques, that word is a bit scary, as most people think that means it’s expensive but most of my stuff is vintage and quite affordable. There’s a few more expensive items downstairs but I don’t want it to be a snooty place, because I’m not very snooty. I’m quite messy and disorganised so I want it to be cluttered and interesting and for people to come in and have a look. We’re open now but we’re still kind of in the process with a lot of stuff to bring in. 

I’ve always wanted a shop, because it’s just a nice thing to do, especially now I’ve got a daughter, it’s nice to have a family thing. But, in the past I’ve worked with different charities and I did want to do something community based as well. So, I spoke with Business Gateway, across the road, and there’s something called the Creative Hub Grant. If you meet their requirements, they help you out financially, and their requirements were what I wanted to do anyway: I wanted to rent space to artists, I wanted to have workshops here, I wanted to have various different exhibitions. Through their grant, they subsidise my rent here for the first 18 months, so that’s really useful for me starting off; one, because it is a new business, two because it’s strange times due to the coronavirus, so I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do that without them, or I would’ve been too nervous to do it without them. 

baileys antiques downstairs retail

A lot of what I’ve been discussing has been about sustainability and supporting local businesses and creators, particularly during the current situation; this is clearly something at the heart of your business too. Can you talk a bit about that? 

 

So, most of the stuff downstairs in the shop is things I’m selling, but I also rent out space to different artists and other antique dealers. So that means we’ve got things like gift cards and prints, ceramics, plants, lots of different handmade things, as well as the antique and vintage stuff. Also, Feel The Groove, the record shop, who also shut down unfortunately, they’ve come in and helped us by bringing in their vinyl to sell as well, which is already downstairs. The downstairs space is a retail space, but we’re also looking at having different things going on, for example life-drawing classes, and there’s a group on Instagram called Picturing Paisley, who are a group of amateur photographers who’ll also have an exhibition space downstairs too. Currently we’ve got an artist in the window exhibition space, Ryan King. I’m going to leave that window free to feature different artists each month or so, and I won’t charge them anything for that, I’ll just maybe take a commission if they do sell something. I really want it to be a creative space.

And then upstairs I’m having artists in to use the studio space to work from. We’ve got three previous Glasgow School of Art students who have not long graduated and were looking for space, and Glasgow’s really expensive. I think people get put off by Paisley because it’s a bit further out or, I’m not sure why, but everyone who’s come has enjoyed using this space. Paisley High Street feels nice, there’s a lot going on now.

Also, Ania, who owned the previous place UpHub, now rents space from me for her upcycling business, Little Bird’s Restoration and Upcycling. We have Mark, a photographer who uses the space, we’ve got current Glasgow School of Art students coming to use the space soon, and an older gentleman who is going to rent the studio space soon as well. So it’s great, we have a good mix of people, a mix of ages and backgrounds. It’s great to have it be a local hub for Paisley but I wouldn’t want to exclude people coming to use the space from elsewhere as well. I want it to be an inclusive place, I want it to be somewhere people can come and chill out. I’ve called the shop Bailey’s Antiques, but it’s more than that really, I don’t mind if people come and chat, or if people want to come and use a desk for a day, that’s fine. I think also because UpHub gave me an opportunity by letting me rent a bit of space from them, which has led to this obviously, I’m quite indebted and grateful to them, and I’d like to do the same for other people. I’m really flexible, I just want this place to grow, in any direction really, I’m sure not all my plans will work and I’m sure things I haven’t planned will happen too, and I’m looking forward to that. 

In terms of sustainability, it’s funny, the antiques trade is really green, and sustainable, because you buy old things and sell old things, so there’s zero waste, I don’t throw anything away, I don’t buy anything new. So it’s one of the oldest green industries there is, but it never ever sells itself that way, but it should do really. It’s basically recycling, isn’t it?

baileys antiques upstairs studio space

You were talking about using Bailey’s Antiques as a community hub, and it seems there’s quite a few places doing that around here recently, and it’s quite a good thing to see. How are you looking to expand on that?

 

It feels great, yeah. And I really want to link up with all the other businesses as well. I know that ReMode across the road, and Mill Magazine are doing a fashion show or something along those lines, and they were talking about using this as a venue for it as it’s a bit bigger than their place. I’ve spoken with Shelter next door, the charity shop, as sometimes they’ll get more expensive things in that maybe won’t sell in a charity shop, but I might be able to sell them in here. I wouldn’t take a cut there because it’s a charity of course, but I’m trying to link up to get that sense of community. I really like Paisley, I’m obviously not from Paisley but it reminds me a lot of home as I’m from a similar sized place in England, that used to have a rich industrial heritage and then kind of died a bit, sadly. Paisley, after going for City of Culture, although they didn’t get it, did get funding off the back of that of course, and the museum will be great when it reopens as well, which I think will busy up this end of the High Street again. There’s so much history attached to Paisley, but also it seems there’s so many artists and creatives and musicians, and it would be really nice for me to be part of that. I did do some work with Roar, the charity on Glasgow Road, and they do history groups so I’m looking to link up with them as we sell lots of historical items. There’s a lady who’s a storyteller and she’s going to just come in and pick up an item and tell a story about it. 

One of my biggest aims and dreams, which I’m going to try and do in a few months, once I’ve settled in, is to have an auction here. I think to bring an auction house back to Paisley would be really nice, as I used to work in auction houses, so I’ve got a bit of experience. I thought what I would do initially is maybe have a valuation day, an Antiques Roadshow kind of day, where people would bring things in and I would just tell them what they’re worth, just for a bit of fun. And then, if that goes well, I’d maybe organise another one, with a mind to sell the things at auction. I’ve got to learn not to get ahead of myself though! 

baileys antiques upstairs studio space

How have you found the first week of being open on Paisley’s High Street?

It’s been great, everyone who’s come in has been really positive as well, and I’ve been pleased with how it’s going so far. I’ve had people reaching out through social media and I don’t usually use it a lot, I’m a bit old, but Instagram especially has been really good for connecting with people and getting great feedback. People have come in and asked if it’s okay to look around and the answer is always yes, browsers are always welcome. I want to be a friendly business. I think in these times especially, the High Street has suffered a bit, and there’s nothing wrong with hairdressers and vaping shops, but there’s loads of them, and I think there’s something to be said for having interesting shops on the High Street, and destination shops. If this becomes established as an antique shop or a vintage shop, people will travel to it, because I would. As someone who buys things to sell, I travel to Glasgow, Edinburgh, some smaller places, for these shops, so I’m hoping it can draw people in. Henderson Property, who are the landlords here, again I’m doing a shoutout, but they were keen for me to have it because they are invested in and care about Paisley’s development. They could’ve rented it five times to hairdressers or nail shops or vaping shops, and that’s fine, those shops are needed, but I think they were interested in having a kind of one-off shop; there isn’t anything like this on the High Street. Antique shops are usually in the middle of nowhere or in some backstreet in Glasgow or Edinburgh. 

 

Are you hoping then, that introducing a shop like this, which as you say there’s not much else like it nearby in Paisley, will spark an interest in antiques and such for the people who are here already?

 

I think so, and I hope so, and I think it seems to have done that. And it’s been a good age span as well, you get older people who can remember the stuff: ‘Oh I had one of these when I was a kid’ and then I’m going to start selling vintage clothing as well, because I like it, and there’s a university here as well and I don’t think we’ve tapped into that yet, we don’t see many students in here, for some reason, when it was the previous shop as well. So I’d like to tap into that market and sell stuff that captures their interest, like the vinyl and vintage clothes and vintage guitars. 

baileys antiques upstairs studio space

You touched on this earlier, but there’s kind of a strange paradox between people thinking second-hand stuff is all cheap and not great quality, and people thinking antique shops are just full of really expensive items; do you think you’ve found a good middle ground in what you’ve collated? And do you think that’s quite a challenge to combat those perceptions?

 

I think it definitely is a challenge, actually. I think you’re right. I come from a working class background, I used to go to lots of car boot sales and my grandad was a kind of Del Boy, but as I’ve grown and worked in auction houses and all that, I live quite a middle class life now, even though I’m like ‘I’m working class!’ So I myself would’ve been nervous to go into some places, and I hate that feeling, feeling like you don’t belong somewhere. We live in a time where unfortunately there’s lots of different issues that people face; particularly race, but also gender, sexuality and things like that at the moment. Poverty is quite a big one as well, and I think that feeling of not quite belonging is a big problem there. So I definitely agree that it is a challenge and I really want this to be accessible to everyone, no matter how much money you’ve got, and I don’t want to put people off. I thought for a long time about what to name it, and I did name it ‘Bailey’s Antiques’, but it’s a lot more than that, and I’d say 50% of what I sell is vintage. I want to sell a things at a range or prices, from 50p upwards. 

I don’t want it to look like a junk shop at the same time. I don’t want to step on the toes of charity shops either. So it is hard, but the selling point of this place is me because I’m buying things that I like. If it works great, if it doesn’t, it’s my fault. I’m gambling on the fact that what I like, other people might like as well. I think with any small business you’re investing in the people who run it, because they’re creating the shop or cafe that they would like to come into, and that’s what I’m doing. I’ve got midcentury stuff that’s quite trendy at the moment, more industrial design pieces: filing cabinets, 80s stools.

I have got some more expensive items, but to me, my favourite thing in the world is buying something for £1 and selling it for £5. It’s great, I get more excitement out of that than spending £100 on something and selling it for £200 because it’s about rehoming things. I see something in an auction or a charity shop and it catches my eye, so I buy it and I maybe put it on Instagram or put it in the shop and make it look nice, and then whoever I’ve bought it from makes money, there’s a profit for me obviously and then it goes to a good home, or it goes to another dealer and they sell it again. There’s probably things I’ve sold that are worth more than I’ve sold them for, that happens. It is a fine line. I think I’ll learn as I go what sells and what doesn’t. I’m not stubborn enough to only sell things I love, of course I’ll bend to what people ask for, but I do think with small businesses, you’re investing in the person. 

baileys antiques upstairs studio space

Anything else you’d like to say to potential new customers?

 

We’re friendly, everybody’s welcome, no matter how much money you’ve got, as I say the range of prices is 50p upwards. There’s a bit of everything here. Furniture, jewellery, books, music, clothing, pictures. Also, I’d love to have feedback from people, if there’s something you’re looking for, I can try and find it for you, if there’s something you want to do in the space, as long as it’s safe, we can try and do that too. As I mentioned, there’s a free exhibition space for artists, so if anyone wants to hold an exhibition, get in touch, probably through the Bailey’s Antiques Instagram or Facebook page is the best way to do that. Just come in, say hello, introduce yourself and have a look around!

 

Bailey’s Antiques are currently open 10am-5pm Tuesday to Saturday at 34 High Street, Paisley. You can contact Ben on the Instagram page @baileys_antiques or on Facebook: Bailey’s Antiques.

Written by the talented Rachel Campbell:

“I’m Rachel and I’m a 20-year-old student studying English Literature and History. I’ve always enjoyed writing and after getting involved in the student newspaper during my time at university, I’ve found a real interest in journalism too. I’m looking to write positive stories about what is going on in Paisley, and help readers learn more about the businesses and activities that are so close by. I’m interested in sustainability and how we can support local businesses whilst also doing our bit for the planet. Along the way, I’ll hopefully write about a wide range of topics: music, fashion, theatre, art, health and wellbeing, and anything else that is happening in Paisley. I’d love for anyone to get in touch if they’re interested in having me write an article about their business/charity/event/activity. ”

Corona virus fund

A new package of support for Renfrewshire businesses to tackle the immediate impact of Coronavirus is now open for applications.

Corona virus fund

The £1.3million Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund offers local businesses, including people self-employed, the opportunity to apply for:

  • An interest free Business Restart Loan between £1,000 to £5,000 repayable up to three years to assist with short-term cashflow
  • A 50% match-funded Business Resilience Grant from £1,000 to £10,000 to help businesses meet changed objectives and plan for growth
  • A Business Adaptation Grant providing match-funding from £1,000 to £2500 for businesses adapting their premises to meet physical distancing requirements, open for retrospective applications.

Details of each fund, eligibility information and the online application is available now at Renfrewshire Council’s business support page.

Applicants will also receive a call from one of the Council’s Business Gateway advisers to discuss their application and provide tailored advice to meet their specific needs.

This fund has been created following detailed discussion with 500 local companies to determine what they feel can make the biggest difference in the short-term.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I am acutely aware from regular dialogue with our business community throughout the pandemic of the economic harm Coronavirus is causing in Renfrewshire and we know we must be ready to help tackle this now, and in the months ahead.

“We have awarded more than 2600 government grants totalling £27.5million to help local businesses address the immediate impact and have now established this fund, listening to what businesses tell us will help them most.

“I recognise we are on a long and difficult journey, but we have a strong local economy and a business community that supports one another. We also have an excellent track record of tackling unemployment and helping people find work and together with immediate assistance, we are working with business, enterprise and education partners locally to prepare Renfrewshire’s long-term roadmap to recovery.”

The Council is also offering barriers for cafes using outdoor spaces and Business PPE packs to local businesses, having secured funding from the Scottish Government’s Towns and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs) Resilience and Recovery Fund, which is run by Scotland’s Towns Partnerships.

Businesses may also benefit from up to two days of fully funded consultancy support from experts across a range of topics including: finance, IT, Legal, Property and HR. The team can be contacted on 0141 530 2406 or by email to renfrewshire@bgateway.com.

Business adviser Robert Kinniburgh said: “We know how stressful a time this is for Renfrewshire businesses and are here to help however we can. It might be you want to discuss your business plan or need assistance with moving into the digital market. Whatever support is needed, I would encourage people to call us and also look out for the different webinars being run regularly on different specialist subjects.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce said: “We warmly welcome the additional support package which offers targeted support to those companies that need it most. Based on feedback drawn from a survey of over 500 companies this new funding is a positive step to support our business community.”

Hisashi Kuboyama, Federation of Small Businesses’ Development Manager for Renfrewshire, said: “With small businesses in Renfrewshire going through extremely challenging times, we need to do absolutely everything we can to help them stay open and protect and create jobs. Many local FSB members told us that access to finance has been one of the problems, so we welcome the Renfrewshire Coronavirus Business Support Fund and urge our members and the wider small business community to have a look and see how it can help them.”

Mark Newlands, Head of Partnerships at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We know the economic impact of COVID-19 on businesses is severe. This additional tailored funding from Renfrewshire Council will be welcomed by local businesses as they face continuing economic uncertainty. Working with our partners, we’ll continue to do all we can to support companies through this time of unprecedented challenge and play our part in resetting, restarting and recovering the country’s economy.”

MFG Intu Braehead reopens 2020

SHOPPERS got some retail therapy at intu Braehead yesterday after months of lockdown.

Visitors headed to the mall an hour before the official opening time of 10am as non-essential stores reopened for the first time since March 24 following lockdown restrictions being eased.

MFG Intu Braehead reopens 2020

People coming to the mall followed the new measures and procedures introduced by intu Braehead to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The plan drawn up to keep everyone who visits or works there safe included social distancing and hygiene procedures and more support to help stores safely reopen.

It included a raft of other measures with floor stickers indicating a one-way system for visitors making their way through the centre and staff training to ensure visitors stay socially distanced.

Visitors were also required to wear face coverings in line with Scottish government instructions.

Peter Beagley, regional centre director for intu Braehead said: “We were pleased to see that everyone supported the measures we had put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus.”

One of the first through the doors at intu Braehead were Anna Gorska, 35; her seven-year-old daughter Maja and friend Marzena Marcinczyk, 33, from Govan, in Glasgow.

Anna said: “We’ve really missed coming shopping at intu Braehead. We prefer to come to the shopping centre so we can see exactly what we are buying.

“We’re all going back to Poland later this month for a visit and we came early today in case there were any queues as we’re buying clothes for our holiday.”

People said they felt comfortable being in the centre with the health and safety measures put in place at the mall.

Audrey Stewart, from Bishopton said: “I definitely feel quite safe being in the centre with all the different procedures that’s been introduced and everything is well sign-posted.

“You just have to be a bit more observant when you’re walking around and everyone seems to be following what they’re being asked to do.”

Alan Reid, from Irvine, Ayrshire said: “With all the measures put in place I feel quite comfortable being here. The layout looks pretty good to me.”

Peter Beagley added: “It’s a great feeling being able to welcome people back to the centre and there has obviously been a big jump in footfall with most of our non-essential stores re-opening.

“We had remained partially open during lockdown for essential stores to stay open, but today now feels like we’re getting back to some kind of normality.

“We’ve made sure the centre is re-opening in line with the government’s guidelines and we’re doing everything we can to make sure intu Braehead is a safe place to visit and to work.

“It will be a different experience than usual for everyone who visits us, but it’s pleasing to see everyone following the guidelines we’ve put in place. Both our visitors and our staff are working together to keep each other safe and I would thank everyone for doing that.”

Packing

More than 37,000 meals have been delivered so far to Renfrewshire residents during lockdown.

Support packs including freshly prepared meals, toiletries and dry goods like cereal and tea bags are being distributed daily to more than 1,200 households by Renfrewshire Council.

Packing

Teams from across the council, which includes redeployed staff, have been prepping and cooking fresh meals, packing bags, procuring items, managing the request hotline and delivering food parcels to the doors of those most in need in the community, all while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

The large-scale, seven-day operation to get supplies to individuals and families in need is being undertaken by staff in dedicated distribution sites at Castlehead and Park Mains High Schools. The work being done is receiving an outpouring of support from the local community.

One service-user recovering from COVID-19 was delighted with her parcel. She contacted the team and said: “You can’t believe what a big smile it put on my face.” She added that she felt “very lucky to be looked after.”

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Another service user contacted the helpline with an urgent request for a delivery for her family. The team turned the request around in less than 24 hours and included Easter eggs in the parcel for her three children. The customer offered a very warm thank you to staff saying she was grateful she now had Easter eggs to give to her children.

This represents a combined effort by teams and individuals across the council coming together to provide this vital service to the community.

Easter eggs

Facilities Manager, Seonaid O’Neil, was responsible for setting up the service. She said: “It’s been a combined effort, so many people have been willing to help. Everyone recognises the benefit of what we’re doing.

“It’s challenging but it’s also really rewarding. When we started we didn’t realise how big it would become, but when you get feedback from people in the community it really makes you take notice of the positive impact it’s having. We are so proud of how all our staff have adapted to the new challenges they have been faced with, to ensure these services are delivered ”

BS Joiner, Grant Adam keeping moral up for the workers

The teams at these sites are working hard to deliver this service but are also making the most of their downtime. At Park Mains High School a sponsored charity cycle has been set up to raise funds for Brightest Star that staff can participate in by using exercise bikes from the gym. The more musically gifted team members have been performing songs for the team to keep spirits up.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are proud that our staff are delivering essential food supplies to support vulnerable people across Renfrewshire. Their dedication and support has been incredible and I’d like to thank each and every staff member doing their bit to help those most in need within our communities.

“Across our communities, there are a lot of people going above and beyond to support family members and neighbours through this difficult time. For anyone who doesn’t have this support, they can get in touch with us by calling our local assistance helpline on 0300 300 0230.”

The team continue to respond to growing demand for the service, with a third distribution site set to open next week at Gleniffer High School. The site will be operated by Amey with Renfrewshire Council overseeing the operation.

The local assistance helpline is available to anyone who needs it whether it be for financial reasons or for those currently shielding. Anyone in need of help is encouraged to contact the helpline on 0300 300 0230.

A number of partners have played an important role in supported the service including businesses based locally including Ikea at Braehead and The Range on Renfrew Road.

In addition to the work being carried out by the council, partner organisation Renfrewshire Leisure is helping promote a range of positive health and wellbeing activities for residents to participate in at home. Popular activities include online dance and sports workouts, online Bookbug sessions streamed via YouTube and fun social media challenges. For a full list of all the activities taking place please visit: www.renfrewshireleisure.com/wellbeing-at-home/.

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A first-of-its kind study with radical ideas for how Paisley town centre could look in a decade has been published – and aims to start a conversation about what might be possible in the town.

The ‘Vision for Paisley Town Centre 2030’ is the result of a unique link-up between Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Government and Scotland’s Town Partnership – and uses Paisley as a test case for a series of bold ideas imagining how empty retail space could be better used

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Aileen Campbell, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, will officially unveil the report at an event in the town centre today.

The study – produced by Glasgow-based Threesixty Architecture – is based on the idea changes to the way people shop have left towns like Paisley with far more retail space than they need

The authors lay out a series of radical ideas for how the town could be rebalanced to better meet community need – bringing with it new life and footfall. Their suggestions include:

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– introducing hundreds of new town centre residents, including repurposing the Paisley Centre shopping centre into a new residential quarter with ground-floor retail;

– new ‘attractors’ such as a High Street cinema, or European-style food hall housing independent food and drink businesses;

– bolstering remaining retail by concentrating it back on to the High Street and street-fronts;

– new public spaces for outdoor activity, and new lanes and streets creating new views and routes to ‘hidden’ parts of the town centre

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– how key vacant historic buildings such as the Liberal Club, YMCA building and TA Building could be brought back into use;

– other ideas such as shared office spaces or makers’ spaces, a new hotel, and relocating parts of university and college campuses into the heart of the town centre;

Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “This study represents another significant milestone in the regeneration of Paisley and is further evidence of the ambition and commitment of the local community and partners.

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“A huge opportunity now exists to use this collaborative vision to create more positive change in the town, as well as sharing learning which can benefit other town centres and communities across Scotland.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work in partnership with local government to support the regeneration of our towns and high streets.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “The way people shop has changed forever, and towns everywhere are seeing the same issues with empty retail space.

“We can’t turn the clock back but we can consider how we could change to attract new life and footfall in future – and that’s what Paisley is doing.

“It’s important to stress these are not concrete plans – they are a set of ideas designed to spark a conversation about what might be possible over the next decade.

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“Paisley town centre is already changing for the better – the number of new cafes and restaurants and new housing built in recent years shows it is recognised as a good place to live and invest.

“Current and future council investment will make Paisley even more attractive to the private sector, but change of the scale imagined by the Vision could not be achieved by the council alone – so we want to hear from developers who could make that next stage of the journey happen.”

The contents of the report build on work already happening to use Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future through the Future Paisley programme, which aims to build on the momentum created by the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

That includes a £100m investment in the town’s venues and outdoor spaces, including turning Paisley Museum into a world-class destination for the town’s internationally-significant collections, which last week saw £3.8m of funding confirmed from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Paisley is already finding new uses for vacant High Street spaces – construction will start soon to bring a formerly-empty retail unit back into use as a new learning and cultural hub housing library services, for which the first images have just been revealed.

That will build on the success of Paisley: The Secret Collection – the UK’s first publicly-accessible High Street museum store, which opened in 2017 – showing Paisley’s ambitions to put culture at the heart of its future high street are already being realised.

The Paisley Vision was produced after gathering feedback from key local partners – including community groups, businesses, educational establishments and private developers.

The idea for a High Street cinema is already being taken forward by a local group – the Paisley Community Trust – who, with support from the council, are developing their own plans to convert an existing building for that purpose.

Gary Kerr, chair of the Paisley Community Trust, said: ““It’s exciting to see such a transformational and radical vision for Paisley’s future revealed. Paisley Community Trust fully back this new vision for Paisley and we congratulate Threesixty Architecture on producing a superb piece of work.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see cinema at the forefront of the vision. This completely aligns with our current plans to bring cinema back to the heart of our town.

“We believe a cinema by and for our community is a vital first step in realising the wider vision for regeneration in the town centre. It’s Project One if you like.

“We’ve been working behind the scenes on it for a while now and will reveal more details very soon. We also look forward to seeing the other concepts from the vision being explored and developed into regeneration projects of their own in the years ahead.”

Colette Cardosi, chair of town centre business improvement district Paisley First, added: “In recent years, Paisley has found itself firmly back on the map with fantastic events for visitors and a growing number of independent businesses.

“However, like many towns throughout the country, we need to continuously adapt and evolve and Paisley First welcomes collaboration on any long-term strategy for the future which can help bring in new investment and new footfall to local businesses in Paisley town centre.”

Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, added: “Paisley has a rich tapestry of heritage and culture, is steeped in industry and tradition, and has many major assets.

“We hope this exciting blueprint can create a high street fit for 21st century citizens and Paisley can become an exemplar for other large towns across Scotland.”

Alan Anthony, managing director of Threesixty Architecture, who authored the Vision, said: “This study shows a people-first approach that reconnects the whole community to their town centre.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to rebalance our High Street back to a place with a rich mix of uses. As a lifelong Paisley Buddy, it’s exciting to think Paisley could lead the way on town centre regeneration in Scotland.”

The council now hopes to hear from developers who are interested in investing in Paisley – with one firm which has already done so believing a template for success already exists.

Brian Clark, managing director of Park Lane Developments, said: “We believe  Park Lane’s partnership with Renfrewshire Council on the regeneration of the former Arnotts department store has already shown the way for how the public and private sector can work together to transform a town centre site.

“That project has already delivered 67 completed private and social rented housing along with the welcome addition of the Pendulum restaurant. The final phase is just about to go for planning and will bring an additional 70  new homes.

“The site was derelict for 10 years and is now back in beneficial use bringing new residents and activity back into the town centre – and shows the potential that exists in Paisley as a place to live and invest.”

Residents and businesses have the chance to see and give their views on the Paisley Vision plans for themselves at a public exhibition open in POP (the former Post Office) in the town’s Piazza shopping centre – on Friday 24 (1 to 4.30pm), Saturday 25 (9.30am to 4.30pm) and Monday 27 January (9.30am to 3pm).

The full report can also be viewed online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/paisleyvision, along with a Q&A which goes into more details on the ideas it contains and what happens next.