space

LOCAL artists and performers are being given the chance to showcase their talents in a new pop-up space in the centre of Paisley.

Renfrewshire Leisure has launched POP – a temporary community arts, event and exhibition space in the former Post Office, at the Piazza Shopping Centre.

For the summer months Renfrewshire Leisure are offering it free of charge to local artists and creative groups to host workshops, events, exhibitions, performances and shows with the possibility of extending the offer if the space remains available.

Already local groups will be using POP over the next few weeks featuring creative workshops, craft activities, local film showings and music workshops.

space

The POP launch events on Friday and Saturday, May 3 and 4, between noon and 4pm includes free drop-in family friendly activities, screenings of local films and an acoustic workshop from Paisley singer-songwriter, Michael Cassidy.

Other events being held during May include the launch of Renfrewshire Mental Health Arts Festival; an advice session with Creative Scotland for Renfrewshire’s new Visual Artist and Craft Makers Award scheme.

There are also several performances and showcases of new work commissioned as part of Renfrewshire Leisure’s Out of Place programme including BINGE, a new video installation curated by Brian Lobel as part of Glasgow Tramway’s Take Me Somewhere Festival.

And on June 4,5 and 6, Buddies can relax and enjoy our Cosy Cinema sessions, hosted by the Paisley Camcorder Club.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We’re giving the many gifted artistic people of Renfrewshire the chance to showcase their talents to the public free of charge.

“We’ve already got a packed programme for the month of May and we’d love to hear from others who would like to use this pop-up venue in the coming months.

“As well as being a boost for local artists and performers, POP will be great for members of the public to drop and be entertained.”

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Manager Rikki Payne said, “Thanks to a partnership with Edinburgh Printmakers who hold the lease, and with the support of the Piazza shopping centre, we have the opportunity to occupy the space on a temporary, low cost basis.

“It’s a real pop-up space, and we are opening up the opportunity to local artists and organisations to use the space to showcase their work.

“My advice to artists, makers and Renfrewshire’s creative community is make the most of it while it’s here. It’s an amazing accessible space and a great chance to get your work to new audiences.”

To book space at the POP venue, contact Kate Drummond by email at kate.drummond@renfrewshire.gov.uk .

Free for Three Pilot Project

Paisley First is calling on the public and members of the local business community in Paisley town centre to get behind their Free for Three campaign, as they launch a petition calling for a pilot project.

Free for Three Pilot Project
The Business Improvement District for Paisley town centre is calling for free parking for three hours for visitors to the town centre and is now looking to Renfrewshire Council to implement a pilot project to test the scheme.

Members of the public and local business community are being invited to join the launch of the petition on Wednesday 24th April at 11am outside Paisley Town Hall. Paisley First believes that free parking for three hours will bring the optimum benefit to
those businesses in Paisley who currently lose out to retail parks such as Braehead and Silverburn, and very soon, the new Wallneuk development.

Paisley First Chair, Colette Cardosi, said: “We appreciated the opportunity to join and contribute to Renfrewshire Council’s working group on parking in Paisley and we were pleased at the positive response to our campaign from the other external
stakeholders who attended as well as local councillors. “However Free for Three is a crucial campaign for the future of the business
community we represent in Paisley town centre and those who visit or would like to visit the town on a more frequent basis.
“With visitor attractions such as Paisley Museum and Paisley Town Hall now closed for a number of years for refurbishment, it is crucial that the negative impacts felt by
local businesses as a result of these closures are mitigated against as soon as
possible.”

Colette added: “The public response to our Free for Three campaign has been fantastic and shows that many more people would visit Paisley to shop and socialise if there was an element of free parking on offer.”
Paisley First is calling on Renfrewshire Council to implement a Free for Three Pilot Project before the start of the summer school holidays at the end of June.
The petition will be available to sign on the Paisley First website from next Wednesday as well as in local businesses throughout the town centre.

For more details go to www.paisleyfirst.com

intu Braehead external

SCOTLAND’S top retail and leisure destination, intu Braehead has welcomed the opening of new stores creating more than 30 jobs.

Management has announced two new tenants have taken units and an existing store is tripling its retail space.

intu Braehead external

The UK’s largest independent toy retailer, The Entertainer has opened in the upper mall having taken up a unit of more than 5600 square feet bringing work for 12 new staff.

This was followed by cake, crepe and dessert outlet, The Little Dessert Shop opening a 1,600 square feet store in the adjacent Soar at intu Braehead leisure complex, which already hosts Scotland’s only indoor real snow ski slope, a multi-screen cinema, ten-pin bowling, an adventure climbing facility, the UK’s tallest indoor helix slide along with various bars and restaurants and retail outlets.

The new store will be the first Little Dessert Shop in Scotland and it has meant 20 new jobs have been created.

Soar at intu Braehead external

Fashion trainers and apparel retailer Footasylum are currently fitting out a new unit in the upper mall of the shopping centre, which will see them operating out of a 10,000 square feet unit three times the size of their present store.

Operators cite intu Braehead’s high profile and its “remarkable” catchment as reasons for opening stores there.

And intu Braehead was recently ranked as Scotland’s top shopping centre by GobalData, who measured the requirements and data from both tenants and shoppers to give a comprehensive review of the country’s shopping malls.

Donnie Macdonald, from the Little Dessert Shop said: ”The mix of retail, dining and entertainment venues at intu Braehead make it the largest and most visited shopping centre in Scotland.

“While I was looking for premises in which to open the country’s First Little Dessert Shop, availability of a space in Soar at intu Braehead presented itself as a total no-brainer.

“The centre enjoys a high profile throughout Scotland and given its enduring draw as a shopping destination, it clearly ranks high not just on local people’s radar, but also draws large numbers of tourists and visitors.

“There is literally no better location for pretty much any kind of food, shopping or leisure pursuit, given Soar at intu Braehead’s already huge popularity, which continues to be illustrated by its remarkable catchment.”

Andrew Milner-Walker, head of property at The Entertainer comments, “We are pleased to open another store at intu Braehead following the success we’ve experienced at other intu centres across the UK.

“With The Entertainer stores in a range of intu locations including Lakeside and Derby, it was a natural move for us to open in one of Scotland’s largest shopping centres.”

Peter Beagley, regional centre director with responsibility for intu Braehead said: “The team here at intu Braehead is determined to create the conditions that give retailers the best chance of successful trading.

“Our aim is to drive footfall to intu Braehead, continue to be Scotland’s number one retail and leisure destination and give people a much wider and enjoyable experience than just going to the shops when they visit us.

“Our unique mix of leisure and retail along with our creative and innovative marketing strategy certainly seems to be working for us and our retail partners.”

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.”

Christmas presents

Consumers in Renfrewshire are being warned to stay vigilant for dodgy devices and chargers this Christmas.

With mobile phones, tablets and games consoles often given as gifts or snapped-up in the festive sales, many households across the area will have new electrical items.

Christmas presents

People are being urged only to buy electrical goods from trusted sources as fake equipment often poses safety risks.

Items should be checked for tell-tale signs of counterfeiting including mistakes in brand names or logos or a sub-standard quality of material.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “Christmas can be an expensive time for many people so spotting a bargain can seem like a good idea at the time.

“However, counterfeit goods are often of a lower standard and could possibly fail basic safety requirements, which may mean they are prone to overheating and pose a risk of fire.

“The safety of yourself, your family and your home is more important than a few pounds saved so please don’t take any risks when purchasing items for Christmas.

“If the price of an electrical device or charger looks just too good to be true, then it probably is so be cautious and don’t risk it.”

For more information on your rights as a consumer and how to spot when something isn’t right, contact the team via ts.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

Braehead Customer Services

BRITAIN’S Got Talent star Edward Reid certainly has got Christmas all wrapped up.

The popular entertainer was helping Children’s Hospices Across Scotland – better known as CHAS – launch their Christmas gift-wrapping service, at the intu Braehead shopping centre.

Braehead Customer Services

The mall has given over space for CHAS staff and volunteers to wrap Christmas presents for shoppers in return for a donation to the charity.

The gift-wrap service is available between noon and 8pm every day from now until December 23 at their workstation in the upper mall between A1 Toys and the Footasylum stores.

Lydia Brown, intu Braehead’s community development manager said: “Getting someone to expertly wrap Christmas presents for you can be a real Godsend at this time of year.

“We provide the paper, sticky tape and colourful bows and when the CHAS volunteers are finished, the presents are ready to go under the tree

“This service will save shoppers lots of time and we hope they will use the gift-wrapping service and make a generous donation to the CHAS charity, which is an extremely worthwhile cause.

“Within minutes of the gift-wrapping desk opening we had lots of people asking the volunteers to wrap presents for them.”

Jonathan Clegg, Community Fundraiser at CHAS said: “As the festive season approaches excitement builds amongst us all as we look forward to spending time with friends, visiting family members and making special memories.

“However this can be a very isolating time for many of the families who use CHAS.  We exists to support families across Scotland who have a child with a life shortening condition and we will not allow Christmas to be just another day for our CHAS families.

“Thanks to the dedicated support of intu Braehead and our festive gift wrap volunteers we can do just that.

“What better way to get into the festive spirit than to have your presents beautifully wrapped whilst helping to create magical memories for families all across Scotland?”

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