Provost & John Byrne 4.3.22--2

One of Paisley’s most famous sons – artist and playwright John Byrne – will be honoured in the new room names for his birthplace’s soon-to-be-transformed town hall.

When the A-listed Victorian building reopens next year after a £22m refurbishment, new and existing rooms will carry names inspired by John’s play Cuttin’ a Rug, set in the town hall.

Provost & John Byrne 4.3.22--2

The news comes in the same week John’s latest play – Underwood Lane, inspired by his time growing up in Paisley with childhood friend Gerry Rafferty – receives its world premiere in Renfrewshire.

Paisley Town Hall is currently being turned into a landmark entertainment venue, with new facilities and rooms added – such as a new bar overlooking the river, a digital lounge with big screen, and a dance studio in formerly-unused space on the upper floor.

The new names were chosen after a process led by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who wanted the modernised building to reflect the town’s heritage in a fresh way, and picked after engagement with local community groups and other elected members

The bar will be Lucille’s Lounge, The Loggia will be known as the Loom Loggia, the digital lounge will be called Cutting Room and the dance studio will be Spinning Shed.

The other meeting and conference rooms will be known as Skinnedar Suite, McCann Room, Stobo Room and Jacquard Suite. The main hall will continue to be known as the main hall.

Provost at Townhall

Lucille, Skinnedar, McCann and Stobo are all names of characters from Cuttin’ a Rug – set during a works night out in the town hall and part of John Byrne’s acclaimed Slab Boys trilogy, based on his own experiences of working in Stoddard’s carpet factory in Elderslie as a young man.

Loom, Cutting, Spinning and Jacquard are all equipment or techniques which reflect Paisley’s rich weaving history.

Provost Cameron – who earlier this year awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire to John – said: “Paisley Town Hall is a special place for all Buddies, and each of us will have our own links to and memories of it.

“The work happening now will keep this beautiful building at heart of local life and preserve its much-loved architectural features, but with new facilities allowing it to host bigger and better events and more uses, bringing new life and footfall into the town, day and night.

“I want to thank everyone who helped contribute to the process of renaming the rooms, as there were loads of great ideas, but we were able to boil it down to two.

“Paisley has always been home to great cultural innovators – and John Byrne is one of the best. It’s fitting that in the year he is awarded the Freedom of Renfrewshire that we can ensure one of his best-loved works, Cuttin’ a Rug, is permanently marked in the building in which it is set.

“At the same time, the Paisley Pattern and the weaving and thread-making industries took Paisley’s name around the world, and the prosperity that flowed from there helped fund the town hall and other local landmarks, so it’s only appropriate we reflect that in the new room names.

“These names will keep the town’s heritage alive as they form the backdrop for future generations of Buddies to make their own special memories of the town hall in the decades to come.”

The town hall work is being taken forward by Renfrewshire Council as part of a wider investment in the town’s cultural venues, including the transformation of Paisley Museum into a world-class venue, and the work to build a new home for library services in a once-empty High Street unit.

When it reopens in 2023, the town hall will be operated by OneRen and will be bookable for a range of large and small events. For more info, call 0300 300 1210 or email OneRen_eventhires@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Underwood Lane is a co-production between the Tron Theatre Company and OneRen, supported by Future Paisley – the wide-ranging programme of activity led by Renfrewshire Council which aims to use Paisley’s rich cultural story to transform its future. It will run at Johnstone Town Hall from 7 to 9 July and at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow from 14 to 30 July.

The play was originally due to be performed in 2020, but was delayed due to the Covid pandemic. It follows a skiffle band as they try to make it to the big time and is named after the street in which Gerry Rafferty grew up. Tickets are fully sold out.

 

sma shot day 2022
Paisley food Festival
Paisley-Food-and-Drink-Festival-2022-6
Paisley-Food-and-Drink-Festival-2022-1

Paisley’s popular Food and Drink Festival is returning in-person for 2022 with a two-day feast of fun this April.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is one of Scotland’s largest outdoor food and drink festivals and the extravaganza will take place at Abbey Close and Bridge Street in Paisley town centre on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 April.

This year’s line-up will showcase the finest street food on offer with more than 30 traders and vendors, licensed bars and a packed programme of live music, entertainment, and foodie-fun for people of all ages.

Organisers are once again working with Glasgow independent street food market Platform, who will bring a host of Scotland’s best street food traders, an Innes and Gunn craft beer bar and cutting-edge cocktails utilising some of Scotland’s finest craft spirits.

Platform traders coming to the Festival include, Kochchi Sri Lankan Street Food, Freddy & Hicks, Hector & Harriet artisan food, coffee & cocktails, Moskito Spanish Bites, NomNam, Shawarmarama, Snarling Hog, Stag Bites the Hog and The Peruvian – British Street Food Award Winner 2020.

Kathryn McCormick, General Manager at Platform, said: “We are delighted to bring Platform on Tour back to Paisley Food and Drink Festival for our first outdoor venture since 2019. It’s always a brilliant event to be a part of and we hope everyone enjoys sampling the amazing food our Platform traders have to offer and visit our very own bar. Fingers crossed for some sunshine!”

There’s something to suit all tastes at Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2022, including a range of delicious gluten-free, halal, vegetarian and vegan options.

A host of Festival favourites will be returning, including Brigston & Co. artisan hot dogs, Scozzese woodfired pizza, Porelli Loop and Scoop, the unique Fizzbuz prosecco van and the popular Rum Shack.

Event organisers are teaming up with Renfrewshire CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) to host a dedicated Beer Tent at the town’s Bridge Street, with a wide range of craft conditioned ales and craft beers available.

The Festival will also see a live music and entertainment stage programmed by the Rum Shack on Friday evening and Paisley’s famous The Bungalow music venue on Saturday.

Plus, there’s lots of entertainment for the kids on Saturday with the chance to enjoy some hands-on food workshops and fun games.

Visitors will be able to purchase some great produce from local trader stalls, including the Paisley Drinks Company, Gatehouse Coffee Roasters and Café Fairfull.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “We are delighted to welcome everyone along to Paisley Food and Drink Festival next month and it’s brilliant to be back in-person after a three-year wait.

“Paisley Food and Drink Festival is Renfrewshire Council’s first major event of 2022, hot on the heels of About Us, which saw almost 50,000 visitors celebrate the start of Unboxed celebrations across the UK.

“The Festival is one of the largest food and drink events in Scotland, with people travelling from all over to enjoy everything that the event and Paisley has to offer.

“We’re also delighted that 2022 marks the return of Paisley Beer Festival and Renfrewshire CAMRA into the main festival tent once again. It’s also great to welcome back Platform and their mouth-watering range of street food alongside so many fantastic local traders and new faces to the Festival.

“Food and drink connoisseurs can be sure that Paisley Food and Drink Festival will be a delicious, safe and fun extravaganza for all.”

To find out more about the Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2022 and more fantastic events taking place in the area, visit www.paisley.is.

all-pupils-and-teachers

Local school pupils and community groups have expressed their hopes for the future of Paisley during a series of workshops to help create a new community artwork.

The Future Paisley exhibition – in the Piazza Shopping centre – now includes a new community display showcasing the work created by those groups, called Postcards From The Future, featuring memory maps of lived experiences, posters for places of communal pleasure, and souvenir objects of imagined places made from recycled materials and clay.

The workshops were led by artists Ruby Pester and Nadia Rossi, and groups who took part include: Paisley Grammar, Castlehead and Gleniffer High Schools, STAR Project, Disability Resource Centre and KAIROS+.

Here’s what some of the participants had to say about their work, and the town:

Darci Bruce (S2) Paisley Grammar:

“I really enjoyed the Future Paisley exhibition because I got to see a lot of buildings that I hadn’t seen in real life and realised how big Paisley actually is. The Grand Fountain was a big surprise – it’s so colourful and I’d never actually seen it before so didn’t know it existed

“My artwork is a pond, inspired by Barshaw Park, because I’ve got a lot of memories of going there with my friends and family. My hope for the town is for it to be more inclusive and environmentally friendly and for people to think about what we’ve done to the planet.”

Brody McMillan (S1) Castlehead High:

“The workshops set our brains to work and create things you wouldn’t think are imaginable. I created little monsters who go round in a UFO and suck up litter and recycle it into new stuff…like futuristic binmen. People need to know dropping litter is damaging the planet.

“My favourite place in the town has to be The Piazza – it’s a social area where everyone goes but also has plenty shops. That means we can support Paisley by buying things here rather than outside the area…shopping local is important.”

Murray McGeoch (S2) at Castlehead High:

“At the workshop I made a model of a film camera, as when I’m older, to be a film-maker. I think it’d be great to have a Paisley Film Festival where my work and that of others could be shown. I love the architecture of Paisley, it goes back ages and ages and new buildings keep getting added but the old ones are still there and its got a great collection.”

Leo Gilmour (S2) Paisley Grammar:

“I enjoyed making the 3D models. I like to play cards with my family so thought an all-kids casino would be a fun idea. I like the area around Paisley Grammar school as it’s a place where people can go to relax. My hope for the future of Paisley is for a better eco-system. Most towns and cities are a bit grey.”

Connie Hyndman, STAR Project:

“Being involved in the workshop helped bring back some memories. My artwork was based around Paisley Gilmour Street station because it’s the main building in Paisley for getting in and out and it’s never changed much over the years. Through the exhibition I got to discover Staneley Castle in the reservoir – I didn’t know that existed but it’s a great-looking building.”

The Future Paisley exhibition uses innovative 3D graphics and augmented reality to showcase the collection of exciting projects currently transforming the town like never before and take visitors on a journey through Paisley’s past, present and future.

The exhibition is being led by Renfrewshire Council, with support from Renfrewshire Leisure, and was designed by architectural and design practice Lateral North. It runs every Wednesday to Saturday until Saturday 19 March (open 10am to 4pm) and is free to enter.

Future Paisley is the programme of events and activity which aims to use the town’s unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

paisley abbey

We went along on Monday night to the utterly amazing installation for the very impressive projection onto Paisley Abbey for the UK’s Unboxed creative arts display. Please see the video below and feel free to share far and wide, on Facebook it was viewed 20,000 times in the first two hours of appearing.

Photographs of Paisley Abbey on Tuesday 1st March

 

Photographs courtesy of Paul McCluskey for www.paisley.org.uk

Renfrewshire’s major events are back with a spectacular live programme set to take place across 2022. Organised by Renfrewshire Council, the bumper calendar will see the Paisley Food and Drink Festival return in-person for the first time since 2019, alongside area highlights The Spree, Paisley Halloween Festival and many more. Events in the area begin as Paisley plays host to About Us – the opening event of the Unboxed: Creativity in the UK programme of major celebrations across the UK – from Tuesday 1 until Sunday 6 March, with a public preview on Monday 28 February. The town is the first location on a five-stop UK tour for About Us – and the free, outdoor spectacle will transform Paisley Abbey for a stunning visual and sound experience, taking attendees on a thrilling ride through 13.8 billion years of life, the universe and everything in it. The popular Paisley Food and Drink Festival returns to Abbey Close and Bridge Street, with a tantalising offer of top street food from across Scotland, fantastic local traders, live music, workshops and more on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 April. Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations will also see a live programme for the first time since 2019, as the event commemorating the historic victory of local weavers takes place on Saturday 2 July. Summer will also see a new Renfrew Pipe Bands competition take over Robertson Park on Saturday 23 July. The Spree, Paisley’s annual music and arts festival, is on the move from its traditional October slot in 2022 as the iconic Spiegeltent comes to town from Thursday 1 – Saturday 10 September, promising a top line-up for gig-goers. The 10-day programme will also be accompanied by the Spree for All fringe festival of events across Renfrewshire’s towns and villages. The Wee Spree programme will take place from Saturday 15 – Saturday 22 October, providing fun activities and shows for children and families during the school holidays. The award-winning Paisley Halloween Festival is widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK and this year’s spectacular trail format will be staged from Thursday 27 October to Sunday 30 October. A programme of festive town centre activity will take place across Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with lights on display across Renfrewshire’s towns and villages to bring in the season. Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events for Renfrewshire Council, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting a full year of live events for 2022 and to welcome back local supporters and visitors to what, for so many, are must-see dates in the diary. “Renfrewshire has firmly established itself as a key destination on Scotland’s events map, which is a testament to the high quality and wide appeal of our annual programme. “We have developed new formats for some of our most popular events, ensuring visitors continue to feel safe and confident to return to live events and we maximise the benefits for local businesses too. “People travel from all over to take part in our spectacular events and we can’t wait for everyone to come and enjoy what we have in store for 2022. It is going to be fantastic.” Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “With both Paisley First plans for the year ahead and the confirmation of the council’s events calendar, it’s great to be able to look forward to a full year of town centre events in Paisley once again in 2022. “Our businesses will benefit from the town’s major events taking place over longer periods and being spread across multiple dates, particularly with the large levels of footfall these extended timescales will bring. “Money spent with our local businesses stays in the local economy, so by supporting these events and local traders we are supporting each other. “We look forward to working together with Renfrewshire Council on town centre events and activity throughout the year for everyone to enjoy.” For more information about upcoming events in Renfrewshire, visit www.paisley.is.

Renfrewshire’s major events are back with a spectacular live programme set to take place across 2022.

Organised by Renfrewshire Council, the bumper calendar will see the Paisley Food and Drink Festival return in-person for the first time since 2019, alongside area highlights The Spree, Paisley Halloween Festival and many more.

Events in the area begin as Paisley plays host to About Us – the opening event of the Unboxed: Creativity in the UK programme of major celebrations across the UK – from Tuesday 1 until Sunday 6 March, with a public preview on Monday 28 February.

The town is the first location on a five-stop UK tour for About Us – and the free, outdoor spectacle will transform Paisley Abbey for a stunning visual and sound experience, taking attendees on a thrilling ride through 13.8 billion years of life, the universe and everything in it.

The popular Paisley Food and Drink Festival returns to Abbey Close and Bridge Street, with a tantalising offer of top street food from across Scotland, fantastic local traders, live music, workshops and more on Friday 29 and Saturday 30 April.

Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations will also see a live programme for the first time since 2019, as the event commemorating the historic victory of local weavers takes place on Saturday 2 July.

Summer will also see a new Renfrew Pipe Bands competition take over Robertson Park on Saturday 23 July.

The Spree, Paisley’s annual music and arts festival, is on the move from its traditional October slot in 2022 as the iconic Spiegeltent comes to town from Thursday 1 – Saturday 10 September, promising a top line-up for gig-goers. The 10-day programme will also be accompanied by the Spree for All fringe festival of events across Renfrewshire’s towns and villages.

The Wee Spree programme will take place from Saturday 15 – Saturday 22 October, providing fun activities and shows for children and families during the school holidays.

The award-winning Paisley Halloween Festival is widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK and this year’s spectacular trail format will be staged from Thursday 27 October to Sunday 30 October.

A programme of festive town centre activity will take place across Paisley, Renfrew and Johnstone in the weeks leading up to Christmas, with lights on display across Renfrewshire’s towns and villages to bring in the season.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events for Renfrewshire Council, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting a full year of live events for 2022 and to welcome back local supporters and visitors to what, for so many, are must-see dates in the diary.

“Renfrewshire has firmly established itself as a key destination on Scotland’s events map, which is a testament to the high quality and wide appeal of our annual programme.

“We have developed new formats for some of our most popular events, ensuring visitors continue to feel safe and confident to return to live events and we maximise the benefits for local businesses too.

“People travel from all over to take part in our spectacular events and we can’t wait for everyone to come and enjoy what we have in store for 2022. It is going to be fantastic.”

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “With both Paisley First plans for the year ahead and the confirmation of the council’s events calendar, it’s great to be able to look forward to a full year of town centre events in Paisley once again in 2022.

“Our businesses will benefit from the town’s major events taking place over longer periods and being spread across multiple dates, particularly with the large levels of footfall these extended timescales will bring.

“Money spent with our local businesses stays in the local economy, so by supporting these events and local traders we are supporting each other.

“We look forward to working together with Renfrewshire Council on town centre events and activity throughout the year for everyone to enjoy.”

For more information about upcoming events in Renfrewshire, visit www.paisley.is.

Paisley-Halloween-2021-3

Paisley celebrated the return of its award-winning Halloween celebrations as thousands of visitors enjoyed a spectacular Out of this World experience.

Over 17,000 people flocked to the town for the free, immersive trail of intergalactic installations and light displays around some of Paisley’s most famous buildings, with the extravaganza taking place across five nights from Thursday 28 October – Monday 1 November.

Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World also formed part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 celebrations, with the area beside the town’s White Cart River becoming a centrepiece attraction for locals and visitors.

An eye-catching sight on the family-friendly trail was the striking alien invasion of Paisley Town Hall, with an enormous Creature from the Cart bursting out from the front of the iconic structure.

Visitors were left dazzled by the ‘Nova’ and ‘Ursula Lassos the Moon’ sculptures at the heart of the trail, with many taking the time to capture selfies and photos at the mysterious and enchanting light displays. Meanwhile, ‘Orionids’ echoed the breath-taking beauty of a meteor shower across the White Cart River, creating a stunning, luminous effect on the water.

Young people’s hopes and dreams for the future of the planet were showcased on the spectacular Earthship1 installation, with many event goers taking the time to marvel at the spacecraft’s beautiful lighting, music and special cargo of hopeful messages and artworks created by youth and community groups across Renfrewshire.

Cheryl Fraser from Linwood said: “As soon as we pulled up in the car, the kids were saying ‘wow, this is amazing’ because we could see the big tentacles at the Town Hall. We’ve really enjoyed it all, took so many pictures and the kids have had a great time.”

Jodie Murray from Edinburgh said: “It’s been really cool and something different getting to see all the light displays – it’s really lovely. My family come every year and say it’s always amazing, so I thought I’d come and have a look too.”

The Paisley Halloween Festival presents Out of this World trail was delivered by Renfrewshire Council and curated by sustainable, not-for-profit creative contractor, Cirque Bijou.

Pauline Allan, Events Manager for Renfrewshire Council, said: “It’s been fantastic to welcome so many visitors to our Halloween celebrations in Paisley once again, as they were greatly missed by all last year.

“The festival is one of the highlights in our events calendar and has really cemented the town’s position as a key destination in Scotland for Halloween.

“We’re delighted to see such a positive reaction to this year’s five-day Out of this World spectacular and we’d like to thank everyone who came along and enjoyed the festival, as well as all of the talented artists involved for making it such a huge success.”

Julian Bracey, Artistic Director of Cirque Bijou, said: “It’s been a pleasure to work on this year’s Paisley Halloween Festival and make it a truly ‘Out of this World’ experience for everyone to enjoy. It’s been a massive team effort between the Cirque Bijou crew, Renfrewshire Council and the many local people involved.

“We’ve loved working with young people and community groups in the area to be part of the creative process and their contributions towards the artworks and installations have made the whole event really special.”

Paisley Halloween Festival was supported by EventScotland through Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund.

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “We are delighted to have supported Paisley Halloween Festival through the Year of Coasts and Waters 20/21 and Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund. It is great to see the event was so well received by those who got to experience the spectacular light displays and installations, with the White Cart River playing a starring role in the trail.”

Paisley Halloween Festival is widely regarded as one of the best events of its kind in the UK and was named Best Cultural Event or Festival at the 2019/20 Scottish Thistle Awards West Scotland regional finals, organised by VisitScotland.

Artist Kevin Cameron, Provost Lorraine Cameron and Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes outside Paisley Town Hall

A time capsule containing memories of life in Paisley has been placed inside the foundations of Paisley Town Hall during the £22m transformation into a landmark entertainment venue for the west of Scotland.

The striking Victorian-era town hall – part of the legacy of Paisley’s proud past at the centre of the world’s textile industry – is undergoing a major redevelopment to preserve it for future generations.

Artist Kevin Cameron, Provost Lorraine Cameron and Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes outside Paisley Town Hall

The project is part of a wider investment by Renfrewshire Council in Paisley’s cultural venues aimed at driving new footfall to the town, including the work to turn Paisley Museum into a world-class visitor destination, retelling the unique stories of the town’s people, Pattern, and more.

Local artist and filmmaker, Kevin Cameron, worked with residents, local schools, and former employees of Paisley Town Hall to collect stories and memories of activities and events that have taken place at the venue.

Provost Lorraine Cameron and artist Kevin Cameron with the time capsule

Inside the time capsule, the memories are contained within a scroll consisting of over 30 pages that can be unravelled, read and easily displayed. The scroll is wrapped around a bobbin as a symbol of the town’s thread-making heritage.

Paisley Town Hall has been a unique landmark at the heart of life in the town since 1884, having been gifted to the town by Sir George Clark, owner of one of the firms which at that time had made the town a global thread-making hub.

Building contractors Morrison Construction are currently on site, with work due to finish in late 2022 and the building due to reopen in early 2023.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, which will operate the reopened building, said: “Everyone in Paisley will have their own special memories of the town hall and I’m delighted that we have been able to preserve some of those to be shared with future generations.

Primary 7 pupils from West Primary School with the time capsule

“The town hall is a key project within the council’s wider investment in the town aimed at using Paisley’s internationally-significant cultural and heritage offer to change its future.

“Once reopened the town hall will build on the work already done to make Paisley one of Scotland’s key destinations for heritage, culture and events – driving new footfall and visitors to the town centre, day and night, and helping the local economy build back from the effects of the pandemic.

Primary 6 pupils from Williamsburgh Primary with the time capsule

“We look forward to helping people make memories at Paisley Town Hall for many years to come.”

Provost of Renfrewshire, Lorraine Cameron, who added a letter for future generations to the time capsule, said: “Paisley Town Hall is special to so many people and it was important to involve the local community.

Provost Lorraine Cameron with the time capsule scroll

“At a time where our lives are still disrupted due to the Covid-19 pandemic and normal events have been unable to take place as planned, the creation of the time capsule has given many people a chance to look back on some of those times they hold most dear.

“The scroll includes memories from some of our oldest citizens collected through workshops with ROAR, and stories from some of our youngest citizens, with pupils from Williamsburgh and West Primary Schools contributing accounts of their life before and during the pandemic.

“I am honoured to be asked as Provost of Renfrewshire to contribute a letter and share my hopes for a future Paisley with generations still to come.”

The town hall redevelopment will deliver:

– preservation of its unique 19th-century architectural features while adding 21st-century performance facilities, guaranteeing the building’s long-term future;

– the capacity of the main hall expanded to 1,200, allowing the venue to host bigger and better events and help make the town a stop-off on musical tour schedules;

– entirely new rooms created within currently-unused spaces, including a café-bar, dance studio, and screening room, widening the building’s range of uses;

– new performance facilities, a much-improved audience experience, and a complete replacement of the venue’s electrical and mechanical systems;

To be kept up to date on the use of the building when it reopens, register your interest with Renfrewshire Leisure via https://mailchi.mp/renfrewshireleisure/paisleytownhall

The town hall redevelopment is part of a wider investment by the council in Paisley’s venues and outdoor spaces. Projects due to complete over the next couple of years also include:

– the £42m project to transform Paisley Museum, expected to help drive 128,000 visitors a year, to see the town’s internationally-significant collections;

– a new modern home for library services within the Paisley Learning and Cultural Hub, currently being built in a vacant former retail unit on the town’s High Street;

– work to upgrade Paisley Arts Centre;

– a redesign of Abbey Close to create an expanded outdoor events space set against Paisley’s town hall and 12th-century Abbey, plus work to turn County Square into an attractive hub for small events and provide a welcome showcase for larger events, festivals and attractions in the town.

More information is at http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/PaisleyTownHall