paisley christmas

Paisley will welcome the festive season in style this weekend at the town’s annual Christmas Lights Switch-On event.

The family-favourite, free event will begin at 12pm on Saturday 16 November before Santa and his sleigh ride into town at 12.30pm to lead the 300-strong parade that will greet the gathered crowds.

paisley christmas

The parade will have a new, extended route for 2019 and is set to wow spectators with giant festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers. Following the parade there will be a number of street performers entertaining the crowds.

Visitors can take a spin around the Winter Roller Disco in County Square – a new addition to this year’s event it’s sure to be a family favourite with six sessions taking place throughout the day.

paisley christmas

The live stage will offer plenty of music and entertainment with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests – X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

For those looking for a more traditional Christmas celebration there will be a series of local community and school choirs performing classic carols in Paisley Abbey – a sure way to get everyone in the festive mood.

paisley christmas

There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained as Coats Memorial will be transformed into the perfect Christmas playground bursting with activities to keep the little ones entertained such as writing letters to Santa, making Christmas cards, face painting, soft play and much more.

Kids can meet Santa at his Grotto in The Piazza Shopping Centre to tell him what’s on their Christmas list, while those looking to do a bit of Christmas shopping can head to the festive Urban Market offering plenty of fabulous gift ideas.

A Creative Craft Trail will be taking place as part of the event in some of the town’s fantastic local cafes and businesses, where visitors can learn to make festive jewellery, decorations and fascinators among other activities.

The big finale moment of the day will be the switch-on moment which will take place at the Live Stage at 6pm.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY

This year the lights will extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be located in the grounds of Coats venue offering the perfect festive selfie spot.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron said: “Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is a fantastic family day out with plenty of opportunities to get the whole family in the festive mood.

“This year’s event is even bigger with a longer parade route and children’s activities taking place in the stunning Coats venue.

“It’s sure to attract lots of visitors to the town centre and encourage people to see what fantastic festive goodies they can get their hands on in some of our great local businesses.”

There will also be a funfair at the event located on Bridge Street with smaller rides on Gilmour Street.

To find out more about future events taking place please visit: https://paisley.is/list_event/.

Tickets for the Roller Disco are £2 including booking fee and e-ticket charge and skate hire is included in this charge. Children under 8 years-old must be accompanied by an adult.

Sessions are limited to 40 places.

You can purchase tickets in advance here: https://paisley.is/winter-roller-disco/

A quiet space will be located in POP inside the Piazza Shopping Centre and Coats Venue -this will be an autism friendly space with soft lighting, comfortable seating and noise cancelling headphones.

Paisley Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday Service

Renfrewshire has paid tribute to the Armed Forces as hundreds attended services across the area to mark Remembrance Sunday, with the largest service taking place at the Cenotaph in Paisley town centre.

Paisley Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday Service

More than 200 people paid their respects as military personnel from the Army, Royal Air Force and Royal Navy paraded around the town centre before finishing at the Cenotaph.

A short service then saw a series of readings by local ministers, before the Royal British Legion presented their standards.

Paisley Cenotaph Remembrance Sunday Service

A bugler played a moving rendition of the Last Post ahead of the traditional two-minute silence, following which wreaths were laid on behalf of the Armed Forces, schools, local organisations and community groups.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron, who laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Renfrewshire, said: “This weekend provides us all with an opportunity to pay our respects to the Armed Forces, past and present, for all they do to keep us safe, while remembering those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s fantastic to see so many people turn out to services across Renfrewshire and it shows the spirit within our communities that they want to come together to show their appreciation for our service personnel.

“It’s also great to see the interaction between our veterans and young people each year as we educate the next generation on why it’s so important that we mark Armistice Day and encourage them to continue this tradition in years to come.”

Renfrewshire’s weekend of remembrance began on Friday 8 November as the annual Children’s Remembrance Service took place at the joint-campus of Mossvale and St James Primary in Paisley.

Depute Provost, Councillor Cathy McEwan, joined veterans from the Royal British Legion as they visited the school to see a presentation from the pupils on what they’ve learned about Armistice Day, before speaking about their experiences of having served in the Armed Forces.

For more information, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/RemembranceServices2019.

Cllr Cathy McEwan, Gail Scoular, the Unpaid Work team, Cochrane Castle Primar, St David's Primary

Pupils are set to get their hands dirty as every primary school in Renfrewshire receives a brand-new mud kitchen.

Designed to inspire imagination and creativity through messy play, the mud kitchens were a huge success with the area’s nurseries after being gifted earlier this year and now primary school children are set to see the benefit.

Cllr Cathy McEwan, Gail Scoular, the Unpaid Work team, Cochrane Castle Primar, St David's Primary

Made from recycled pallets, they provide an immersive, multi-sensory experience for children to get their hands dirty making mud pies and soil smoothies while interacting with their peers.

Gail Scoular came up with the idea while in her role as Renfrewshire Council Senior Warden and fundraised in her own time to ensure there was no cost to the forty-nine primary schools, with the council’s Unpaid Work Team carrying out the work to create them.

Gail said: “I’m so happy that more and more young people will have access to a mud kitchen and have the chance to discover the joy of outdoor play.

“They’ll be able to use their imaginations to create culinary inventions, while bonding and building relationships with their peers.

“It’s a fantastic way to encourage young people to enjoy the great outdoors and who doesn’t like to get their hands dirty once in a while!”

The kitchens will encourage young children to see the benefits of working together and to find enjoyment in the great outdoors, ensuring they appreciate their local environment which is a key tie in with Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide brand-new mud kitchens to each of our primary schools after the brilliant reaction we had from our nurseries earlier in the year.

“A big part of our Team Up to Clean Up campaign is encouraging people to work together while enjoying being outdoors and appreciating our local environment and these kitchens will hopefully inspire our young people to get out in their gardens and green spaces and take care of where they live.”

Donations were made by UNITE, GMB Union and enva which facilitated the purchase of tools for use in the mud kitchens.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY__D3A4723

Paisley will be celebrating all things merry and bright at this year’s Christmas Light Switch-On event with thousands expected to turn out to enjoy the fun.

Santa and his sleigh will ride into town from 12.30pm on Saturday 16 November, signalling the beginning of this free, festive, family event.

SANTA PAISLEY ABBEY__D3A4723

A highlight of the day’s activities is the Santa parade, which has a new extended route for 2019. The parade will be led by Santa on his sleigh, who will guide this year’s 300-strong parade through the town – dazzling spectators with giant festive floats, costumed characters and choreographed displays from local community groups and professional performers. Following the parade there will be a number of street performers entertaining the crowds.

New for 2019 is the fantastic, ticketed Winter Roller Disco in County Square. Visitors can take a spin around the rink at one of the six sessions taking place.

There will be plenty of music and entertainment on the live stage with performances from; Funbox, The Swinging Santas, Nickajack Men and this year’s stage headliners, special guests and The X Factor stars, Reggie ‘N’ Bollie.

It wouldn’t be Christmas without carols, and where better to hear them than the majestic Paisley Abbey where a series of local community and school choirs will perform to put everyone in the festive mood.

There’s plenty to keep the kids entertained as Coats Memorial will be transformed into the perfect Christmas playground bursting with activities to keep the little ones entertained such as writing letters to Santa, making Christmas cards, face painting, soft play and much more.

The Piazza Shopping Centre will be home to Santa’s Grotto for kids to tell Santa what they want for Christmas and for those looking to do a bit of Christmas shopping there will also be an Urban Market offering plenty of fabulous gift ideas.

A Creative Craft Trail will be taking place as part of the event in some of the town’s fantastic local cafes and businesses, where visitors can learn to make festive jewellery, decorations and fascinators among other activities.

The yuletide activities culminate in lighting up of the town with the big switch-on moment at 6pm.

This year the lights will extend to the top of the High Street leading to a giant illuminated Christmas bauble, delivered in partnership with Paisley First. The bauble will be located in the grounds of Coats Memorial Church offering the perfect festive selfie spot.

Renfrewshire Provost, Lorraine Cameron said: “The Paisley Christmas Lights Switch-On is one of the biggest events in the winter calendar and this year’s programme is packed with plenty of festive, fun activities for everyone.

“It’s an event that always brings visitors into the town and it’s one of my personal favourites. I’m looking forward to helping celebrate the start of the festive season in the town and I hope to see lots of smiling families there.”

There will also be a funfair at the event located on Bridge Street with smaller rides on Gilmour Street.

To find out more about future events taking place please visit: https://paisley.is/list_event/.

Painting at Ferguslie ELCC, Ferguslie Park, Paisley

Renfrewshire Council is recruiting for Depute Heads of Centre and Heads of Centre jobs in nurseries across the area.

Ashleigh Carson has worked in the nursery sector for more than 17 years and says becoming a depute head has been the most rewarding experience yet.

Painting at Ferguslie ELCC, Ferguslie Park, Paisley

She said: “I didn’t start out wanting to work in a management role but having been given the opportunity to work in the role temporarily, I soon realised I was made for this.

“Being a leader is about supporting your staff to grow in their roles and giving them the opportunities to develop. Trusting staff to take the lead and to make a contribution is just as important as being open and transparent as a leader. I always want my team to feel like they can have ideas, develop them and see them flourish into great projects and experiences for the children. If I ever need to say no to an idea, I always explain why so the team understand the reason.

“Making sure every member of staff feels part of the team and takes on responsibility within the centre is at the heart of how our management team functions. When it comes to developing the centre’s vision, we sit down with the team and we talk about what we want the nursery to achieve and what it should be like for our children such as engaging, exploring, investigating and fun, and then pull those ideas together to consult with parents and children. The end result means that we are all working together to a shared vision and everyone feels a part of it.

“Motivating people is a huge part of the job, especially on a dreary Monday morning, but the benefits of working as a leader in early years far outweighs any rainy day. Training is a significant benefit to working within a local authority nursery. Since I first joined Renfrewshire Council, I’ve completed a PDA in Early Childhood Education, my BA, post-grad and masters in Childhood Practice and more recently an Aspiring Leaders Programme and a Development Centre to support me as a centre leader.

“I love working with children, it’s what I wanted to do when I left school and I’m glad my career has taken me where it has. I’d recommend taking on a leadership role in a nursery to anyone who is already working in the field and is ready to take that next step, or for anyone with qualifications and a lot of determination to dive in and empower teams to do what they do best create better outcomes for children and families.”

To apply for a Depute Head of Centre or Head of Centre job, visit www.myjobscotland.gov.uk.

Paisley Fireworks 2016

A dazzling display of fireworks will be set off in the skies above Paisley Abbey on Saturday 2 November.

Paisley Fireworks 2016

Crowds will gather in Paisley town centre to watch the magnificent array of Catherine wheels, rockets and sparklers on display backed by a soundtrack of popular 90s classic hits.

Gus from Pulse FM will welcome crowds with music and banter from 6.30pm before the fireworks get underway at 7pm lasting approximately 20 minutes.

Paisley’s winter events programme will continue with the town’s Christmas Lights Switch-On on Saturday 16 November. There will be plenty of Christmas family fun including the popular Santa Parade in the town centre, Christmas Choir concerts, Santa’s Grotto and much more. Visitors will also be able to enjoy exciting street artists, fantastic performances on the live stage and even head along to the festive roller disco.

The festive fun will also extend across Renfrewshire with Christmas Lights Switch-Ons in Renfrew on Saturday 23 November and Johnstone on Saturday 30 November. The town centre also sees the return of the WinterFest event from 23 November until 30 December, run by Paisley First, featuring an outdoor ice rink, LEGO Paisley Penguin Parade Trail and plenty of festive fun.

For more information about Paisley Fireworks Spectacular, visit: https://paisley.is/featured_event/paisley-fireworks-spectacular/

Tannahill Centre

Communities across Renfrewshire have moved a step closer to acquiring assets in their local area as more than £127,000 was awarded from the Community Empowerment Fund.

Tannahill Centre

The fund is designed to support the development of community organisations and build their capacity to undertake potential asset transfers, which can be a building or a piece of land.

Four applications to the fund were approved and include:

  • £50,000 to Active Communities, and to approve in principle a further £50,000, to allow the group to purchase and renovate the old police station in Johnstone into a community hub.
  • £10,000 to the New Tannahill Centre to assist with the second stage of a feasibility study into the proposed redevelopment of the Tannahill Centre.
  • £6,500 to the Western Desert Recce Group to develop a business plan around the potential future use of the Whitehaugh Barracks.
  • £3,800 to Renfrew Victoria Youth Football Club for architects’ plans outlining the refurbishment of the Kirklandneuk Pavilion with upgraded changing rooms.

An award of £6,760 to the Paisley Community Trust for a feasibility study into a High Street Cinema was approved, subject to the updated guidance for the fund being approved by the Leadership Board.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “No one knows what their town or village needs more than those who live there, and I’m delighted that we can provide the funding to help them bring these buildings into better use for the community.

“It’s great see the progress that the community groups are making into acquiring their local assets and I’m looking forward to seeing these buildings reaching their full potential.

“We’ll continue to support them throughout the process, as we will if you have an idea for a building or a piece of land in your area, so please get in touch with the team and make a difference to your neighbourhood today.”

The deadline for the next round of applications to the fund is Tuesday 5 November.

For more information, and how to apply, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/communityempowermentfund.

Veterans at the Cenotaph in Paisley

Hundreds are expected to turn out to pay their respects to the fallen as parades are carried out in towns and villages across Renfrewshire, with services taking place to mark Remembrance Day.

A weekend of remembrance will begin on Friday 8 November as the annual Children’s Remembrance Service takes place at Mossvale and St James Primary in Paisley at 10.30am.

Veterans at the Cenotaph in Paisley

Veterans from the Royal British Legion will visit the school to see a presentation from the pupils on what they’ve learned about Remembrance Day, before speaking about their experiences of having served in Armed Forces.

Veterans marching in Paisley

On 10 November, parades will then take place from 10am to mark Remembrance Sunday, with a two minutes silence at 11am, and all are invited to attend at the following locations:

Start                Finish (Approx)

Houston                       10.00am          10.30am

Kilbarchan                   10.00am          10.30am

Renfrew                      10.45am          11.15am

Paisley                        10.45am          11.30am

Lochwinnoch               10.45am          11.15am

Howwood                    12.15pm          12.45pm

Johnstone                   12.30pm          1.00pm

Elderslie                      2.30pm            3.00pm

Bridge of Weir             3.00pm            3.30pm

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Every year at this time we stop to remember those we have lost, and I would encourage all who are able to attend to come to one of the services taking place across Renfrewshire.

“It’s so important that we pay our respects to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and I look forward to the community once again coming together to show their gratitude for all that have gone before us.

“Through our Children’s Remembrance Service, we will work closely with our veterans to educate our young people and show exactly why we mark Remembrance Sunday each and every year.”

For more information, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/RemembranceServices2019.

Paisley Halloween Festival 2019

Paisley’s annual Halloween Festival launched tonight with plenty of thrills and chills for visitors.

Paisley Halloween Festival 2019

The two-day spectacular is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the UK. This year’s event has a Dark Circus theme and promises to be the biggest and best yet with internationally acclaimed outdoor theatre specialists, Cirque Bijou, helping to transform the entire town centre into the perfect Halloween playground.

Paisley Halloween Festival 2019

The festival continues on Saturday with a whole host of frighteningly fun, free activities for everyone to enjoy including the spectacular Mardi-Gras style parade, with the entire town serving as the stage.

To find out more visit: www.paisley.is/halloween.

Laura, Convener, Lily and Anne Marie playing with mud - St Margaret's ELCC Johnstone

Parents of young children have praised the positive impact of 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) on their child’s speech and reading development.

Almost 1,600 three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds across the region are now receiving 1140 hours ELC and parental feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Laura, Convener, Lily and Anne Marie playing with mud - St Margaret's ELCC Johnstone

All children are currently entitled to 600 hours of nursery provision in council-run and funded private and voluntary providers, however a number of nurseries have been able to offer earlier access to the extended childcare ahead of the Scottish Government deadline of August 2020.

Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, visited St Margaret’s Early Learning and Childcare Class in Johnstone and Glendee Early Learning and Childcare Centre in Renfrew to see the impact 1140 hours has had on around 150 children.

He said: “The expansion in Renfrewshire is focused on providing high-quality experiences for children. It’s positive to hear parents already telling us they see a difference in their child’s speech and reading abilities since they’ve had access to 1140 hours of early learning and childcare. At St Margaret’s and Glendee nurseries, I saw for myself the variety of quality learning experiences that encourage children’s understanding of the world and that takes place in nurseries across the region.

“We will continue to offer parents whose child could benefit from the additional hours early access within their nursery centre or class where there is space and staff in place to support this ahead of the August 2020 timetable. From August 2020 onwards, eligible children will receive 1140 hours of early learning and childcare, and we continue to work towards that deadline by recruiting staff and expanding our nursery estate.”

The council has now recruited around 200 early years staff to support the 1140 ELC expansion and existing provision in nurseries across Renfrewshire, including nine modern apprentices and 23 graduates.

Training and development opportunities are available for current and future early years staff working in council and approved provider settings to help them progress on their career pathway, such as SVQs, leadership courses and development centres. There is also funding support to meet Scottish Social Services Council registration required for jobs in early years.

Refurbishment work at nine nursery centres and classes has already been completed and the final 17 are all on track for completion on their target date.

Headteacher Gillian Miller said it’s been positive to trial 1140 hours ELC within St Margaret’s Early Learning and Childcare Class. She said: “High-quality early learning experiences are vitally important to support children’s development. Our nursery class focuses on supporting children’s development and learning through play experiences.”

For more information on 1140 ELC, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/1140ELC.