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One of Scotland’s best-known Gaelic singers has signed up to help promote the town’s hosting of the world’s largest celebration of Gaelic culture – the Royal National Mòd – in 2022.

Award-winning singer, dancer, journalist and TV presenter Joy Dunlop has joined the Mòd Phàislig Local Organising Committee, which is planning the nine-day festival, due to return to Paisley three years from now in October.

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And Joy is already helping develop Renfrewshire’s next generation of traditional music talent – by tutoring some of the young people involved with Gaelic music group Fèis Phàislig

Fèis runs a year-round programme of activity giving young people a chance to get involved in the Gaelic arts – and will be showcasing their talents with an interactive performance called Stramash as part of the programme for Sma’ Shot Day, this coming Saturday.

Joy took a break from rehearsals with Fèis to look ahead to the Mòd 2022. The event – run by An Comunn Gàidhealach – will be in Paisley for the second time, having debuted here in 2013.

The previous event was the second-largest in Mòd history, with 8,000 people over nine days, a £1.4m economic impact for the area, and a tremendous festival atmosphere around the town.

Joy said: “I’m really looking forward to Mòd Phàislig in 2022. We had a great Mòd in Paisley last time and I’m sure we will have excellent events again.

“Paisley is a central location which will help take the event to new audiences and there is already some really great Gaelic cultural talent in the town, as I know from working with Fèis Phàislig.”

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And any residents looking for a free taster of what is to come should go to The Bungalow in Shuttle Street between 2 and 5pm on Saturday to for Fèis’s first-ever Stramash event.

Some of Scotland’s top traditional musicians will join young up-and-coming talent for a bumper afternoon of music and interactive performances for all ages, with space for dancing.

The Ceilidh Trail group will perform new material ahead of their summer tour and will invite audience members to learn a Gaelic song or two and become part of the band for the afternoon.

Stramash will also return to Paisley later in the year with a free show as part of the Spree festival

Fèis Co-ordinator Grant McFarlane said: “We’re delighted to be part of this year’s Sma’ Shot Day and to bring some traditional music and Gaelic to the event.

“We’ve got a full afternoon of music planned and can’t wait to welcome everyone in for a song, dance or just to enjoy the tunes!”

Sma’ Shot Day is one of the world’s oldest workers festivals and will take place on Saturday between 12pm and 5pm, with around 50 events across 20 different venues in an all-new event site in the area around Shuttle Street, New Street and Brown’s Lane

The parade leaves Brodie Park at noon, led by the tuck of the Charleston drum and throughout the day, the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages will come alive with music, theatre, poetry, crafts and lots of family friendly activities.

All events are free to attend. More information and full bill – including parade route, road closures, and a detailed FAQ for the event, is at www.paisley.is

Katherine Pentney and Lynn McGrady

It’s an annual celebration which harks back to the time weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

And this year, alongside all the music, dance and theatre on show, local businesses will be getting involved in Sma’ Shot weekend by opening their doors to members of the public who are keen to learn new skills.

Katherine Pentney and Lynn McGrady

Bars, restaurants and businesses on the stretch from Gauze Street, onto Shuttle Street and Brown’s Lane, and up to the High Street, are preparing to host bespoke creative workshops and classes from Friday 5 to Sunday 7 July.

The classes are pit stops on the Creative Craft Trail – an initiative which gives members of the public the chance to meet designers from InCube, Paisley’s creative business incubator.

The Bungalow, The Lane, Bar Pre, and Faction in Shuttle Street; The Cave in New Street; Bianco e Nero, Blend and Brew; Fairfull Café, Helen’s Haberdashery, and TaTa Bella’s Café on the High Street; and The Workshop in the Old Fire Station, will all be hosting activities across the weekend. Sma’ Shot Cottages and Paisley Abbey will also be involved.

Katherine Pentney

The venues in Shuttle Street and The Cave will provide food and drink at their events.

Classes and workshops will include jewellery-making, knitting, weaving, embroidery, sewing, painting and pottery.

Textile artist Katherine Pentney (also known as The Canny Squirrel) will be running classes in free motion embroidery at Helen’s Haberdashery on the High Street on Saturday 6 July.

Katherine said: “It’s great to be involved in what’s going on creatively in Renfrewshire at the moment. People are definitely more interested in crafting now and activities that develop creative skills are really making a resurgence.

“To be hosting these workshops in Paisley, home of the famous pattern, and an area with such a rich textile history, is a fantastic opportunity and I’m really looking forward to meeting the students.”

Lynne McGrady, sales assistant at Helen’s Haberdashery, said: “The Sma’ Shot festival is a massive event for Paisley and these creative activities will help shine a spotlight on local businesses.

“It’s so important for us to raise awareness of what Paisley businesses are providing for the people of Renfrewshire, and to encourage people to buy from local entrepreneurs to keep Renfrewshire’s economy healthy.

“We’re very proud to be involved in this year’s activities and look forward to being at the centre of what’s happening on the High Street.”

The main Sma’ Shot Day party will take place on Saturday 6 July between 12pm and 5pm, with around 50 events taking place across 20 different venues.

Festivities will get underway when the parade leaves Brodie Park at noon, heading for Paisley Arts Centre, led by the tuck of the Charleston drum.

As the fun progresses, the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottages in Paisley’s town centre – Shuttle Street, New Street, Witherspoon Street and Brown’s Lane – will come alive with music, theatre, poetry, crafts and lots of family friendly activities.

Upcycling Creative Hub-2

Creative hubs are being established across Renfrewshire as the region bids to be “the place of choice for creative businesses”.

A new Business Development Fund is supporting up to 12 creative hubs to form over the next three years, each hub encouraging creative companies to share premises, collaborate and showcase their products.

Upcycling Creative Hub

Every hub will have a different creative focus and will receive subsidised premises costs as they offer a range of shared services including studio space, public workshops and networking opportunities.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We want Renfrewshire to be the place of choice for creative businesses in Scotland and our bid for UK city of culture highlighted the breadth of creative talent across Renfrewshire.

“We know there’s a strong demand for creative spaces, which foster collaboration, and this creative hub fund will enable our creative business sector to flourish right across Renfrewshire.”

Hub businesses will receive support through Renfrewshire’s business hub InCube which has already helped more than 100 creative start-up businesses in the last four years, including 50 through InCube Creative which provides tailored support to a wide range of creative companies including artists, jewellers, graphic designers, milliners and textile experts.

Angela Poultney

Renfrewshire Council Economic Development Manager Ruth Cooper said: “We have the knowledge and expertise to support creative companies and these hubs will provide the platform for established creative businesses to grow sustainably.

“Each hub will not only see the businesses based there help one another, but also provide space for other designers to exhibit and for public workshops to inspire new creatives to realise their ambitions.

“Importantly they are business led and business managed, with our support to assist along the way and we believe this will appeal to existing businesses based in Renfrewshire and also attract more creative companies to relocate here.”

Mark Newlands, head of partnerships at Scottish Enterprise said: “Co-locating in a ‘hub’ environment is a tried and tested method of fostering collaboration and nurturing business growth.

“This latest initiative by Renfrewshire Council will not only help create valuable space for creative businesses across the Renfrewshire region, but will open up fantastic opportunities for like-minded entrepreneurs and business owners to share their knowledge, experience and networks to support greater business growth opportunities.”

The creative hubs complement Start-Up Street, which is set to open on George Street later this year, providing early stage companies with short-term office space as they make the leap into their first commercial premises.

For more information, please call InCube on 0300 300 1180.

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CASE STUDY: Paisley upcycling hub will boost business and the environment

Angela Poultney isn’t one to shirk a challenge.

As she prepares to open the doors to an upcycling hub in Paisley, Angela reflects on the journey that has brought her back to her hometown to follow in the family footsteps.

Her dad Bill ran renowned Morrison’s Furniture Centre which served the town from its George Street premises for almost 50 years, while her brother Roddy owns Morrison’s Bed Centre on Lawn Street.

“I guess I’ve always been a jack-of-all-trades, master of none,” jokes Angela. “It all started out helping dad in his shop after school, but since then I’ve worked in so many industries and done so many things.

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“I left for London aged 16 to study ballet, I’ve sold blinds, drove private ambulances, worked in mental health, ran a delicatessen, been in interior design, even won Territorial Army medic of the year.

“I came home four years ago to take care of my dad, who has Alzheimer’s. He’s now in a care home and I began to think about what I’d do next. As my daughter and son-in-law are passionate about the local environment they got me thinking about the damage we’re doing and about the world we’re leaving behind. That drew me towards upcycling furniture, making old stuff look beautiful and saving it from going into landfill.”

Angela completed a series of courses through Invest in Renfrewshire and tapped into the expertise at Business Gateway before opening a shop on Well Street.

Since then, Angela has teamed up with creative artist Anna Piasecka, and is now ready to move into larger premises as she opens Renfrewshire’s first funded creative hub.

She added: “People love coming into our current shop as it’s so colourful and everything is unique so I’m excited about the next chapter.

Anna Piasecka

“Anna and I are forming a new business at new premises complete with a display area, space to run workshops, a messy room and four spaces for other ‘upcycling’ people to rent.

“This is so much more than an upcycling business – I want to support people and give them a purpose, empower them, give them a platform to showcase their creative talents and improve their wellbeing.

“Thanks to the council funding support, for everyone renting a workspace, all the overheads like electricity and water are included at a greatly reduced rate

“The creative hub concept is great – helping to set people up in business and giving people with creative skills the chance to come together and produce products you can’t get anywhere else.”

Find out more about Up Hub on FacebookInstagram and Twitter or email info@uphubworks.com

Erskine Visit

VETERANS from Erskine have enjoyed a day out in Paisley thanks to organisers of the Paisley 10k Road Race and Fun Run.

Erskine Visit

The visit to well-known attractions in the town was part of the Armed Forces veterans’ charity, Erskine being chosen as the official charity partner of this year’s race events organised by Renfrewshire Leisure on Sunday August 18.

Four residents and two members of staff were given a tour of the town’s museum store, Paisley: The Secret Collection and Paisley Abbey, as both are on the route of the 10k and Fun Run.

Runners taking part in the events – sponsored by sports and outdoors retailer Decathlon – are being encouraged to also raise money for Erskine, which is Scotland’s foremost provider of nursing, residential, respite and dementia care for veterans and their spouses.

Erskine’s Head of Fundraising and Communications Sara Bannerman said: “As charity partner for the Paisley 10K Road Race and Fun Run 2019 Erskine was delighted to have our veterans visit part of the travel the route of upcoming Race.  They had a wonderful day.

“Erskine has a long history of community support from the people of Renfrewshire and we, on behalf of our veterans, would like to thank all each and every one for their generosity and kindness.”

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Our charity partner this year is a very worthy cause and I hope a lot of money is raised to help the good work they do.

“The Paisley 10k and Fun Run are two fantastic events for both the serious and not to serious runners, as well as the families and friends who come out to support them.

“There’s still time to sign up to take part in either of the races.”

You can register for the race by logging on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com or by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.

Cllr Cameron Recovery Cafe2

A group dedicated to addressing the impact of alcohol and drug use on individuals and families has been set up in Renfrewshire.

The Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership’s Alcohol and Drugs Commission – one of the first of its kind in Scotland – will explore new ways of tackling the issue through hearing first-hand from people who have lived experience of using alcohol and drugs, and their family members, and taking a particular focus on early intervention and prevention.

Comprising key figures from across health and social care, housing, justice, third sector and higher education, the Commission – run in partnership with Renfrewshire Council – will consider policy across areas including the support for people most in need, prevention and early intervention, and recovery.

Cllr Cameron Recovery Cafe2

Building on Renfrewshire Council’s successful Tackling Poverty Commission and ongoing programme, the Alcohol and Drugs Commission will look at all aspects of addiction and its impact, as opposed to concentrating solely on addiction services, and will identify recommendations to help improve the lives of those affected.

Chaired by Cllr Jacqueline Cameron, the Commission also includes Linda de Caestecker, Director of Public Health, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde; Dr Saket Priyadarshi, Associate Medical Director, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde; and Jardine Simpson, Chief Executive, Scottish Recovery Consortium.

Cllr Cameron said: “We know the devastating impact that alcohol and drug use has not only on the individuals affected, but also their friends and families and the wider community. We also know we are only dealing with the tip of the iceberg when we support those already in contact with the services available. If we want to make a difference we have to do things differently and as a local authority we are uniquely placed to bring people round the table to help make that difference and find solutions that will work.

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“To continue to improve the health and wellbeing of people in Renfrewshire, and to allow everyone to fulfil their potential, it’s essential for us to identify the people who are in most need of our help. To do this, we need to gain a true picture of how drug and alcohol use is impacting upon the lives of people of all ages and look closely at how we use early intervention and prevention to support people affected by alcohol and drug use.

“The work of the Alcohol and Drugs Commission builds on the work of our previous Tackling Poverty Commission, the findings of which have since delivered real benefits for families across the area.

“By working with partners and agencies across a whole range of services including housing, education, and health and social care, we want to identify key priorities to make a significant difference to Renfrewshire and the people who live here.”

In 2017, there were 934 drug-related deaths across Scotland – 38 of those in Renfrewshire. In the same year, there were 1,120 alcohol-related deaths across Scotland – 44 of those in Renfrewshire.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, Director of Public Health for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “Alcohol is harming the people of Renfrewshire: not only those with serious alcohol problems but also the many people who are drinking above recommended levels and putting themselves at increased risk of cancer and heart disease.

“At the same time, there are deeply concerning trends in the harm being caused by problem drug use. I am therefore pleased that Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership is taking these issues so seriously and has established this commission to ensure everything that can done to address the problems of drugs and alcohol in this area is being done.”

Jardine Simpson, Chief Executive of the Scottish Recovery Consortium said: “I am excited to be part of the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Commission. This is an innovative and crucial approach to scoping out how Renfrewshire can enhance its response to problematic drug and alcohol use collectively.

“Under the new Scottish Government Drug and Alcohol Strategy, people with lived experience of problematic substance use and recovery are being placed at the heart of treatment and support responses. The voice of lived experience has much to inform the decision making around problematic substance use and I am encouraged by Renfrewshire’s commitment to this.

“The harms caused by problematic substance use impact on every family, every community and every one of us in Scottish society in 2019. Renfrewshire Council’s whole system approach is commendable and could act as a template for other local authorities across Scotland to improve how they respond to the harms of problematic substance use.”

The Commission is expected to conclude in the new year 2020 and will then report back with a series of findings and recommendations.

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Going by bus in Renfrewshire is now easier and more convenient than ever before due to ongoing efforts to improve information at bus stops.

Renfrewshire Council and Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) have been working to introduce real-time digital information displays at bus stops, using funding provided by the Scottish Government’s Smarter Choices, Smarter Places programme.

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The Paisley – Renfrew – Glasgow corridor is the latest route to benefit from the investment with new displays now live, after similar displays were installed along the A761 Glasgow Road corridor in 2018.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said “It’s great that bus passengers in Renfrewshire will now have high quality information available at more bus stops on when their bus is due.

“We want to ensure that bus services are improved for existing customers and we will continue to work with SPT and McGIlls Buses to make this happen.

“Real time information provides passengers with even more confidence when travelling and will encourage more people to use bus services within Renfrewshire.”

Real-time information gives passengers at the bus stop live updates on the expected arrival of their bus by tracking its actual location and comparing it to the scheduled timetable. If the bus is running late, it will outline how much longer passengers may have to wait.

As well as the system being available at bus stops, real time information can be accessed by the McGills Buses mobile app so passengers can make decisions while on the move or before heading off to the bus stop.

Chair of SPT operations committee David Wilson said: “Having reliable and real time passenger information for passengers is essential.  Quite rightly there is a demand from bus users, local authority colleagues as well as bus operators to ensure up to date service information is available to the travelling public.

“I am delighted we have now established RTPI for bus passengers in Renfrewshire, which should make their experience of using public transport much better, offering a very viable alternative to the car. I’d also remind passengers that for any stops that do not have displays, real time bus information is available via the Traveline Scotland app and website.”

The effectiveness and quality of the new displays will be continually monitored to ensure they provide an accurate, high-quality service for passengers.

bricks in space

We are promising a day out of this world in Paisley town centre this summer with our Bricks in Space Summer Trail!

Following on from the success of Jurassic Bricks last summer, we will be marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with a space-themed LEGO® Brick Space Trail.

bricks in space

Running from Saturday 29th June until Tuesday 13th August, there will be seventeen fantastic LEGO® Brick models spread throughout town centre businesses as well as an interactive play zone and a selfie zone.

The town centre will be divided up into different galaxies with special hidden items which will orbit different businesses within each galaxy on a weekly basis.

Armed with their space passports, the mission will be to travel through the four galaxies to find all the Space models, plus there will be stickers, activity sheets and goodies to collect as families make their way around the town.

See our website HERE for more details…

Plus we will also be running our summer Golden Ticket Competition!

Simply make a purchase in Paisley town centre, complete the Golden Ticket postcard you are given and post in one of our Golden Postboxes in the Piazza Shopping Centre or Paisley Shopping Centre for your chance to win £250 of Paisley town centre gift vouchers!

There will be six lucky winners between Saturday 29th June and Monday 12th August, Good Luck!

Barshaw Gala

More than 8,000 people from all over Renfrewshire made it along to Barshaw Park on Saturday for Barshaw Gala Day.

The Barshaw party is one of the most popular events in Renfrewshire’s events calendar – and this year, it was packed with even more activities and entertainment than ever before.

Barshaw Gala

Talented musicians and dancers from the McCallum School of Music, Vision Dance Academy, Razzamataz, RockUs Choir, Inspire School of Dance, and Spangled Cabaret wowed the crowds from the Community Stage, alongside indie rockers Atomic and Zoe Tait.

Magic Daze and Cheeko entertained with their tricks, and Frog Life – a pond wildlife and conservation virtual reality experience – inspired youngsters.

As well as the usual stalls, there were freestyle football sessions and pirate walkabouts.

The gala day was also a Clean Air event with designated smoke-free zones.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Barshaw Gala Day is a very important part of our summer events schedule and it was great to hear that so many families from all over Renfrewshire were there on the day.

“Thank you to everyone who made it along to celebrate our local area.”

Find out more at www.paisley.is

armed forces day

Renfrewshire and Inverclyde joined forces to celebrate Armed Forces Day with a special service at Paisley Abbey on Saturday.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Colonel Peter McCarthy, the Provost of Renfrewshire, Lorraine Cameron, and Provost of Inverclyde, Martin Brennan, were in attendance to recognise the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, both past and present.

armed forces day

The Renfrewshire Schools Intermediate Strings Orchestra performed within the Abbey as members of the congregation arrived for the service – which was led by Reverend Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey, and Canon Oliver Freney from the Diocese of Paisley.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Colonel Peter McCarthy, completed the first reading of the service, and was followed by Provost of Renfrewshire, Lorraine Cameron.

Inverclyde’s Provost, Martin Brennan, then led the Prayer of Intercession and both Paisley Abbey Choristers and Inverclyde Seniors Choir filled the Abbey with music.

The collection at the service will be donated to Scottish charity Bravehound, which provides companion dogs for veterans.

Provost Cameron said: “I was delighted to see such a large attendance of veterans, serving military personnel and members of the public in Paisley Abbey to pay tribute to those who have served, and currently serve in our name.

“Armed Forces Day is a chance to celebrate the members of our Forces and recognise the commitment they make to our safety.”

The service took place in advance of the national Armed Forces Day – which is Saturday 29 June – in order to allow those in attendance the chance to pay tribute at both a local and national service.

The service was preceded on Friday by a short ceremony outside Renfrewshire House which saw the Armed Forces Day flag raised by Former Sergeant Ronnie Scobie of the Royal Engineers Territorial Army.

Former Sergeant Ronnie Scobie is a member of the Scottish War Blinded who have recently opened an activity hub at Hawkhead in Paisley, providing specialist support and activities for veterans who have lost their sight.

The flag flies for seven days in recognition of the sacrifices made by servicemen and women to protect the country.

Armed Forces Day Flag raising at Renfrewshire Council 22.6.18

Renfrewshire and Inverclyde residents are being encouraged to attend a ceremony to celebrate our serving military men and women.

 

Serving troops, veterans and their families will join the Provosts of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, as well as the Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Colonel Peter McCarthy, to mark Armed Forces Day with a service in Paisley Abbey on Saturday 22 June.

armed forces day

Reverend Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey, and Canon Oliver Freney from St Mirin’s Cathedral will lead a short service at 10am in Paisley Abbey to celebrate the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, both past and present.

A collection will be held at the service with donations going to Bravehound, a charity providing companion dogs and support in training them to former servicemen, women and their families.

Following the service tea and coffee will be provided within the Abbey.

Both Provost’s and the Lord-Lieutenant will then move on to Hawkhead cemetery where they will lay wreaths at the memorial.

Armed Forces Day Flag raising at Renfrewshire Council 22.6.18

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “I am proud that we continue to recognise the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces each year in Renfrewshire. I have been honoured to speak with many ex-servicemen and women over the past two years who have shared their stories and memories.

“Armed Forces Day allows the communities of Inverclyde and Renfrewshire to come together to celebrate those who have served, and to recognise the contribution being made by members of our Armed Forces today.

“It’s important to show our support and I would encourage as many people as possible to attend.”

armed forces day

Inverclyde Provost Martin Brennan said: “Seventy five years ago Allied forces invaded Nazi-occupied France. Many of those brave men and women laid down their lives to save Europe and the world from the dark menace of Fascism. We should never forget that their bravery was instrumental in restoring peace and democracy to millions of people across the globe.

“Today our servicemen and women stand constantly ready to protect us from danger just as their grandfathers and great grandfathers did 75 years ago. We should never take for granted their willingness to safeguard us, possibly at the cost of their lives. That is why we recognise and honour them all today.”

As well as the joint service with Inverclyde, Renfrewshire will host a flag raising ceremony on Friday 21 June, at 11am, outside Renfrewshire House.

Veteran Ronnie Scobie, member of Scottish War Blinded, will raise the flag which will fly for seven days. Scottish War Blinded supports blind and partially sighted ex-service men and women and their families. They have recently opened an activity hub at Hawkhead in Paisley, providing specialist support and activities for veterans who have lost their sight.

Inverclyde will host a flag raising service on Monday 24 June, 10:30am, at Clyde Square, Greenock.