Doors Open Days 2019

From medieval underground structures and buildings steeped in history, to allotments, fire stations and music schools, there will be plenty to celebrate about Renfrewshire at Doors Open Days (link is to 2012 photos enjoy) 2019.

Doors Open Days 2019

On Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September, venues all over Renfrewshire – many of which do not normally allow access to what’s going on behind the scenes – will throw open their doors and invite people to delve deeper into their history.

Doors Open Days is Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment, old and new. This year marks the 30th anniversary of Doors Open Day nationally, with more than 1000 buildings set to open across the country.

This year in Renfrewshire, more than 50 venues will welcome people of all ages across the weekend.

Many of the old Doors Open Days favourites – including Sma’ Shot Cottages and Paisley Abbey – are getting involved again this year, and a few new venues have stepped up to share their stories.

There will also be the opportunity to see inside Paisley’s medieval Abbey Drain. Look out for more detail on that in the coming weeks.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron is encouraging people of all ages to get involved across the weekend.

Doors Open Days Lamont Farm

Provost Cameron said: “We’re so lucky here in Renfrewshire to have such a fantastic array of beautiful, historic buildings, but we don’t often get the chance to see what goes on behind the scenes.

“Doors Open Days is a great opportunity for people of all ages to find out more about these buildings and to hear stories about our culture and heritage which will help inform our future.

“Venues have organised a brilliant range of activities across the weekend and learning will definitely be fun.

“Major events like this are great for the local economy as they get people out and about and spending money with local traders.

“We should be very proud of our history and heritage here in Renfrewshire and I hope that people of all ages take time out to get involved.”

Activities will be taking place in Paisley, Renfrew, Linwood, Johnstone, Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan, Bridge of Weir, Houston, Erskine and Inchinnan.

Doors Open Days is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust and is part of European Heritage Days supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

A full list of venues can be viewed online at

For a look forward to what’s coming up across Renfrewshire visit or

A new fund designed by and for young people will support individuals, groups and organisations to take forward projects which will directly benefit their fellow young people in Renfrewshire.

As part of the Local Partnerships in Renfrewshire, the fund provides a chance for young people to shape the activities and opportunities available for them in the local area.

Previously known as the Youth Challenge Fund, youth groups across Renfrewshire have come together to form a steering group which will facilitate the fund, as well as renaming it the ‘Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund – by young people, for young people’.

It will allocate £150,000 to projects which will make a real difference to the local area, such as removing the barriers to participation or the stigma around mental health, with the maximum award to each project being £3000.

Successful projects must focus on at least one of five priorities decided by young people, which include increasing youth involvement and participation; making sport and physical activity more accessible; improving health & wellbeing; creating a positive image of young people, and community and road safety.

Adrian McKechnie, Chair of Renfrewshire Youth Voice said: “This gives young people the exciting opportunity to decide how public funds are spent, putting them in control.

“I think the participatory budgeting process is a fantastic opportunity for young people to be engaged in the distribution of public money particularly through this new Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund.”

The fund is open to anyone aged 12-25 as an individual, although they would need a guarantor, as part of a group, or as an organisation who works with young people, to submit ideas for projects that would benefit the young community in Renfrewshire.

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Renfrewshire Council’s Young Persons Champion, said: “What a fantastic chance for young people to shape their local area and create opportunities for their peers to benefit.

“It is a chance to make a real impact on what is available in the area, with the real key being that the younger generation are able to choose what matters most to them and turn their ideas into reality.

“It can often be thought that we know what’s best for young people, when really they should be afforded the opportunity to tell us what will benefit them most and, more importantly, make it happen.

This fund is a chance to do exactly that and I’d encourage anyone who has an idea to get in touch now.”

The application period is now open and the deadline to apply is Tuesday 27 August 2019.

Voting will be open to all young people to choose which projects they believe will make a difference to Renfrewshire on the Young Scot Website from 16-25 September.

Gavin Crosby, Young Scot Local Partnership Development Manager, said: “Young Scot are delighted to support the Celebrating Renfrewshire Fund using our accessible online voting platform and our website,

“We know that young people in Renfrewshire will create innovative project ideas and make decisions that will benefit Renfrewshire for years to come.

“When the vote is open in September, young people can vote using their own device in their own time, or if they need support they can vote in their school or youth group.“

For more information, visit

Town Centre Business

Renfrewshire residents and workers are being encouraged to do their bit to boost the area’s economy – by spending local.

Renfrewshire Council is launching a Spend Local campaign – to raise awareness of what traders across Renfrewshire have to offer and to help people who live and work here to support them.

Town Centre Business

Practical measures being taken will include paid-for advertising, and targeted promotion of what local traders have to offer aimed at a range of groups including visitors, event attendees, council staff, and contractors working on major local building projects.

Research shows around 65p of every pound spent locally will be reinvested in the area – so money spent here will boost all aspects of the local community.

Town Centre Business

The campaign is being launched in the same week as a six-moth pilot scheme to offer three hours of free parking in six Paisley town centre car parks kicks off – which aims to measure whether a period of time-limited free parking will help bring more people through the doors of local traders.

The Spend Local campaign is being backed by Paisley town centre’s business improvement district Paisley First – and a number of their members have already given their reasons why people should Spend Local.

Joe Bisland, who owns High Street-based gift shop White Cart Company, said: “Spending locally is incredibly important because when you spend local you help local people and they are the ones who make a difference.

Town Centre Business 1

“It helps people give a good lifestyle to their families. Around 65p of every pound spent in the local economy will stay there – if you don’t spend in the local economy it won’t be there.”

Jen McKay, who owns Café Malatso, said: “We have so many great shops, restaurants and cafes in Paisley – you could spend a full day here. Money spent in Paisley will stay in Paisley – so that means we can invest more money to create more shops and more jobs.

Ken Macdonald, of Houston’s Kiltmakers, added: “In this day and age of the internet, it’s more important than ever to spend locally, where you can get your hands on goods, speak to people who know what they are talking about, and get great service.”

Town Centre Business 1

And council bosses hope the campaign will help support local traders through a period of major investment which will bring huge amounts of new footfall in the years ahead.

Currently, work is under way on a £100m investment in Paisley town centre’s venues and outdoor spaces – including transformations of Paisley Museum and Town Hall which will attract hundreds of thousands of new visitors a year.

And thousands of new jobs are being created through the investment in major infrastructure projects happening through the Glasgow City Region City Deal – which includes the area next to Glasgow Airport become Scotland’s centre of manufacturing excellence, and a new bridge built over the Clyde at Renfrew.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “The years ahead are exciting ones for the local economy with the major investment in Paisley town centre and elsewhere in Renfrewshire.

“Our major events programme – including big days out like the Paisley Halloween Festival and British Pipe band Championship – is already worth nearly £5m a year to the area, and the work we are doing to promote Renfrewshire as a visitor destination is also delivering results.

“But we also appreciate conditions can be hard for local traders due to various factors – some local, some nationwide. So the Spend Local campaign will look at the practical things we can do to promote local businesses now – and to encourage residents and workers to do the same.

“Money spent in the local economy stays in the local economy and benefits everyone – Renfrewshire has a fantastic range of businesses and by promoting what they offer to people who live and work here, everyone in the area will benefit.”

Colette Cardosi, chair of Paisley First, added: “Research on spending by local authorities does indeed show more money spent locally stays in the local economy.

“It is also an ethical choice. When you shop at local butchers, bakers, and greengrocers or farmers’ market, the produce likely had a short field-to-fork journey, reducing carbon footprint.

“Independent shops often stock locally-made items not available elsewhere – and along with artisan markets support entrepreneurs and foster the talents of the next generation.

“Shopping locally also helps build communities. Bookshops, cafes and craft shops drum up custom by hosting book groups, knitting clubs, children’s events and more. If businesses are not supported, local groups tend to disappear.

“Most importantly, the only way a town centre can thrive is with the community, business owners and council united and working together.

“Coming into your town centre to spend locally increases engagement with each other – and participating in the different events, visiting our beautiful buildings and embracing our rich heritage ultimately help us collectively regenerate Paisley town centre and make it prosper once again.”

More information can be found at

The 2019 Distinction Certificate recipients with Provost Cameron

Renfrewshire’s hidden stars have been given civic recognition for their work in the community by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.


The inspiring community members were rewarded with a Provost’s Distinction Certificate at a special ceremony in the Glynhill Hotel.

The 2019 Distinction Certificate recipients with Provost Cameron

The Distinction Certificates provide the Provost the opportunity to recognise community members who have made a positive difference to their communities in Renfrewshire.

Provost Cameron said: “One of the most satisfying parts of my role as Provost is being able to recognise those who make a real difference to the lives of those around them and every one of these winners is deserving of the award.”

“I’m delighted to be able to recognise those who make Renfrewshire a better place for us all to live.”

The Distinction Certificate award winners are:

Renfrew Burgh Band – Formed in 1991, the band offer invaluable support to the local community in Renfrew, performing at local gala days, churches and ceremonies such as the Remembrance Day service. Over the years, the band have organised and supported several local concerts, carol services and fundraising events within the community.

Piero Pieraccini – Alongside a successful career running many of Paisley’s favourite pubs, Piero has been continuously striving to improve Paisley. He was a founder member of the Paisley Development Trust which worked alongside the Council on a number of projects including the plan to save the Russell Institute building.

Robert Pope – Robert Pope, now 97, served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. He is a stalwart of the British Legion and has been a standard bearer for many years – carrying out his duties at funerals, Remembrance Sunday and other public events. In 2017, he raised the Armed Forces Day flag outside Renfrewshire House. As one of the only living survivors of the Glen Cinema disaster in 1929, Robert was invaluable in the development of the annual commemoration event, organised by Paisley Development Trust. His willingness to provide descriptions of what happened that day and how it affected the local community supported the formation of the event which has been running annually for ten years.

Harrison Lovett, Alison MacKenzie and Andrew Macintyre – Harrison, Alison and Andrew represented Great Britain at the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Abu Dhabi, arriving home with an impressive 14 medals between them.

Police Scotland Youth Volunteers (PSYV) – The PSYV promotes a practical way for young people to understand policing by supporting the police in their local area through volunteering. The Renfrewshire group volunteer at a variety of local events and are encouraged to be positive citizens in their communities.

Janette Lynch – After undergoing a liver transplant in 2014, Janette recognised the need for a liver transplant support group in Renfrewshire and was successful in establishing this. Following encouragement, Janette signed up to compete in the British Transplant Games in 2017 where she won a gold medal in the archery division. At the age of 74, Janette is currently competing in the 2019 British Transplant Games and will compete at the World Transplant Games next month.

Alongside the Distinction Certificates, community members can be rewarded through the Provost’s Community Awards in a variety of categories.

Nominations can be made for anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire and the nomination period will open later in the year.

For more information on the award winners, visit


YOUNGSTERS will be doing cartwheels when they hear about activity camps being organised by Renfrewshire Leisure.

And they can step up to the mark if they come along to dance and gymnastics camps for children of primary school age.


The camps are being held between 10am and 3pm at Renfrew Sports Centre from Monday, July 22 to Friday, July 26; Park Mains High School, from Monday, July 29 to Friday, August 2 and St Benedict’s High School, in Linwood, between Tuesday, August 6 and Friday, August 9.

The camps will see youngsters being coached in a variety of dance styles including ballet, majorette, street and hip-hop, cheerleading and rock ‘n’ roll.

gymnastic 1

And they will be shown gymnastic moves including handstands, cartwheels, round-offs, splits and bridges, rolls, runs, jumps and dismounts as well as skills using balls, ribbons and ropes.

Qualified coaches and co-ordinators lead all the sessions, which are part of a wide range of activities and summer camps organised by Renfrewshire Leisure during the school holidays.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Not only are these dance and gymnastic sessions great fun for the children, they’ll be taught new skills and improve their confidence.”

Log on to to book a place on any of the camps.

Free for Three

Paisley First Press Release:  Following a successful campaign by Paisley First and local businesses, a Free for Three pilot project will get underway next week.

Many thanks to all those businesses who encouraged customers to sign our petition and then returned these petition forms to the Paisley First team.

free for three

As a result of our campaign, from Monday 29th July, visitors to Paisley will be able to take advantage of three hours free parking in the town centre as part of the pilot scheme to test the impact on local businesses and encourage people to spend their money locally.

Motorists will be able to park in six of the town centre’s car parks without being charged for the first three hours of their stay – the six car parks involved in the pilot are Orchard Street, Weighhouse Close, Hunter Street (upper and lower), Oakshaw and School Wynd, a total of 186 spaces and approximately 20% of the council’s off-street parking spaces.

New parking meters are being installed in each of the six car parks which will now accept both coin and contactless payment.

Every vehicle will still need to display a ticket, but free parking will be available for their first three hours after 10am, Monday to Saturday – after which charges will apply.

Whilst not part of our Free for Three Campaign, Renfrewshire Council has decided that charges are being reintroduced on a Saturday in all council-owned car parks, with the six pilot car parks having the first three hours free, as analysis has shown a lack of availability of spaces in the town centre with people using it as a park and ride facility.

Parking will remain free all day on a Sunday in all council-owned spaces.

There is no change to on-street parking charges, with evening and weekend parking remaining free, and the car park at Renfrewshire House will remain available for free on evenings and weekends.

The pilot scheme is scheduled to run for six months and feedback from businesses will be crucial to our campaign to have Free for Three rolled out across the town centre on a permanent basis.

If you would like to be part of our business feedback group, helping us to collect data on the effectiveness of Free for Three for your business, then please get in touch with the Paisley First team as soon as possible.

In the meantime if you have any other queries please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0141 237 8120, email or pop into the Paisley First office at 1 County Place.


Renfrewshire Council Press Release:

Free parking in Paisley town centre pilot set to get underway

Visitors to Paisley will soon be able to take advantage of three hours free parking in the town centre as part of a pilot to test the impact on local businesses and encourage people to spend their money locally.

From Monday 29 July, motorists will be able to park in six of the town centre’s car parks without being charged for the first three hours of their stay as part of a pilot to assess the impact on local trade.

Free for Three

Brought forward by the Paisley Town Centre Car Parking Working Group, the six-month pilot will identify if a period of free parking will increase footfall in the town centre and entice people to stay local.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Chair of the Working Group, said: “Paisley town centre has so much to offer and we want to make it as easy as possible for people to visit and spend their money locally.

“We’ve been working closely with local businesses and partners to identify how the council can best provide its support and they’ve identified that a period of three hours parking could boost footfall in the town and increase trade within their businesses.

“It’s hoped that it will encourage people to stay local and while this obviously comes with a significant financial implication for the council in terms of loss of income and inputting new parking meters, we’re happy to explore ideas brought forward by our partners and the local community.

“The pilot will be evaluated after six months and we’ll assess the impact it has had and identify the next steps.

“We’re aiming to make it as smooth a transition as possible for everyone so please check our website for all the details, including a list of helpful FAQs.”

The Paisley Town Centre Car Parking Working Group is made up of elected members and officers from Renfrewshire Council, Paisley First, local public transport operators and local private car parking operators – and the pilot is the product of regular meetings to discuss positive plans for Paisley town centre.

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “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 refurbishment, it is crucial that the impacts felt by local businesses as a result are mitigated against.

“The public response to our Free for Three campaign has been fantastic and showed that many more people would visit Paisley to shop and socialise if there was an element of free parking on offer.

“We are looking forward to working with the council and our local businesses on maximising the opportunities that the parking pilot can bring to Paisley town centre.”

The six car parks involved in the pilot are Orchard Street, Weighhouse Close, Hunter Street (upper and lower), Oakshaw and School Wynd, a total of 186 spaces and approximately 20% of the council’s off-street parking spaces.

New parking meters are being installed in each of the six car parks which will accept both coin and contactless payment.

Every vehicle will still need to display a ticket, but free parking will be available for their first three hours after 10am, Monday to Saturday – after which charges will apply.

Charges are being reintroduced on a Saturday in all council-owned car parks, with the six pilot car parks having the first three hours free, as analysis has shown a lack of availability of spaces in the town centre with people using it as a park and ride facility.

Parking will remain free all day on a Sunday in all council-owned spaces.

There is no change to on-street parking charges, with evening and weekend parking remaining free, and the car park at Renfrewshire House will remain available for free on evenings and weekends.

For more information and a full list of FAQs, visit

Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff programme has served almost 1000 healthy meals to young people already this summer – with three weeks of the school holidays still to go.

The programme has been holding summer clubs every weekday afternoon throughout the summer at venues across Renfrewshire, with every young person who attends receiving a free meal to go along with the activities.

Football, gaming and the Street Stuff Youth Bus have been entertaining the young people as they make new friends, get active and count down the days until they’re back to school.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “Our Street Stuff programme is only becoming more and more popular and I was delighted to visit the Airdome to meet the young people taking part.

“It’s important for many young people to have a place to go during the holidays where they can feel safe, but also where they are given a healthy meal to keep them going as this can be extremely important during the holiday period.

“The programme supports families across Renfrewshire by giving young people the chance to stay active and make new friends so send them along this summer – you’ll have a hard time stopping them coming back once you do.”

Activities are available at venues across the area including the St Mirren FC Airdome, Knockhill Park, Gleniffer High and Our Lady of Peace Primary.

Any young person aged 8 and over is welcome to take part in as many sessions as they would like to attend.

Street Stuff Manager, Stevie Gallagher, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many young people taking part in our activities during the summer holidays and we’re delighted to have them.

“Our coaches and volunteers are doing a fantastic job of keeping them entertained, while also being there to listen to any problems they’re having and supporting them as best they can.

“We’re only halfway through so I can’t wait to welcome even more to our activities across Renfrewshire and I’d encourage anyone to come along as often as they like for the rest of the holidays – and don’t forget our regular evening programme is still on too!”

The summer clubs will continue every weekday at various venues until the final session at Gleniffer High on Friday 9 August.

For more information, and to download a consent form, visit

paisley haloween parade 2020
Renfrewshire community groups are being invited to take centre stage at Paisley’s Halloween Festival…by joining the spooktacular parade.

paisley haloween parade 2020

The award-winning festival – the biggest of its kind in Scotland and one of the UK’s must-see Halloween events – will take over Paisley town centre on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October.

The event – run by Renfrewshire Council – is being supported by EventScotland as part of their National Programme funding, which will allow an extended programme of outdoor performances.

Last year’s festival was the biggest yet – with 34,000 visitors to Paisley and worth more than £1.9m to the local economy.

paisley haloween parade 2020

This year’s event will have a theme of ‘dark circus’ – with the parade co-ordinated by internationally-acclaimed performance specialists Cirque Bijou, who want school and community groups to work with them in the run-up to the event and take part in the parade on the day.

They are looking for people to take part in carnival workshops and street theatre, dance and musical performances. Any interested groups should contact

Julian Bracey, artistic director of Cirque Bijou, said: “We are really excited to be part of this year’s celebrations. We have some amazing workshop leaders and are looking for local schools, groups and individuals to work with to make this years festival the spookiest yet.”

Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s head of marketing, communications and events, said: “We are proud of how our Halloween Festival has grown to become the biggest of its kind in Scotland and an event with UK-wide profile.

“But we are also proud of the way it allows the many talented community and youth groups in Renfrewshire to work with and be inspired by artists of national standing. Our local groups will love working with the talented team at Cirque Bijou and help make this year’s parade as colourful and lively a spectacle as ever.”

The full programme for this year’s festival is currently being finalised and will be announced in August – along with changes to the event site for this year.

The Halloween Festival is one of the top dates within Renfrewshire’s major events programme, which brought 160,000 attendees and a £4.7m economic impact into the area in 2018 alone.

For more information on Halloween and all local events, see

Renfrewshire Poster

We are running brand new football sessions for unemployed young people aged 16-29 in various regions across Renfrewshire. These will be taking place in Ferguslie, Johnstone and Erskine, and will be running on Wednesdays with Ferguslie due to start next week.

Renfrewshire Poster

Please see attached poster

unicorn dance party

CHILDREN can enjoy a fun-packed day of free activities and entertainment being staged by Renfrewshire Leisure.

The annual Summer Family Day is being held at various venues throughout Paisley, on Saturday, July 13.

unicorn dance party

Youngsters can journey into space at Paisley Arts Centre with lift off at 10.30am, 11.30am, 1.30pm and 2.30pm when they join children’s theatre maker, Clare McGarry for a drama workshop that is out of this world. They’ll be taken on an adventure in a homemade rocket to meet the mysterious Mrs Silver, and be back on Earth in time for tea.

Also at Paisley Arts Centre and on a space theme, children can visit the Cosmos Planetarium, which is an immersive cinematic dome. Once inside children will try on a space suit and zoom to outer space in a virtual reality headset. Take off at the Cosmos Planetarium is at 10:15am, 11am, 12:15pm, 1pm, 2:15pm, 3pm

Youngsters can also enjoy Unicorn Dance Party at the Arts Centre and meet two unicorns spreading joy through the power of dance. This event is on at 1:45am, 12:45pm and 2:45pm.

The events at Paisley Arts Centre are suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult.

At Paisley Central Library, next to the Lagoon Leisure Centre a Storytime session for children aged six and under between 9.15am and 9.45am. There is also a Lego Storytelling activity between 10am and 11.30am for children aged over six. They can build and animate their own story using Lego and an iPad.

The library is also hosting a Bookbug session between 2pm and 2.30pm along with Craft Sessions and Games between 3pm and 4.30pm.

And at the POP! Events space in Paisley’s Piazza Shopping Centre a space-themed Make and Take workshop is being held. This drop-in session is for children of all ages, although they must be accompanied by an adult.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We’ve decided to designate Saturday, July 13 as the official fun day in Paisley. And there’s certainly plenty of free activities and entertainment to keep children amused.

“We hope to see lots of children and their families coming down to the various venues in town.”