Hunterhill Paisley News

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson - high-res

Renfrewshire business leaders will recommend a strategy to support the region’s future economic success this autumn.

Members of the region’s Economic Leadership Panel have been working together on the proposals which will underpin the approach over the coming years.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson - high-res

The panel was set up in 2017 drawing from leaders across the private and public sector, enterprise agencies and education and skills experts.

This brings together major local employers including Glasgow Airport, Hillington Park, Intu Braehead and DXC Technology, as well as SMEs and microbusiness, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, West College Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland.

“I’m incredibly proud of what Renfrewshire has to offer locally, nationally and internationally,” explains Economic Leadership Panel Chair James Lang, Director of Bridge of Weir-based Scottish Leather Group.

“There’s a strong collective pride in our place across the panel and we are all determined to deliver a bright future for Renfrewshire. The panel has been looking at the key sectors to the region and identifying how we make Renfrewshire a prosperous place to live, visit, work and invest, a place which leaves no-one behind.

“Once we present these plans for the council’s consideration, that is just the beginning. For the strategy to succeed everyone will need to play their part and having this panel ensures we can keep communicating, evaluating and adjusting the strategy as we move forward.”

James Lang

Panel members have been considering how to grow key sectors of the local economy. This includes manufacturing, which already accounts for one-fifth of the area’s economic output and employs 9000 people, with the potential for significant growth to make Renfrewshire one of the largest locations for manufacturing industries in the UK.

The strategy will also set out how Renfrewshire can improve its competitiveness and capitalise on £1.4billion being invested in world-class research and development facilities, infrastructure and skills, while thousands of new homes being built here will support growing the working age population.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We have high levels of employment in Renfrewshire and have committed substantial investment to grow the economy, creating new neighbourhoods to live in, new jobs to work in and new places to visit. Combined with our proud heritage, as a place rich in creativity and innovation, we have fantastic foundations to build upon.

“We face significant challenges and barriers too, not least areas of persistent poverty and we know that the only way to achieve inclusive economic growth is through collaboration and by listening to what our communities tell us they need.

“I look forward to seeing the strategy brought forward for the council’s consideration later in the year and know that working together we can ensure a thriving Renfrewshire.”

Coats Memorial

THE campaign to save an iconic Scottish building for future generations has received a major funding boost.

An overseas benefactor has stepped in with a six figure donation after visiting Thomas Coats Memorial, the former church in the centre of Paisley.

coats support

Locally based sculptor Alexander Stoddart is working on a statue for one of Harlan Crow’s properties in the USA. During a visit to the sculptor’s studios, Mr Crow was invited to visit Coats Memorial.

He was so impressed that his donation of £100,000 will boost the fund raising effort to create a multi-purpose venue in the threatened Grade A listed building.

Ian Henderson, chairman of Coats Memorial Preservation Trust, said: “We showed Mr Crow, who is a keen supporter of the arts, round Coats Memorial and he was hugely impressed not only with the building but also with our plans to preserve it as a multi-purpose venue to be used by the local community.”

Alexander Stoddart is the Queen’s Sculptor in Ordinary in Scotland and is well known for a wide variety of work including statues of Hume and Playfair in the centre of Edinburgh and Burns and his publisher in Kilmarnock.

Ian Henderson added: “This is a very generous donation that not only takes us much closer to our fundraising target but also gives us a great personal boost. It is wonderful to know that someone from more than 4000 miles away is thinking about Coats Memorial. The donation is fantastic news for the project and for the town.”

Thomas Coats Memorial was designed by Hippolyte Blanc and completed in 1894 for the Coats family who had made their fortune in the thread industry. It was known as the Baptist Cathedral of Europe but dwindling congregations and rising costs led to its closure as a church last year.

It is planned that Coats Memorial will become a venue for weddings, concerts and a wide range of events serving the local community and beyond.

orchard st

Free weekday parking for up to three hours could soon be available in selected Paisley town centre car parks – if plans for a pilot scheme are approved by councillors later this month.

Proposals have been drafted to test the impact of a partial removal of parking charges – to help inform future decisions over parking in the town centre.

orchard st

If given the green light, the pilot would run for six months from July and see three hours of free parking on weekdays in five town centre car parks – at Weighhouse Close, Hunter Street, Orchard Street, School Wynd and Oakshaw.

Currently, parking is free in all Paisley town centre council-owned bays and spaces at evenings and weekends, but charges apply from Monday to Friday during the day.

The recommendations have been made by the Paisley Town Centre Parking Working Group – which was formed earlier this year and includes councillors, business groups, private car park operators and public transport representatives.

The proposed pilot scheme was created after a request from town centre business improvement district Paisley First, who sit on the working group.

The aim is to generate the data needed to allow the potential benefits to town centre traders to be measured against the financial and logistical implications for the council and private car park operators – which will then be fully evaluated before next steps are agreed.

As part of the pilot scheme, parking charges would be reintroduced on Saturdays – apart from in the five car parks named above (where the free three hours would still be available) and on the ground floor at Renfrewshire House in Cotton St, which would remain free all Saturday.

The reintroduction of Saturday charges was agreed by the working group to discourage people from parking for free in Paisley and travelling by train to Glasgow – and will free up spaces for people visiting local businesses.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The issues surrounding parking in Paisley town centre are complex – but we are keen to work with businesses to find solutions that work for everyone in Renfrewshire.

“A historic town centre with a wide range of uses and users will never be able to offer the same ease of parking as out-of-town development designed around the car.

“We want to bring new life to Paisley – which we are doing through our £100m investment in venues and outdoor spaces and successful major events programme.

“That extra footfall will not be delivered by free parking all day, as commuters and workers who are in town anyway would fill the spaces – but time-limited free parking is an idea we are happy to test.

“But there will be a financial cost. Town centre parking brings in considerable revenue which goes into the services we provide to all Renfrewshire tax-payers – and what is being proposed will also require investment in new modern parking meters.

“We need to be able to measure the hoped-for benefits against those financial and logistical costs – and the proposed pilot is designed to let us make an informed decision on what we do in future.”

Councillors on the leadership board will be asked to consider the scheme when they meet on Thursday 19 June as part of a detailed report which reveals the following:

– there are more than 2,100 car parking spaces in Paisley, 1,250 of which are council-controlled, plus hundreds more free spaces on the edge of the town centre;

– the income from on and off-street car parking in the town centre is worth around £1m a year to the council;

– for any Free for Three scheme to work, new modern parking meters are needed – these will require drivers to enter their vehicle registration to stop them moving from one free car parking location to another after three hours. For the proposed pilot, this will cost around £30,000;

– a new Traffic Regulation Order would be needed to change on-street parking arrangements, and this would take up to a year – so the pilot has to be restricted to car parks rather than streets;

– the five car parks in the pilot total 186 spaces, around 15% of the council’s off-street total;

– it is predicted the proposed pilot will cost the council around £200,000 lost income and this will need to be met from within existing resources.

CarFest

St. Vincent’s Hospice is bringing its hugely popular CarFest into Paisley town centre once again this Saturday, 15th June, and a fun day out for all the family is guaranteed!Paisley First

There will be classic, vintage and specialist custom cars on show, as well as muscle cars, supercars, and emergency vehicles, not to mention motorbikes!

CarFest

As well as treats for motor enthusiasts, there will be plenty of family-friendly fun with fairground rides, children’s entertainment, live music, stalls, tombola, and a prize raffle!

This is the sixth year of St. Vincent’s CarFest and its third visit to the town centre with all funds raised on the day supporting St. Vincent’s Hospice in Howwood

The event is organised by MaxSafe and sponsored by Paisley First.

The cars will be on show from 10 am until 4 pm so come along and join us for a great day out in Paisley this Saturday!

CarFest

reading

CHILDREN can rocket into space without leaving the ground if they take part in this year’s Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge.

Young book readers from aged four to 11 will be landing at libraries all over Renfrewshire to borrow books for free and take part in the challenge.

reading

And there will be out-of-this-world prizes for everyone who borrows and reads six books of their choice during the school summer holidays.

Local libraries will also be staging various events and activities based on this year’s Summer Reading Challenge theme of the Space Chase.

The initiative, from Renfrewshire Libraries, in association with The Reading Agency is aimed at encouraging young people to read more books. It runs from June 17 to August 17 and children are being encouraged to head for their local library to sign up for the challenge.

reading

As the children finish reading each book they are given a sticker for their Space Chase folder and as they completed their challenge they will receive a free badminton pass and swim pass for Renfrewshire Leisure sports centres and swimming pools.

And thanks to big-hearted local businessman, Paul McGrath, who is managing director of Consilium Contracting Services, one lucky winner from each library who completes the challenge will receive a pair of cinema tickets. Paul has sponsored the Summer Reading Challenge locally for the past three years.

The Summer Reading Challenge will be taking place in libraries throughout Renfrewshire, including the temporary library beside The Lagoon Leisure Centre, in Paisley, which offers a whole range of services such as Bookbug, after school children’s activities, digital skills support and public access to computers.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is an exciting way to inspire children to have a love of books and to read more.

“We’ll do more than just encourage the children to read books as they’ll have lots of fun with the different space-themed activities in our libraries.

“And they’ll also be rewarded for reading books and completing the challenge with some stellar prizes.”

street stuff

Schools may stop for summer, but the award-winning Street Stuff programme doesn’t – and young people are being invited to take part in six weeks of activities across Renfrewshire.

Football and the Street Stuff Youth Bus are just some of the activities on offer for young people as part of a drive to keep them active over the holiday period.

street stuff

All the activities are provided for free, including a healthy meal for all attendees, and will take place at Gleniffer High School, Knockhill Park, Our Lady of Peace Primary and St Mirren’s Airdome

The programme is suitable for young people aged 8 and over and consent forms should be filled out in advance where possible, although they will be available at the first session attended.

Outside of the afternoon clubs, Street Stuff’s six days a week, all-year-round timetable will continue to run at venues across Renfrewshire with evening sessions available for dance, football and the Youth Bus.

street stuff

Stevie Gallacher, Street Stuff Manager, said: “We can’t wait to welcome hundreds of young people to our activities over the summer holidays.

“While you might expect every young person to be desperate to finish up, we know there are others who aren’t so eager to spend six weeks out of school, so we strive to provide a friendly, welcoming place to come along to each day.

“Our coaches and volunteers do a fantastic job making each activity exciting and it’s great to see how much the young people enjoy being a part of the Street Stuff family.”

street stuff

Street Stuff is a diversionary project run in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Engage Renfrewshire and St Mirren Football Club, and has contributed to a sustained reduction of 65 percent in youth disorder and anti-social behaviour in Renfrewshire.

The programme is celebrating 10 years in the community having been established in 2009 and a series of events are being held throughout the year to celebrate the past decade, with a recent football festival at St Mirren FC’s stadium attracting more than 170 young people to play on the pitch.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “The Street Stuff programme saw more than 6000 young people take part over the summer holidays last year and we recognise the importance of offering this opportunity for those who need it.

“We’re committed to providing sport and exercise opportunities for all our young people and these summer clubs are a chance for them to get active and make new friends in the process.

“With the added bonus that it’s all for free, what’s stopping them going every day and having the summer of their lives!”

Outside of the holiday programmes, Street Stuff runs six days a week, all-year-round, at venues across Renfrewshire and young people aged 8 to 16 are encouraged to turn up and take part for free.

For more information, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/summerclubs or follow @SMFCStreetStuff on Facebook and Twitter.

Steven Thompson
Carers Award 1

Renfrewshire Council has proven its commitment to its workforce, following it’s recognition as a Carer Positive employer.

 

Carer Positive is a Scottish Government funded initiative which recognises employers who offer the best support to working carers, allowing them the flexibility they often need to continue to provide care at home for their loved ones.

Carers Award 1

Renfrewshire Council has been presented with the “engaged” level of Carer Positive, recognising the commitment made to support carers through workplace policies and practices – for example the Carers Leave Policy, introduced in 2018, which provides employees who are primary carers with access to additional paid leave to help better balance their work and caring commitments.

Employees are already experiencing these positive benefits. Zara Kerr, a Housing Assistant for Renfrewshire Council said: “We all know the importance of having a positive physical and mental health and there are now more carers trying to balance all aspects of their life.

“I’ve been able to use the Carers Leave Policy to care for my mother without having to use all of my allocated annual leave. It’s allowed me to continue with my role as her primary carer, without her feeling like a burden and without having a detrimental effect on either of our mental or physical wellbeing.”

Sue McLintock from Carer Positive, who came to Renfrewshire to present the award, said: “We are delighted to recognise Renfrewshire Council as a Carer Positive employer.

“The local authority has demonstrated a genuine commitment to supporting staff with caring responsibilities and developing a culture where they feel valued and will undoubtedly benefit in terms of their health and wellbeing.  It is encouraging to see the importance placed on making life better for carers, not just within the authority, but in the wider community as well.”

Renfrewshire Council will now work towards achieving the second level of Carer Positive, involving carers in the development of the processes and policies that will best support them and establishing a Carers Peer Network Forum with the aim of enabling employees who are carers to share experiences, access training opportunities and raise awareness of local and national support available.

Councillor John Shaw, Convenor of the Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, said: “Reaching the first level of the Carer Positive award is a great step for Renfrewshire Council, and shows the commitment to supporting those employees in caring roles to maintain their health, wellbeing and life beyond caring.

“I look forward to seeing the support network grow further as the Council progresses through the next two levels of Carer Positive.”

For more information on becoming a Carer Positive employer, visit www.carerpositive.org

girls football

An initiative is being launched to encourage more girls in Renfrewshire to take part in sport

A small army of coaches will be trained and go into primary schools to encourage girl pupils to take up either basketball, gymnastics, dance or girls football.

girls football

The project is being financed by a grant of almost £23,000 from the Scottish Government’s Women and Girls Fund and will be run by Renfrewshire Leisure in partnership with the Scottish Football Association, Scottish Gymnastics, basketballscotland and Renfrewshire Council.

A survey by Renfrewshire Leisure showed that at least 35 per cent of primary aged girls were considered to be inactive, as they took part in between zero and three hours per week of sporting activity.

The four sports in the project were in the top ten requested by girls taking part in the survey, as activities they would be most likely to take part in.

girls football

Now more than 80 coaches, chosen from current sessional staff, volunteers, sports clubs, sports leaders and placement students, will be specially trained and go into local schools to deliver the programme of sports to more than 1500 girl pupils.

Each of the 49 primary schools in Renfrewshire will receive a total of 24 hours of coaching made up of six hours for each sport in six-week blocks and girls-only sports clubs will also be set up in primary schools.

The project will also give girls a pathway to joining one of the many accredited local sports clubs.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “Following the results of the Renfrewshire Leisure survey it was obvious one of the priorities should be to encourage more girls to take part in sport and physical activity.

“We hope to see the girls who only take part in up to three hours of sport to increase their activities to more than seven hours a week.

girls football

“We will train the coaches to provide the environment where the girls can learn a new sport and develop their skills, even to the extent of becoming competitive in a particular sport.

“We aim to increase the number of girls taking part in sport and this can only be good not only for their immediate health and well-being, but as they grow into adulthood.”

Scotland’s Sports Minister, Joe FitzPatrick said: “There are so many benefits to making sport and physical activity a part of daily life.

“From improving physical and mental health, to developing skills and strengthening communities, the impact can be life-changing and that’s why we want as many people as possible to enjoy those benefits.

“It is encouraging to see that participation in sport and physical activity by women and girls in Scotland is increasing, but some still face barriers to taking part.”

PRIMARY school girls have been getting a kick out of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which starts this weekend.

Almost 200 girls from all over Renfrewshire took part in a festival of football organised by Renfrewshire Leisure, at Ferguslie Sports Centre.

The Primary 5 to Primary 7 pupils certainly had a ball with football coaching, games and a visit by Bonnie – the official mascot Scotland women’s team who play their first game in the top international tournament against England, on Sunday, June 9.

The event – organised to celebrate the Women’s World Cup and to encourage more girls to take part in sport – has been made possible with funding from the Scottish Building Society.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “It was fantastic to see all these girls enjoying a game of football and I hope it serves to whet their appetite to play even more football.

“Using the increased profile the World Cup has given women’s football, this event has built on the great work Renfrewshire Leisure’s Active Schools team has developed over the last couple of years in the girls’ game.

“We’re also working closely with a number of local grassroots clubs who now have girls sections to encourage more girls to take up the game.”