Paisley-First-Animal-Paradise (2)

Our BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise adventure is now underway in Paisley town centre! 

Running every day of the school holidays, this stunning trail features hand-built brick  endangered animal models. 

Paisley-First-Animal-Paradise (2)

What will your intrepid voyagers find first – the Bengal Tiger, the African Lion, the  Penguin, Dolphin or the giant Panda? 

Find all 15 models for your chance to enter our free prize draw! 

Blue Fin Tuna

And for those feeling extra adventurous, why not search for our hidden animal,  Ginger the Giraffe, who will be touring the town centre throughout the trail – check  our social media and website – www.paisleyfirst.com – for clues as to where Ginger  may be hiding! 

Tiger

Plus don’t forget to send us your selfies from the two selfie zones and you could make  our Wall of Fame! 

Penguin

Trail leaflets will be available from the leaflet racks in both of the Piazza Shopping  Centre and also the Paisley Centre as well as town centre businesses. 

Head in hole selfie

Once you’ve had fun with our trail, we have a wide range of great shops and an  abundance of fantastic food and drink venues, catering to every taste and budget,  where you can have a well-earned rest! 

Lion

Plus, Paisley is Paw Friendly so no need to leave your four-legged friend at home! 

Looking for a fun free day out for all the family this summer, Paisley town centre is the  place to be!

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A new walking tour app is being launched to highlight the story of the Scottish Radical War of 1820 and Paisley’s role in the conflict.

Paisley Radicals: Catalysts for Change is part audio play, part walking tour where history will be brought to life as participants immerse themselves in the stories and places in the town that led an inspiring movement for change.

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The Radical War was a week of protests and riots across Scotland in April 1820. The government at the time feared civil unrest due to the rising cost of living and levels of unemployment.  A particular connection for Paisley is the gathering at Miekleriggs Muir in Sept 1819 – it was at this time that rioting occurred in the streets of Paisley and the Riot Act was read several times within one week and is the origins of the then Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli’s comment ‘keep your eye on Paisley’.

Participants begin the tour, which takes approximately 90mins, at Woodside Crematorium and the Martyr’s Chapel and journey from there down the High St passed a number of Paisley’s key landmarks including the statue of May Donoghue, Coats Memorial Church, the statue of John Witherspoon, Willie Gallagher Cairn, Methodist Church – illustrated in the app by local Paisley artist Josef McFadden – then along the River Cart at Forbes Place to Dunn Square finishing at Paisley Cross.

The walking tour app is being launched to coincide with an online programme of events to mark Sma’ Shot Day on Saturday 3 July and has been produced by Civil Disobedience with app development support from Inner Ear, funded by Future Paisley and the Paisley TH.CARS2 programme, which is jointly funded by National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing and Communications at Renfrewshire Council, said: “The launch of the Paisley Radicals: Catalysts for Change walking tour will allow locals and visitors the opportunity to discover more about a fascinating part of Paisley’s history in an immersive and engaging way. By launching the app on Sma’ Shot Day – where we commemorate the historic victory of local weavers – we are acknowledging the town’s long-standing links with the radical movement which remains such an important part of the fabric of the town today.”

Local actors Martin Quinn and Linda Lyon lend their voices to the project to help bring the historical tales to life.

Paisley Radicals Catalysts for Change Map - Illustrated by Josef McFadden

Talking of her interest in the project Linda said: “I wanted to take part in the Paisley Radicals experience as soon as I heard about it. I admire Civil Disobedience’s work and love anything celebrating strength in adversity. As an old Paisley Buddy, I was surprised how little I knew and the format is a fun way to pass on this information.”

Martin said: “After a year of lockdown walks, trying to find different routes to shake things up, I can’t wait to try this app out and add some history to my newfound local knowledge. The more I learn about the Paisley Radicals the prouder I am to be a Paisley Buddy and I can’t wait for other folk to give it a go as well! They’re going to love it!”

To help inform the project a series of creative workshops were carried out by Civil Disobedience with participants from local community group STAR Project working with John Kielty, inspired by the radical history and contemporary relevance; and performance and media students from University of the West of Scotland (UWS).

The group delivered more than 100 hours of contact time with community groups and students from UWS prior to and during the Covid-19 pandemic. Quickly moving engagement from in person meetings to online sessions when restrictions kicked in, continuing to provide a source of creativity and community while staying at home. These sessions resulted in a batch of creative writing, music, theatrical monologues and visual/digital art designs – highlights of these feature in the tour.

The Paisley Radicals: Catalysts for Change app is designed to be an activity people can do on their own or as part of a group. Anyone with an Apple or Android device can install the free GuidiGO app from their app store and download the Paisley Radicals: Catalysts for Change tour from Saturday 3 July.

Part of the Future Paisley programme, the ‘Paisley Radicals’ project was commissioned in 2020 as part of the 200-year anniversary of the Scottish Radical War. It is a joint production between Renfrewshire Council TH.CARS2 & Events team with support from the 1820 Society and Paisley & District University of the Third Age (U3A); and the Museums team.

Full fibre underground build

Dozens more urban locations to get Full Fibre, on top of 160 new rural places announced last month

Full fibre underground build

Around 400,000 more Scottish homes and businesses are set to benefit from a broadband boost in the region of £160m[1] thanks to Openreach – the UK’s largest broadband network provider.

People living and working in another 48 urban areas – including Dunfermline, Falkirk, Ibrox, Govan, Bridge of Weir, Paisley and Livingston – are set to benefit from the company’s national upgrade plan, with the majority of premises in each area gaining access to the latest ultrafast, ultra-reliable Full Fibre broadband.

More than 250,000 households and businesses in the Glasgow City Region are included – an investment of over £100m in the area – with 31 areas to benefit; while Openreach plans to expand its ultrafast network in cities like Edinburgh and Aberdeen and start work in Culloden, Inverness.

Work will take place between now and 2026, and more details of the full list of locations and timescales are published on Openreach’s website. A full list of the locations is below.

The news comes after a similar announcement last month, when 300,000 premises – in 160 mainly rural and harder to serve areas across Scotland – were also included in the build plan.

Both announcements build on Openreach’s existing work across Scotland, where more than 400,000 homes and businesses can already order ultrafast, ultra-reliable full fibre broadband.

Following a competitive tender process, a number of partners – including Morrison Telecom Services (MTS), Kier and KN Circet – were chosen by Openreach to support the Scottish upgrades and will play a crucial role in building the new network to thousands of premises in these locations.

Robert Thorburn, strategic infrastructure director for Openreach Scotland, said: “Nobody in Scotland is building full fibre faster, further or better than Openreach. We’re reaching more communities than ever and our team of highly-skilled engineers, alongside our build partners, are working hard to deliver some of the fastest and most reliable broadband available anywhere in the world.

Overhead fibre build 02

“Just last month we announced 160 rural and hard to reach locations across Scotland were to benefit, so it’s great that we’re able to reveal another huge broadband boost with these additional urban locations. Our investment and commitment to Scotland – whether it’s urban or rural – will help to underpin economic recovery, stability and a stronger, more equal society.”

Barry McNicholas, group managing director of Kier Utilities, said: “The need for reliable and fast broadband speeds has never been greater and we are proud to be working with Openreach to support their ambitious plans of bringing full fibre broadband to homes and businesses across the UK.

“We look forward to building new digital infrastructure in places like Dunfermline, where we will be working with our local teams and supply chain partners to carry out these works.”

Pat Carolan, managing director of Morrison Telecom Services, added: “The last eighteen months have highlighted the importance of keeping people connected and we recognise that we have a pivotal role to play in helping Openreach to deliver full fibre broadband to Scotland.  We look forward to supporting Openreach’s commitment to delivering ultrafast connectivity to homes and businesses in the local community and the many employment, social, economic and environmental benefits that this will bring. Our role is to ensure that the new network is built efficiently, safely and without any compromise on quality.”

The company’s updated build plan follows an extended investment commitment by its parent, BT Group – which means Openreach will now build Full Fibre technology to a total of 25 million UK premises, including more than six million in the hardest-to-serve parts of the UK by the end of 2026.  The latest details and timescales will be available online as the build planning progresses.

Recent research by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) highlighted the clear economic benefits of connecting everyone in Scotland to full fibre. It estimated this would create a £2 billion boost to the economy by enabling thousands to join the workforce and increase hours.

Openreach employs 3,200 people in Scotland, with another 700+ employed by its build partners.

This short video explains what Full Fibre technology is and you can find out more about our Fibre First programme, latest availability and local plans here. Across the UK, the company has made Full Fibre available to more than five million homes and business so far.

0065_PTH_Loggia_Final_7thMay2021

A new fly-through video has been released giving the first look at how Paisley’s A-listed Town Hall will look after a £22m transformation into a landmark entertainment venue..

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The striking Victorian-era town hall is undergoing a major redevelopment to keep it at the heart of local life for generations to come.

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

And the people of Renfrewshire are today getting their first detailed glimpse of how the much-loved town hall will look once reopen.

The stunning CGI animation, produced by Glasgow-based studio Visual Lane and the project’s architects Holmes Miller, shows a busy day and night in the life of the building, including how it would look hosting a wedding ceremony and reception, conference, screening, and finally a packed music gig.

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

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Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, which will operate the reopened building, said: “We are delighted to reveal this animation, which will give the people of Paisley and beyond their first real look at what their town hall will look like once back in use.

“Everyone in Paisley will have their own special memories of the town hall – and the work we are doing now will preserve that history and make sure future generations can have the same.

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

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

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The town hall redevelopment will deliver:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– a redesign of Abbey Close to create an expanded outdoor events space set against Paisley’s town hall and 12th-centuery Abbey, plus work to turn County Square into an attractive arrival point and public transport hub for the town;

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

Ha Ha Funny Polis EP cover

A FILM about the legendary Paisley punk scene is being premiered on Renfrewshire Leisure’s online TV channel.

The late 1970s and early 80s saw an explosion of the punk culture and music scene in the town after Glasgow banned punk bands from playing in the city.

paisley punks

This meant some of the best-known punk bands in the country along with emerging groups from the Paisley area played regular gigs at both The Bungalow Bar and the Silver Thread Hotel.

Now this amazing period when punk exploded on to the psyche of young people has been captured on film by Paisley’s Brick Lane Media.

Defiant Pose and fans

The documentary film – Paisley Punks: The Story of the Paisley Punk Scene Late 1970s to Early 1980s – was made with the support of Renfrewshire Leisure and Creative Scotland.

It will be first seen on the Ren TV Channel at 7pm, on Friday, June 25 and then at latest incarnation of The Bungalow Bar, now in Shuttle Street, Paisley, which will also be screening the movie.

Punk began in London 45 years ago and quickly caught the imagination of youth looking for an outlet to protest against the Establishment and Paisley became the centre of punk culture in Scotland.

gerry atrick

For the first time a documentary film charts this phenomenon and interviews many of the people involved in the punk scene in the town during this period.

Alan McEwan of Brick Lane Media says “This story is an amazing part of Paisley’s music heritage and has led, in many ways, to the vibrant music scene we see in the town today.

“Many well-known artists such as The Fall, Q Tips and Altered Images played in Paisley.”

Ha Ha Funny Polis EP cover

“With the ban on punk gigs by Glasgow City Council, big name artists struggled to find suitable venues to play.

“However, only 11 miles down the road, Scotland’s largest town offered an alternative in venues such as The Bungalow and the Silver Thread Hotel.

“Paisley soon became the centre of the universe for punk in Scotland.

“The punk movement put Paisley on the touring map for some of the biggest names in the music industry and it also provided opportunities for grassroots acts to support these bands and learn their trade.”

Janis Marshall Reilly, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Performance Programmer said: “Paisley played a crucial role in the development of punk music and culture in Scotland.

“It was a revolutionary time in the music industry and arguably in society and like many times before in its history, the town showed its radical side.

“The Paisley Punks film is a fantastic insight into an important part of the town’s social history and well worth viewing.”

From the Bungalow Bar

A film about the legendary Paisley punk scene is being premiered on Renfrewshire Leisures online TV channel. Or if you are in the venue we will broadcast the film live this Friday eve! It will be first seen on the Ren TV Channel at 7pm, on Friday, June 25 Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com to watch the film on the Ren TV online channel or watch it on the big screens at the latest incarnation of The Bungalow Bar, now in Shuttle Street, Paisley. CLICK THE LINK TO WATCH 👇 https://youtu.be/8dag_2PcZX0

Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com to watch the film on the Ren TV online channel.

Keeping-Your-Child-Safe

A new school holiday campaign being launched today is urging everyone in Renfrewshire to be alert for any signs of child abuse or neglect over the summer the months.

Keeping-Your-Child-Safe

As Renfrewshire schools prepare to ring the end of term bell on Friday 25 June, the For Kids’ Sake… campaign urges everyone in Renfrewshire to enjoy plenty of summertime fun time with extended family and friends after months of pandemic restrictions.

But Renfrewshire Child Protection Committee’s Chair John Paterson wants people to remember some children will have had a very difficult time in recent months.

He said: “Most children and young people in Renfrewshire are really looking forward to having sleepovers, day trips, staycations and time with grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins and family friends in the school break.

“Sadly, some of those children will have been through a rough time during the pandemic. It’s only now we are beginning to spend significant time with children we’ve seen very little of during lockdown months, and it’s only now that we might notice or sense that something is wrong.”

In the For Kids’ Sake… campaign, RCPC stresses everyone can play a part to keep children safe. Paying attention and noticing signs a child has been abused or neglected is critical, as is taking action to get some support for that child or children.

And John stresses it’s essential to do something if you’re concerned about a child’s wellbeing over the school holidays.

He said: “We’re simply asking people in Renfrewshire to be alert for clues that harm has happened. Children can take a long time to say anything if they’ve experienced abuse or neglect, but you can listen carefully, look out for signs or pay attention to signals that there’s a problem.

“If your gut tells you something is wrong, it’s important not to ignore it. By raising your concerns you might help something worse from happening to a child you know.”

“It’s always better to say something than do nothing. You shouldn’t ignore signs that something is wrong. Get help and support by contacting Renfrewshire Council’s social work department. Or, if you think a child is in immediate danger, call the police right away.”

sma shot day 2021

Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations will once again be marked with a programme of online events to commemorate the historic victory of local weavers.

This year’s online event will take place on Saturday 3 July – the time when the weavers and their families would traditionally take their holidays.

sma shot day 2021

Last year’s digital Sma’ Shot Day was a huge success and this year looks set to be even better with a dynamic and varied programme of online performances planned to mark this special day in the town’s calendar.

The move to take the event online for 2021 is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure celebrations can still take place in adherence with national guidance.

The traditional Sma’ Shot holiday in Paisley takes its name from a famous dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century. In 1856, following a long dispute, the manufacturers backed down and an agreement was reached to pay for the Sma’ Shot, the invisible stitch which bound the Paisley shawls, with a new table of prices published on 1 July 1856.

The Burning of the Cork – the centrepiece of Sma’ Shot Day celebrations is back for 2021. People can log on to watch the spectacle that is the burning effigy and enjoy a vibrant, colourful and dynamic telling of the ‘cork’ and ‘weavers’ story captured on film featuring captivating performances lead by aerial performance company, All or Nothing, in partnership with PACE, Right2Dance and Jennifer Scott Dancers.

Other programme highlights include The Charleston Drum Rally film, funded by Renfrewshire Council’s TH.CARS2 programme, which will shine a light on another historic element of the day’s celebrations. Loud n Proud will be showcasing a short film version of their production, ‘Sma’ Shot, the Musical’, reimagining this famous point in Paisley’s history, in advance of the extended live musical show which will follow later this year.

The Makers Market is also back and online for 2021. Delivered in partnership with Incube – people will be able to browse and buy a variety of unique gifts and items handmade by local makers including Camper Plants, Pottle Jewellery and Karen Hanvidge Ceramics.

A new immersive walking tour app, Paisley Radicals Catalysts for Change, is also being launched to coincide with Sma’ Shot Day, acknowledging Paisley’s role in Scotland’s Radical Wars. Part radio play, part mindfulness app and part walking tour the app, produced by Civil Disobedience and Inner Ear, will address the events leading up to and including the Radical War of 1820. Part of the ‘Future Paisley’ programme, the ‘Paisley Radicals’ project is a joint production between Renfrewshire Council, with support from the 1820 Society and Paisley & District University of the Third Age (U3A); and the Museums team.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “Sma’ Shot Day is always one of the highlights of the annual events calendar, representing an important part of Paisley’s heritage. Last year’s online event was a massive success and this year’s looks to be even better with the welcome return of the signature Burning of the Cork.

“The online programme will give everyone plenty of opportunities to participate and learn more about this important part of the town’s history. I for one will be looking forward to logging on and getting involved in the fun on the day.”

More information on the full programme will be released in the coming weeks.

Musicians in exile 2

THE diverse cultures of different ethnic groups in Renfrewshire are being celebrated with a series of online events and creative workshops.

The activities – organised by Renfrewshire’s Ethnic Communities Cultural Steering Group – are being staged as part of the national Refugee Week, between June 14 and June 20.

refugee week logo

This year’s programme features music, film, food workshops, a photography competition, storytelling and a pen pal project that encourages children from The African School of Cultures to make a connection with Refugee communities.

The Steering Group is made up of leading cultural organisations, community members, Third Sector organisations and academic partners from across Renfrewshire.

The group developed from the work carried out last year to produce a programme of events for Black History Month, called Our Culture, Our Future.

They include Engage Renfrewshire, Jambo! Radio, Pachedu, University of the West of Scotland, Action for Culture and Ethics, The School of African Cultures, Inspiring Families and Renfrewshire Leisure’s Cultural Services.

Regine Bews, from the School of African Cultures said: “It’s important for everyone in Renfrewshire to celebrate Refugee Week

“It is a time to remember that many ethnic communities across the world at one point or another have sought refuge in other countries.

Musicians in exile 2

“This is also the right time to acknowledge and value the presence and contributions of ethnic communities and enable community cohesion, celebrate and showcase diversity across Renfrewshire.

“The cultures of ethnic communities in Renfrewshire could sometimes be claimed by others to be intimidating because have brighter colours, spicier flavours, different accents, louder songs and dances.

“Somehow, we will be surprised to find out that our cultures have similarities, our battles are similar and we share the same humanity.

“The ethnic Communities in Renfrewshire will benefit from this event highlighting their cultural activities as it is a great way to show their contributions, presence and integration in Renfrewshire.”

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “When people from the many diverse backgrounds in Renfrewshire come together, it connects communities and creates a rich tapestry of creativity and artistry. We are delighted to be working with the organisations on the Ethnic Communities Cultural Steering Group to deliver such an exciting program.

“Renfrewshire’s culture is enhanced by the traditions and skills refugees and migrant communities bring and we are looking forward to celebrating their contribution during Refugee Week.’

Events planned for Refugee Week include a film being shown on Ren TV – Renfrewshire Leisure’s online TV channel – at 7pm on June 17 called Musicians in Exile – Always On The Move. The film explores how refugees created new music during lockdown and how much that meant to them.

Musicians in exile 2

The Sharing Food Experiences Workshop is an event on Zoom between 2pm and 3pm on June 19. It brings together food and poetry and will be led by poet Sean Wai Keung.

On June 16, at 7pm, Ren TV features a storytelling session by Tawona Sithole, who is a playwright and poet who uses creativity-based learning to make connections with other people. This is part of Pachedu’s Cultural Café.

The photography competition being organised by the University of the West of Scotland is based around the theme of ‘We Cannot Walk Alone’. It’s open to people of all ages and entries to the UWS

Musicians from refugee communities in Renfrewshire and beyond will perform at Jambo! Radio’s social distancing studio on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram on June 18 and 19 between 5pm and 8pm.

And during Refugee Week the School of African Studies is launching their Pen Pal Project, which connects children involved in the group with children from migrant communities throughout Scotland.

Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/refugee-week for more details about online events taking place, in Renfrewshire during Refugee Week.

Animal Paradise

We’re getting summer underway in Paisley town centre with our free family  adventure, BRICKLIVE’s Animal Paradise! 

Running from Saturday 26th June until Sunday 15th August, this interactive trail  features hand-built brick endangered animal statues. 

Animal Paradise

We’re sure your mini explorers will have a great expedition hunting down these  stunning animals across ice caps, jungles, rivers and forests, all in the heart of Paisley  town centre! 

What will our intrepid voyagers find first – the Bengal Tiger, the Macaws, the Dolphin  or the Snow Leopard? 

Find all 15 models for your chance to enter our free prize draw! 

What better way to get the whole family out and about for the day with this fun, free  activity! 

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “It’s been a tough year for everyone so  we’re happy to be able to give everyone something to look forward to this summer. 

“BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise is made up of hand-built brick endangered animal  models and has been devised to entertain whilst educating children and families  about environmental issues and the importance of conservation and biodiversity. 

“So, if you are looking for a free day out and something fun to do with all the family  this summer, head to Paisley!” 

Trail leaflets will be available from the leaflet racks in both the Piazza Shopping  Centre and also the Paisley Centre as well as town centre businesses and the Paisley  First office at 1 County Place – just opposite Paisley Gilmour Street train station. 

Once you’ve had fun with our trail, we have a wide range of great shops and an  abundance of fantastic food and drink venues, catering to every taste and budget,  where you can have a well-earned rest! 

Plus, Paisley is Paw Friendly so no need to leave your four-legged friend at home! Love the school summer holidays? Love Paisley!

Cllr McEwan Renfrew Roadworks 18.5.21-8447
howwood road from above

Councillors have given the go-ahead for residents to be asked their views on an ambitious and far-reaching ten-year £100m transformation of council housing.

Renfrewshire Council last year agreed to invest the sum in a housing-led regeneration and renewal programme to deliver modern, high-quality, energy-efficient, affordable council housing.

howwood road from above

Members of the council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Board today gave the green light for officers to roll out a detailed consultation over the months ahead.

Residents and owners in eight areas will now be invited to give their views on the plans – which include investment in existing properties and outdoor areas, as well as new-build housing.

The eight areas in the first phase of the programme are: Auchentorlie Quadrant, Howard Street, Waverley Road, Thrushcraigs, Springbank Road and the Broomlands area all, Paisley; as well as the Moorpark area in Renfrew and the Howwood Road area in Johnstone.

The proposals were created following a detailed assessment of the council’s existing housing stock and aim to improve buildings and external areas such as closes, back courts and bin stores, and to bring down energy bills by making homes more energy-efficient.

The proposals could involve the demolition of buildings in four of the areas, with plans being developed for around 300 new-build council homes in their place.

Residents and owners in the properties identified in the proposals have already received a letter from the council to make them aware, and further communication will follow next week with details of how they can get involved in the consultation.

The planned consultation would also include a wider conversation with residents in those areas about what they want from them.

That will help inform a neighbourhood place plan for each area covering how the council and its partners can work together to deliver services could better meet the needs of residents.

Councillor Marie McGurk, convener of the Communities, Housing and Planning Board, said: “This planned investment could deliver a transformation – not just of the quality of council housing in Renfrewshire, but of the wider environment around them.

“We know improving the quality of housing improves people’s quality of life, health and well-being and this will do that, while also making council estates and services easier to manage and maintain.

“It will also be central to the area’s economic and social recovery from the pandemic – by creating construction jobs for local residents and traders – while promoting Renfrewshire as a great place to live.

“We would stress that at this stage, all we are putting forward are proposals – if approved, council staff will be in touch with all residents and owners to get their views on the plans and to make sure all voices are heard before any final decisions are made.

“That conversation will be about more than housing – it will take in what residents want from the future of their areas, so I would encourage everyone affected to take part.”

job-start-payment

Young people returning to work are being urged to check if they are eligible for Job Start Payment.

Over 1,000 young people have already benefited from this support since it launched in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s more than £277,000 invested so far in helping those whose job prospects have been hardest hit over the past year.

job-start-payment

Many businesses will be recruiting again as restrictions lessen in many local authority areas, and 16-24 year olds beginning or returning to work may be eligible for money to help with the cost of starting a new job.

Job Start Payment is now £252.50, or £404 if the applicant has children and is available to young people who have been on certain benefits for six months or more. Money can be spent on anything they need including travel costs, new clothes or childcare.

Figures released today cover the period from 17 August 2020, when Job Start Payment launched, to 31 March 2021.

Cabinet Secretary for Social Security Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“We don’t want the costs of starting a new job to be what stops people taking up opportunities. COVID-19 has had a major impact on the job market and it has had a significant impact on prospects for many young people.

“As we emerge from lockdown, I strongly encourage any young people who have recently started a new job or about to start a new job to check if they are eligible for Job Start Payment and apply now.”

People can apply for Job Start Payment for up to three months after their start date.