Ralston, Paisley News

Artist’s rendering of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Renfrewshire, UK

CPI has today announced an agreement with Pfizer, making it the newest partner of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre collaboration. The partnership will enable the Centre to draw upon Pfizer’s expertise within the pharmaceutical sector to help address key challenges and maximise efficiency within the medicines supply chain.

Artist’s rendering of the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre in Renfrewshire, UK

The Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre is a collaboration between CPI, the University of Strathclyde and founding industry partners GSK and AstraZeneca, with funding provided by Scottish Enterprise and UK Research and Innovation. The Centre aims to advance emergent and disruptive technologies through a series of flagship ‘Grand Challenge’ projects to increase productivity and patient outcomes in the pharmaceutical industry. 

The new partnership with Pfizer will focus on Grand Challenge 1, which aims to develop an innovative continuous direct compression (CDC) platform enabling oral solid dosage medicines to be formulated more robustly and efficiently. The CDC platform will feature a digital twin and data predictor model to allow for the modelling of processes in a digital space. This capability will improve efficiency and significantly cut down the quantity of starting materials needed to optimise formulations with the aim of enabling companies to ultimately develop formulations faster and at reduced cost. 

As a partner in the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre collaboration, Pfizer will be providing data, expert skill and knowledge of continuous mixing technology. Pfizer’s contributions to Grand Challenge 1 will aim to minimise costs and significantly reduce risk by providing vital technical expertise for further development of the digital twin and data predictor model for the CDC platform. 

Dave Tudor, Managing Director at the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre, said: “We are extremely proud to be working with Pfizer and look forward to drawing on its wealth of expertise in the pharmaceutical industry. This partnership will help to further develop the CDC platform as part of Grand Challenge 1, leading to reduced materials requirements and lower costs for the end-user.”

Brian Henry, Vice President, Drug Product Design, at Pfizer, said: “We are excited to begin our partnership with the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre to support the delivery of Grand Challenge 1. Through the support of Pfizer’s Emerging Science Fund, we believe we can utilise our collective knowledge to build predictive models for continuous tablet manufacturing, with the goal of enhancing our ability to accelerate the drug development process and help deliver breakthroughs that change patients’ lives.”

Nicola Drummond interview - Glasgow Science Centre festival

Renfrewshire’s joint environmental campaign Team Up to Clean Up is set to be showcased at a digital science festival hosted for the first time by Glasgow Science Centre.

Curious About Our Planet takes place from 18 to 20 February and aims to celebrate the wonders of the planet and the science of climate change.

Nicola Drummond interview - Glasgow Science Centre festival

The line-up includes a behind-the-scenes tour of Edinburgh Zoo, a sustainable cocktail making session, a UK film premiere and an art exhibition.

Also included is an interview with Lead Officer for Environment Coordination at Renfrewshire Council, Nicola Drummond, who discusses the impact the Team Up to Clean Up campaign has had in Renfrewshire as the council and community work together to effect change.

Nicola said: “It’s fantastic to be part of this online festival and hopefully we can inspire others throughout the country, especially those in our younger generations, to think about how they treat their local environment.

Facebook - Curious About - Envirotent - Workshops and Activities

“The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has grown tremendously over the past few years as more and more people take a real pride in their community and want to do what they can to improve where they live.

“We support them with litter pickers, collecting rubbish from their litter picks and providing a network of like-minded volunteers through our Facebook group and it’s fantastic to be part of such an inspiring campaign.”

The festival is an online version of Curiosity Live, a regular science engagement event that has been held at Glasgow Science Centre (GSC) for the past few years.

Cllr Cathy McEwan

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted that our campaign is part of this exciting festival and I hope those who attend are inspired by the work going on in Renfrewshire.

“It’s incredible to see the dedication of our volunteers who are making a difference not only to their communities and the health of our local environment, but also inspiring others to join them and affect behaviour change in Renfrewshire.

“As a council, we will continue to do our bit with enhanced street cleaning and gully clearing to ensure that the commitment is there from us and the community, and I can’t wait to see where this campaign can take us in the future as we do what we can to tackle climate change.”

The festival is being delivered with support from the Inspiring Science Fund provided by Wellcome, UKRI and BEIS. It is also part of Our World Our Impact, Glasgow Science Centre’s climate change programme which is in partnership with the Scottish Government.

Dr Stephen Breslin, chief executive of Glasgow Science Centre, said: “We’re excited to be launching our first digital science festival following the success of GSCAtHome and our online Halloween and Christmas shows.

“Climate change will have an impact on everyone and Curious About Our Planet invites us to explore the science of it as well as reminding us of the beauty of our planet, all from the safety and comfort of home”.

Festival contributors include Heather Reid, WWF Scotland, Royal Zoological Society for Scotland (RZSS), Zero Waste Scotland, Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS), National Environment Research Council (NERC), the Conservation Volunteers and Keep Scotland Beautiful.

To find out more about the full festival programme, visit https://curiousabout.glasgowsciencecentre.org/

Tear Drop Gin is a new Paisley business that was created during lockdown, July 2020, by husband-and-wife team Donald and Louise Boyd.

Donald and Louise are Paisley Buddies, lived in Paisley all our lives. They married in Paisley in the year 2000 and in fact met each other when they had Saturday jobs in Topo Gigio cafe, which used to be based in the ground floor of the Paisley Centre.

The idea for a Paisley inspired gin came about during a family celebration for Donald’s birthday. The conversation had turned to favourite gins and they thought why was there no gin from Paisley, yet there were gins from any other area in Scotland.

So…to cut a very long story short, they decided to give it a go!

Team Tear Drop employed the skills of a local graphic designer to assist in getting the product ready for market. With the help of another Paisley Buddy, Michael Barron…who is a graphic designer (Zest Creative), Tear Drop Team have designed and created a new gin based on their hometown of Paisley.

In the run up to launch of the website and e-commerce platform, Donald and Louise were grateful for help support and guidance from friend and Paisley Community Trust Trustee and show host, Andy Campbell.  Indeed Andy and his co-host Gary Kerr have helped with spreading the word by featuring a sampling of Tear Drop Gin on their show.

The juniper led London Dry Gin has forward notes of rowan berries and brambles. Both these berries can be found all over Paisley in the right season…lots of Paisley Buddies can recall bramble picking in late summer.

The bottle design is inspired by the world-famous Paisley Pattern and uses a unique process of direct print to glass.  This means that the bottle does not have any paper label, with the design and information being printed directly on to the bottle…this gives the bottle an extra special quality to it and has been well admired.

Tear Drop Gin was launched on 23 November and both Batch 1&2 are sold out with more than half of Batch 3 now sold!  Batch 4 is in the process of being bottled and if the support of the people of Paisley continues,  Batch 5&6 will be distilled. We hope it goes from strength to strength!

The gin is available to buy exclusively online only via the website www.teardropgin.co.uk and comes in a  70cl bottle, retailing at £36 including VAT.  The gin is available to click and collect at the Paisley gift store on Gauze Street, IVAD Gifts…our Paisley click and collect partner.

However, due to current lockdown restrictions, this service is unavailable at the moment…so the Tear Drop team are offering FREE LOCAL DELIVERY to the people of Paisley, Renfrewshire, Barrhead and Hillington…until the click and collect service can resume.

The bottle comes as a gifting set with a free bottle bag, hand sanitiser, gift postcard and wee business card…so the product is gift ready.

Team Tear Drop are continuing to develop the business in 2021 with a number of complementary products being developed in the pipeline.

Further information is available on the website www.teardropgin.co.uk and on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

kirsty logan
In 1880, Benjamin Disraeli famously said “Keep your eye on Paisley!” Paisley has a long history of radicalism, of finding strength in facing up to and overcoming adversity in whatever shape or form it might take.
The theme for the 2021 Paisley Book Festival, Radical New Futures, emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic and the resilience and fortitude that people and communities have shown. It has also been motivated by the importance that green spaces have played as solace and recuperation over the last year.
kirsty logan
Books and reading have been a great source of comfort for so many people during lockdown, evidenced by increased borrowing figures at Renfrewshire Libraries.
The Paisley Book Festival is supported by Future Paisley, a programme of economic, social, and physical regeneration continuing the excitement and momentum experienced during the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 Bid. It is delivered by Renfrewshire Leisure and funded by Renfrewshire Council.
The 2021 Festival will be a digital forum with contributors coming from across the globe into your own home. It is delighted to welcome the 2020 Booker Prize winner, Douglas Stuart, who will be joined by Scottish literary giant, Andrew O’Hagan and debut writer, Graeme Armstrong. Other headline events will include Janey Godley, Melanie Reid, Chris Brookmyre and Dr. Marisa Haetzman, writer for Small Axe series Courttia Newland, Salena Godden, Jenny Kleeman, Kirstin Innes, and Kate Charlesworth in conversation with Val McDermid. Events for children will include Ross Mackenzie, Vivian French, Patience Agbabi, Karine Polwart and Kate Leiper.
Setting the tone for the Festival on its opening night – Radical New Futures – will be poet, playwright and performer Hannah Lavery (The Drift and Lament for Sheku Boyah), writer Laura Waddell (Exit) and Renfrewshire local Alan Bissett with his new novella Lazy Suzan. The opening night will also include Newtopia: Women with Fierce Words, a multimedia performance of writing emerging from women’s disrupted lives as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, presented by Women With Fierce Words and joined from India by the award-winning poet, Saima Afreen.
Paisley Book Festival welcomes novelist, poet, performer, Kirsty Logan and author and singer-songwriter Malachy Tallack as guest curators. Kirsty has curated a strand Understories: Reclaiming the stories we think we know with authors Intan ParamadithaSarah Maria GriffinKiran Millwood HargraveRebecca TamasMichael Lee Richardson and Tasha Suri. Malachy welcomes authors Alastair McIntoshKapka KassabovaPatrick LaurieCal Flyn and Lisa Wollett to the festival as part of an event strand called A Place for Hope: land, loss and the politics of care.
Writer in Residence Imogen Stirling presents... c. Sarah Grant
Full programme can be viewed on: paisleybookfestival.com – listings document attached. 
Victoria HollowsChief ExecutiveRenfrewshire Leisure said: 
“I am delighted we are able to launch the 2021 Paisley Book Festival, albeit in a different format from last year but with the same energy and inspirational programming that made our first festival such a success. This year’s theme of Radical New Futures embodies the feeling of strength and innovation that has been evident in communities throughout the pandemic and I am delighted to see this is reflected in the excellent line-up of writers involved in the festival, from headliners such as Booker Prize winner Douglas Stuart to local writers, poets and children’s authors. I am sure that this festival will be a huge success and will put the Paisley Book Festival on the map for years to come.”
Paisley Book Festival Co-Producer Jess Orr said: “Whilst current restrictions mean that this year’s festival will be very different to its inaugural iteration back in February 2020, we are thrilled to be bringing the energy and spirit of Paisley and its people, their resilience and determination to look forward to a new and different future, to digital audiences this year. Whether you live in Paisley or not, we hope you’ll join us from wherever you are to celebrate the radical spirit that is well and truly alive in the world of books, and in the acts of reading and writing.”
book festival
The Festival also welcomes Glasgow-based writer, musician, and educator, Imogen Stirling, as its first Writer-in-Residence. This residency will see her hosting online workshops with Renfrewshire community groups in January and February 2021, and writing her own response to this year’s festival theme, Radical New Futures. Imogen will curate and host three festival events which include Imogen’s Big Night In with Dean AttaIona Lee and Emme Woods and Radicalism in Stillness with her  in conversation with Sarah Grant
Paisley Book Festival Co-Producer Keira Brown said: “Through support from Creative Scotland, we were delighted to appoint Glasgow-based writer, musician, and educator Imogen Stirling as our first Writer-in-Residence. Imogen has this week kicked off her online workshops with community groups across Renfrewshire enabling us to engage more local people as well as curating three of our wider book festival events. This new post has been such a significant addition to the Festival, and one which we hope will continue with future festivals.”
In addition, the Festival will host a schools and learning programme (branded #YoungFutures) by releasing a series of original videos, created by some of the UK’s most talented children and young adult authors. It will encourage schools across Paisley and Renfrewshire to watch these videos either at home or in their classrooms and engage with the authors’ ideas about what a radical future looks like to them.
The 2021 Paisley Book Festival programme has something for everyone and it looks forward to welcoming you to its digital stage.
Information | interviews | photographs contact: Wendy Niblock PR | wendyjniblock@btinternet.com | 07961 814834
Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

But vibrant programme of digital content and services will be in place to support residents’ health and wellbeing during restrictions

Venues operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will temporarily close in line with the Scottish Government Covid-19 restrictions from Boxing Day.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

The Level 4 measures coming into place across mainland Scotland on December 26th will be in place for at least three weeks, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

 

These restrictions mean that all leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and the heritage centre run by Renfrewshire Leisure must close to the public during that period.

 

While in-venue facilities will be closed, a vibrant and varied package of content – covering everything from fitness and wellbeing to storytelling and nostalgia – will be available at www.renfrewshireleisure.com and via the online REN TV channel.

 

A vast selection of library books are also available for download via the array of services offered online by Renfrewshire Libraries.

 

Outdoor non-contact sports will also continue, whilst they remain in line with Government guidance and that of individual sport governing bodies.

 

Direct Debit payments will not be taken in January in light of this latest announcement.

 

Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive Victoria Hollows said: “We hope that people understand why we have to suspend in-venue services to help protect our communities. We all hope that this latest period of increased restrictions will have the desired effect in reducing rates of transmission and that we can reopen later in January.

 

“Even though our venues will be closed, we remain here for our communities and our team will be working hard to continue to create and deliver content for our members and the wider community online and via social media and also through outdoor activity.

 

“While we cannot offer services in-venue, we hope that our work online and outdoor will help the wellbeing of the region’s residents and keep people safe and well at what is a challenging time for us all, perhaps even more so at this time of year.”

 

Plans had already been in place for a revised festive programme – as is normal – from December 24th until January 3rd (inclusive).

 

Details on service updates will be shared as soon as they are available online and via Renfrewshire Leisure’s social media channels.

fionn gavin

A secondary school pupil from Paisley will help influence the future of sporting activity in Scotland.

Fionn Gavin, aged 17 and a sixth-year student at St Andrew’s Academy, has been selected to sit on the sportscotland Young People’s Sports Panel for the next two years.

He will join other young people from all over Scotland to influence the future and raise the profile of sport in the country.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Active Schools team had supported four local pupils in their application to sit on the panel with two getting to the final stages of selection.

Fionn’s has been asked to join the panel out of more than 150 young people who applied.

Fionn said: “When I got the phone call saying I had been selected for the panel I was overwhelmed with excitement and couldn’t believe it.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know my fellow peers on the panel and I can’t wait to get started to work as a team to make a difference to sport in Scotland.

“I am very grateful to my Active Schools Coordinators, David Rose and Erin Campbell along with the teachers in my PE Department, at St Andrew’s for helping me to become involved and pushing me to succeed in something I love.”

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The Young People’s Sport Panel provides a national platform to represent the voice of young people across Scotland.

“The programme’s principle is that young people’s views are heard and valued and they have the opportunity to influence decision-making and drive change.

“Fionn has been involved with the Active Schools programme from a young age and has shown great commitment to sport. He has all the credentials to become a valued member of the panel and we are delighted he has been selected.

“He will also continue to work with groups in Renfrewshire to raise awareness and promote sporting activity.”fionn gavin

rainbow nursery

The show must go on as they say and Rainbow Nursery took those words to heart and made a fantastic movie, we were sent this in last night and its fun just pure fun, well worth a watch for any age… Here is the message I received and video from last night.

rainbow nursery

Louise Borris: Hi there I work in a little nursery on Paisley called Rainbow. Due to Covid restrictions, our annual Christmas Show was cancelled, and as we could not get out into the community to spread festive cheer, the 3-5 room decided to go digital and put a 2020 twist on this years show. Turns out our show is very popular and has succeeded in getting some Christmas cheer out into the wider community. We thought you might like a look at our superstars and hoped that you could also share our show out there to help us bring a smile to as many people as possible, everyone could do with a smile this year.

Paisley Grammar-high-res

Funding towards building a new state-of-the-art community campus to replace the existing Paisley Grammar School has been welcomed by Renfrewshire Council’s Education Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson.

The Scottish Government has announced that Paisley Grammar School is one of 25 schools across Scotland to receive funding from phase two of the £1bn Learning Estate Investment Programme.

Paisley Grammar-high-res

The committed funding from Scottish Government will be added to committed funding from the council towards building a new school with state-of-the-art technology, enhanced drama, performance, media and learning facilities and high-quality sports and outdoor areas.

Cllr Paterson said: “The announcement of additional funding for a Paisley Grammar Community Campus is very welcome. It’s good to know this funding is available to draw from if councillors approve the relocation proposals.

“Ensuring that all children and young people have the best learning environment possible is vital to ensure every pupil has the facilities and opportunities to reach their potential.”

The former Chivas site on Renfrew Road remains the preferred site to relocate the school. Parents pupils and the wider school community were consulted on proposals to relocate the school to this site in October this year.

Their responses, along with a recommendation to proceed, will go to councillors at the Education and Children’s Services Policy Board for consideration. If they approve the proposals, work will begin to take them forward.

Cllr Paterson added: “Councillors will carefully consider all the responses received from the school community early next year.”

To read the full consultation, visit www.renfrewshire,gov.uk/PaisleyGrammarConsultation on the council’s website.

Gallowhill 1

SCHOOL pupils have transformed the streets of Gallowhill into a colourful celebration of Christmas.

Almost 300 drawings and paintings by children from St Catherine’s and Gallowhill Primary schools have been displayed on lamp posts around the Paisley neighbourhood from Friday, December 18 to Friday, January 8.

Gallowhill 1

Newly-formed community group, Feel Good Gallowhill – who came up with the idea for a Children’s Festive Arts Trail to bring some festive cheer to the area – was supported by Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts Team in turning the concept into reality.

Now residents can enjoy seeing the drawings and paintings of Christmas scenes everywhere they go along the Active Communities 5k Walking Route through Gallowhill.

Chairperson of the Feel Good Gallowhill group, Tracey Kerr said: “We’d like to thank the pupils from Gallowhill and St Catherine primaries for all their amazing artwork. Without that the art trail wouldn’t be happening and we hope it brightens up the community this Christmas.

“We’re a newly-formed group of volunteers who want to make Gallowhill better for the kids and give them something to do while trying to regain a sense of community spirit.

“Our group wouldn’t have been possible without the help of Families First and Active Communities and it’s a huge thank you to Kate Drummond from Renfrewshire Leisure for all her hard work.”

Head teacher at St Catherine’s Primary, Emma Henry said: “When we were asked to participate in the Festive Art Trail we jumped at the chance.

“Not only did this allow our pupils the opportunity to showcase their fantastic art talents, but it gave us the opportunity to spread a little festive cheer throughout Gallowhill.

“Our place within our community is very important to us, so being involved in local initiatives such as this throughout the year is something we relish.

“This experience has provided us with a further opportunity to teach our pupils about the importance of being good citizens.”

Sheila Hood, head teacher at Gallowhill Primary said: “The pupils thoroughly enjoyed creating their pieces of artwork and were so excited to see them appearing on lamp posts.

“It is really important for us as a school to contribute to our local community and if our Christmas pictures put a smile on the face of even just one person then our efforts have been worthwhile.”

Kate Drummond, Visual Arts Project Producer at Renfrewshire Leisure said: “These bright and joyous drawings and paintings will certainly brighten up the streets of Gallowhill.

“We also hope that the Festive Trail will encourage people to get out and about during the holidays with family and friends to enjoy a socially-distanced walk around the walking trail.

“And if you are a Gallowhill resident interested in making good things happen in your community, we’d encourage you to join the Feel Good Gallowhill group.

“The project forms part of our Future Paisley neighbourhood work in Gallowhill, West End, Glenburn and Foxbar.”

Future Paisley is a programme of economic, social and physical regeneration building on the work already done to use Paisley’s internationally-significant culture and heritage story to change its fortunes.

Go to https://www.renfrewshireleisure.com/childrens-festive-art-trail for more information about the project.

Renfrewshire House

Proposals for a major investment programme which will transform council housing in Renfrewshire over the next decade have been given the go-ahead.

The Regeneration and Renewal Programme will invest at least £100million in council housing over the next 10 years.

Renfrewshire House

The programme will create around 300 newbuild homes and deliver improvements to existing housing in eight areas in Johnstone, Paisley and Renfrew in its first phase.

Communities, Housing and Planning Convener Councillor Marie McGurk said: “This programme is a key part of our plans to help Renfrewshire recover and flourish following this pandemic. Having a safe, warm and affordable home is so important for the health and wellbeing of people.

“This programme will support our communities and help tackle fuel poverty as well as help achieve our climate change goals. No-one should have to live in fuel poverty and we know that the pandemic has made this situation worse for some people. We will address this by improving the energy efficiency of our homes within these regeneration areas, creating a better Renfrewshire for our communities.

“Covid-19 has had a major impact on our communities in Renfrewshire. It has also shown more than ever how important community is. We will be consulting and engaging with communities before finalising our plans for each area to ensure the work we are doing meets their needs and creates thriving places they can flourish in and be proud of for years to come.”

Phase one of the programme will focus on homes in Moorpark (Renfrew), Thrushcraigs (Paisley), Broomlands (Paisley) Howwood Road (Johnstone), Waverley Road (Paisley), Howard Street (Paisley), Auchentorlie/Seedhill (Paisley) and Springbank Road (Paisley). Proposals for a second phase will be developed in 2021.

The council will consult and engage with communities to develop comprehensive regeneration and renewal plans which will be individually tailored to meet the needs of each area.

The regeneration and renewal programme will build on the success of the Scottish Housing Quality Standard Programme, which invested £147million in council housing in Renfrewshire between 2010 and 2015. It will also sit alongside the Council’s Strategic Housing Investment Plan which, in partnership with housing associations, will create around 1,000 new affordable homes in Renfrewshire by 2022, including over 200 new Council houses.

It is part of the Council’s two-year economic and social recovery plan which will help Renfrewshire thrive in the wake of Covid-19. The plan was prepared in consultation with Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel and approved at a Council meeting today (Thursday 17 December).

The transformational programme will also create job and training opportunities in Renfrewshire and support the Council’s work to achieve its climate change targets by addressing fuel poverty and improving the energy efficiency performance of homes in these regeneration areas.

More than 3,500 homes in Renfrewshire have already had external insulation fitted after the council received £18.4million through the Scottish Government’s HEEPS:ABS funding programme. This work is estimated to have reduced Renfrewshire’s carbon output by 250,000 tonnes.

The Council, which is landlord to 12,000 homes in Renfrewshire, is already working to deliver over 400 newbuild council houses in areas including Johnstone Castle, Ferguslie Park and South West Johnstone and recently completed a project in Bishopton.

For more information about the programme, email strategyandplace@renfrewshire.gov.uk or call 0300 300 0222.