Whitehaugh, Paisley News

Matt Pritchard Dirty Vegan 2

TV’s “Dirty Vegan” Matt Pritchard is the latest celebrity chef to be announced for this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival.

The chef, who was the frontman of hit MTV series Dirty Sanchez before going on to present the BBC’s first vegan cookery show, Dirty Vegan, in 2019, will host two cooking demonstrations on Saturday 27 April.

Matt Pritchard Dirty Vegan 2

Each demonstration will see daredevil and former stunt performer Matt cook up some fun with delicious recipes from his new book, Dirty Vegan, before an audience Q&A session and the chance to meet the star.

Matt Pritchard will join fellow celebrity chef, winner of MasterChef – The Professionals 2016, Gary Maclean, and baking sensations Three Sisters Bake to run demonstrations at this year’s Festival.

Chef, Matt Pritchard, said: “I am totally stoked to be heading to the Paisley Food and Drink Festival to share my passion for amazing plant-based food that tastes BANGING!

“I still can’t get over how amazing the whole Dirty Sanchez to Dirty Vegan journey has been, and can’t wait to share my story, meet as many vegan or vegan-curious folk in Scotland as possible, and show how this incredible, nourishing, energising food is for everyone!”

Matt Pritchard 2

Matt, who shot to fame in the MTV daredevil stunt show Dirty Sanchez and Dirty Sanchez: The Movie, became vegan in 2015.

As a trained chef, the lifestyle change re-ignited Matt’s passion for cooking and saw him start his own YouTube cooking show, Pritchard’s Proper Vegan Cooking.

Gary Maclean is returning to this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival to teach visitors the tricks of his trade through a series of cooking demonstrations, having last appeared at the Festival in 2017.

PAISLEY 2021 Food festival MFG

Chef, Gary Maclean said: “I’m really excited to be part of this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival. To join this amazing line-up will be incredible. The crowds in Paisley are brilliant and I can’t wait to get back.”

The cooking demonstration tent at Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 is delivered in collaboration with Zero Waste Scotland’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign.

Love Food Hate Waste will provide advice on the day on making the most of your leftovers and how to avoid wasting good food.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 2Y9A8646

Ylva Haglund, Food Waste Campaigns Manager, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “We urge people to head along to Paisley Food & Drink Festival to see chef Gary Maclean, Dirty Vegan Matt Pritchard and other exciting chefs make the most of the food they love and cut back on waste – helping both wallets and the planet.

“Research shows that the food we waste the most include fresh fruit and vegetables, accounting for £150 million worth from our homes in Scotland each year. With top chefs on board to help spread the word, visitors are sure to be inspired to make small changes that will have a big impact.”

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 _1

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is one of Scotland’s largest outdoor food and drink festivals and will take place over two days on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April.

This year’s line-up will see more than 40 vendors from across Scotland, delicious street food with traders from PLATFORM on Tour – the independent street food market who reside in the Argyle Street Arches, Glasgow – expert tasting sessions with the award-winning Gin 71, the Renfrewshire CAMRA Beer Tent, live entertainment, children’s workshops and picnic areas in the stunning surroundings of Paisley’s historic Abbey.

For the first time, this year’s Festival will see a dedicated vegan and vegetarian zone offering a range of delicious options, such as There’s No Catch’s unique take on “vish & chips” with mushy peas and FlipnFast’s sweet and savoury vegan crepes and ice cream.

There will be something to suit all tastes, including gluten-free and halal options with smaller portion sizes designed for children.

Places for the cooking demonstrations are available to book now. Spaces are limited, so please book in advance.

You can find out more about Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 and how to book your place at the cooking demonstrations here: https://paisley.is/visit/cooking-demonstrations/

Employability award winners

Employability programmes in Renfrewshire have been rated the best in Scotland for the second year running as the latest national benchmarking report is published.

The Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile, which rates the performance of all Scottish councils, showed Renfrewshire is performing at more than double the national average for assisting unemployed people into work through its employability services.

Employability award winners

Renfrewshire’s dedicated employability team has helped more than 2500 people find new jobs in the past three years, while the area’s employment rate is considerably higher than the national average – in particular for youth employment.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We’re delighted to once again be ranked the top performing council in assisting people into work and this is a key priority for the council.

“We want to give people opportunities to get into the workplace and our teams do fantastic work in supporting those out-of-work to find the right destination.”


Renfrewshire is ranked in the top eight councils in 22 indicators, including the percentage of pupils to gain five or more awards at Level 5, satisfaction with leisure facilities and cost of trading standards services.

Councillor Nicolson added: “A key aim of the council is to provide our young people with the best learning environment possible and our pupils continue to perform well, with two-thirds of gaining five or more awards at Level 5.

“The report highlights another 20 areas where we are ranked within the top councils in Scotland, and this outlines the excellent work of our staff and the high-quality service we are providing to Renfrewshire’s residents.”

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The annual report collates data across a range of services including education, housing and adult social care, considering service costs, their effectiveness and customer satisfaction.

The report presented to the Council’s Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board showed that, of the 70 indicators that data is available nationally, 41 have improved since the previous year, with 10 remaining unchanged and 19 declining.

The report found that:

  • More than 99% of council homes are energy efficient
  • 4 in 5 adults are satisfied with local schools
  • More than half of the highest paid 5% of employees are woman
  • Renfrewshire ranks fifth for satisfaction with leisure facilities
  • More than three-quarters of adults are happy with museums and galleries
  • Ranked eighth national for the average time taken to complete non-emergency repairs

The report also raises areas which Renfrewshire ranks lower when compared to other local authorities in Scotland.

Councillor Nicolson added: “While we are performing well, we recognise that there are areas that we need to improve on which is why we’ve invested accordingly to make a difference.

“Our 2019/20 budget invests £40million in our roads, building on the £7.2million investment last year, and this will make a tangible difference to the quality and durability of our roads, pathways and cycle routes – and means we expect to be ranked highly for the cost of roads maintenance.

“We have invested £2.5million in our successful Team Up to Clean Up campaign and the funding for the enhanced street cleaning programme, as well as the visible local support, will make a positive change to the cleanliness of our streets, immediately and in the long-term.

RDC Project Search Graduation 6.6.17

“We also continue to work closely with our staff to provide them with the support they need to carry out their role, including providing counselling services, occupational health support and a focus from the Corporate Management Team on improving the rate of absence within the organisation.”

The findings from the Local Government Benchmarking Framework Indicator Profile will be considered by councillors in a report to the Audit, Risk and Scrutiny Board on Monday 18 March 2019.

Janis Mackay

PUPILS will be write up for spending time in Ferguslie Park Library when they get to meet a host of children’s authors, storytellers and a poet.

The youngsters from Glencoats and St Fergus Primary Schools will be heading for the library on a regular basis from now until the beginning if May for a series of visits from the creators of popular children’s books.

Janis Mackay

They include Janis Mackay author of The Accidental Time Traveller; Morag Hood, writer and illustrator of I Am Bat; Alan Dapre, who is a TV script writer and author of humorous children’s books and storyteller, Renita Boyle.

Pupils, from Primary 1 to Primary 7, will also hear from AH Proctor, who writes fairy-tale adventures for children; Brian Whittingham, the Tannahill Makar from Renfrewshire and Matt Oldfield, the children’s book author and co-writer of the Ultimate Football Heroes series of books.

These events are being made possible thanks to support from the Paisley 2021 Legacy Fund.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This is a fabulous opportunity for young people to meet and ask questions of the authors of some of their favourite books.

“It’s also a good opportunity to extend the brilliant work that the Primary School Outreach Librarian has been doing at both St Fergus and Glencoats Primaries, which involves encouraging young people to visit libraries and inspire them to read more.”

mill magazine

Mill is the free, bimonthly, culture and lifestyle magazine for Paisley and Renfrewshire. Every glossy, compact-sized issue is packed with engaging and diverse features covering local events, local people, beauty, fashion, food, travel, interiors and much more. You’ll find Mill in shops, cafés, salons, restaurants, leisure centres, pubs and offices, all over Renfrewshire. If you want to get involved or would like to advertise, please contact us on email: info@millmagazine.co.uk, or via our social media channels or website.

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Cllr McEwan with Pals of the Privies, Glencoats Primary pupils and Renfrewshire Wardens (1)

After more than 1000 volunteers took part over one weekend last year, Renfrewshire’s Big Spring Clean is back – and this time it’s tackling the whole month of April.

One of the highlights of the successful Team Up to Clean Up campaign, community groups, school pupils and volunteers are set to grab their litter picker and make their local area a little brighter.

Cllr McEwan with Pals of the Privies, Glencoats Primary pupils and Renfrewshire Wardens (1)

Litter picks have already been arranged across Renfrewshire to take place during the Big Spring Clean, as the local community once again shows its support for the campaign.

Renfrewshire Council will provide all the equipment needed to volunteer, support will also be provided by the Warden’s Service and the collected rubbish will be taken away by the council’s StreetScene team.

Local group Pals of the Privies have litter picks lined up throughout April and they can’t wait to get started.

Cllr McEwan with Pals of the Privies, Glencoats Primary pupils and Renfrewshire Wardens (2)

Volunteer Karen Campbell said: “Pals of the Privies can’t wait to get together for the Big Spring Clean and see our local area benefit from the work we do, we also hope others do the same for the benefit of the whole of Renfrewshire.”

Pupils from across Renfrewshire are also learning about recycling and the damage litter can make to the environment and can’t wait to put on their bibs for their school litter picks.

Depute Head Teacher of Glencoats Primary, Angela Studden, said: “It’s so important that our young people learn about the damage littering can cause and why it’s important to take care of our environment.

“The pupils are excited to take part in the Big Spring Clean and I’m looking forward to seeing the difference they can make to the local area on their litter picks.”

Litter picks have already been arranged throughout Renfrewshire, including Renfrew, Johnstone, Erskine, Bishopton and more.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, is urging others to get involved.

Councillor McEwan said: “Last year’s Big Spring Clean was so successful as more than 1000 volunteers took part and almost 500 bags of rubbish were collected in just one weekend, I can’t wait to see what we can do in an entire month!

“There’s already litter picks arranged across Renfrewshire so please feel free to go along to any of them, or if you’d prefer to hold your own then let us know and we’ll provide you with what you need.

“We’ve been delighted with the level of support that the local community have shown towards this campaign so far and we want to keep this momentum up and continue to make Renfrewshire cleaner and as litter-free as possible.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s five minutes or a full day, it all makes a difference to our area so please get involved and join this year’s Big Spring Clean throughout April.”

As part of a £2.5million investment, the Team Up to Clean Up campaign is being supported to provide an enhanced street cleaning programme, gully clearing service, an enhanced Rapid Response Team tackling roadside litter and additional litter pickers across Renfrewshire.

The investment also supports the local community to take pride in their area and support volunteers to carry out litter picks of the local area to make neighbourhoods brighter, cleaner and more attractive places to live.

The first litter picks will take place on 29 March and continue throughout April.

To arrange a litter pick or for more information, contact the team via wardens.es@renfrewshire.gov.uk, call 0300 300 1375 or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/BigSpringClean2019.


Hundreds of pupils from nurseries, primary and secondary schools have entered Renfrewshire’s annual Inspired Art Competition.
Now 130 of the 600 entries of drawings and paintings are on display in a free exhibition, at The Tannahill Centre, in Blackstoun Road, Paisley, until April 15.


Two of the talented pupils – Matthew Meigan, aged 14, who attends the Mary Russell School and 13-year-old Paisley Grammar pupil, Leah Bogle – have had their artwork chosen to be turned into posters promoting the exhibition.

The exhibition aims to showcase the development of young people’s art and design work from three and four year olds, to the more sophisticated pieces, which form a Fifth or Sixth Year pupils’ portfolio for national qualifications.

The competition is organised by Renfrewshire Leisure, whose chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The name of the exhibition is very apt because after seeing the artworks, you couldn’t help, but be inspired by the what our pupils have achieved.

“The pupils, their families and their teachers should be really proud of the artwork produced and I’d encourage everyone to go along to the Tannahill Centre and see for themselves how fantastic the artwork is.”

Renfrewshire MYSPs

Young people in Renfrewshire are being called upon to decide who should represent them over the next two years at the Scottish Youth Parliament.

Budding politicians will be seeking the support of their peers to become one of five new representatives to the Scottish Youth Parliament when voting opens in mid-March.

Renfrewshire MYSPs

Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) represent Renfrewshire for a two-year term, with two candidates elected from the Paisley constituency, two for Renfrewshire North and West and one for Renfrewshire South.

From Friday 15 March to Thursday 28 March, anyone aged between 12-25 years old will be able to vote for who they want to represent them online via the Young Scot website.

Current MSYP for Renfrewshire, Maria Alam, said: “My experience at the Scottish Youth Parliament has been amazing. I have been so lucky to meet new people and attend the sittings.

Renfrewshire MYSPs

“I think it’s important that you vote for your MSYP, so you can have someone that you believe will represent you equally in the Scottish Youth Parliament. Don’t miss this chance to have a say!”

Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Services team will also visit secondary schools throughout Renfrewshire, West College Scotland and the University of the West of Scotland to ensure as many young people have the chance to take part as possible.

John Kennedy, Community Learning Officer, said: “Becoming an MSYP is a great opportunity for young people to sample what it is like to be a politician, while having the chance to make a real difference within Renfrewshire.

“They will be the voice of young people for the area so it’s important that everyone takes the time to read about the candidates and cast their vote for who they would like to represent them.”

The Scottish Youth Parliament is the democratically elected voice of Scotland’s young people and is made up of 150 young people, aged 14-25, who are selected through nationally co-ordinated elections held across Scotland every two years.

It is a politically independent parliament, designed by young people, led by young people and for the benefit of young people.

MSYP’s attend three sittings of the Scottish Youth Parliament in each year and can also sit as members or conveners of committee groups.

Councillor Michelle Campbell, Young Person’s Champion for Renfrewshire, said: “The Scottish Youth Parliament is a fantastic way for young people to get involved in politics and I’m delighted to see so many young people standing for election.

“It’s a chance for them to represent their peers, take forward the issues they encounter locally and have their voices heard on a national level.

“I want to encourage all young people to cast their vote in the election as these will be the people representing you for the next two years, so take the time to find out who’s standing and pick who you want to stand on your behalf.”

The results of the election in Renfrewshire will be announced in the council chambers on Friday 29 March.

All candidates, their manifestos and how to cast your vote for each Renfrewshire constituency can be found here: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SYP2019.

paisley abbey

Paisley town centre’s key outdoor spaces and road junctions are in line for a major transformation – and residents and businesses are being invited to two special events to help shape the plans.

Renfrewshire Council has set aside a £10m budget for a wide-ranging programme of improvements to the town centre – aimed at driving new footfall and life to the town centre and creating a more attractive place for residents and visitors to spend time.

paisley abbey

Two open consultation events are taking place next week at which you can have your say on how you would like the spaces to be used and what could be done with them.

The events will be in the Paisley.is office at 5a High Street, Paisley, on Thursday 14 March (1 to 7pm) and Saturday 16 March (9.30am to 12.30pm) with council staff on hand to take your comments.

The work is part of a wider programme aimed at using Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage story to change its future – including major transformations of the museum and town hall and a new library in a formerly-empty High St retail unit.

The programme aims to do the following:

– unlock the huge potential of the area around the iconic landmarks of the Abbey and town hall by creating an expanded space for the area’s already successful major events, and for people to gather and spend time;

– work to redesign County Square as a lively transport interchange and distinctively Paisley gateway to the town, as well as a space where a café culture could thrive;

Views are also being sought on work to simplify traffic movements and improve road safety at the following key town centre road junctions:

– Canal St / Causeyside St / Gordon St

– Mill St / Gauze St / Incle St / Glasgow Rd

– Lonend / Gordon St / Mill St

– the one-way system around Wallneuk

That work will aim to make the road network easier to navigate for drivers and pedestrians, remove the perception of the ring road as a barrier, and create more attractive public spaces offering a sense of arrival to the town.

It will also will feed into the results of a feasibility study into longer-term and more significant improvements to the town’s road system.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “We want to bring new life to Paisley’s day and night-time economies by making the town centre easier to reach and get around, and by creating spaces in which residents, workers, students and visitors will want to spend time and money.

“But to make the most of that it is crucial we capture the views of the people who know and use these spaces best….you. The public events will allow everyone with an interest in Paisley’s ongoing revival to have the chance to help shape what happens next, and your feedback will be important.

“The investment in outdoor spaces and road junctions supports a much wider investment in our key venues aimed at driving new visitors to the town and creating new trade for local businesses.

“It’s important to remember the role of town centres everywhere has changed forever. We can’t turn the clock back but we can use what sets us apart – in our case, stunning buildings and a unique cultural and heritage story – to give people new reasons to come here.

“We also want to stress that Paisley will remain open for business while the work is happening – and we want to know how best we can work with you to keep the town moving during construction.

“This investment will help the town make the best of what it has to offer – I hope as many people as possible come to the events and help shape what happens next.”

Council staff have already met with property owners, local business groups and taxi and public transport bosses to get input on the plans, with plenty positive feedback to date.

Construction work is likely to start in 2020, meaning the new outdoor spaces and road junctions will be complete for the increase in visitors and activity expected when the town hall and museum reopen in 2021 and 2022.

Information on the work will be posted online at renfewshire.gov.uk after the public events allowing further feedback to be offered for a limited time.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 _D3A8093

Paisley is teaming up with independent street food market PLATFORM for its biggest and best Food and Drink Festival yet.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival is one of Scotland’s largest outdoor food and drink festivals and will take place in Paisley town centre on Friday 26 and Saturday 27 April. This year’s line-up will showcase the finest street food with more than 40 traders and vendors, a demonstration kitchen with celebrity chefs, live entertainment and picnic areas in the stunning surroundings of Paisley’s historic Abbey.

More than 15,000 people turned out to enjoy the two-day extravaganza in 2018.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 _D3A8093

This year, organisers are working with the PLATFORM independent street food market, who reside in the iconic Argyle Street Arches, Glasgow. This will be the popular market’s first outdoor tour date of the year.

PLATFORM on Tour will bring ten of Scotland’s best street food traders, giant Kata tee-pee tents, colourful furniture, the PLATFORM DJ’s, a range of Innis & Gunn craft Arch Brews, and cutting-edge cocktails utilising some of Scotland’s finest craft spirits.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 _D3A8093

PLATFORM traders coming to the Festival include, British Street Food Awards finalist Ginger and Chilli, Brigston & Co. Artisan Hot Dogs, Winners of the Scottish Street Food People’s Choice Award 2017 Shrimpwreck and delicious desserts from Crema Caravan.

Hilary Goodfellow, Project Manager for PLATFORM on Tour said: “Platform is a community of some of the very best street food traders in Scotland, and we love taking our traders out on tour. We are bringing a brilliant selection of genuinely authentic traders to the Festival, all with the same objective: to provide tasty, seasonal food that is sourced sustainably at an affordable price.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 _D3A8093

“We have handpicked a delicious range of food with everything from artisan hot dogs to wood fired pizza, golden arancini, crispy calamari and ice-cream tacos! As a buddie myself, I can’t wait to bring PLATFORM on Tour to Paisley Food & Drink Festival, it’s a great event and offers something for all the family.”

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 _D3A8093

There will be something to suit all tastes at the Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019, including gluten-free and halal options with smaller portion sizes designed for children.

New for this year’s Festival is a dedicated vegan and vegetarian zone offering a range of delicious options.

Paisley Food and Drink Festival 2019 _D3A8093

Returning festival favourites include Babu Bombay Street Kitchen, Scozzese woodfired pizza, Dispensary Bar cocktails, the unique Fizzbuz prosecco van and the popular Rum Shack.

The award-winning Gin 71 bar will also be back to host tasting sessions, with visitors sampling the very best artisan gins.

Managing Director of Gin 71, Paul Reynolds, said: “We’re really excited to be bringing Gin 71 back to Paisley Food and Drink Festival this April. Our gin bar and tasting sessions proved to be a real hit at last year’s event with so many people coming along to sample some fantastic craft gins.

“Gin’s popularity is continuing to soar, and our expert bar staff will be on hand to showcase the excellent range of craft gins we have available and maybe even give people the chance to try something new.”

Event organisers are teaming up with Renfrewshire CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) to host a dedicated Beer Tent at the town’s Bridge Street, with around 70 craft conditioned ales and craft beers available.

The Festival will see a variety of food workshops and cookery demonstrations, as well as live music and entertainment programmed by Paisley’s famous The Bungalow music venue.

A cooking demonstration tent, sponsored by Zero Waste Scotland’s Love Food Hate Waste campaign, will feature celebrity chef Gary Maclean, winner of MasterChef – The Professionals 2016, who will teach visitors the tricks of his trade and Three Sisters Bake.

There will also be plenty of entertainment for the kids, with the chance to enjoy some hands-on foodie experiences and fun games.

Visitors will be able to purchase some great produce from the Farmers’ Market and trader stalls, including the Paisley Drinks Company and the Kilted Fudge Company.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “This is the fifth year of our Paisley Food and Drink Festival and the appetite has continued to grow each year, attracting thousands of visitors to Paisley town centre.

“The Festival is one of the highlights in Renfrewshire’s events calendar, with the British Pipe Band Championships hot on its heels in May.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone to Paisley for two-days of great entertainment and the very best of Scotland’s street food.”

To find out more about this year’s Paisley Food and Drink Festival and more fantastic events taking place in the area, visit www.paisley.is.


ONE-TIME punk rockers from Paisley are being asked to tell how they got their teenage kicks – as The Undertones used to sing.

Researchers at Paisley Museum are inviting fans of the punk era to come along to an informal gathering so they can hear stories of the punk era in Paisley.


The event is taking place in The Tannahill Centre, 76 Blackstoun Road, Paisley, from 6pm on Thursday, March 7.

Paisley became the centre of punk in Scotland in the late 70s and 80s after Glasgow councillors banned punk music concerts after ‘riotous’ incidents at a Stranglers gig in 1977.

But this no punk bands ruling meant that groups and their fans flocked to Paisley venues who were happy to host gigs swelling the growing punk music scene getting underway in the town.

Two Paisley venues – The Bungalow Bar and The Silver Thread – became synonymous with punk gigs and many of the big names in the music genre played in the town.

The Paisley Museum Reimagined project in partnership with Glasgow University hope to include a display on the Paisley punk scene in the Museum when it re-opens in 2022 after a £42 million pound transformation.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We’re calling on all the former Paisley punks and asking if they remember seeing bands like The Rezillos or The Skids performing in the town.

“We’d love to hear from them and we’re looking for anyone who went to punk gigs, played in a band in the town and might have photographs, memorabilia or even still their punk costumes.

“We hope lots of former punks come along to our informal gathering, so they can swap stories about what was a very exciting time in the Paisley music scene.”