Whitehaugh, Paisley News


Several thousand of the world’s best pipers and drummers today turned Paisley into a sea of tartan as the town hosted one of piping’s biggest and most prestigious events.


The British Pipe Band Championships saw huge crowds flock to the town’s St James Playing Fields for the first of the five annual ‘majors’ in the piping calendar.


A total of 123 bands from across the UK and Ireland took part across the day and in the spectacular final march-past, with individual competitors from as far afield as the USA, Denmark and Belgium.

The big winners on the day were the St.Laurence O’Toole Pipe Band who picked up the top prize in the prestigious Grade One competition

Local interest on the day included the Johnstone, Kilbarchan and Renfrewshire Schools Pipe bands.


Visitors enjoyed a day of free family entertainment including a Highland Games competition with caber-tossing and a Scottish Open Strongman contest featuring World’s Strongest Man competitors.

The event was organised by Renfrewshire Council and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association. This was the fourth year the championships have taken place in Paisley – with the area contracted to continue to host until 2021.

Previous events had generated more than £300k for the local economy, with half the attendees visitors to Renfrewshire and 7% from outwith Scotland.

Free transport had been organised to and from the event site in partnership with bus firm McGill’s.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “We were delighted to welcome the British Pipe Band Championships to Paisley for another year of what has been a really successful partnership.

“Hosting an international event like this generates a massive economic boost for the area and brings huge volumes of footfall into the town. It also helps further cement Paisley and Renfrewshire’s place as one of Scotland’s premier destinations for major events.”

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, added: “The British Championships are the first of our five major championships taking place throughout the summer and we saw a top-class display of piping and drumming from the world’s best.

“Once again, the people of Renfrewshire came out in numbers to support the event – Paisley is a great location and host venue, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the town over the next two years.”

Provost Cameron with pupils from Linwood, Gleniffer and Johnstone High Schools and members of Pride Paisley

Today (Friday 17 May) the rainbow flag was raised outside Renfrewshire House for the first time, to mark the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

Provost Cameron with pupils from Linwood, Gleniffer and Johnstone High Schools and members of Pride Paisley

The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia was created in 2004 to raise awareness of the violence, discrimination and repression of LGBTQI+ communities worldwide.

The date of 17 May was specifically chosen to commemorate the World Health Organisation’s decision in 1990 to declassify homosexuality as a mental disorder.

Pupils from Johnstone High School's Umbrella Club

Provost Lorraine Cameron was joined by members of the local LGBTQI+ community to mark this special occasion with pupils from local schools also in attendance.

Poems by LGBT Poet Laureate, Trudy Howson, were read before Provost Cameron and pupils from Glencoats Primary School raised the rainbow flag for the first time.

Provost Cameron said: “In Renfrewshire this is the beginning of a journey to raise awareness of the hatred and intolerance still faced by many across the world.

“By raising the rainbow flag, a symbol of the LGBTQI+ community, we hope to highlight that Renfrewshire is an inclusive and caring community and everyone is welcome and respected here, regardless of their sexual orientations or gender identities.”

BPBC Paisley MFG

Paisley is preparing to welcome an invasion from a tartan army this weekend when 4,000 pipers and drummers descend on the town for one of world piping’s biggest events.


The British Pipe Band Championships are at the St James Playing Fields on Saturday from 10am until 7pm – with a day of free family entertainment laid on.

BPBC Paisley MFG

The event – the first of piping’s five summer ‘majors’ and second-only in size to the Worlds – will feature 123 bands from across the UK and Ireland, and drum and pipe majors from as far afield as the USA, Denmark and Belgium.

Scottish Power Win BPBC MFG

For the first time the event will feature a Highland Games competition and Scottish Open Strongman contest featuring World’s Strongest Man competitors – including the chance for visitors to test their own strength.

Other free events include Highland dancing, a food village with bar, and family entertainment.

BPBC Paisley MFG

Event organisers Renfrewshire Council and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association have also teamed up with McGill’s Buses to transport spectators to and from the event – free of charge.

This year’s event chieftain will be poet Brian Whittingham, the Tannahill Makar for Renfrewshire. He said: “This will be the first time I’ve attended the Championships and it’s an honour to be have been asked to be Chieftain.

“I’m sure the sight and sound of so many world-class pipe bands will make for a tremendous experience. It’s fantastic we’re able to welcome thousands of visitors to Renfrewshire for such a prestigious event and I know they’ll enjoy the welcome they receive.”

Scottish Power Win BPBC MFG

Local interest on the day includes the Johnstone Pipe Band, Kilbarchan Pipe Band and the Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band.

Visitors should note there will be no public parking at the event. McGill’s will run the shuttle buses from Paisley Gilmour Street station, West College Scotland and Swift Parking on Greenhill Road, with the latter two offering free event parking.

Other transport options include getting the train to Paisley St James station, which is a short walk from the event site, or a bus to Paisley town centre, and transferring to the free shuttle.

Scottish Power Win BPBC MFG

This is the fourth year the championships have taken place in Paisley – with the area contracted to continue to host until 2021.

Last year’s event attracted 17,000 attendees and generated more than £300k for the local economy, with half the attendees visitors to Renfrewshire and 7% from outwith Scotland.

For more information on the day – including running order and travel info – see www.paisley.is

lisa-marie hughes pic

An ambitious new grant scheme will support local visual artists and craft-makers take their work to the next level.

Renfrewshire Leisure has teamed up with Creative Scotland to launch this year’s Visual Artist And Craft Maker Awards.

lisa-marie hughes pic

Artists and crafts people can apply for grant awards between £500 and £1500 to help with the cost of developing their creative and professional practices.

Organisers recommend anyone interested in applying for one of the VACMA awards to book a ten-minute one-to-one advice session with an advisor from Creative Scotland.

Would-be applicants should, in the first instance, contact Kate Drummond by emailingkate.drummond@renfrewshire.gov.uk or calling 07483 360714. Closing date for applications is Tuesday, June 4.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “There is an amazing array of creative talent in Renfrewshire and we want to help these artists flourish.

“The awards are intended to support artists and craft makers who can demonstrate a clear progression and development of their skills and have an on-going commitment to their work.

“This is an ideal opportunity for artists to gain much-needed financial support to help them continue their creative work.”


Renfrewshire’s next generation of footballers have sampled life as a professional after taking to the pitch at the Simple Digital Arena, home of St Mirren Football Club.

Part of the celebrations to mark popular youth programme Street Stuff’s ten-year anniversary, aspiring footballers crossed the white line to take part in a five-a-side festival of football.


More than 170 young people took part as they seized the chance to emulate their heroes on the hallowed turf, with more than 200 spectators creating the matchday atmosphere.

The event was put on for free for all Street Stuff participants, aged 8-16, by the team and a number of volunteers including Police Scotland Youth Volunteers, Engage Renfrewshire and the No Knives Better Lives campaign.

Stevie Gallacher, Street Stuff Manager, said: “We’re delighted to give our young people the opportunity to play on the pitch at the stadium and hopefully it inspires them to work towards doing it for real in the future.


“Even if they aren’t the next players to pull on the black and white stripes, the opportunity for some of our young people to have this experience is so worthwhile and something they may never otherwise had the chance to do.

“Through Street Stuff, we aim to give all young people in Renfrewshire, regardless of their background, the chance to take part in sport and exercise, as well as giving them a place to feel safe and make new friends.”

Since its inception in 2009, Street Stuff has seen more than 200,000 young people come through its doors, each having the opportunity to take part in sport, make new friends and engage in social activities.

Street Stuff provides activities such as football, dance and gaming six days a week, as well as hosting four holiday camps throughout the year where a healthy meal is provided to each young person who attends – with more than 26,000 healthy meals provided in the last four years.

A firm fixture of the community for a decade, the programme has contributed to a sustained reduction of 65% in reported youth disorder and anti-social behaviour in Renfrewshire.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “The Street Stuff programme continues to go from strength to strength and it remains so popular with our young people across Renfrewshire.

“We’re celebrating ten years of working within our communities and we will continue to provide opportunities for our young people to stay on the right path through our activities.

“The football festival was a great success and I’m sure we’ve inspired hundreds of young people to make sure it’s not the last time they step on the field at St Mirren.”

The project runs in partnership between Renfrewshire Council, St Mirren Football Club, Police Scotland, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Engage Renfrewshire.

For more information on the programme, visit

trinity high school

Take a wad of musical smash hits from the greatest successes of recent years, mix in some time-served classics, then throw on a healthy smattering of all-time favourites and what have you got? Only The Greatest Showcase of all time!

trinity high school

From 17-19 June 2019, Trinity High School is proud to present The Greatest Showcase, a musical revelry including – amongst others – hits from a wide range of classics both present and past, including La La Land, HamiltonFrozen and MatildaGuys & DollsAnnieOliver and Hairspray; and of course, none other than Golden Globe winner and Oscar nominated The Greatest Showman.


Performed by pupils and students from across the year groups, it promises to bring three nights of fabulous entertainment for all the family.


Tickets priced at £5 for adults, £3 for concessions and £13 for families (two adults, two children) are available from the school (“box”) office and by calling 0300-300-1444.


Paisley Stanford Maths _D3A1957

For many, the mere mention of fractions, calculus and algebra can cause a cold sweat to break out, but Renfrewshire pupils are being inspired to love maths through an innovative partnership with Stanford University.

Educational experts at the renowned US institution developed youcubed, an alternative approach to maths education which is followed by one-in-two American schools and has seen students achieve significant improvement in their test results.

Now in a UK first, 172 pupils from six Renfrewshire primary schools are taking part in youcubed maths camps.

Professor Jo Boaler

The camps are being run over two weeks for P5 and P6 pupils from Heriot, St Catherine’s and Glencoats (all Paisley); Auchenlodment and St Anthony’s (Johnstone) and East Fulton (Linwood).

Renfrewshire education staff received specialist training in San Francisco to deliver the camps’ creative curriculum, which uses the latest research and applies it in the classroom.

Morning sessions focus on collaborative problem-solving projects while the afternoon is packed with activities applying mathematics to different subjects, including engineering, orienteering, film making and art.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board said: “It is critically important to us that all children and young people in Renfrewshire benefit from a high-quality education and have equality of opportunity to achieve their ambitions, regardless of their background.

Paisley Stanford Maths _D3A1957

“This innovative partnership with Stanford University is multiplying the opportunities for Renfrewshire pupils to fulfil their potential. Pupils will benefit from an exciting approach to learning maths and our staff will be able to develop and hone their skills to inspire pupil’s love of mathematics.”

Youcubed is co-founded by Jo Boaler, a former maths teacher in London, now Professor of Mathematics Education at Stanford and author of the award-winning Mathematical Mindsets.

Professor Boaler said: “I am thrilled to be partnering with Renfrewshire, bringing our youcubed approach to students in Scotland, to help them love maths and start a pathway of success.

“The maths approach students will learn is inspired by evidence from neuroscience about the ways the brain processes mathematics.

Paisley Stanford Maths _D3A2323

“The students will engage in problem solving and deep thinking and learn that maths is a creative and connected subject rather than a list of rules and methods. Students will learn a growth mindset lens to apply to all of their learning, and their lives.”

Stanford staff will be researching the impact of the 30 camps being held across the US, in Renfrewshire and Brazil, analysing pupil development data over the next three years as part of an international study comparing cultural learning differences.

The partnership comes after Renfrewshire Council was the first local authority in Scotland rated ‘excellent’ by Education Scotland for its progress in raising attainment and closing the learning gap between those in the least and most deprived communities.

Renfrewshire is one of nine Scottish Attainment Challenge authorities receiving funding from the Scottish Government and the national inspection reported significant year-on-year improvements in listening, talking, reading, writing and numeracy.

Funding has enabled tea time study sessions for families and strengthened the transition from primary to secondary school, while more than 3800 pupils have benefited from a programme to develop their self-control.

More than 1000 staff have completed a course to improve confidence in teaching numeracy and a partnership with the University of Strathclyde is delivering impressive results in reading and writing, through a professional learning programme for classroom assistants.

This has seen St Anthony’s Primary School in Johnstone named UK Literacy School of the Year and Renfrewshire schools have won the UKLA Our Class Loves this Book Award two years’ running.

“Inspiring our pupils to enjoy learning maths is really important not just for improving their maths understanding and achievement, but in improving their overall confidence in problem solving and investigation. It also improves learning in a wide range of other subjects,” explains Steven Quinn, Interim Director of Children’s Services at Renfrewshire Council and a qualified maths teacher.

“Through the ongoing work with the University of Strathclyde we have seen the significant benefits of an academic partner and we are really excited about working with the leading experts in maths education at Stanford University and look forward to further developing the partnership over the coming years.”

travelling gallery

IT’S a case of have gallery will travel as a touring art exhibition visits Paisley, next week.

The Travelling Gallery will visit local schools for pupils to see the many different kinds of artwork installed inside a brightly-coloured double-decker bus.

travelling gallery

The bus will also visit different parts of Paisley so the public can see the interesting art exhibits.

The exhibition of photography, printmaking, film and painting is entitled Displaced and explores how artists are responding to and represent in their work global migration and the refugee crisis.

On Monday, May 20 the Travelling Gallery will visit Williamsburgh Primary School; the public can see the exhibition when it visits the Tannahill Centre, in Ferguslie the following day at 3.30pm, then it’s the chance for Todholm Primary pupils to see the artwork, on Wednesday May 22.

lisa-marie hughes

On Thursday, May 23, between 11.30am and 1pm and 2.30pm and 4pm, the Travelling Gallery will be open to the public when it’s situated at Paisley Cross. The gallery will also be at Paisley Cross the following day between 10am and 4pm

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Secret Collection, at 9m High Street, Paisley is also running free drop-in guided tours on Friday, May 24 focusing on objects which reflect the Travelling Gallery’s current Exhibition ‘Displaced’.

The tours – at 11am, noon, 1pm and 2pm will last approximately 30 minutes – 45 minutes.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The Travelling Gallery is an innovate way of bringing art to the people and I would encourage those who can to pay the gallery a visit when it’s in Paisley.

“It will be a thought-provoking experience and with on-going international conflicts and the continued displacement of human beings, artists are asking us to question how we view, understand, and represent refugees and migrants.”

Council Leader

A new community survey which gives local people the chance to help shape the way Renfrewshire Council works has been launched.

The council started its Our Renfrewshire survey today (Monday 13 May). The survey, which is open for four weeks, is open to anyone who lives, works and studies in the area and will help shape a new set of values for the organisation, which will shape how the council communicates and works with communities and partners in the future.

Council Leader

The Council employs almost 8,000 people, most of whom live in the area, and delivers a range of public services including waste and recycling collections, maintenance for local roads, schools and homes, as well as the provision of local education services and care for the most vulnerable.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Iain Nicolson, said: “The Our Renfrewshire survey is quick to fill out and your contribution will make a big difference. We want to know what matters to you, what you value and how we can work together to transform the way we work, building a better Renfrewshire for everyone.

“This survey will help us develop a new set of council values that will shape how we communicate and work with you in the future.

“If you live, work or study in Renfrewshire, we want to hear from you. From our day to day work and our regular conversations, we know communities are keen to work with us so we want everyone to have their say.

“Your views are very important so please get involved in the survey. Don’t miss your chance to shape Renfrewshire’s future.”

The Our Renfrewshire community survey, which includes a short set of simple questions, closes on Friday 7 June.

To take part in the survey visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/ourrenfrewshire. If you need some help to go online, ask about ‘Our Renfrewshire’ in any of our libraries.

You can also share your stories, photos and views on Facebook and Twitter using the hashtags #OurRenfrewshire.


Renfrewshire’s cultural scene is in line for a cash boost as groups benefit from the latest rounds of two cultural grants.

Councillors have approved the latest round of awards from the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – created to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and which has continued as part of a wider plan to use culture and heritage to transform the area’s future.


The fund aims to create more chances for people to get involved in cultural activity, help young people develop, boost the local economy, raise Renfrewshire’s profile, and show how creativity can boost education, social inclusion and quality of life.

The current round of funding is the tenth – and five projects have been awarded funding totalling £50,101, from a total funding ask of £96,774. Projects to be supported are:

  • £11,645 to Mandy McIntosh to run a sculptural project with Ferguslie Park Learning Centre including aspects of community art history, practical skill sharing and hands on making
  • £3,935 to musician Linzi Clark to develop a space for young women in Renfrewshire to express their creative identity and develop songwriting skills in a supportive environment
  • £14,890 to PACE Theatre Company to deliver a high-quality participatory theatre experience to young people who may not otherwise be able to experience or access such an activity
  • £14,000 to Loud n Proud for the development of Sma’ Shot the Musical
  • £5,631 to Starlight Youth Theatre to work with young adults who have challenges of autism and learning disabilities to explore and extend their personal and creative interests

This tenth round sees funds awarded through the CHE Fund reach the £1m mark, with 121 projects supported and a total of £1,045,868 spent since launching in 2016.

Successful completed projects to date include teenage animator Morgan Spence’s Lego stop-motion animation about Paisley, and a dance project bringing pupils in schools across Renfrewshire together to perform pieces inspired by Renfrewshire’s architecture at Johnstone Town Hall.

The CHE fund is part of a wider cultural regeneration plan for Paisley which also includes a £100m investment in town centre venues, including the £42m project to turn Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections.

Based on the success of the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, in 2018 Renfrewshire Council introduced the Cultural Organisations Development Fund and awards for this new cultural grant have also been approved by Councillors.

The Cultural Organisations Development Fund is a three-year fund with the purpose of strengthening and building the capacity of local cultural and creative organisations.

The fund can support a range of organisational development opportunities, such as board recruitment, creating new staff posts, developing programmes for internships or apprentices, and supporting new partnerships.

Five applications to the Cultural Organisations Development Fund have been approved totalling £302,318, from a total funding request of £539,312. These are:

  • £72,000 to Erskine Music and Media Studio over three years to develop the workforce within the organisation and to enable them to continue to support the development of cultural opportunities in Erskine
  • £8,500 to STAR Project to allow the organisation to work with external consultants with the aim of improving the reach and reputation of the organisation and allowing them to continue delivering services and positive social change in Renfrewshire
  • £70,000 to Outspoken Arts over two years to fund two new posts, allowing the organisation to grow and support multiple projects in the ongoing programme
  • £71,778 to CREATE Paisley over three years to address identified organisational challenges that currently limit the organisations ability to deliver its strategic goals and vision
  • £80,040 to PACE Theatre Company over three years to build fundraising capacity, allowing the company to pursue projects that are not viably supported by fees, ticket sales or other incomes.

Projects supported by both funds will benefit communities across Renfrewshire.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Since the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund launched it has succeeded in increasing the number of people getting involved in creative activity across Renfrewshire and I am pleased to see the interest in the fund is still strong as we announce the groups benefiting in this tenth round.

“The new Cultural Organisations Development Fund is designed as an opportunity for organisations to further develop their capacity and progress with longer term planning, and I am pleased to see that some of our previous CHE Fund recipients have progressed to this stage of their development and will benefit greatly from these further opportunities for funding.”

Are you interested in applying for funding? You can find out more by visiting http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/culturalgrants