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.”

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PACE Youth Theatre is delighted to be working with Renfrewshire Carers to create an exciting new project for young people in Renfrewshire. The project, supported by Creative Scotland’s Youth Arts Access Fund, aims to address the social isolation and lack of support faced by many young carers on a daily basis, and particularly this past year under Covid-19 restrictions.

With 74% of young carers reporting that they feel disconnected from friends and family due to lack of support and interaction outside of their household, PACE seeks to provide young people with an opportunity to connect with others in their community and support them to use their voices and share their experiences in a meaningful and positive way.

The project will launch with a series of creative workshops covering a variety of specialisms, and be followed by the creation of a final project that will be documented on film and shared at an event designed by the participants . Throughout the project, young people will have the chance to co-design, explore new creative skills and be supported to share their experiences and explore impactful ways of communicating their stories. Young people will be encouraged to lead on the direction of the project, allowing them to develop collaboration and leadership skills. Participants will also be offered bursary places to take part in PACE’s summer Fest! programme, to allow them to connect with PACE’s core work and meet new people.

Jenni Mason, Artistic Director of PACE said:

We believe that these creative opportunities are crucial in addressing the emotional well-being and mental health of young people, who have been deeply affected by events of the past year.  By the end of this project the young people involved will not only have found ways to express and explore what is happening around us but will have created a legacy resource that can be shared and used to inform others about the challenges and experiences of young carers.”

The project is due to begin in Spring 2021.

Terry McTernan, Darkwood Crew

Local volunteer group the Darkwood Crew have become one of 18 anchor groups in Scotland who support Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Upstream Battle campaign.

The campaign aims to prevent litter from entering the River Clyde and each group undertakes a key role by carrying out regular litter surveys and litter picks along the River Clyde or one of its tributaries.

Terry McTernan, Darkwood Crew

This data is used by Keep Scotland Beautiful to provide a picture of the litter problem along the Clyde Valley to give an understanding of how litter ends up in our waterways and informing future solutions.

The Darkwood Crew are the latest addition to the campaign alongside Brighter Bothwell in South Lanarkshire, Queens Cross Housing Association in Glasgow and 86th Boys Brigade in East Renfrewshire.

Terry McTernan, Darkwood Crew, said: “Our volunteers are really excited to return to our core purpose of getting outdoors and improving our local environment. We truly believe that a greener more sustainable world begins with greener more sustainable communities.”

As keen supporters of Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign, the group regularly litter pick around their local area of Ferguslie in Paisley.

Darkwood Crew

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Litter can be so damaging to our waterways and the local environment, so it is fantastic that the Darkwood Crew are carrying out this much-needed role as part of the Upstream Battle campaign.

“They’re an inspiring group of volunteers and are doing Renfrewshire proud. I’m looking forward to see the results of their work and the solutions it helps bring forward to make our waterways cleaner and safer in the future.”

The groups will receive advice and support from Keep Scotland Beautiful along with access to a bespoke version of the charity’s innovative climate emergency training.

Heather McLaughlin, Campaigns Officer at Keep Scotland Beautiful, commented: “We would like to thank the four new Anchor Groups for joining our battle against marine litter in the Clyde Valley. Their support and work allow us to develop a unique picture of the potential for litter to enter the River Clyde.

“Our recent report, Time for a new Approach to Tackling Litter, shows that we are heading towards a litter emergency, so the information our Anchor Groups provide for the River Clyde will ultimately allow us to better understand littering trends and behaviour, and how to tackle them.”

The addition of four new Anchor Groups to the Upstream Battle campaign has been made possible thanks to funding from Crown Estate Scotland.

Campbell Gerrard, Senior Policy Manager at Crown Estate Scotland, said: “Litter poses a real threat to marine wildlife, their habitats and to people’s enjoyment of the areas where they live and work. That’s why it’s great to have four new anchor groups involved in the campaign, helping prevent rubbish entering our seas and improving the health of the River Clyde and its catchment.”

More information about each of the four new Anchor Groups, as well as the existing 15, can be found at

billboard mock up 2

THE work of creative writers is being displayed in a very unusual place – a five-and-a-half metre high billboard outside a railway station.

The unique outdoor visual arts project will be seen by people passing Paisley’s Gilmour Street Station and is part of Renfrewshire Leisure’s Out of Place programme that also features online gigs, film, audio performances and creative workshops.

billboard mock up 2

The specially-commissioned work from Renfrewshire writers for the Talk of the Town project will be individually on display from February 22 to April 6.

The first piece to be featured on the billboard is a poem by Roddy Scott, called Sma’ Shot Reel, which talks about celebrating the end of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The second is a piece by David Rae, whose words draw on the romance of meeting and parting at the station. And the third in the series is from Kick The Door theatre production company’s, Fraser Scott and Iona Ramsay, whose poem is called Paisley Before, Now and Next: Radicals an’ Revolutionaries.

David Rae

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Visual Arts Projects Producer, Kate Drummond came up with the billboard idea. She explains:

“I thought it would be interesting to use the billboard for something that’s not advertising, or selling to people, as that’s what you would normally see on that space.

“It’s a different way of communicating something in the written word, which is a nice positive message. People wouldn’t normally expect to see something like this on a billboard, so hopefully it will be very noticeable.”

Roddy Scott said: “The idea of my piece of writing on the billboard was to try to get people in the town feel uplifted and to raise their spirits.

Roddy Scott

“It’s an amazing idea to have creative writing on a billboard. When I heard my piece was chosen I was blown away.”

Fraser Scott said: “Our piece is a short poem that recounts the historic moments in Paisley’s past that made it what it is today. In its final words, the poem will ask, with all that behind us, what next?

Fraser Scott and Iona Ramsay

“We really hope our writing will spark excitement about the town and what could be next with those who read itOur hope is to capture a feeling of pride about Paisley and it is our hope that the people who read it will share in that pride.

David Rae said: “I’m very excited by this project as I love Paisley and the town is great inspiration for me.

“I’ve never had my words on a billboard before and I’m fascinated by the thought of my words being used in this way.

billboard mock up 1

“I hope my piece will bring a smile to faces and a few memories to those that pass by. And a reminder that a bag of chips makes everything better!”

Go to for the full Out of Place programme.

The Out of Place events are made possible with the support of Future Paisley – a radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activity and investment using the town’s unique and internationally-significant cultural stories to transform its future.


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

Paisley-based Outspoken Arts Scotland have launched a series of FREE visual art workshops called ART WORKS offering creative learning in the visual arts and aimed at young people, school leavers and emerging artists.  The workshops will assist participants with skills gaps, building portfolios and professional development.

Workshops last 2 hours and, due to COVID restrictions, will be conducted via Zoom and hosted by a group of professional visual artists from across Scotland from Monday 16th February until Friday 13th March 2021.  Benefits to participants include quality engagement, deep learning and transfer of skills.  Art forms covered in the workshops include:  photography; clay modelling; drawing; painting; film-making; printing and print making and sculpture.  The workshops will provide quality experiences and professional collaborations, with a distinct focus on communities and audiences from within the protected characteristics.

Ilona Dynowski, Visual Arts and Creative Learning Officer, Outspoken Arts Scotland, commented: “We have created these FREE online workshops for young people, emerging artists, school leavers and those wishing you learn a new skill and build a portfolio for further education. We’re working with a team of professional artists to deliver quality workshops.  All materials will be provided FREE in advance and we hope that some of the participants go on to collaborate with each other and create their own cohort. We are reaching out to young people across the country to take part in the workshops.”


Details of each workshop:

Photography Workshops with Amanda Lightbody

Photography fundamentals with a twist. This workshop will guide participants on an experimental journey, introducing the creative possibilities of varying photographic processes. Combining old and new techniques, you will focus firstly on analogue and alternative photographic methods, moving on to digital imagery and editing. This is a collaborative workshop which aims to develop, build, share and enhance knowledge and to produce and capture unique images.


Part One – Feb 19th and 20th and Part Two – 5th and 6th March


Sorry this class is cancelled , we are sorry about this but just to update you so you can make alternative arrangements./// Clay workshops hosted by Sara Sonas

In this class you will learn the basics of clay modelling with air-drying clay, you will use some basic tools, some of which can be found in the home (cutlery for example). There will be a discussion on basic structure from design to modelling follow-through, so you can get the result that you want from basic materials. This class is a creative challenge and great for those who have a developing interest in sculpture, 3D modelling or ceramics.


Thursday 18th February from 3-5pm; Monday 22nd February 3-5pm; Tuesday 2nd March 3-5pm and Thursday 11th March 3-5pm.


Sorry this class is cancelled , we are sorry about this but just to update you so you can make alternative arrangements.///Reuse Art Workshops hosted by Sara Sonas

The ReArt: Reuse for Art workshop gives opportunities for young people to learn about the concept of reusing, discover new ideas and create objects out of discarded materials which hold no function or personal value (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, wood, etc). The works produced will be examples of how trash and street items can be brought back into life, forming unique pieces of art, and at the same time preserving our environment. The ReArt: Reuse for Art workshop gives opportunities for young people to learn about the concept of reusing, discover new ideas and create objects out of discarded materials which hold no function or personal value (such as paper, cardboard, plastic, metal, wood, etc). The works produced will be examples of how trash and street items can be brought back into life, forming unique pieces of art, and at the same time preserving our environment.


Thursday 18th February 11am – 1pm; Monday 22nd February 11am-1pm; Tuesday 2nd March 11am-1pm and Thursday 11th March 11am – 1pm

Drawing Workshops with Katie McGroarty

An online workshop for young people which will focus on experimental drawing. It’s so important to provide a space for experimentation, as well as allowing ourselves the time and space to understand how our hands work with different materials. This is crucial in any stage of your development as an artist. Experimental drawing is a fantastic skill to have as a beginner, or established artist, and can be extremely beneficial in identifying areas that need work, where you excel. This workshop explores how your hand naturally moves and identifying which mediums or practices you naturally gravitate toward.


Tuesday 16th February 5-7pm; Wednesday 17th February 5-7pm; Tuesday 23rd February 5-7pm; Wednesday 24th February 5-7pm; Tuesday 2nd March 5-7pm; Wednesday 3rd March 5-7pm; Tuesday 9th March 5-7pm and Wednesday 10th March 5-7pm

Film Workshops hosted by Giancinta Frisollo

Students will work both individually on film ideas and will be encouraged to talk collaboratively as a film crew to work on storytelling. These films will help to express students’ voice on issues they see within contemporary society, either in their own lives and neighbourhoods, or on a broader scale. We will help foster ideas and understand how to use film as a visual and aural medium to tell stories.

Class Includes:

  • Introduction to basic filmmaking techniques and understanding of filmmaking as a visual and aural storytelling platform
  • Introduction to story structure and storyboarding
  • Introduction to basic film editing


Friday 19th February 12-2pm; Saturday 20th February 12-2pm and Friday 26th February 12-2pm; Saturday 27th February 12-2pm; Friday 5th March 12-2pm and Saturday 13th March 12-2pm


It’s February at last and love is in the air as we get ready for Valentine’s Day! 


Many of Paisley’s town centre businesses are still open or operating, making sure  Valentine’s Day can still be celebrated during lockdown. 

We’re highlighting those special Valentine’s Day offers or services on our social  media channels and we also have a full list on our website here 

From gifts and cards, jewellery to flowers, food retailers to perfume and beauty gift  sets, plus afternoon teas and dinner for two at home, we have everything you need  to show your loved ones just how much you care! 

Or how about ordering a gift voucher from one of our amazing health, hair and  beauty businesses – allowing you to support a local business during these tough  times and give your loved one a treat to look forward to! 

Let’s show our Paisley town centre businesses some love! 

Love Local, Love Paisley this Valentine’s

Amanda Lightbody

Outspoken Arts Scotland announces the first in a series of FREE creative learning workshops in the visual arts.  These online workshops are aimed at young people, school leavers and those not in employment, further education or training.

This first series of workshops explore drawing, film making, sculpture from found and recyclable materials, and clay.

Full details of the programme can be found at this link

[ pictured below left to right: Sara Sonas, Katie McGroarty & Amanda Lightbody ]


sara sonas Katie McGroarty Amanda Lightbody


outspoken arts

Joining us Online

These workshops will take place online via Zoom.  Participants must register their personal details, or that of a parent or guardian.  We need your year of birth and also a postal address for surveying purposes and for you to receive any FREE materials pack if required in the workshops. We will issue Online Safety guidance to participants on how to manage their participation, what conduct is expected, and how we will moderate the sessions.  The lead artists will host the sessions along with our Creative Learning officer, who is registered with Disclosure Scotland.  Participants will be screened in a waiting room prior to start of workshop to ensure safety and compliance.

Outspoken Arts Scotland will manage your data safely and not share this with anyone outside of our organisation for any purpose.  We observe and adhere to the General Data Protection Act of 2018.

If you have any questions please contact our team.

Outspoken Arts Scotland Ltd
Tel 0776 272 2460
Find us on FacebookTwitter
Instagram @outspokenartsSC

A Scottish Charity SC023620
A Co. Ltd by Guarantee SC157153
VAT Reg 797 3863 59

This workshop programme is supported by
Creative Scotland | Glasgow City Council | Renfrewshire Council | LGBT+Consortium | William Syson Foundation

WORKSHOP TIMETABLE                                                                                                                                
Tue 16 Feb, 5-7pm                           Katie McGroarty – Drawing Workshop

Wed 17 Feb, 5-7pm                         Katie McGroarty – Drawing Workshop

Thu 18 Feb, 11am-1pm                   Sara Sonas – Reuse Art Workshop

Thu 18 Feb, 3pm-5pm                      Sara Sonas – Clay Workshop

Fri 19 Feb, 10am-12noon                Amanda Lightbody – Photography Workshop – Part 1

Fri 19 Feb, 12noon-2pm                  Giacinta Frisillo – Film Workshop

Fri 19 Feb, 2pm-4pm                       Amanda Lightbody – Photography Workshop – Part 1–vqTkvEtHt_K-yKYwxyx91o0OmmHoN

Sat 20 Feb, 10am-12noon               Amanda Lightbody – Photography Workshop – Part 1

Sat 20 Feb, 12noon-2pm                 Giacinta Frisillo – Film Workshop

Sat 20 Feb, 2pm-4pm                       Amanda Lightbody – Photography Workshop – Part 1

Mon 22 Feb, 11am-1pm                  Sara Sonas – Reuse Art Workshop

Mon 22 Feb, 3pm-5pm                    Sara Sonas – Clay Workshop

Tue 23 Feb, 5-7pm                           Katie McGroarty – Drawing Workshop

Wed 24 Feb, 5-7pm                         Katie McGroarty – Drawing Workshop

Fri 26 Feb, 12noon-2pm                  Giacinta Frisillo – Film Workshop

Sat 27 Feb, 12noon-2pm                 Giacinta Frisillo – Film Workshop

Tue 2 Mar 11am-1pm                      Sara Sonas – Reuse Art Workshop

Tue 2 Mar 3pm-5pm                        Sara Sonas – Clay Workshop

Tue 2 Mar, 5pm-7pm                       Katie McGroarty – Drawing Workshop

Wed 3 Mar, 5pm-7pm                     Katie McGroarty – Drawing Workshop

Fri 5 Mar, 10am-12noon                 Amanda Lightbody – Photography Workshop – Part 2

Fri 5 Mar, 12noon-2pm                   Giacinta Frisillo – Film Workshop

Fri 5 Mar, 2pm-4pm                         Amanda Lightbody – Photography Workshop – Part 2

Sat 6 Mar, 10am-12noon                Amanda Lightbody – Photography Workshop – Part 2

Sat 6 Mar, 12noon-2pm                  Giacinta Frisillo – Film Workshop

Sat 6 Mar, 2pm-4pm                        Amanda Lightbody – Photography Workshop – Part 2

Tue 9 Mar, 5pm-7pm                       Katie McGroarty – Drawing Workshop

Wed 10 Mar, 5pm-7pm                   Katie McGroarty – Drawing Workshop

Thu 11 Mar 11am-1pm                    Sara Sonas – Reuse Art Workshop

Thu 11 Mar, 3pm-5pm                     Sara Sonas – Clay Workshop

Fri 12 Mar, 12noon-2pm                 Giacinta Frisillo – Film Workshop

Sat 13 Mar, 12noon-2pm                Giacinta Frisillo – Film Workshop