Renfrewshire and Inverclyde residents are being encouraged to attend a ceremony to celebrate our serving military men and women.

Serving troops, veterans and their families will join the Provosts of Renfrewshire and Inverclyde, as well as the Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire, Guy Clark, to mark Armed Forces Day with a service in Paisley Abbey on Saturday 23 June.

Reverend Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey, will lead a short service at 10am to recognise the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces, both past and present.

A collection will be held at the service with donations going to Fares4Free, a charity providing free transport for veterans, assisting them with getting to appointments they might not otherwise be able to travel to.

Following the service tea and coffee will be provided within the Abbey.

Both Provost’s and the Lord-Lieutenant will then move on to Hawkhead cemetery where they will lay wreaths at the memorial.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Our Armed Forces make sacrifices every day to protect our country and we must ensure we support them wherever possible.

“Armed Forces Day brings the communities of Inverclyde and Renfrewshire together to pay our respects to those who have served, and to recognise those who currently serve in our name.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to attend.”

Inverclyde Provost Martin Brennan said: “This is an opportunity for us all to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, including veterans and cadets, and to recognise their outstanding contribution to this country now and in the past.

“Many serving members are currently deployed in extremely dangerous parts of the world and their morale is significantly improved knowing that back home they have the support of the public and that their families are being cared for.”

As well as the joint service with Inverclyde, Renfrewshire will host a flag raising ceremony on Friday 22 June, at 11am, outside Renfrewshire House.

To commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Royal Air Force and the Year of Young People, Air Cadet Sergeants James Fulton and Aimee Dunlop from 396 Paisley Squadron, will raise the flag which will fly for seven days.

Inverclyde will host a flag raising service on Monday 25 June, 10:30am, at Clyde Square, Greenock.

One of Scotland’s most senior cultural figures will lead the work to transform Paisley’s future using its unique cultural and heritage story – and says the town can show the way for the rest of the UK.

Leonie Bell – the Scottish Government’s Head of Culture Strategy and Cultural Engagement – will this autumn join Renfrewshire Council in the newly-created post of Paisley Partnership Strategic Lead.

Her role will be to build on the momentum of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and lead the next stage of the town’s ongoing transformation into a vibrant cultural destination.

She is currently working on the government’s flagship cultural strategy for Scotland – having been seconded from her previous role as Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland.

And having supported Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid, she has seen first-hand what the town has to offer. Leonie said: “I am so excited to get started. Paisley is brimming with potential – and it can lead the way for the rest of UK in showing how a town can use culture to transform itself.

“My early jobs in Glasgow gave me a real sense of the power of culture to change how people relate to where they live. Culture offers so many opportunities for communities – it is fundamental to who we are and why we are.

“Paisley is such a deeply and distinct cultural town – both in terms of its history and contemporary culture. You only need to walk around it for five minutes to see that – with such wonderful buildings and spaces as the Abbey and the town hall.

“The Paisley 2021 bid was so inspiring and impressive in its ambition and commitment and the way it was community driven. Paisley can still continue that bid journey and reimagine itself, and it can now do that on its own terms.”

Leonie will bring a vast range of contacts and experience to Paisley after a 20-year career at the forefront of the arts in Scotland, including stints at Glasgow: UK City of Architecture and Design, and as programme director at The Lighthouse: Scotland’s Centre for Architecture and the City.

Before joining Creative Scotland, she led the Scottish cultural programme for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and paved the way for its Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games equivalent.

In her new role she will lead the delivery of a far-reaching 2021 bid legacy plan, bringing together local, Scottish and UK groups to harness the power of culture to impact on education, health, poverty and wellbeing across Renfrewshire – and to help make those benefits available to all.

The Paisley Partnership Legacy Board includes representation from the council and local community plus University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland, Glasgow Airport, the NHS, Creative Scotland, Glasgow School of Art, Young Scot, Scottish Enterprise, and Arts and Business Scotland.

It is a continuation of the board which governed the UK City of Culture 2021 bid but will continue to meet to take forward the town’s legacy plan, to which Renfrewshire Council and other partners have already committed funding and other resource.

That plan includes a £100m investment in Paisley town centre venues, including the £42m project to turn Paisley Museum into a world-class facility; new events and festivals for the area’s existing major events programme; and investment in building the area’s cultural capacity and creative economy.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson – who chairs the Paisley Partnership Legacy Board – added: “We warmly welcome Leonie to Paisley later in the year and believe her experience and passion make her the ideal person to lead the next phase of Paisley’s ongoing transformation.

“For us to have attracted someone highly regarded in Scotland’s cultural sector is a major coup for the town which shows the extent to which it is now viewed as a key destination.”

For more information on what’s happening in Paisley, visit www.paisley.is

Visitors can learn the skills and techniques that helped make Paisley famous through a programme of interactive design, textile and craft workshops and demonstrations just released for this year’s Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day celebrations.

The annual Sma’ Shot Day celebration, which is one of the world’s oldest worker festivals which celebrates the town’s weavers and mill workers, will take place on Saturday 7 July and will, for the second year running, include the Weave Festival – offering an enhanced and diverse programme of cultural events and activities on the day.

Celebrating the town’s weaving heritage visitors will have the chance to head along to a number of weaving demonstrations at the Sma’ Shot Cottages.

Weavers in Residence, Shielagh Tacey and Heather Shields, who are supported by the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2), Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland, will run demonstrations throughout the afternoon. Ever wondered what Sma’ Shot actually means? Shielagh and Heather will tell visitors all about it and demonstrate this famous stitch on various weaving looms and there will even be a chance for participants to have a go themselves.

Visual art curator and weaver at Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, Dan Coughlin, will also run a number of weaving demonstrations at the cottages throughout the day. While at Paisley Museum watch award-winning textile designer and weaver Mariam Syed as she weaves beautiful contemporary patterns on a loom in Paisley Museum’s famous loom and shawl gallery.

One of the weaver’s in residence, Shielagh Tacey, said: “As part of our weaving residency in Paisley Heather Shields and I have been researching the term “Sma’ Shot”. It is such an important part of Paisley’s weaving heritage and yet not many people actually understand what it is or looks like.

“This Sma’ Shot Day and Weave Festival we will be based at the Sma’ Shot cottages, alongside their fantastic volunteers, demonstrating what a woven “Sma’ Shot” is and what it looks like using various looms.”

Carrying on the town’s tradition of making, there will be a series of free design and craft workshops taking place in Paisley Town Hall and Paisley Abbey on the day covering everything from bookbinding and artwork to paper craft.

Award winning architect and designers Krisztina and James McCulloch from KCD Designs will work with participants to create unique art work of Paisley’s historic buildings to take home. While JuJu Books will run a woven spine bookbinding workshop using Coats linen and a selection of high quality recycled paper and bookcloth, to allow participants to bind their own A6 book to take away. Iranian textile artist Paria Goodarzi will also host a series of block print workshops where people can learn how to print and use stamp/block printing.

Paria said: “I’m looking forward to experiencing the culture, history and community spirit of Paisley during the Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot event. I will be guiding the workshop participants and in the traditional technique of block printing. We will be exploring traditional patterns and coming up with our own designs, producing some colourful and fun tote bags that will be a great reminder of the day.”

There will also be a chance to explore the art of paper crafts and collaging with Louisa Winning, as well as learning simple techniques to mend and adapt clothing with designers from Re-Mode.

Additional workshops supported by TH.CARS2 include Dyed Turkey Red and Textiles Demonstrations at The Paisley Threadmill Museum.

Dyed Turkey Red at Weavolution Paisley Hub, where textile researcher Dr Julie Wertz will deliver a hands-on exploration of the history and processes involved in making and using dyed ‘Turkey red’ – a complex dyeing process which produces a bright, fast red colour.

While at The Paisley Threadmill Museum will see demonstrations delivered by Glasgow Clyde College as part of the Artisan Institute Project on traditional textile techniques focusing on weaving, and including spinning and dyeing.

In addition to the firm favourites visitors have come to expect from Weave Festival and Sma’ Shot Day such as the workshops, parade and Burning of the Cork, there will also be a new raft of activities to attract and entice the crowds. The town centre will be transformed into a seaside escape in keeping with this year’s theme ‘Doon the Watter’ complete with sandy beach, ice cream and candyfloss.

Visitors can also look forward to a raft of music, poetry and spoken word performances at the Dooslan Stane Stage or take part in the popular Tea Dance at Paisley Town Hall.

To find out more about the event including the full line up for the day and more detail on the workshops and demonstrations please visit: www.paisley.is.

west college scotland

Last Friday 15 June, a total of 30 participants from colleges and training centres across Scotland gathered to compete the 44th Annual SNIPEF SkillPLUMB competition. The event, hosted by West College Scotland at their Paisley Campus, also welcomed over 200 professionals from the Plumbing industry who came to support workforce development and gain insight into the latest trade developments.

west college scotland

Andrew Fogarty, Head of Energy and Engineering at West College Scotland, said: “We were very honoured to be hosting the 2018 SNIPEF SkillPLUMB competition. It showcased the very best in young talent within a thriving and dynamic industry. We are very proud of our partnership with SNIPEF and are delighted to deliver plumbing apprenticeships in all three of our major campuses.”

The candidates taking part in the competition undertook practical exercises in copper pipework and lead work that were assessed and marked by a panel of technical experts. Apprentices from Tullos Training in Aberdeen who both work for Aberdeenshire firm Derek Scott Plumbing and Heating took home the top awards: Samuel Henderson in the lead competition and James McCall Smith in the copper competition.

Second prize in lead went to John Taylor who attends Glasgow Clyde College and who works for Evolve Plumbing Services Ltd and third prize went to Cameron Stewart of Moray College who works for DD Plumbing Services. In the copper competition, second prize went to Kyle McGeoghie of Perth College, who works for William Combe & Son Ltd and third prize went to Alexander Clouston of Inverness College, who works for Pipedream Plumbing Ltd.

The prizes were presented by Jamie Hepburn, MSP, Minister for Employability and Training and SNIPEF Past President Gerry Woods. In his Guest Address Mr Hepburn said:  “[Scotland’s young people] are offered a fruitful and rewarding experience through apprenticeships and I need you to go out and tell others what a great opportunity an apprenticeship can be.”

Fiona Hodgson, SNIPEF CEO said: “It is inspiring and reassuring to see the exceptionally high standard of skills the apprentices have demonstrated, our industry is in safe hands. They are a credit to the employers who take them on, the lecturers who teach them so well, and most importantly they are a credit to themselves in showing such dedication and determination to become the best they can be at their chosen trade.”

The winner of the copper competition may go on to represent Scotland at SkillBUILD UK in Birmingham in November where the highest scoring winners from the heats will compete in the UK final.

A campaign to boost foster care numbers in Renfrewshire has resulted in a seven times increase in the number of enquiries from prospective carers to the service.

During Foster Care Fortnight last month, carers shared their inspirational stories to help spread the word on their rewarding role, while a series of drop in events also helped increase its visibility.

Renfrewshire Council is aiming to raise the number in its foster care family from 81 to 100 and the campaign to boost numbers continues.

Foster Parents. Renfrewshire council

Education and Children’s Services convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “There was a great response to our campaign to make the role more visible, but the work very much carries on.

“If you think becoming a foster carer may be for you then we absolutely still want to hear from you.

“Our existing foster carers can talk you through every step and have incredible stories to share, but what comes through is that they are ordinary people just like you and me who have taken on an extraordinary role.

“If you want to help change the life of a child or young person for the better, please get in touch.

“By boosting the number of foster care family we can ensure that we give all our cared for children and young people the best possible start in life.”

Foster carer Nicola Hanvey said: “It’s great to hear the campaign has resulted in more enquiries but that doesn’t stop here.

“If you think you have something to offer, then pick up the phone. You’ll be guided every step of the journey and can end up making a huge difference to a child’s life.

“I also like working from home and as part of a team. I get involved in any training opportunities I can and I attend the support group for foster carers. We meet once a month and it’s important to get that support from people who understand the job.”

If you are over 21, have a spare room and are in good health, you can apply to help make a difference to a child’s life.

Children and young people of all ages need carers who will help them feel wanted, valued and safe.

As a foster carer, you can be in work or unemployed, be single, married, or in a same sex or heterosexual relationship, and can own or rent the property you live in.

You will receive advice, specialist training and peer support, as well as an allowance.

Anyone interested in more detail can call the team at Renfrewshire Council on 0300 300 1199 or email at childrenandfamilies@renfrewshire.gov.uk

If you have children aged up to 14, Renfrewshire Council is asking you to help shape future nursery and childcare provision for families.

The Council is seeking the views of parents in the area on the provision of early learning and child care, including before and after school services and school holiday cover, by competing a short survey,

Eligible children aged two and three to five year olds are entitled to 600 funded hours annually, which will increase to 1140 hours by August 2020.

Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, said: “The survey is a great chance for parents to have their say on what they need going forward and even if this doesn’t currently apply to you, your views will help us plan for families in the future.”

The information provided in the survey, which is to be completed by Friday 6 July, 2018, will be treated confidentially and will be used to inform future service provision.

A link can be found here: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/article/4622/Children-and-Young-People-Consultation-2018

Plans to build a 21st-century learning and cultural hub on Paisley High Street are set to take a step closer – with councillors being asked to approve a comprehensive refurbishment of the building.

The council has earmarked a currently-empty retail unit at 22 High St – formerly the Internacionale clothes shop – for a new modern community facility to house the town’s library collection.

Initial plans had looked at demolishing the building and putting in a new structure – while retaining the existing listed façade.

But further detailed surveys of the site and assessment of costs have allowed officers to produce a new solution based on a comprehensive refurbishment of the current building, which can be done within budgets already set aside for the project.

The new facility will be a fully-accessible and digitally-connected space housing the library collections and offering a modern educational resource for the area’s pupils, students and adults in the heart of the High Street – helping drive footfall to the heart of the town.

It will eventually replace the current Paisley Central Library, which will leave its current location next to Paisley Museum in September when the museum closes for a £42m revamp to become an international-class destination based around Paisley’s unique heritage and collections.

Both projects are part of a £100m investment in the town’s venues and infrastructure as part of a wider plan to transform the area’s future using the power of its unique culture and heritage – which also includes internal revamps of Paisley Town Hall and Arts Centre.

Library operators Renfrewshire Leisure will open a temporary facility in the town centre to keep library services running until the new learning and cultural hub opens– expected to be summer 2021.

The learning and cultural hub project is being run by the council in partnership with Hub West Scotland – a Scottish-Government-backed firm who help public-sector bodies get value for money when investing in large infrastructure projects.

The project team will now produce designs for the building, while further site investigation works will continue over the summer. It is expected construction will start in late 2019.

Members of the Leadership Board will be asked to give the green light to the revised plan when they meet on Wednesday.

Council leader Iain Nicolson – who chairs the Leadership Board – said: “When completed this building will deliver a first-class learning resource for future generations of residents.

“Paisley is blessed with some stunning heritage buildings – but the downside is that can make them complex to revamp – which will be the case with this site.

“The building had previously been privately owned and will need a lot of work to get the interior into the right condition for this project – but we are confident we now have a solution which will do that.

“The benefit of having that on the High Street – other than bringing an empty unit back into use – is we drive footfall and new life to heart of the town centre, which will hopefully benefit traders.

“The project is just one strand of the programme of investment in our cultural facilities which is at the heart of the wider plan to transform the area’s fortunes by harnessing our unique cultural and heritage story.”

Making sure local communities benefit from Renfrewshire’s £274million City Deal projects was high on the list of topics discussed at Paisley North Community Council this week (Tues 12 June) attended by Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

The Council Leader is visiting community councils across the region to hear about their local issues and the visit to Beechwood Community Centre in Shortroods was the latest in the series of visits.

City Deal employment opportunities, engagement with the Council and grass cutting programmes were all on the agenda, which was well attended by councillors for the area.

Councillor Nicolson said: “When we were elected last year, I made a pledge to continue listening to communities and responding direct to their concerns and that is why I’ve been out and about attending community council meetings across the area, to hear for myself the issues that are being discussed and also where we can work more closely together to improve the quality of life for people.

“Being in close proximity to the airport, the investment in the City Deal projects will bring hundreds of jobs to the area and the investment in the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland will also create many training opportunities so we want to make sure we capitalise on this for local people so everyone can share in the benefit these developments will bring.

“We also discussed how we can work more closely together. We want to support communities to take pride in their place, tackle the issues that matter to them and have community backing. By hearing first hand their experiences and ideas, this gives us a great foundation to build on and I look forward to continuing these conversations as we move forward.”

A fifth round of entrepreneurs has taken the first steps to develop their businesses with the help of Renfrewshire Council.

InCube is an innovative business support programme, developed by Invest in Renfrewshire, where local creative start-ups can benefit from support to improve their growth.

Incube 16.5.18

Based on Paisley High Street, Incube provides talented creatives with the means and confidence to showcase their products, as well as providing them with the support and guidance to take their business further.

The entrepreneurs benefit from a package of support for up to nine months including free office and meeting space in Paisley town centre and one-to-one mentoring and coaching. They also gain access to funding opportunities, a range of workshops and high profile networking events.

Incube 16.5.18

Also present at InCube are Business Gateway and Prince’s Trust Scotland – meaning creatives can access business start-up support in a supportive environment.

Designer Sarah Johnstone, of FlipFlop Design Shop felt the InCube programme was a great opportunity to take on board valuable knowledge from experts and apply it to her own business, creating personalised flip flops.

Incube 16.5.18

Sarah added “It’s perfect for networking and learning alongside other creative, inspirational and like-minded people who have the same goal.”

As part of the programme, the businesses have the opportunity to have their products available for sale within the dedicated InCube shop, 9B Gilmour Street Paisley. During this time they are responsible for ensuring they can fulfil customer orders made within the shop to a high standard.

Designer Caitlin Mooney of Woolybox, a crochet subscription box service, applied to InCube as she was struggling to understand the legal matters of running your own business and, after losing her job, was keen to start focusing on something creative.

Incube 16.5.18

“I’m excited to see what my business holds for me in the future and hope that one day I can be my own full time boss.”

Other businesses supported in this round are children’s clothing brand Atelier Eva Art, textiles and homewares brands Obsidian Ore and Church & Jones, milliner Roberta Simpson, art inspired fashion designer Soheila Kenyani and Handmade Moments who specialise in teddy bears, jewellery and cards.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “InCube has been a tremendous success with local creatives being supported and nurtured to showcase their products and advance their business to the next level.

“It is important that we continue to support this innovative community who are producing exceptional products and who will help establish Paisley as a place where creativity thrives.”

As part of the programme, the businesses are asked to act as an advocate for InCube and often take an active role in promoting and selling their own products through taking stalls at Renfrewshire Council events and holding workshops.

For further information on Incube and to find out how to get involved, visit www.incube.ren

Crowds are set to soak up the summer vibes at Barshaw Gala Day with an afternoon packed full of exciting activities for all the family.

Taking place on Saturday 23 June, from 1pm to 5pm, Barshaw Park will be a hive of activity as the local community comes together for one of the highlights on the calendar.

A live stage hosted by FE Live will provide the soundtrack to the day and there will be plenty of local talent performing across the afternoon.

A host of community and craft stalls will give the locals the chance to see the fantastic artists, designers, charities, volunteers and groups that the area has to offer.

The kids won’t feel left out either with a whole range of activities available, including a funfair, inflatables and free face painting on offer all afternoon.

Johnstone and Renfrew Burgh Bands will also be performing from 2pm – an occasion you don’t want to miss!

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Gala days are important events for our local communities and I can’t wait to get along and join in with the festivities.

“There’s a fantastic array of activities on offer in Barshaw Park so gather up the kids, your friends and your family and come along to join the crowds set to turn out for a brilliant day!”

For more information on events in Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/eventswww.paisley.is or contact events@renfrewshire.gov.uk.