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The Wolfson Foundation has announced Paisley Museum will receive £200,000 in capital funding towards its transformation into a world-class cultural destination.

More than 80 grants were announced by the foundation with Paisley Museum receiving the highest heritage grant outside London.

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When Paisley Museum reopens it is expected to attract 125,000 visits each year from Scotland, the UK and overseas and provide a £72m economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

The £42m redevelopment of the museum is the signature project in Paisley’s radical regeneration which also includes refurbishments of the town’s A-listed town hall and a new learning and cultural hub housing library services on the town’s high street.

The redesign of the museum campus, being led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam, will allow the number of objects on display to be increased by 100%.

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Few places of Paisley’s size have had such a global impact, and this is reflected in the museum’s internationally-significant holdings, which include an unrivalled collection of 1,200 Paisley shawls and vast natural history collections. They are currently being held in Paisley: The Secret Collection, the only publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.

The Museum’s final phase of fundraising is now under way, with the recently-launched museum website reimagined.paisleymuseum.org showcasing the project’s ambitious vision.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, said:
“We are delighted the Wolfson Foundation is investing in the future of Paisley Museum. The museum has been beloved by generations of Renfrewshire people and this significant sum brings us a step closer to radically transforming this prominent symbol of Paisley’s past into a central part of our town’s future. Investing in our venues is key to our recovery from the pandemic, as it will create jobs, support new and existing businesses in the area, and drive new footfall to our town centre.”

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Eric Grounds, Capital Appeal Director of Paisley Reimagined, said:
“Paisley Museum has remained at the heart of the community since being founded in 1871. This £42m project presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure our world-class collections are safeguarded, and the museum continues to be a source of knowledge, enjoyment and pride for everyone living in or visiting Paisley. We look forward to connecting with others who recognise the national significance of this project and the positive outcomes it will bring to Paisley.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of Wolfson Foundation, said: “The Wolfson Foundation is committed to funding widely across Scotland and so we are delighted to be supporting Paisley Museum, especially at such a challenging time for cultural life generally. The scale of the ambition is extremely impressive – and the new Museum campus will tell a glorious mix of local and global stories, all based on superb collections.”

Paisley Museum Reimagined is supported by Renfrewshire Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

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YOUNGSTERS at three Renfrew Primary schools got the chance to take part in their annual sports day – even though they were still in lockdown.

Thanks to the team at Renfrewshire Leisure Sports Services, pupils from Kirklandneuk, Arkleston and Newmains Primary schools competed in a virtual sports day.

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All the usual summer sports day events were held in the pupils’ own gardens as the individual houses in schools competed against each other. Events included Egg and Spoon, Wellie Toss, Limbo, Speed Bounce, Human Pyramid, Transfer the Water, Bowls, Plank, Obstacle Course, Laps of the Garden, Keepie Ups, Burpees and Standing Long Jump.

The winning house at Kirklandneuk Primary was Spartan; Arkleston house winner was Viscount and Newmains winning house was Wallace.

Olympic athlete, Eilidh Doyle sent pupils a good luck video to encourage them to take part. The youngsters were also asked to design flags and banners to put up in their gardens, or the windows of their homes.

The Renfrewshire Leisure Sports Services team paid tribute to Kirklandeuk principal teacher, Mrs Gillian Stafford and teacher Mr Darren O’Hanlon; Newmains principal teacher, Mrs Gillian Hall and Arkleston principal teacher, Mrs Kajla for their help in organising the event.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Lots of pupils and their families look forward to their school sports day and it was a great idea from our Sports Services Team that they shouldn’t miss out this year.

“Lots of things have been happening online since the lockdown began and it was an inspired move to create a virtual sports day for the three schools. I want to thank all the teachers and pupils for getting involved and making virtual sports day a success, they have been brilliant.”

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Cathy teamup pick up

Local volunteers from Renfrewshire’s award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign have caught fly tippers red-handed as they look to protect the local environment.

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Six £200 fixed penalty notices have been issued by Renfrewshire Council since April following reports from dedicated volunteers who have encountered fly tipping while cleaning up their area – with 22 issued in total across the area.

Waste found in Renfrew identified the same person’s details on numerous occasions which led to a fine being issued, while a van was caught red-handed dumping waste in Erskine.

Other occasions saw fly tippers fined in Paisley and Erskine woods after they were caught on camera illegally getting rid of their waste.

The notices require to be paid within 14 days, otherwise the council can pursue court action against the offenders.

Any residents using a ‘man with a van’ type companies must ensure that their waste will be disposed of legally by a registered waste carrier as it is still their responsibility if it is dumped illegally.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Fly tipping is not only illegal, but it ruins the appearance and harms our local environment.

“We need people in Renfrewshire to take responsibility for their waste and recognise that dumping it in our countryside, neighbourhoods or laybys is unacceptable.

“The fantastic Team Up to Clean Up volunteers are prime examples of what we should all strive to be, and they are making a tremendous difference to our local area.

“If you see someone fly tipping, or find evidence as to who has done it, then please report to us and together we can stop this happening once and for all in Renfrewshire.”

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, or to report fly tipping, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

Sma shot day 2020

This weekend marks the digital debut of Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations as a series of virtual events and workshops will take place to mark this important date in the town’s calendar.

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The online event will take place on Saturday 4 July – the time when the weavers and their families would traditionally always take their holidays.

The move to take the event online for 2020 is in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, to ensure celebrations can still take place in adherence with national guidance.

The traditional Sma’ Shot holiday in Paisley takes its name from a famous dispute between the local shawl weavers and manufacturers in the 19th century. In 1856, following a long dispute, the manufacturers backed down and an agreement was reached to pay for the Sma’ Shot, the invisible stitch which bound the Paisley shawls, with a new table of prices published on 1 July 1856.

This year’s event will not only mark this important date in the town’s history but will also celebrate our fantastic key workers.

The event always offers plenty of opportunities for people to get involved and have fun and this year is no exception.

The day will kick-off in style at 12pm as The Charleston Drummer himself, Tony Lawler, will lead a mass online drum-off where the public are being encouraged to make as much noise as they can and share their celebrations on social media.

Aerial dance theatre company, All or Nothing, will be performing dance and music project – Connecting Threads – inspired by the background and history of Sma’ Shot. Everyone is invited to join in and dance along to the new Sma’ Shot inspired music track by Dave Boyd.

In the run-up to Connecting Threads local groups and individuals have been participating in online classes and creative tasks with the group and have submitted videos that will feature in a short film that can be viewed online on the day.

Local theatre company PACE will be hosting live drama workshop sessions created especially for the day – an interactive storytelling workshop suitable for 3-7 year olds and an activity-based session aimed at children aged 7 and above.

Sma’ Shot Day favourite – The Tea Dance – will also take place this year, albeit it from the comfort of your own home, as Renfrewshire Leisure and Paisley FM bring a special Sma’ Shot Day radio broadcast of this popular event.

For those who want to be fully immersed in the day’s events, local upcycled fashion innovators ReMode have put together some online video tutorials to show how people can get crafty and make their own costumes or window decorations to celebrate the day.

It would not be Sma’ Shot Day without the popular Poetry Slam. This year the spoken-word event will be known as the ‘Dooslan Staying Hame’ where people can enjoy some poetry written during lockdown and performed by some of Renfrewshire’s finest contemporary poets and spoken-word artists.

In addition, Renfrewshire Leisure and The Bungalow are partnering up for the Sma’sh Hits Sma’ Shot Special music event, showcasing a selection of local musicians.

For those looking to start Sma’ Shot weekend off early join CREATE Paisley and host Jordan Stewart for an unplugged Live Open Mic night on Friday 3 July featuring young singer/songwriters from across Renfrewshire.

This will be followed on Saturday 4 July by ‘Paisley in Song’ where people can enjoy five songs from young Renfrewshire songwriters in this exclusive online showcase. The youngsters worked alongside Paisley-songwriter Michael Cassidy to develop a set including two new collaborative songs celebrating our key workers and NHS, and three songs exploring Paisley’s incredible history of song writing and poetic legacy, written in 2019 as part of Renfrewshire Council’s THCARS2 project.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “Sma’ Shot Day is such a popular date in the town’s calendar and it’s excellent that we can still celebrate it this year through a series of fantastic online events.

“The digital programme is packed full of fun, interactive and creative activities that the whole family can participate in and enjoy – helping to create the amazing sense of community that is always so present at this event.

“I can’t wait to welcome you all to Saturday’s event and I look forward to logging on and enjoying some of the great activities planned.”

For all the information on what’s taking place as part of this year’s digital Sma’ Shot Day and how you can get involved, please visit www.paisley.is/featured_event/sma-shot-day/.

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Councillors have committed to researching Renfrewshire’s history and links to the slave trade as part of stand against racism and hate crime.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron opened the first-ever virtual full Council meeting by outlining her desire to reflect on the area’s part in the slave trade as part of its support for the Black Lives Matter campaign.

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Provost Cameron said: “As an organisation, we value diversity and will not tolerate racism in our schools, workplaces or communities.

“The killing of George Floyd shocked and sickened us all and has marked a turning point for the anti-racism movement. We must work to eradicate racism in all its forms now and be prepared to examine the role it played in our past.

“Renfrewshire’s thread-making was part of an international industry built on slavery, a part of our history that we must reflect on and come to terms with.

“We were, however, a community that had an active abolition movement in the late 18th and early-mid 19th centuries, embracing diversity and campaigning for equality in all its forms.

“It is that sense of fairness and justice that has shaped our present and that we must draw on now, but we must also move away from that comfortable place where we have positioned ourselves as abolitionists – because that position is not enough anymore.

“That is why we are committing to researching the past and links between Renfrewshire and the slave trade. It is vitally important that we have a conversation about how we ethically address this part of our history, represent all the voices within our community and ensure that racism has no part in our future.

“It’s what we do next that matters. We must look to our past, stare it in the face and claim it. Only then can we begin to move forward.”

Following discussion, councillors agreed to support Black History Month each year and to support both cultural and educational events outside of the designated month, with consultation completed with the black community on how this should be done.

An anti-racism discussion group has also been established by Renfrewshire Leisure’s cultural team and will build on their ongoing research into Renfrewshire’s past and look at how museums can be decolonised moving forward.

Also at the meeting, which was attended by 21 of the 43 elected members to limit potential connection issues, councillors received an update on the current situation in Renfrewshire relating to Coronavirus, as well as details of the area’s recovery plan to restart, recover and renew services in line with national guidance with partners, businesses and communities.

Councillors also approved the move to undertake virtual meetings for the scheduled policy boards in August and September, as it is not yet clear when meetings of this nature will be able to take place in the conventional manner.

Council meetings will now move into recess until 14 August, although to ensure required decision can be made, the Emergencies Board will continue on a fortnightly basis and its membership has been extended to 15.

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Paisley First has launched a new shop local campaign as businesses start to reopen from the COVID-19 lockdown. 

Love Local Love Paisley aims to build on the renewed community spirit as people pulled together to fight against the pandemic which has seen much of the country closed down for the last three months. 

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Most retail businesses will begin reopening in Paisley town centre from this Monday, 29th June. 

Hospitality businesses with outdoor seating areas will be reopening from Monday 6th July. 

Hospitality businesses, including cafes, pubs and restaurants, will then be able to reopen their indoor seating areas from Wednesday 15th July. 

And who doesn’t already know that our hairdressers and barbers will also be reopening from 15th July! 

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Now Paisley First, the town centre Business Improvement District, is hoping that those people who relied on local businesses during lockdown will return the favour and continue to shop local as restrictions are eased. 

Colette Cardosi, Chair of Paisley First, said: “Local people relied on local businesses during lockdown, businesses have been there when people needed them most. Now we’re asking the public to be here for them! 

“Our town centre businesses have been working hard to get their premises safe and secure to welcome customers back, with social distancing measures all in place. 

“Of course, some of our amazing local businesses have remained open throughout lockdown, in order to serve the local community and we are so grateful to all their hard-working staff! 

“We have a great range of independent retail businesses – food, florists, jewellers, giftware, fashion, homeware and more and they can’t wait to welcome back customers, both regular and new. 

“You can still support your favourite hospitality or hair and beauty business before they reopen by leaving them a good review online or why not contact them via Facebook and see if you can buy a gift voucher, help support a local business now and give yourself a treat to look forward to!” 

Colette added: “My message to the local community is that our local business owners can offer you a safe way to shop. While many things have changed, our town centre remains the heartbeat of our local community. 

“Don’t queue around the block elsewhere, support our local businesses who need you to shop local like never before and together we can make Paisley a stronger and more vibrant town centre. 

“With summer well and truly here, we have plenty of fresh air and wide-open spaces, we look forward to welcoming you back safely to Paisley town centre soon. Love Local, Love Paisley!”

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Renfrewshire Council’s board meetings are set for a virtual return, with the full Council meeting on 24 June taking place for the first time via Skype.

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Nominated Councillors from across the political parties will attend the meeting next week and receive an update on the current situation in Renfrewshire relating to Coronavirus, as well as details of the area’s recovery plan.

Councillors will also be asked to approve that the scheduled policy boards in August and September are held remotely, as government guidance does not yet allow indoor gatherings of this nature.

Since 20 March, all council boards were suspended in line with national guidance and replaced in line with established protocols with a weekly Emergencies Board which consisted of senior council officers, including the Chief Executive, and elected members from each of the political parties.

Councillors will be asked to approve the continuation of this board throughout the summer recess, with the board moving to a fortnightly meeting and membership extended to 15.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “In what have been unprecedented times, myself and my fellow councillors have been working hard to support our local communities in every way we can, but I know I am looking forward to the return of our established meetings.

“With the Coronavirus pandemic affecting everyone in Renfrewshire, it is more important than ever that we work to provide all available avenues of support for local people and it’s right that all councillors are aware of the plans around this.

“The work of all our council staff during this time has been fantastic and I extend my thanks to each and every one of them for their hard work and dedication during this time.”

In line with the current Emergencies Board process, all meetings would be recorded and made available for the public to view as soon as possible on the council’s website.

Great news! West College Scotland has a new range of beginner courses launching this autumn at the Ferguslie Centre!

The Ferguslie Learning Centre provides certificated learning opportunities for adults who have little or no prior qualifications and delivers courses that increase employability skills and career opportunities.

The college would like you to know that they are continually working on how they can deliver their courses safely to community learners. When the College starts back in Autumn they envisage a ‘blended’ approach which may include online contact and socially distanced classes. They are in the early stages of planning and more information will be available soon.

To find out more about the courses highlighted, or to register your interest contact Kathleen on 07980 696139 -or email kathleen.brown@wcs.ac.uk