Iain MacPhail & Friends, Alastair McDonald and the Graham Laurie Paisley Accordion Orchestra.

Details in flyer below.

fair trade

Renfrewshire challenged to join Fairtrade world record attempt


People of all ages across Renfrewshire are being challenged to take part in a world record bid to create the longest string of bunting.

The theme of this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight (28th February- 13th March) is ‘Show Off Your Label’ with a particular focus on Fairtrade Cotton. As part of the campaign the Fairtrade Foundation is attempting to break a world record for the longest continual piece of bunting. The aim is to tell more people about how Fairtrade cotton protects the livelihoods of cotton farmers in West Africa and India.

The Renfrewshire Fairtrade Steering Group are backing the challenge and urging individuals and groups in the area to get by designing their own bunting using the Fairtrade Foundation bunting kits.

Councillor Brian Lawson, chair of the steering group, has already written to all the schools in the area asking pupils and staff to take part and is urging other groups, including churches, youth groups and nurseries to join in.

All the bunting that is created from schools across Renfrewshire will then be gathered together and sent off to the Fairtrade Foundation by 16th April for their world record breaking attempt.

A series of Fairtrade Fortnight events are also lined up to take place throughout Renfrewshire for people of all ages to get involved in.

These include everything from a family fun day at Paisley Town Hall, to a Fairtrade wine tasting in Lochwinnoch, a performance by a local theatre group on the injustices facing Fairtrade farmers and a Fairtrade football tournament.

Councillor Lawson said: “The support for Fairtrade in Renfrewshire is constantly growing and as a result this year’s Fairtrade Fortnight looks set to be our best yet with a huge range of events offering something for everyone.

“In particular we really want Renfrewshire to back the world record attempt to create the world’s longest string of bunting. This is something you could do if you are part of a local youth or community group or maybe just as something fun to do with your friends. The aim is to raise the profile of Fairtrade which ensures that farmers and producers get a fairly paid for their work. As well as empowering producers Fairtrade also supports communities in developing countries by helping to build things like schools, roads and provide running water so this is a great way to do something fun whilst helping those in poorer countries.”
Fairtrade currently helps more than 7.5 million of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Packs of blank Fairtrade bunting are available for free from the Fairtrade Foundation for a limited number with further packs available to buy go to www.fairtradefoundation.org.uk

For a full list of events running in Renfrewshire over Fairtrade Fortnight go to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk. You can also get the latest news and information from Renfrewshire by following our Twitter feed @RenCouncilNews

Paisley Film Society is very much looking forward to kicking of another great year at the fantastic Paisley Arts Centre. 2010 was a cracking year, with 2011 lining up to be just as good.

To see us off to a flying start, we have been invited to attend a very special screening of Sweet Sixteen. Hosted by Radio 4, we will be in the comany of director Ken Loach, and writer Paul Laverty. It is also anticipated cast members will be in attendance for a question and answer session and a good old chat with the audience. It will take place on Monday 17th January at the Pearch Institute, 840 Govan Road, Govan, 1900 (doors open 1830). It is free but ticketed, with tickets strictly limited to 2 per person. For your chance to be a part of the audience, please reply by Friday 7th January with your details (name, email address noted, contact telephone number) and we’ll get it organised. Just a reminder that this film is a Certificate 18, and sadly we can’t have tickets issued for under 18’s.

Also coming up this year, other than a fantastic selection of films, is our quiz night. Think you know your De Niros from your DeCaprios? Your Laurel from your Hardy? Then get your team* together and head to the Paisley Arts Centre Bar for The Film Quiz on the last Thursday of the month (February – June). The Film Quiz start at 7.30pm.
(*team to be a maximum of 4 people).
Thursdays: February 24th, March 24th, April 21st, May 19th and June 23rd.

Our first screening of 2011 at the Paisley Arts Centre will be Breakfast at Tiffanys on Tuesday 15th February. Check our website for more details (www.paisleyfilmsociety.com).

Here are some picture of the poignant service for the memory of the 71 young lives claimed in 1929 when the Glen Cinema disaster took place.

The service was presented by the Paisley Development Trust with the leader of Renfrewshire Council Derek Mackay, Provost Celia Lawson, Rev Birss and Bishop Tarttaglia all attending to give their support to the survivor’s to which many attended.

Pictures below is Robert Pope who is laying the wreath at Paisley Cenotaph.

For more information on the Glen Cinema please visit www.glencinema.co.uk

For more information on the Paisley Development Trust please visit www.thepdt.org.uk

All pictures taken for www.paisley.org.uk by our very own ‘westender’ you can see more photos at http://www.paisleyphotographs.com/

Hundreds of council tenants in Renfrewshire are getting an early Christmas present which will help keep them warm this winter.

A programme to install modern, more efficient heating systems in every council house is now underway, with the contractors Apollo and Wates installing the new systems in hundreds of homes before Christmas.

A total of around 4000 homes are scheduled to have their old heating systems replaced as part of Renfrewshire Council’s £138million five-year Delivering Housing Improvements Programme.

The early stage of the programme will focus on replacing electric storage systems and gas systems with back boilers with gas central heating with a modern condensing boiler.

Councillor Brian Lawson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety policy board, said: “We want to make sure every house has a modern efficient central heating system. These will be more environmentally-friendly and will cost tenants less, helping to tackle fuel poverty. This is especially important at this time of year when we’re coming up to the festive season and the weather is much colder.

“This is part of a massive, long-term investment in Renfrewshire Council tenants’ homes which will also see tenants getting brand new kitchens, bathrooms and upgraded rewiring in their homes. We’re coming into the second year of the programme which will see work stepping up across Renfrewshire and will include the start of pilot external improvement projects.

“As well as the improvements to our tenants homes Delivering Housing Improvements is benefitting the wider community by providing employment and training opportunities for local residents, supply chain opportunities for local businesses and even sponsorship for local community sports clubs through the contractors working with the council.”

One tenant who is already enjoying her new heating system is 79-year-old council tenant Janet Kelly of Hillview Road, Paisley.

Janet said: “It’s brilliant and it heats up much quicker than the old system. It’s absolutely a nice early Christmas present.”

Brian Morrow, Divisional Director at Apollo, said: “As the successful Kitchen & Bathroom Programme continues, Apollo is also delighted to be helping warm up homes for tenants across Renfrewshire with efficient new heating systems. We look forward to continuing our work with all Renfrewshire Council tenants and wish them all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year in their improved, warmer homes.”

Gillian Lavety, Business Manager at Wates, said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the council on a framework that will make a hugely positive impact on the lives of thousands of Renfrewshire Council tenants.”

All social-rented accommodation in Scotland needs to meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard by 2015. This major programme of housing improvements will ensure all of Renfrewshire Council’s housing stock meets that standard.
Information for tenants about the Scottish Housing Quality Standard or Renfrewshire Council’s Delivering Housing Improvements programme is available at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/housingimprovements or by contacting the Housing Investment Team on 01505 384 303.

It has been officially announced that Renfrewshire CVS is to mobilise an army of charities and volunteers to help residents make the switch to digital TV in Renfrewshire.

Starting in November, Renfrewshire CVS will work with other charities and voluntary groups to prepare people for the switchover, which starts in Renfrewshire on 8th June. The appointment has been made on behalf of Digital UK, the independent body in charge of the switchover.

Renfrewshire CVS will mobilise local charities across Renfrewshire to hold events and presentations, giving advice on how to switch over to digital TV. Charity staff and volunteers will be invited to attend free briefing sessions to understand the process and learn about the Switchover Help Scheme. Thousands of people are expected to benefit from the advice and support given at these events.

Renfrewshire CVS is a local organisation that provides support to voluntary organisations, charities and community groups in the area to help them to achieve their aims and empower others. Their extensive networks, membership and partners make them ideally placed to take part in a programme of this type.

Janis McDonald, Chief Executive Officer of Renfrewshire CVS, said: “Switching to digital TV will be straightforward for many people, but some others will need help, practical advice or reassurance.

“We look forward to working with our fellow charities to provide that support in Renfrewshire and help prepare the local community for switchover. We will also encourage those who are eligible to apply for the Switchover Help Scheme.”

Local charities can apply for free briefing places, and for funding through a Small Grants Scheme set up to encourage extra events locally. Materials developed to help run events and explain switchover will also be provided.

Russell Keene, Digital UK’s Regional Manager in Scotland, welcomed the announcement saying “the outreach work planned to reach into the community is essential and will help to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of digital TV when switchover arrives”.

Digital UK will soon be holding road shows across the central belt to provide further face-to-face advice for anyone who needs it.

The Switchover Help Scheme, run by the BBC, has also been set up to make it easier for older and disabled people to switch to digital TV. It is writing to eligible people in the area. People are eligible for the scheme if they are aged 75 years or more, have lived in a care home for six months or more, get (or could get) certain disability benefits, or are registered blind or partially sighted.

We wish to welcome new partners to Paisley.org.uk PACE Theatre Company.

About PACE Theatre Company


PACE Theatre Company was formed by David Wallace in 1988 who shortly afterwards founded PACE Youth Theatre. Since then PACE has moved to the forefront of Theatre in Education in Scotland, while PACE Youth Theatre has grown to become the largest youth theatre of its kind in the UK with a current membership of over 2000 and over 200 young people awaiting places at any given time. PACE started began with just one employee and now employees over 100 people each year including 18 full time and 4 part time staff, as well as numerous contract staff including actors and drama workers and stage personnel. The rise has been phenomenal and the company and the youth theatre are the envy of many towns and cities.

The company though evolved to such a degree that its needs far exceeded that graciously provided within Paisley Arts Centre. In 1992 the company became independent of the local authority, as a non-profit making company and registered charity. It also began to attract commercial contracts in the shape of commissioned productions for corporate and local authority or education clients, commissions to produce educational videos,. It became clear that an advanced level of independence was required and in 1997 the decision was made that the demand on the company’s services required it to expand, not only to enable it to increase the amount of projects undertaken but also to find space to rehearse, perform and undertake workshops.  In 2000 PACE collaborated with the renovation of The Wynd Centre in Paisley to manage and become the main-end user of and auditorium and youth theatre workshop space in the newly refurbished church.   PACE also makes this facility available to the community to hire for professional and amateur productions, events and conferences.

In 2002, committed to its aim of providing the benefits of youth theatre to as many young people as possible, PACE opened a new youth theatre base in Ayr, based in the Gaiety Theatre and Citadel Leisure Centre.  It is hoped that eventually this base can be as successful as its ground breaking model in Paisley.

Then, In August 2003 PACE secured a second building in School Wynd which was converted into what is now known as “Spires Drama Studios” comprising of 3 dedicated drama workshop studios, a café area and numerous offices.  This has become the organisation’s main base and administrative hub.


The basic ethos of PACE is to provide a service to all of the community, using theatre, in its broadest terms, to educate and entertain.

i)      EDUCATE: To enable the user to gain personal and social skills, communication, confidence and self awareness amongst others, and to stimulate through active and passive participation an interest in the Arts and therefore create and enhance the audiences of tomorrow as well as allowing young people and others to examine and explore contemporary issues.

ii)    ENTERTAIN: To stimulate the user to think in broader terms out with their own environment about issues and concerns they and others will have and to enable them to see quality touring children’s shows, T.I.E., and participatory theatre shows and to stretch the creative and cultural horizons of young people who hitherto had little or no experience of live theatre, participatory drama and interactive workshops.

PACE Youth Theatre

PACE Youth Theatre has become the largest, most successful youth theatre in the UK, with over 2000 young people aged 3-18 attending weekly workshops in drama, music and dance, with an aim to increase confidence, communication skills and self expression as well as teach performance skills, since 1988.  Ex-members of PACE Youth Theatre have included actor James McAvoy (Shameless, Last King of Scotland), singer Paulo Nutini, actor Gordon McCorkell (River City), actress Shauna McDonald (Spooks, The Descent),  Fame Academy winner David Sneddon, TV presenter Kate Heavenor, as well as many other lesser known actors and actresses currently working in theatre, TV and film, and thousands of others who have used the confidence and communications skills learned at PACE in successful careers in other industries.

Workshops are run by fully trained full time staff, under the guidance of the Artistic Director, Director & Deputy Director of Drama, and our senior drama workers.

Members also receive additional benefits such free casting agency representation for TV & Film work and discounts for ‘Fest!’ events.


Fest! is PACE’s hugely popular school holiday performing arts festivals for young people aged 3-18 and are open to PACE members and non members.  Fest events generally involve a cast of young people coming together for one week to devise and rehearse a new production based on a fun theme.  The are designed to challenging as well as great fun and are a great way for young people to make friends and spend their school holiday time.  There are over 3,000 fest participants each year, performing in over 60 different performances.

Theatre in Education

TIE and peer education has been at the centre of PACE’s work since it’s inception in 1988.  Our unique Participatory Performance Projects have toured thousands of schools, allowing primary school pupils to perform to their peers on issues such as bullying, drug awareness, healthy living, sectarianism and other topical subjects which complement the current curriculum.  The combination of original music, peer education and a day of rehearsals that’s great fun, has proved immensely popular with primary schools.  PACE have also been commissioned by clients such as Scotland Against Drugs, Drinkwise, Strathclyde Police and Fire Brigade, various local authorities and many others.  Many of these projects have involved performances to school children of various ages by professional actors, along with participatory follow up workshops.  The company has used theatre as a means of educating and training adults with commissioned plays for clients such as the NHS, STUC and Scottish Executive, at venues from the Borders to the Shetland Isles.  Finally, the company has provided the principal theatrical input to Strathclyde Police’s annual Choices for Life event, performing to over 50,000 P7 pupils every year through Scotland, at venues such as the SECC and AECC.

PACE also undertakes hundreds of community workshops each year in school, libraries and other venues, including drama workshops for those with disabilities.

PACE Theatre Company

PACE is also renowned for producing spectacular theatrical productions as entertainment.  It has produced the professional pantomime at Paisley Arts Centre since 1988, performing to over 10,000 people every year with over 99% of available tickets sold every year.

It has also produced many other professional theatre productions that have toured venues throughout Scotland, plus many large scale shows for events such as Renfrew 600, and Barrhead 100, with casts of over 1000 people.

PACE Media Productions

PACE Media Productions was formed to provide a different medium for the dramatic work produced by PACE Theatre Company.  It has produced educational dramas for clients such as Drinkwise, Scotland Against Drugs, Scottish Executive, NHS 24, West Dumbartonshire Council, and many others.


PACE Casting is the casting agency set up by PACE to represent its youth theatre members in TV, film and advertising productions.  It provides licensing and chaperoning services to production companies as well as audition facilities, and also produces an annual casting directory book, with over 1,000 professional photos and CV details, distributed to all major UK production companies.  All this is provided to our youth theatre members for no additional charge our agency fee. This has resulted in it being one of the largest suppliers of young actors to the TV and film industries in Scotland, with our members appearing in productions such as Still Game, River City, Rob Roy, Small Faces, Taggart, Young Adam, and commercials for BT, The Herald, Ikea, RBS, Scottish Executive, AOL and Hovis.

To find out more about PACE Theatre Company
click www.pacetheatre.co.uk or call 0845 130 5218

From Renfrewshire to Delhi: Local representative set off for bootcamp ahead of Commonwealth Games handover ceremony

Renfrewshire’s Provost wished good luck to an excited group of Renfrewshire representatives as they headed off for three intensive weeks of bootcamp, before taking part in the Glasgow 2014 Flag Handover Ceremony in Delhi next month.

Nine people from Renfrewshire, six dancers and three community sports ambassadors, have been selected to join representatives from across Scotland taking part in the performance, at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on October 14.

Before they go, they are taking part in for three intensive weeks of Bootcamp in Glasgow, where they will rehearse a mass choreographed dance routine for the ceremony.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson said: “I am delighted that this talented group will be representing Renfrewshire, performing in front of a capacity crowd of 60,000 at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi. This is an amazing opportunity and we are all very excited for them. As well as taking part in the ceremony they will return to Renfrewshire and share their training and experience with local schools and communities, helping to build Renfrewshire’s legacy as the Gateway to the Games 2014. I am sure they will make us all proud.”

The Flag Handover Ceremony is the event that concludes the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games and it will be the first public statement to the world that Glasgow will be the next Host City, inviting the world to Glasgow in four years time.

Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive John Scott said: “We deliberately developed an innovative recruitment model that would ensure that people from a range of communities and diverse backgrounds from all over Scotland would have the opportunity of a lifetime to proudly represent Scotland as part of the 346-strong Cast who will perform the eight minute performance.

“Glasgow Life who have managed the project worked closely with existing Scottish education, sports, arts and volunteering networks to recruit the Cast Members. This wasn’t the easiest route to take, but it was the one with the greatest potential to create a once in a lifetime opportunity for people from across Scotland. After the Handover Ceremony, cast members will become Ambassadors for the Games in their community, and will be involved with the Games for the next four years, leaving a positive and direct legacy that is Scotland-wide.”

Aileen Stevenson, 25, Kilbarchan said: “Going to Delhi is pretty awesome. It’s a good opportunity to see the world. It’s very exciting but I think it’s also going to be a lot of hard work.”

The Closing Ceremony will be broadcast in the UK on BBC2 from 2.30pm with the Flag Handover Ceremony starting at approximately 3.30pm.

Laura Savage, 23, from Foxbar, said: “I don’t even know where the boot camp is! I’m really excited and looking forward to it. It’ll be good to go and learn some choreography.”

The six dancers have been funded by Renfrewshire’s Local Area Committees for this project.

New Media Breakfast with fatBuzz – Facebook for Business
Phoenix Honda showroom, Linwood
Tuesday 14th September 2010
8 – 10am

Facebook is without doubt the largest and most popular social network with over 400 million users world wide, it’s difficult to avoid it nowadays with such a large following of private and business users.

Are you getting the most from your Facebook activity? Is your Facebook set up properly for your business; should you use a Group, a Facebook Page, Facebook Causes or, your personal profile? How do you determine your privacy settings? These are all questions this event will explore.

Renfrewshire Chamber members fatBuzz, (formally known as Podcastmatters) are bringing this interactive and innovative New Media Breakfast to Renfrewshire.

Renfrewshire Chamber said, “Their events are now a must attend fixture in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Inverness and we are delighted to have them come and engage with our members.”

Member Cost: £15 + VAT / non member £20 + vat

NOTE: Charities can book a place at the reduced rate of £15 plus VAT whether they are members or not.

Further information:
0141 847 5465

This is an excellent opportunity to get out to buildings and parts of that building you normally can not access.. Also dont just go yourself, join up with others via the website and have a good old sociable day out..

Renfrewshire’s biggest entertainment complex, a hospice therapy unit and a hotel are joining more traditional choices such as churches and museums in a show of Renfrewshire’s heritage.

Xscape Braehead, Ash Tree hotel and the Accord Hospice therapy unit, both in Paisley, will all feature in Renfrewshire’s 17th Doors Open Day programme on the weekend of September 11/12.

Doors Open Day gives people free access to buildings or historic sites which aren’t always open or accessible to the general public. The event is supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Department of Planning and Transport.

Sixty venues will be participating. On Saturday 11 September venues in Paisley, Bishopton, Inchinnan, Renfrew and Erskine will be open. On Sunday 12 September the venues in Johnstone, Elderslie, Renfrew and Erskine will be on show.

Once again Doors Open Day visitors in Paisley will have the opportunity of being transported between venues in style thanks to funeral directors J and W Goudie. The firm is again laying on a limousine shuttle.

This year’s programme also features the popular Renfrewshire Children’s Passport. Youngsters who have their passport stamped at five participating venues can claim a certificate and gift at Paisley Museum.

Paisley Arts Centre, Paisley Museum and Paisley Town Hall will be opening their doors for the annual national event. This year is the 29th anniversary of Doors Open Day and also the 29th Anniversary of children’s author Roald Dahl’s death. In celebration of Dahl’s fantastic stories, take a tour of Charlie’s Chocolate Factory using clever CGI technology at Paisley Town Hall; make your own ‘Witches’ hat at Paisley Arts Centre; and find escaped insects from James’ giant peach at Paisley Museum!

Archaeology again features prominently with excavations at Paisley Abbey. That will involve a further dig which should reveal more about the construction history of the Abbey Drain. There will also be an archaeological evaluation of site of the west range of the Abbey’s monastic cloister which was demolished in 1874.

“There’s something for everyone, whatever their age or interest, in this year’s Renfrewshire Doors Open Day programme,” said Councillor Iain Nicholson, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Planning and Economic Development Policy Board.

“One of the main ideas behind the Doors Open Day programme is to show people the continuing relevance of an area’s past. Nowhere is that more true than in Renfrewshire. We are proud of our heritage and Doors Open Day gives people the chances to visit free of charge iconic buildings and sites in towns and communities across Renfrewshire.”

The Renfrewshire Doors Open Day programme and Children’s Passport will be available in the next few days from council offices, libraries, arts centres and museums, as well as Paisley tourist information centre, Paisley Abbey, India of Inchinnan, Braehead/Xscape.

Both programmes are available online on our Doors Open Day page.