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Further public engagement and consultation events will be held regarding major infrastructure projects

Proposal of planning notices for works including new bridges across the Clyde and White Cart were submitted on Friday 17 March, starting the statutory planning procedures.

City Deal community and business engagement events in 2016

It begins a period of consultation, during which events will be held to get stakeholders’ views before the plans are finalised.  A full planning application will then be submitted later this year.

These events will include four days of public exhibitions at which people will be able to discuss the plans with members of the project team.

The exhibitions will begin in Renfrewshire, taking place in Renfrew Town Hall on Monday 8 May and in Paisley Town Hall on Tuesday 9 May.

The project team will then cross the river to take part in exhibitions in Clydebank Town Hall on Wednesday 10 May and finally Yoker Community Campus on Thursday 11 May. All four exhibitions will run from 11am to 7pm.

Details will be announced on the Renfrewshire Council website at  www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/citydeal – where people can also sign up to a mailing list to be directly notified of the announcement.

Views gathered from the events will be used to inform a full planning application to be made in June.

The works are part of the Glasgow City Region City Deal ‘Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside’ and ‘Glasgow Airport Investment Area’ projects.

The proposal of planning notice related to the ‘Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside’ project was submitted to Renfrewshire Council, Glasgow City Council and West Dunbartonshire Council as the works involve areas within each of the three authorities.

Works related to the ‘Glasgow Airport Investment Area’ project will be entirely within Renfrewshire so the proposal of planning notice was submitted only to that authority.

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Paisley to celebrate trio of food and drink events

Paisley is getting set for a food and drink extravaganza next month – with three great events taking place over the same week.

(left to right) – David Cassidy (Renfrewshire CAMRA), Tony Fitzpatrick (St Mirren), Linsey Reith (Three Sisters Bake), Rachna Dheer, (Babu Bombay Street Kitchen), Jason Smith (The Bankhouse Bar) and Hollie Stark (Kilty Kilty’s)

The 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival – Scotland’s largest – will return for another year to Paisley Town Hall from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 April.

On the Saturday the Paisley Food Festival brings a one-day culinary carnival of street food from across the globe plus free family entertainment to Abbey Close.

And Paisley Restaurant Week, being delivered by local business improvement district Paisley First, runs from Saturday 15 to 23 April, with discounts and deals at eateries throughout the town centre.

The events are taking place one week before Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is due to be lodged with the UK Government.

The beer festival is organised by the Renfrewshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, who are marking the event’s 30th anniversary by celebrating St Mirren’s 1987 Scottish Cup win – which took place on the same day as the first festival – on their logo and pint glasses.

To promote the event, beer festival organisers were joined by St Mirren chief executive and 1987 cup-winner Tony Fitzpatrick, plus some of the vendors from the food festival, and local businesses taking part in Paisley Restaurant Week.

David Cassidy of Renfrewshire CAMRA said: “When we first started we had no idea we would still be going 30 years on – back then we just had 30 beers and one hall.

“Now we are the biggest real ale festival in Scotland with more than 250 beers over three bars, plus a cider bar and foreign beer bar.

“A few of us are St Mirren fans and it was an easy decision to celebrate the link with the 1987 team in this year’s festival. We also want to thank our sponsors, the Bungalow Bar and Callum’s Cavern.”

The food festival is run by Renfrewshire Council and is taking place for the third time, as part of the area’s major events programme, which aims to attract visitors to the town centre and showcase it as a vibrant destination, alongside the town’s UK City of Culture bid.

It will run from noon to 7pm and will include a wide range of food vendors, from global cuisine to the best of the Scottish larder, with smaller-sized portions at reduced prices for children, and all dietary options catered for. There will also be live music, children’s entertainment, cookery demos and workshops and more – all free.

Rachna Dheer of Babu Bombay Street Kitchen said: “We are absolutely delighted to be taking part in the Paisley Food Festival – we’ve done a lot of these events and they are a great way for people to try lots of new things.”

Paisley Restaurant Week is running for a second year and will be backed by more than 20 businesses in the town centre.

Andrew Mitchell, Paisley First manager, said: “Paisley town centre has a wide range of fantastic restaurants and cafes to suit every taste and budget, and during restaurant week these businesses are putting on some amazing deals which can be found on our website, so don’t miss out on Paisley culinary delights and visit Paisley”.

You can find more information on Paisley Food Festival at www.paisley2021.co.uk, on the beer festival at www.paisleybeerfestival.co.uk and on the restaurant week at www.paisleyfirst.com

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renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Renfrewshire Council has updated the Renfrewshire Local Development Plan Housing Land Supply Supplementary Guidance. The Supplementary Guidance includes a detailed framework to guide the release of additional housing land where a 5-year supply of effective housing land is not being maintained.

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The Supplementary Guidance has been updated to reflect the current housing land shortfall. There is no change to the detailed framework, criteria and considerations in the Supplementary Guidance.

The Housing Land Supply Supplementary Guidance has been published for consultation over a 6 week period commencing on 20th March 2017 and ending on 2nd May 2017.

Copies of the Housing Land Supply Supplementary Guidance Update 2017 are available to view at the Customer Service Centre, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley, PA1 1JD between the hours of 8:45am and 4:45pm, Monday to Thursday and  8:45am and 3:55pm on a Friday , at all Council libraries and is published on the Council’s web site at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk from 20 March 2017.

Any person who wishes to make representations to the Council should return a completed response form to localplanconsultation@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

The closing date for representations is 5.00pm, on the 2 May 2017.

If you need further information please contact the Planning Service on 0300 3000 144.

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A chance to remember those lost

Two memorial benches are providing a place of remembrance for those lost to suicide in Renfrewshire.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall with SOBS supporters at the memorial bench in Johnstone

Local residents Kate Sharkey and Stephen Torrance have ensured that those who have lost a loved one to suicide will have a place to remember them in both Johnstone and Elderslie.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall attended a service at Johnstone Town Hall to mark the one year anniversary of the bench being unveiled in the town’s Ludovic Square.

Kate devoted herself to ensuring Johnstone had a permanent place for people to remember their loved ones after the loss of her son Sean.

Kate Sharkey speaking at the memorial event

Kate said: “I was determined to give those who have been affected by suicide in the area a place to visit where they can reflect on their loss.

“Losing a loved one is something that you won’t truly ever get over but you learn to live with it and having the bench as a place to remember Sean is a comfort in the times it is needed.”

Elderslie now has a similar place of remembrance after a memorial bench was erected directly across from Elderslie Golf Club.

After the loss of his brother Vinny, Stephen Torrance was determined that he would be remembered and, as well as the creation of the bench, the Vinny Torrance Invitational will take place once again this year.

Stephen Torrance on bench dedicated to his brother Vinny

Stephen said: “We will have over 100 men taking part in the golf tournament this year and it is fantastic to have Vinny remembered in this way.

“It is important that men feel able to discuss the issue of suicide and by putting it out into the open through this fun tournament, hopefully we can encourage anyone dealing with mental health issues to seek the support they need.

“My thanks go to Elderslie Golf Club for their support as well as to the local companies who have helped to sponsor the fundraising event, which raises money and awareness for Renfrewshire’s Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SOBS) support group.”

Three in every four suicides in Scotland are completed by men and it is important that communication channels are open for those at risk.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall, who attended the service, said: “Suicide is an issue that has affected many people throughout Renfrewshire and it is important that we provide the appropriate support to those who need it.

“The memorial benches give the Johnstone and Elderslie communities the opportunity to remember those lost and I congratulate Kate, Stephen and the SOBS group for the work they have put in to achieve this.”

Renfrewshire SOBS support group provides an outlet for those who need support. The group aims to overcome the stigma that surrounds suicide and encourages people to talk to others facing a similar situation.

For more information on the Renfrewshire meetings of SOBS, call 0141 849 2200, or email elizabeth.aitken@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Record turnout elects Renfrewshire’s next MSYPs

Renfrewshire saw the second highest turnout in Scotland as thousands of young people voted in the Scottish Youth Parliament elections- electing five new MSYPs for Renfrewshire.

(L-R) The five elected MSYPs Stirling McGee, Maria Alam, Niamh Renfrewshire Council Chief Executive, and Returning Officer, Sandra Black with 11 of the 13 candidates.

Over 7000 votes were cast online and in polling stations at every secondary school, the University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland and Renfrewshire House- the highest ever turnout in Renfrewshire and an increase of over 500 votes from 2015.

Renfrewshire’s Youth Services team- which aims to improve outcomes for young people in Renfrewshire- worked to engage young people and provide them with the information and opportunity to cast their vote in the election.

Thirteen candidates stood across three constituencies- with two being returned for the Paisley constituency, two for Renfrewshire North and West and one for Renfrewshire South.

The successful candidates elected for Renfrewshire are:


Niamh Mclaughlin and Ross Boyd

Renfrewshire North West

Josh Kennedy and Maria Alam

Renfrewshire South

Stirling McGee

Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament (MSYPs) will serve a two year term in which they will attend three sittings designed to give young people a voice on a national level.

Renfrewshire Council Chief Executive and Returning Officer, Sandra Black, said: “It is fantastic to see so many young people exercising their democratic right to vote and our Youth Services team deserve great credit in engaging our young people in the process.

“I offer my congratulations to our newly-elected MSYPs who will provide the voice of Renfrewshire’s young people for the next two years to a national audience.

“The Youth Parliament is a fantastic opportunity for budding politicians to get a taste of the political environment and what it takes to have the voices of their constituents heard.

“I’m sure they will be extremely successful and hopefully this will spark their interest in a future career in the field.”

Further information on the Scottish Youth Parliament can be found via www.syp.org.uk.

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Renfrewshire music students triumphant at national competition

A group of talented young musicians took home the top prize in their division at the Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships last week.

The Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band competed in the national event at James Gillespie’s High School in Edinburgh and won first prize in the Debut A class category which recognises bands in the early stages of development. The young musicians were presented with an award shield and a cheque for £500.

The Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships showcase talented young musicians and is designed to promote the playing of national instruments.  Competition categories provide a forum for top level competition as well as a positive and encouraging environment for school pipe bands with minimal or no competing experience.

James Cunningham, Music Coordinator for Renfrewshire Council, said: “We have a number of talented young musicians in Renfrewshire which is demonstrated through the success of the Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band. Their achievement is especially encouraging as our piping programme is still in its early stages.

“The students delivered a fantastic performance which perfectly highlights the musical talent we have in the area and our bid for UK City of Culture 2021 will continue to showcase this.

“I’d like to congratulate them all for their hard work and dedication and I look forward to seeing and hearing many more excellent performances from them in the future.”

The Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band project is delivered by staff from Johnstone Pipe Band with funding from Creative Scotland and the Scottish Schools Pipes and Drums Trust (SSPDT).

This recent success comes ahead of Paisley hosting the British Pipe Band Championships in May 2017 for the second year in a row.

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Renfrewshire school kids learn how to stay safe on the road

Renfrewshire schoolchildren are set to learn about disability, bullying, hate crime and Keeping Safe with some help from a special safety mascot.

Road Policing Sergeant Kenny Malaney, I Am Me members Carol Burt, Megan Milligan and Debbie Campbell with Williamsburgh Primary pupils Adam Jack, Karan Bhart, Samantha Wilson, Ruth Hammerton and Classroom Assistant Caroline Bain.

A new awareness programme by the Keep Safe initiative, developed by Renfrewshire community group I Am Me Scotland and Police Scotland, will see mascot Keep Safe Sam visit primary schools in the area to promote safety messages for children.

Keep Safe aims to support and encourage disabled, vulnerable and elderly people to live safely and enjoy ordinary day-to-day activities without fear of abuse, intimidation and harassment.

Members of I Am Me/Keep Safe will head out on a new tour of local schools to raise awareness from April of this year until March 2018.

To mark the initiative, the loveable bear was joined by pupils from Williamsburgh Primary School and Sergeant Kenny Malaney from Police Scotland for a special launch event at Renfrewshire House, Paisley.

I Am Me project manager Carol Burt and Roar: Connections for Life general manager Nicola Hanssen with Williamsburgh Primary pupils Adam Jack (9), Karan Bhart (9), Samantha Wilson (11) and Ruth Hammerton (5 – front).

KeepSafe Sam was also helped by a blast from the past at the event, as he appeared in a vintage, mini Hillman Imp.

The vehicle, previously built in Linwood, once belonged to much-loved police road safety mascot PC Shiny Buttons and is now kept in the Paisley museum store.

With that in mind, the Keep Safe programme are backing Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, which aims to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural story to transform its future.

I Am Me Scotland project manager Carol Burt said: “It is important that children understand the range of disabilities and the importance of treating everyone with dignity and respect.  The Keep Safe initiative aims to work with a network of local businesses to create ‘Keep Safe’ places in the community for anyone feeling lost, scared, vulnerable or who has been a victim of crime.

“Keep Safe Sam has already met over 6000 primary 1-7 pupils across Renfrewshire and the programme will see us continue to visit local primary schools across Renfrewshire to teach pupils about keeping safe in a fun and engaging way.

“We are also delighted to back Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021, PC Shiny Buttons visited primary schools with his Hillman Imp throughout the eighties and it is nice to be able to use a small and fondly-remembered part of Renfrewshire’s heritage.”

The event was a partnership with Roar: Connections for Life (formerly known as Reaching Older Adults in Renfrewshire), who won an award from Police Scotland for a joint road safety programme with older people across Renfrewshire.

Roar: Connections for Life general manager Nicola Hanssen said: “It’s crucial that we promote road safety and personal safety to people of all ages throughout Renfrewshire, however, we know that the oldest and youngest in our communities tend to be the most vulnerable.

“We are working in partnership with Police Scotland to look after people for as long as possible. Road and personal safety is not just for children, it’s about giving people the knowledge to keep safe for life.”

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Russell Institute celebrates 90th anniversary

This weekend (Sunday 19th March) marks 90 years since Paisley’s Russell Institute opened its doors to the public.

To celebrate this monumental anniversary the team behind Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 are calling for the people of Renfrewshire to share their memories and pictures of the Russell Institute.

A category A-listed building it is one of Paisley’s architectural treasures. The building, which is distinctive for its stone and bronze sculptures, was commissioned by Miss Agnes Russell who wanted to build a child welfare clinic as a memorial to her two brothers, Mr Robert Russell and Mr Thomas Russell.

The building was officially opened on 19th March 1927 by H.R.H. The Princess Mary (Viscountess Lascelles). It was latterly used as a health centre until it closed its doors in 2011 and has remained a striking feature of the town centre. 

Throughout its years of operation the ethos of the Russell Institute was to help parents keep their children fit and healthy and to diagnose and treat diseases at the earliest and most curable stages.

The purpose of the Russell Institute is evolving. The building will soon serve as a Skills and Employability Hub in the heart of the town centre following a restoration project funded by Historic Environment Scotland, Scottish Government Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Renfrewshire Council,  continuing the initial commitment to support the people of Paisley and beyond.

There are many people throughout Renfrewshire who have memories of visiting the building for a range of reasons including x-rays, baby weigh-ins and injections, vaccinations and dental appointments.

Donald Mack (67) from Paisley has very different memories of the Russell Institute. His father, Samuel Mack, was the caretaker for the building for more than 32 years and from 1955 to 1970 Donald called it home.

He said: “I lived in an apartment at the top of the Russell Institute with my parents, two brothers and sister for 15 years. It was a wonderful place to grow up, it was a great playground for me and my siblings.

“I remember falling off the bannister of the marble staircase once or twice from sliding down it with my brothers. My dad also used to make things for our home in the boiler house so we spent a lot of time there seeing what he was building.

“It was in a great location to soak up all the activity going on in the town. I remember the old trams riding past and we could see people dancing in the evenings across the road in the Co-Op building – there was always a lot to see.

“One of the strongest memories I have is of the big parade in 1959 when St Mirren won The Scottish Cup. We had a great view of all the celebrations going on in Causeyside Street – it was great.”

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 aims to use the town’s incredible heritage and cultural story to help transform its future.

“We have a beautiful architectural legacy here in the town – the highest concentration of listed buildings of anywhere in Scotland outwith Edinburgh.

“The Russell Institute is one of the best examples of that and it is more than a building – it is part of the cultural fabric of the town. I remember my mum taking my brother and I there when we were small and thinking at the time how magical and beautiful the place was.

“Generations of buddies will have their own stories to tell and we want to mark the anniversary by helping tell them, so please get in touch with your Russell Institute memories.”

Celebrating the building and sharing stories and memories from its history complements Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture.

If you wish to share your memories and images of one of Paisley’s most distinctive architectural gems please emailhello@paisley2021.co.uk.

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US country star Brad Paisley backs Paisley UK City of Culture 2021 bid

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has had support from the town’s superstar namesake…multi-million-selling US country artist Brad Paisley.

The Grammy-award-winning singer performed at Glasgow’s sold-out Clyde Auditorium last night as he headlined the annual Country2Country festival, which brings together some of the scene’s biggest names on one bill.

And Brad posed for pictures before the show with a specially-branded Paisley 2021 taxi, before being presented with a tie made from the Paisley tartan – produced by the town’s Houston Kiltmakers, one of the world’s top Highland dress stores.

On stage, he told the crowd he was proud of his Scottish roots and ‘to have a last name that hails from here’.

Tennessee-based Brad has sold 12 million albums around the world and has been a proud member of country music’s highest honour, the Grand Ole Opry, since 2001.

His 11th studio album, Love and War, is released next month and features collaborations with Mick Jagger and hip-hip producer Timbaland, as well as a song with lyrics written by the late Johnny Cash.

And there was another Paisley connection on the night, with Brad joined on the festival bill by homegrown singer-songwriter Michael Cassidy.

Paisley is bidding to be UK City of Culture 2021 as part of plans to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural story to help transform its future.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron added: “The name Paisley was once carried around the globe by the Paisley Pattern – and Brad is still doing so to his millions of fans around the world today.

“We are delighted he has shown support for Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – and he would be made more than welcome if he ever wants to come back and play a show here!”

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Express Yourself Through The Arts

Express Yourself Through The Arts is a creative expression workshop for young people who are 12-21 and enjoy hands-on creativity and having their voice heard. They would get involved in creative exercises, learn about the ideas process and how to get their ideas out through creative expression (film, photo, art, spoken word etc.) We will explore techniques of how to take our thoughts and express them through art, taking inspiration from our daily lives and our community. The workshop will take place on Friday 17th of March from 6.30pm to 9pm at The Methodist Central Hall, 2 Gauze Street in Paisley.

More information about the workshop here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/1062805323863981/

This workshop is part of ‘We Are The Voice’. A project designed by Create Paisley to showcase young people’s visions and dreams of what Paisley could be like in 2021.

We’re looking for 21 young artists (ages 12-21) to create artwork representing their dreams and visions for Paisley2021. Whether you’re a poet, a musician, an artist, filmmaker or you love to paint, this is for you!

Working alongside the Paisley 2021 bid team, Create will offer support for successful applicants to create an artwork expressing their ideas. We can offer access to cameras, computers with Adobe and design software, art supplies, trained art professionals or just a guiding hand.

Successful applicants will have their work displayed in a June exhibition in Paisley (and an online gallery) and will be promoted throughout the project by Create Paisley.

Getting involved is really easy: You can drop us an email to maria@createpaisley.org.uk OR http://www.createpaisley.org.uk/get-involved/current-opportunities/