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Voluntary Arts Festival shines spotlight on Paisley

Taking place in May each year, the Voluntary Arts Festival celebrates the wide range of creative activity taking place in cities, towns and villages across the UK and Ireland – and encourages newcomers to get involved.

Run by Voluntary Arts, the Festival features ‘come and try’ sessions, open rehearsals, workshops, flashmobs and CraftBombs – all designed to inspire people to get involved and find a creative passion, whether it’s singing, acting, painting, knitting, dancing, digital arts, cooking or the many other ways people get creative.

For 2017, with support from Renfrewshire Council and Paisley 2021, we’re shining an extra special spotlight on Paisley and Renfrewshire.

Between 5 – 14 May, events will be taking place across the town and surrounding area, with a special Voluntary Arts Festival ‘What’s On Guide’ available in local venues and online, to point people in the right direction. Events include a family ceilidh, workshops and open rehearsals from craft, music, digital art, dance and painting groups – with more to be announced.

An exhibition, created by Paisley Photographic Society in partnership with Voluntary Arts Scotland, will run at Paisley Central Library capturing local creative groups in action – and giving details of how people can join them.

A special map has been produced, giving local residents an overview of creative groups in the Paisley area, so people can see how they can get creative year-round.

An informative training session, run in conjunction with Access Renfrewshire, will take place on Saturday 6 May at Tannahill Centre, Paisley, to help groups be as accessible and welcoming as possible to participants.

To learn more about the Festival, and find events taking place nationwide, visit www.voluntaryarts.org/festival

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Human Paisley Pattern sends off town’s 2021 culture title bid

Paisley marked the send-off of the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid by forming a human Paisley Pattern in the town centre in a colourful show of mass support.

Around 200 people donned bright T-shirts in front of the striking backdrop of Paisley Town Hall to form the giant teardrop motif – the globally-recognised symbol carrying the town’s name – to mark the bid being lodged with the UK Government today.

The giant gathering included a wide cross-section of the community, with pupils from local schools Williamsburgh Primary and Castlehead High, plus local businesses, disability groups, cultural organisations, and staff and students from the University of the West of Scotland and West College Scotland.

The teardrop shape was choreographed by and included staff and young people from PACE Youth Theatre – one of the largest groups of its kind in the UK.

Paisley is bidding for the UK City of Culture 2021 title as part of wider plans to transform the area’s future using its unique cultural and heritage story.

The 30-page bid document is now being lodged with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport ahead of Friday’s deadline. A shortlist is expected over the summer, with the winner to be announced at the end of the year.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture has captured the imagination of the whole town over the past 18 months – with more than 30,000 people involved in the conversation around it.

“That was never more evident than in the phenomenal response to the call-out for people to join the human Paisley Pattern photo.

“People of all ages and backgrounds – senior managers, schoolkids, business owners and artists – were lined up together and for me that sums up what Paisley’s bid is about…everybody coming together to show how much we want this title.

“The bid document submitted to DCMS this week carries the voices and hopes of those people – as well as a clear vision of how Paisley will harness the power of culture to transform our economy, town centre and reputation, and with it, the lives of the people who live here.”

David Wallace, executive director of PACE, and a member of the Paisley 2021 executive bid team, added: “Paisley’s cultural sector has always been strong – this is a town which punches well above its weight in producing talented people.

“But the work going on around the bid gives us a chance not only showcase that to a wider audience, but to also build a lasting legacy of excellence.

“With its stunning architectural heritage, unique venues and great transport links, Paisley is the perfect stage for a year of international-class culture.

“The momentum built up over the past 18 months has set Paisley off on a journey which will continue no matter what – and today shows how excited we are to be part of that.”

For more info on Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, see paisley2021.co.uk

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The Pride of Paisley…work set to begin on our latest lion landmark

A Lion is on its way back to Paisley this summer…and a local artist has been chosen to bring the lion magic back to life.

the winning design

With the theme “Inspired by the town of Paisley and its people”, our judges have chosen Maureen Rocksmoore and her colourful design “Superbia – our pride is our strength” as the perfect lion legacy for Paisley town centre.

Maureen, a renowned visual arts specialist born and living in Paisley, has already taken delivery and will soon begin artwork on the lion which will take pride of place in the town.

Pic of Maureen – photo taken by Andy Bell

Maureen’s design is inspired by Paisley’s history of design and manufacturing which is renowned throughout the world.

Paisley First Chairman, Ian Henderson, said: “Maureen has several artist residencies in Renfrewshire and has exhibited her work internationally, she was also involved in the Pride of Paisley last year.”

“Her design for this lion was rich and vibrant and encapsulated the real spirit of the Pride of Paisley which was enjoyed by both Buddies and visitors to Paisley.”

“We are all excited to see Maureen’s design brought to life and looking forward to the lion taking its place among the town’s other famous landmarks.”

Maureen said: “The blue pattern throughout my design represents the River Cart running through the heart of the town.”

“While the proud peacock, a symbol of Paisley pride is a common feature in shawls and the cotton threads carried by birds symbolises how far Paisley’s reputation has travelled throughout the world.”

This unpainted lion was donated to Paisley First by local company MacAsphalt.

Ian added: “We are extremely grateful to Jamie Crumlish of MacAsphalt, who bought four painted lions at the auction and also kindly donated three unpainted lions, one each, to both hospices and Paisley First.”

The Pride of Paisley 2016 consisted of 25 full sized lions which were painted by artists and 40 mini lions which were painted by local school children.

The event was visited by more than 20,000 people with the 25 larger  lions then auctioned off to the benefit of two local hospices- ACCORD and St Vincent’s- with the final amount raised a staggering £79,300.

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Young footie stars on the run to raise cash

YOUNGSTERS from a Paisley youth football team are right on the ball when it comes to raising money for club funds.

St Peter’s Boys Club 2006 team who have singed up en masse for the Fun Run after the Paisley 10k Race.

The St Peter’s Boys Club 2006 team is the first large group to sign up for the Fun Run that takes place immediately after the Paisley 10k Race, on Sunday August 20.

There will be 44 boys and adults representing the club taking part.

This is the fourth year the St Peter’s lads have taken part in the Fun Run and club officials are hoping to raise as much as £1000 to help pay for football kit and the cost of running the successful team.

Now other football teams and sports clubs are being encouraged to do the same and join in the fundraising bonanza by being sponsored to complete the Fun Run course around Paisley town centre.

Anyone can now register for the Paisley 10k Race or Fun Run, which is sponsored by sports and outdoor retailer, Decathlon. Last year 3000 people raced around the streets of Paisley in the 10k Race and hundreds more followed in the Fun Run.

Joyce McKellar is chief executive of Renfrew Leisure who are organising the Paisley 10k and Fun Run in conjunction with Renfrewshire Council. She said:

“Taking part in the Fun Run is a great way to raise money for sports clubs and good causes.
“Not only will it bring in much needed cash to help run sports clubs, it’s fun for team members to do something different and everyone enjoys taking part.
“Well done to the boys from St Peter’s for doing the Fun Run for the fourth time and I hope they get lots of sponsorship from family and friends for their efforts.”

You can register for the race by logging on to renfrewshireleisure.com or by telephoning 0300 300 1362 or picking up an entry form from any Renfrewshire Leisure venue.

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Global giant Diageo backs Paisley 2021 bid with special Johnnie Walker bottles

Workers at the world’s biggest Scotch bottling plant raised a glass to Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021– with specially-produced bottles of Johnnie Walker whisky.

Jean Cameron and Gavin Brogan with Diageo staff and the Paisley 2021 bottles

Some of the team behind the Paisley 2021 bid – to be lodged with the UK Government this week – visited the Renfrewshire base of drinks giant Diageo, the latest major business to back the town’s ambitions.

Aside from the limited-edition bottles, Diageo are one of a number of major local businesses who have agreed to donate £20,000 to meet the costs of hosting the title.

The company’s packaging plant at Shieldhall bottles more than 25 million cases of Scotch whisky annually – including iconic brands Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s, J&B and Bell’s.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron met some of the staff at the plant – while the 2021 team surprised staff in the canteen with musical performances.

The Paisley 2021 Johnnie Walker bottles are not currently available to the public, but a small limited edition will have been produced at a later date.

Paisley will lodge its bid with the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport later this week. The town is bidding for the title as part of wider plans to use its unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future.

Jean Cameron said: “Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has had incredible backing to date from across the local community – so far, more than 30,000 people have taken part in the conversation around it.

“Along the way we have had wonderful backing from local businesses – with almost 200 to date publicly supporting the bid.

“That includes major local employers of international importance assigning uop as bid sponsors – including Glasgow Airport, WH Malcolm, intu Braehead, Gordon Leslie Group and Coats PLC – and we are thrilled to add Diageo to that list.

“I loved seeing two iconic global Scottish brands – the Paisley Pattern and Johnnie Walker – combined in one beautiful bottle.”

Gavin Brogan, Operations Director at Diageo Shieldhall said “Paisley is famous for its rich history of craftsmanship.

“Today we are part of that living heritage, making the most traditional of Scottish products, Scotch whisky here in Renfrewshire. We’re delighted to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 and we wish the team every success.”

For more on Paisley’s Uk City of Culture 2021 bid, see www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Public exhibitions to shape major infrastructure projects

Engagement events in May will give members of the public a further opportunity to shape two Glasgow City Region City Deal projects spanning Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire and Glasgow.

2016 public exhibition event

Four full-day exhibitions in Renfrew, Paisley, Clydebank and Yoker will give people an opportunity to discuss the plans for the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside and Glasgow Airport Investment Area projects.

The Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project includes a new opening bridge across the River Clyde linking Renfrew with Yoker and Clydebank; construction of the Renfrew North Development Road and new cycle routes.

Proposals as part of the Glasgow Airport Investment Area focus on realignment of Abbotsinch Road, construction of a new bridge over the White Cart and new cycle routes between the Westway, Inchinnan and Airport business parks.

Each project has been shaped following extensive consultation with stakeholders throughout 2016 and 2017.

The exhibitions start at Renfrew Town Hall on Monday 8 May then Paisley Town Hall on Tuesday 9 May. The project team then cross the river to Clydebank Town Hall on Wednesday 10 May finishing at Yoker Community Campus on Thursday 11 May.

All four exhibitions run from 11am to 7pm and include a video representation of the findings from the comprehensive traffic modelling study as well as an animated fly-through model of the potential developments.

A Renfrewshire City Deal spokesman said: “Events throughout 2016 helped shape the projects so far and I would encourage anyone to come along to these final consultation exhibitions taking place in their area. It is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the projects, speak to the project team and provide input before the plans are finalised.”

Feedback from the exhibitions will be used to inform a full planning application in June, submitted to Renfrewshire Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and Glasgow City Council for the Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project. Works related to the Glasgow Airport Investment Area are entirely within Renfrewshire and will be considered by this authority alone.

Full details of each project are available at: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/citydeal

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CarFest is coming to Paisley town centre this June!

St Vincent’s Hospice are bringing CarFest into Paisley town centre this summer for a motoring extravaganza not to be missed!

There will be classic, vintage and specialist custom cars on show, as well as muscle cars, supercars and emergency vehicles, not to mention motorbikes and even a land train!

As well as treats for motor enthusiasts, there will be plenty of family-friendly fun with fairground rides, children’s entertainment, stalls, tombola and a prize raffle.

Caledonian Pipe Band of Edinburgh

Organised by MaxSafe Solutions and sponsored by Paisley First, the event will take place in Paisley town centre on Saturday 17th June and offers free entertainment for all the family.

This is the fourth year of St. Vincent’s Hospice CarFest but its first visit to the town centre with all funds raised on the day supporting the hospice in Howwood.

There were cars and bikes, and the St Vincent’s Hospice mascot “Vinnie” as all proceeds from the event itself on 17th June will be going to the hospice.
Pictured is Innes 2 and Joe 4 Jagger from Bishopton

Paisley First Vice Chairman, David Wallace, said: “We’re thrilled to be supporting the Hospice and the CarFest team in bringing this great event to Paisley town centre.”

“It will be a great day out for all the family and I am sure all the local businesses will join in the fun too, all in aid of such a worthy cause.”

Kate Lennon, Chief Executive of St. Vincent’s Hospice, said: “We are very excited to hold this event in Paisley for the first time.”

“We look forward to meeting old friends and new at this fabulous event. Everyone at the hospice is truly grateful for all the support from our local communities.”

Willie Chrystal of MaxSafe Solutions said: ““Having set up the initial CarFest a few years ago, after speaking with the fundraising team at the hospice during one of our training courses, I came up with the idea of hosting a show at the hospice.”

“It has been fantastically received by both the car owners and the public alike with vehicles of all shapes, sizes and years. Everyone has loved it.”

“The work that the hospice provides for the people of Renfrewshire is exceptional. What better way for a petrol head to have fun and also help raise some money.”

The event on Saturday 17th June will kick off with a procession of more than 100 cars taking part from Renfrew Road into the town centre at 8.30am.

The cars will then be on show at locations including County Square, The Cenotaph, High Street and Johnston Street from 10 am until 4 pm.

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PAISLEY PIRATES 5 DUNDEE COMETS 9

paisley pirates

Pirates finished their season on a disappointing note as they relinquished the Scottish Cup to Dundee Comets, a hat trick from David Orr not being enough to prevent the league champions from going down to the Tayside outfit.

The Paisley side were hit by an opening blitz which saw the Comets hit two goals in twenty seconds in the fourth minute through Inglis and Hamilton and Gold, and while Orr’s goal did pull the score back to 2-1 after six minutes, Comets had their two goal cushion back in just over 60 seconds as Gold beat Meechan for a third time with under eight minutes on the clock, at which juncture Hepburn took over in the Paisley goal. However, he, too, was beaten in the 14th minute by a shot from Smith and the Comets went into the first break holding an already comfortable lead at 4-1.

Pirates needed an early goal in the second period to claw themselves back into the game, but it came at the wrong end as Dolan netted within a minute to give the Comets a four goal cushion with almost two full periods remaining. The champions did produce some fighting spirit and pulled back two goals from Orr, the third thus completing his hat trick, by the 37th minute to give a hint of daylight at 5-3, but Gordon shut the door again a minute later to take the score to 6-3 at the second break.

With Paisley looking down the barrel of a shotgun they pulled themselves back within two goals again after 45 minutes when Campbell beat Michie for 6-4, but once more the Comets slammed the door shut with a further two goals from Dolan and Whitelaw to end any lingering hopes of a last gasp fightback, and while Miller netted for 8-5 with just under two minutes to go, Comets had the final word with Gold scoring within thirty seconds to finish the scoring, sending Pirates home empty handed for the second time in a fortnight.

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Paisley 2021 bid marked with mass Baker Street sax performance in Gerry Rafferty home town

Paisley marked the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 in spectacular style today – with a mass outdoor rendition of Gerry Rafferty’s classic Baker Street.

Around 25 saxophonists were joined a by a live band and a crowd of hundreds on the town’s High Street for a special performance of the Paisley-born singer’s iconic worldwide hit, in the week of what would have been his 70th birthday.

The Baker Street performance was the brainchild of Tommy McGrory of local music charity Loud and Proud, and delivered in partnership with the Paisley 2021 bid team and backed by youth theatre group PACE.

The event was part of an action-packed weekend for the town – with Abbey Close hosting the third annual Paisley Food Festival, with thousands of visitors enjoying street food from some of the country’s finest traders.

The event also featured cooking demos from BBC Masterchef – The Professionals winner Gary Maclean, free workshops for kids, and live entertainment from acts including The Voice finalists Into the Ark and CBeebies star Katy Ashworth.

And Paisley Town Hall was hosting the final day of the 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival – the largest real-ale festival in Scotland.

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture will be lodged with the UK Government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport this week, ahead of Friday’s deadline.

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been a mass movement, with incredible buy-in from the local community.

“That was evident again today, with a wonderful turnout and a great atmosphere at both the Baker Street performance, and the food and beer festivals.

“One of the key things our bid will celebrate is the incredible wealth of talent produced by this town, and Gerry Rafferty is one of the best examples of that – so this was a fantastic way to mark the bid submission later this week.”

Gerry’s daughter Martha added: “My father was very proud of his Paisley roots and I am sure he would have been supportive of the town’s UK City of Culture bid.”

The UK Government is expected to announce a shortlist of bidding places over the summer, and the winner by the end of the year.

For more information, visit paisley2021.co.uk

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Paisley to honour Baker Street singer with mass sax solo

Paisley will honour one of its most famous sons with a mass outdoor rendition of the iconic saxophone solo from Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street this weekend.

The musical moment has been organised by local promoter Tommy McGrory of Loud ‘n’ Proud as a tribute to the late singer in the week of what would have been his 70th birthday.

It also helps mark the send-off of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – due to be lodged with the UK Government next week – with the event part-funded by the 2021 bid team.

The sax solo will take place at Paisley Cross at 1pm on Saturday and will see professional musicians – including a live band – joined by local talent.

And Gerry’s daughter Martha said: “My father was very proud of his Paisley roots and I am sure he would have been supportive of the town’s UK City of Culture bid.

“To have so many people playing the Baker Street solo together in the town centre is a unique idea and I am sure it will make a great spectacle. Let’s hope they’re all in tune! I am looking forward to hearing it.”

Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron said: “This event is a tribute to one of Paisley’s best musical exports and a song known the world over.

“As well as marking what would have been Gerry’s birthday it’s also a great way to shine a spotlight on the town as we prepare to submit the bid, which will feature Paisley’s incredible musical legacy.”

Tommy McGrory added: “We’ve had phenomenal interest in this ever since we revealed the plans a few days ago – it is shaping up to be a must-see moment.

“We have in excess of 30 people lined up to take part but if any other saxophone players are interested in joining us, they can contact me through Loud ‘n’ Proud on 0141 840 1090.”

The coming weekend will be a busy one for Paisley, with Saturday seeing the town host the third annual Paisley Food Festival in Abbey Close, with street-food traders from across the country, free live entertainment and cookery demos.

This weekend will also see Renfrewshire CAMRA’s 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival in Paisley Town Hall, while local business improvement district Paisley First are running Paisley Restaurant Week, with discount deals available at local eateries.

For more information on these events and the bid itself, visit paisley2021.co.uk