Neil Bibby MSP has called on NHS Greater Glasgow and the Scottish Government to provide significant additional car parking spaces for patients, staff and visitors at Paisley’s RAH.

Over the last week there has been parking chaos in and around the hospital after a barrier has been used to prohibit staff from parking at the hospital. Mr Bibby has met with GMB and UNISON trade unions, written to the Health Board Chief Executive and has also requested an urgent meeting with health board oneil-bibbyfficials.

Mr Bibby said “I have been contacted by many RAH staff with serious concerns about the impact of new parking arrangements at the hospital. Our RAH staff do a fantastic job in difficult circumstances and our local hospital can’t run without them.

The woeful lack of car parking at the RAH for staff, patients and visitors has been an issue for several years. It is unacceptable, it has been ignored for too long and the status quo is not an option.

However, the Health Board must ensure the solution to the problem is the right one. The parking chaos we have seen over the last few days, if continued, will impact on local residents, and on patients if staff are forced to park far away and can’t get to their work on time.

The Health Board have claimed that the RAH is “well served” with parking spaces but I know that local people strongly disagree that this is the case.

It is clear that the solution needed is for there to be additional parking for staff, patients and visitors on the hospital grounds and that must be initiated as a matter of urgency. The Scottish Government has spent £842 million on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow whilst cutting services from our local hospital – it’s about time Paisley’s RAH got the investment it deserves.

The Health Board should halt the use of the barrier until they have reviewed its effectiveness over the last few days and completed a full consultation with staff on the future of parking arrangements at the hospital.

I am also calling on the Health Board and the Scottish Government to immediately carry out a full assessment of where more parking spaces could be provided on the hospital grounds and to put in place the funding needed to make this happen.”


Renfrewshire’s cultural scene is in line for a cash boost as groups benefit from the latest rounds of two cultural grants.

Councillors have approved the latest round of awards from the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – created to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and which has continued as part of a wider plan to use culture and heritage to transform the area’s future.


The fund aims to create more chances for people to get involved in cultural activity, help young people develop, boost the local economy, raise Renfrewshire’s profile, and show how creativity can boost education, social inclusion and quality of life.

The current round of funding is the tenth – and five projects have been awarded funding totalling £50,101, from a total funding ask of £96,774. Projects to be supported are:

  • £11,645 to Mandy McIntosh to run a sculptural project with Ferguslie Park Learning Centre including aspects of community art history, practical skill sharing and hands on making
  • £3,935 to musician Linzi Clark to develop a space for young women in Renfrewshire to express their creative identity and develop songwriting skills in a supportive environment
  • £14,890 to PACE Theatre Company to deliver a high-quality participatory theatre experience to young people who may not otherwise be able to experience or access such an activity
  • £14,000 to Loud n Proud for the development of Sma’ Shot the Musical
  • £5,631 to Starlight Youth Theatre to work with young adults who have challenges of autism and learning disabilities to explore and extend their personal and creative interests

This tenth round sees funds awarded through the CHE Fund reach the £1m mark, with 121 projects supported and a total of £1,045,868 spent since launching in 2016.

Successful completed projects to date include teenage animator Morgan Spence’s Lego stop-motion animation about Paisley, and a dance project bringing pupils in schools across Renfrewshire together to perform pieces inspired by Renfrewshire’s architecture at Johnstone Town Hall.

The CHE fund is part of a wider cultural regeneration plan for Paisley which also includes a £100m investment in town centre venues, including the £42m project to turn Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections.

Based on the success of the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, in 2018 Renfrewshire Council introduced the Cultural Organisations Development Fund and awards for this new cultural grant have also been approved by Councillors.

The Cultural Organisations Development Fund is a three-year fund with the purpose of strengthening and building the capacity of local cultural and creative organisations.

The fund can support a range of organisational development opportunities, such as board recruitment, creating new staff posts, developing programmes for internships or apprentices, and supporting new partnerships.

Five applications to the Cultural Organisations Development Fund have been approved totalling £302,318, from a total funding request of £539,312. These are:

  • £72,000 to Erskine Music and Media Studio over three years to develop the workforce within the organisation and to enable them to continue to support the development of cultural opportunities in Erskine
  • £8,500 to STAR Project to allow the organisation to work with external consultants with the aim of improving the reach and reputation of the organisation and allowing them to continue delivering services and positive social change in Renfrewshire
  • £70,000 to Outspoken Arts over two years to fund two new posts, allowing the organisation to grow and support multiple projects in the ongoing programme
  • £71,778 to CREATE Paisley over three years to address identified organisational challenges that currently limit the organisations ability to deliver its strategic goals and vision
  • £80,040 to PACE Theatre Company over three years to build fundraising capacity, allowing the company to pursue projects that are not viably supported by fees, ticket sales or other incomes.

Projects supported by both funds will benefit communities across Renfrewshire.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Since the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund launched it has succeeded in increasing the number of people getting involved in creative activity across Renfrewshire and I am pleased to see the interest in the fund is still strong as we announce the groups benefiting in this tenth round.

“The new Cultural Organisations Development Fund is designed as an opportunity for organisations to further develop their capacity and progress with longer term planning, and I am pleased to see that some of our previous CHE Fund recipients have progressed to this stage of their development and will benefit greatly from these further opportunities for funding.”

Are you interested in applying for funding? You can find out more by visiting

Elektrik Marketing

The prestigious ceremony for the Scottish SME Business Awards 2019 took place on Wednesday May 8th at the Marriott Hotel Glasgow and welcomed creative and successful SME’s from across Scotland that have push the boundaries of innovation and imagination.

Elektrik Marketing

Elektrik Marketing based in Renfrewshire and run by Kat Kennedy was nominated as a finalist in the category of Marketing Activity of The Year’ and scooped this top award beating off stiff competition from a range of businesses from across the country.

Kat Kennedy, Director at Elektrik Marketing said, ‘I really was shocked when Elektrik was named as the winner especially when I saw the range of high profile businesses in this category. I’m delighted to say the least! This sort of recognition is fantastic for my marketing business.

Elektrik Marketing is a solutions provider delivering innovative, high quality marketing campaigns, events and promotional strategies and specialise in retail, leisure and major events marketing, providing inspiring solutions to consistently deliver excellent customer experiences which result in increased footfall, dwell time and ultimately generate incremental sales for clients.

The company have provided marketing services for some of the biggest events in Scotland such as the Glasgow 2018 European Championships, The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Loch Lomond Food & Drink Festival as well as major launch campaigns for Scotland’s largest Odeon Luxe cinema at Glasgow Quay to name a few.

Prior to launching her business in 2012 Kat worked with Renfrewshire Council in the Arts & Museums Service providing marketing services for Renfrewshire’s top attractions such as Paisley Museum, Paisley Arts Centre, Renfrew Town Hall and many community projects.

For more info on Elektrik Marketing visit


This year’s Sma’ Shot Day celebration will see day-long spectacular of parades and partying in Paisley town centre – as the event returns to its roots in a new location.

The programme has been confirmed for this year’s event on Saturday 6 July –  with almost 50 events taking place across more 20 venues in a town-wide celebration for one of the world’s oldest worker’s festivals.


This year’s main events will move to the streets around the historic Sma’ Shot Cottage – meaning Shuttle Street, New Street, Witherspoon Street and Brown’s Lane will come alive with activity.

Sma’ Shot Day celebrates a 19th-century victory by the town’s weavers over their bosses in an industrial dispute – and this year’s event will have the theme of ‘Let’s party like its 1856’, bringing to life the traditional weavers’ celebration.


Members of local groups PACE Youth Theatre, Loud n Proud school of rock and the Old Paisley Society helped launch the programme for the 2019 event – which can be seen now at

The day’s activity starts with a colourful parade – this year co-ordinated by parade specialists Bridgeman Arts in collaboration with local groups and performers – featuring spectacular floats and giant puppets. The parade leaves Brodie Park at noon, led by sound of the Charleston Drum.

Once it arrives in the main event site in and around Paisley Arts Centre the party will get under way – with traditional event favourites including the Burning of the Cork, the re-enactment of the Sma’ Shot story by PACE Youth Theatre, and speeches by trade unions.


This year’s programme also includes a wide range of free performances and workshops showcasing Paisley’s thriving local cultural scene, unique heritage, and status as a creative hub, including:

– live performances from Starlight Music Theatre’s rock choir and swing band, drummers of Loud ‘n’ Proud rock school, and some of Scotland’s top traditional musicians with Gaelic group Fèis Phàislig;

– The InCube creative craft trail with some of the area’s best designers showing off their skills with family-friendly workshops in local cafes and venues, plus a makers’ markets and kids’ art workshops;

– kids’ entertainment around Paisley Arts Centre and Brown’s Lane including an outdoor beach, storytelling yurt, face-painting, puppet shows, and circus skills and carnival craft workshops;


– a programme of poetry, spoken word and live music on the Dooslan Stane Stage at Browns’ Lane, featuring local performers and the young people of Create Paisley performing songs specially-written with local musician Michael Cassidy inspired by Paisley’s musical heritage;

– a chance to see how a 19th-century weaver lived with tours of the Sma’ Shot Cottages and traditional weaving demonstrations by Paisley Museum’s Dr Dan Coughlan;

– a series of events celebrating Paisley’s heritage run by the TH2/CARS programme to restore historic buildings in the town centre – including textile exhibitions, film screenings and street theatre performances.

Local businesses will be involved – with The Bungalow, The Lane and Factionvenues in Shuttle Street, local cafes Bianco e Nero, Blend, Brew and Fairfull Collection, and Helen’s Haberdashery on the High St and The Workshop in the Old Fire Station among those hosting activity.


Other venues include a sensory safe space in the Russell Institute, and tours of the Paisley Thread Mill Museum, as well as Paisley Abbey and the InCube business incubator.

Sma’ Shot Day is organised by Renfrewshire Council as part of the area’s successful major events programme which brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to the area each year

In recent years Sma’ Shot Day has taken place in Abbey Close but as initial construction work to transform Paisley Town Hall into a landmark performance venue and preserve its place at the heart of life in the town will be under way by the summer, organisers opted to move this year’s event.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Sma’ Shot Day is always one of the highlights of the annual events calendar – and this year sees an exciting development as it moves to a new location.

“The Sma’ Shot Cottages is one of Paisley’s hidden treasures – so it is fitting the event is going back to its roots and taking place in the streets surrounding the unique attraction it shares a name with.

“The programme has something for everyone and combines all the traditional elements people know and love with a full day of contemporary events showing off Paisley’s creativity and history.

“One of the main aims of the events programme is to bring footfall to town centre traders so we are delighted so many of them have agreed to host parts of the event and give it a real town-wide feel.”

The next major event in Paisley is the British Pipe Band Championships, at St James Playing Fields on Saturday 18 May, which sees thousands of the world’s top pipers and drummers descend on the town for a full day of free entertainment with free transport from the town centre.

For more info on all local events visit

Renfrewshire Schoold Pipe Band practice 23.4.19-4585

Renfrewshire’s best young bagpiping talent is tuning up to compete against the best in the world this summer – starting this month when one of piping’s biggest events comes to Paisley.

The Renfrewshire Schools Pipe Band will take to the arena at British Pipe Band Championships on Saturday 18 May ahead of a summer competing in several of world piping’s ‘majors’.

Renfrewshire Schoold Pipe Band practice 23.4.19-4585

The free-to-attend event takes place at the St James Playing Fields and includes a programme of family entertainment and free transport to and from the site.

At last year’s British Championships the schools band performed superbly well to finish third in the Novice Junior B category – in their first major championships experience.

And while pipe major Keith Bowes admits competition will be tough, he believes the youngsters are making superb progress. He said: “Last year we competed at the British Championships and came third – in our very first major championships.

“It was a bit of a shock to do so well in our first one and while it will be hard to better that, we are in a better position than we were last year.

Renfrewshire Schoold Pipe Band practice 23.4.19-4585

“We are taking part in four of the five major championships this year – we will go to Inverness for European Championships in June, Dumbarton for the Scottish Championships in July and then the worlds in Glasgow in August.

“The Inverness trip will be first overnight trip they’ve had together – it will be two days away with family there to support them, and that will be a great experience for the pupils.”

The 17 pipers and 14 drummers in the band come from P6 up to secondary school. They each get expert tuition in their own schools from a team of instructors led by Keith – and gather once a week for full-band practice in Johnstone.

The band are part of a wider investment in school music by Renfrewshire Council – which this year put an additional £500,000 into keeping tuition free in all local schools to make sure all pupils can access the benefits culture has on young people’s wellbeing and achievement.

Renfrewshire Schoold Pipe Band practice 23.4.19-4572

And Keith – also the pipe major of the Johnstone Pipe Band, which competes in the elite Grade One category – says he can already see evidence of that in the young people he works with.

He added: “This is now third season of the band and every year numbers have gone up. There are now pipers and drummers across 20 different schools in Renfrewshire.

“You can see benefits in them – being in the band is improving their confidence and discipline, as well as their all-round music skills.

“I’ve seen young people join the pipe band and became friends with kids from other primary schools which feed into the same high school – so they made new friends before they got there.

“They are also learning what it means to represent their schools. Many of them have represented their school at functions – and played at school concerts and graduations.

“We also have some kids who have represented the area as part of the national pipe band – meaning they are playing in big concerts in places such as the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow.

“We are hoping to grow the band further – and also that when pupils they leave school will join one of the other local adult bands and help keep piping in Renfrewshire thriving.”

The British Pipe Band Championships are hosted by Renfrewshire Council and the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and are taking place in Paisley for the fourth successive year.

The free-to-attend event is at the St James Playing Fields from 10am to 7pm on Saturday 18 May and include a free day of family entertainment, Highland Games, food village and bar.

Last year’s event attracted 17,000 attendees and generated more than £300k for the local economy, with half the attendees visitors to Renfrewshire and 7% from outwith Scotland.

There is free transport on the day with McGills running shuttle buses to and from the event site from Paisley Gilmour St station, as well as the two free event parking sites at St Mirren Park in Greenhill Road, and West College Scotland in Renfrew Road.

For more info on the event, see


Creative Oceanic is delighted to announce meritorious contenders that got shortlisted in the 3rd Scottish SME Business Awards 2019. The awards are honoured by Creative Oceanic but voted for by the Scottish public.

The prestigious ceremony will take place on Wednesday May 8, at the Marriott Hotel Glasgow and will welcome creative and successful SME’s from across Scotland that have pushed the boundaries of innovation and imagination in the enterprise.


The Scottish SME Business Awards 2019 will provide a platform to shine the spotlight of the businesses that have made a positive difference in the market they operate within and have enjoyed growth as a result.  They aim to showcase accomplishments ranging from Retail Business of the Year, Export Business of the Year, Entrepreneur of the Year and Young Achiever of the Year amongst other.

Elektrik Marketing based in Renfrewshire is one of the finalists in not just one but two categories which are ‘Marketing Activities of The Year’ and ‘Creative Entrepreneur of The Year’.  Elektrik Marketing will find out if they have managed to win the competition and grab an accolade at the elegant event being held in May.

Kat Kennedy, Director at Elektrik Marketing said, ‘ I’m thrilled to have been nominated and to be a finalist at the Scottish Business Awards, regardless of the outcome on Wednesday evening, I’m delighted to have made it this far.’


Creative Oceanic launched the SME Business Awards in Scotland three years ago. The Welsh and Irish SME Business Awards have all been successfully established over the years, increasing the brand’s national appeal and recognition.

A Spokesperson for the Scottish SME Business Awards 2019 said:” The awards will celebrate the most dedicated SME business professionals that have stood out from the crowd and have shown great entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen.

“SME businesses play a vital role in Scotland’s economy and we feel that it is of great importance to recognise the drive and commitment of the individuals and organisations who-although the difficulties- have established a profitable business.

“We would like to wish the finalists the best of luck and we can’t wait to deliver another memorable event.”


St Andrews (4)

Includes photos from a variety of the 103 events which took place.

Communities across Renfrewshire have thrown their support behind the Team Up to Clean Up campaign as 103 events were held in one month as part of the Big Spring Clean.

St Andrews (4)

One of the campaign’s flagship events, the event saw more 1750 volunteers join a clean up event in their area with more than 1850 bags of litter collected by the council’s StreetScene team.

Building on the success of a weekend-long event last year, and the Spotless September Challenge, the special event saw almost every community in Renfrewshire take part with litter picks large and small making a difference.

Businesses, community groups, council staff and school pupils were all involved as the campaign cleaned the streets of Renfrewshire and educated people on the issue of littering.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “What a fantastic month it has been, and I want to thank every volunteer, from the businesses to the lone litter pickers, for the work they’ve done to make Renfrewshire a brighter, more attractive place to live and work.

Blythswood volunteers

“Whether it’s our young people filling a bag between them or a group collecting all they can carry, the work that has taken place has been outstanding and you can see a noticeable difference in our local area already.

“The hard work doesn’t end here as Team Up to Clean Up is a year-round campaign so we’re already planning our next events and continuing to provide ongoing support to our local communities.

“If you’re not involved already then why not come and be a part of this brilliant community campaign.”

The event in Renfrewshire ties into the two-month long Spring Clean event hosted by national environment charity Keep Scotland Beautiful throughout April and May.

Heather McLaughlin, Community Project Officer, said, “It’s great that so many people got involved in Renfrewshire’s Big Spring Clean in April in support of our national bid to clean up Scotland.

“We know that litter levels are at their worst in a decade, but the passion and commitment that the Renfrewshire volunteers showed gives us all hope that we can reverse the trend.

“We support clean up activity all year, so if you want to get involved and be part of the solution there’s still time.”

The Team Up to Clean Up campaign has benefitted from a £2.5million investment in Renfrewshire’s local environment which has seen an increased programme of road sweeping, drain clearing, litter picking and an enhanced Rapid Response Team.

The investment has also facilitated local communities to undertake litter picks by providing them with gloves, litter pickers, bags and hoops, as well as the support of the council’s Wardens Service and StreetScene team who remove the collected rubbish at the end.

For more information on the campaign and how to get involved, visit


Live at Thomas Coats Memorial as part of the 100 Days to Save Coats, LNP Promotions put on a gig which just blew all 700 members of the audience away with her intimate connection with the public through music, there was wit, storytelling and even history about the Bard himself Robert Burns all in the setting of the Gothic style Thomas Coats Memorial.

The Building is doing lots of events and next weekend is the penultimate weekend with mass choirs all with an aim to ask the public for donations to save this historic and beautiful building. Here is some footage from last night thanks to Paisley Buddie Drones and Brian McGuire.

We must thank LNP Promotions, Gary Kerr, Tommy McGrory and so many more volunteers for giving us access last night so we could promote the event afterwards via video and photographs to the public. I hope you enjoy this small video we made last night.

renfrewshire led lights

An ambitious LED lighting programme which has saved more than £1million per year in electricity costs has scooped a UK-wide procurement award.

Renfrewshire Council’s Street Lighting Replacement Programme has won the award for ‘Procurement Project of the Year award (sub-£20m value)’ at the Government Opportunities (GO) Excellence in Public Procurement Awards, beating nine other finalists from across Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

renfrewshire led lights

The success follows recognition from the Procurement and Commercial Improvement Programme which rates Renfrewshire Council’s procurement team as one of the highest performing council teams in Scotland.

Councillor John Shaw, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board, said: “We’re delighted to gain UK-wide recognition for this project which has reduced our overall carbon footprint by almost 8% and will bring in savings of more than £1million year-on-year.

“The project has involved teams from across the council which has been fantastic, and the procurement team were vital in ensuring that supplies and services were quickly available for every aspect of the project, keeping it within budget and delivering within the project timescales.

Renfrewshire Council GO Award winners

“Congratulations to everyone involved, the recognition is fully deserved for this extremely successful project.”

The LED conversion programme transformed more than 30,000 street lights from sodium to LED lanterns to improve the quality of light, reduce energy and reduce maintenance costs, and was completed in half the original three-year estimate.

The completed programme has saved more than £1million in electricity costs per year, reduced both energy and carbon consumption by 64% and delivered thirty community benefits in the local area.

Eddie Regan, Procurement Consultant and GO Award’s judge, said: “This is a hugely successful procurement, delivering community benefits and sustainable outcomes as well as fiscal savings.”

renfrewshire led lights

This year’s UK National GO Awards was hosted by TV presenter Sarah Heaney and officially welcomed by Chief Executive of the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Simon Tse.

David Smith, chair of the judging panel, said: “I believe the standard of the awards has improved greatly over the years.

“The winners in the categories this year are as good if not better than any other year.”

The awards saw more than 500 guests from across the UK public procurement community go head to head to win a coveted GO Award.

For a full list of winners, visit


Renfrewshire Chamber’s B2B event “Business Matters in Renfrewshire” – the largest free networking event of its kind in Renfrewshire, is now open for registration click here

Thursday 16th May 10am-4pm, The Lagoon – Paisley, sponsored by

Hashtag is #b2bpaisley

50+ exhibitors and 6 free seminars throughout the day.

The day is a great opportunity for you to network with 50+ organisations in one go, learn some new “stuff” or update your existing knowledge, all business people, students & senior pupils welcome.

For event & exhibitor information click here


Register for all Seminars here

Seminar 1, 10.15-11.00 “ 1 year on & game changing city deal developments” with the team & Renfrewshire Council 
register here

Seminar 2, 11.15-12.00 “Social Now to Social Wow!” with NSDesign
register here

Seminar 3, 12.15-13.00 “Doing Business with Renfrewshire Council” with Invest in Renfrewshire & Procurement Team.
register here

Seminar 4, 13.15-14.00 “How to win business using LinkedIn” with fatBuzz
register here

Seminar 5, 14.15-15.00 How to Grow a Greener Business” with Resource Efficient Scotland, a programme of Zero Waste Scotland.
register here

Seminar 6, 15.15-16.00 “Business Futures: Accelerating Digital, Social & Transformational Tech” with UWS.
register here 


Please share with any colleagues or friends that may be interested to attend


50 + exhibitors confirmed so far with room for more.

Cost to exhibit:  £150+vat members, £250+vat non-members.

Contact or to enquire about stand availability.