Bargarran Primary clean up (1)

With thousands of volunteers having taken part in more than 200 community clean ups and cleared more than 3100 bags of rubbish from the streets, Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign has been a rousing success.

Heriot Primary - Group shot

Since the campaign was launched in October 2017, there has been a 474% increase in the number of clean ups undertaken by the community – something which has seen more than 3500 volunteers take part.

The campaign has captured the imagination of everyone within the community with schoolchildren, community groups, lone litter pickers, businesses, police officers and the Renfrewshire Wardens all taking part.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, has taken part said: “What a fantastic year it has been for the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and it just seems to be going from strength to strength thanks to the work of community volunteers and our staff behind the scenes.

“The uptake of the community clean ups has been incredible and shows the community spirit we have in Renfrewshire to make a difference.

“We know we need to match this enthusiasm which is why we’ve invested £2.5million in this campaign to increase our road sweeping and drain clearing, boost our Rapid Response Team to have a dedicated roadside litter patrol, and take on six community litter pickers who keep local communities clean every day.”

The area hosted two large-scale community clean ups during 2018 in which communities across the area joined together to take part in the Big Spring Clean in April and then again for the Spotless September Challenge – with more than 1500 volunteers collecting in excess of 1000 bags of rubbish.

Dog fouling has also been a key focus of the campaign and the first Responsible Dog Owners walk took place in Robertson Park in Renfrew, where dog owners joined together to show that failing to pick up after your dog is not acceptable.

Streets where dog fouling has been identified as a problem have been targeted by the Wardens Service and brightly coloured messages spray painted on the pavements to deter repeat offenders and bring it to the attention of people in that area.

Councillor McEwan added: “The community have attended in their numbers when we have held larger events, but one of the best things about the campaign is the work going on in communities under people’s own steam.

“Volunteers are heading out to clear up their area, speaking to others about the campaign and continuing to push the message that it is all our responsibilities to keep Renfrewshire clean.

“I can’t thank our volunteers enough for the work they do, without forgetting our StreetScene and Waste teams who are working hard behind the scenes.”

With funding allocated to the campaign until 2022, plans are underway for the next year with the education of young people in Renfrewshire being a primary focus.

The Big Spring Clean will also return for another edition with numbers expected to be higher than ever as volunteers get set to pick up their litter pickers once again.

With a number of these community groups inspired deliver further projects within their communities, the campaign looks set to grow even bigger throughout 2019 with Renfrewshire certain benefit.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup or meet like-minded people on the dedicated Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/teamuptocleanup.

paisley town hall

THE final fling before Paisley Town Hall closed for a major refurbishment was of the Highland variety.

A sell-out Festive Family Ceilidh was the last event before the doors closed until the Town Hall re-opens in 2021 as a major venue attracting events and people to the town.

ceilidh

The festive ceilidh featuring traditional Scottish music and dancing has been a popular event for several years.

Victoria Hollows, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “There was no better way to celebrate both the end of the year and the Town Hall closing for renovation than to have a full-house of people enjoying themselves.

“And when the building re-opens there will be many more exciting events and shows taking place there to look forward to.”

The refurbishment of the Town Hall is one of the key projects within Renfrewshire Council’s £100 million investment in venues and infrastructure over the next few years, as part of a wider plan to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural assets to transform its future.

Paisley International Tango Festival 2018 (2)

Almost 30 projects have been supported in 2018 through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – including a two-day music festival, a mini Mela and jewellery making classes.

Paisley International Tango Festival 2018 (2)

The fund was launched in February 2016 to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021 and has continued as part of a wider plan to use culture and heritage to transform the area’s future, supporting 27 projects in 2018 alone.

It 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.

Three rounds of the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund have been completed in 2018, with a fourth round closing for applications in early December.

Paisley International Tango Festival 2018 (2)

Local groups and organisations supported in 2018 include The STAR Project, Paisley YMCA, Right2Dance, Media Monty, Johnstone Band, Paisley Opera and Renfrewshire Carers Centre.

Since 2016, almost 300 applications have been received to the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund from communities, businesses and cultural organisations in Renfrewshire and across Scotland – with a total funding request of £3,422,984. Over a third of these have been supported, with a total of £886,544 spent.

Successful completed projects to date include teenage animator Morgan Spence’s Lego stop-motion animation about Paisley – now seen by millions – and local dance group Right2Dance bringing Sir Matthew Bourne’s Re:Bourne company here for a week-long residency.

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 in to an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections.

Drew Moir, who was awarded funding to host the 2018 Paisley International Tango Festival, said: “The Paisley Tango scene would not exist without support from the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund. We now get approached by two or three professionals a month who want to be invited to perform here, a testament to the quality of the event and the friendly environment our town can create.“

This year, Renfrewshire Council have also launched a new fund, designed to support Renfrewshire’s cultural sector. The Cultural Organisations Development Fund is open to cultural and creative organisations across Renfrewshire and will complement the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, providing support to build the resilience and sustainability of local organisations, helping them realise their cultural ambitions.

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Iain Nicolson said: “The CHE Fund has been key in involving local people in cultural and creative activity and it’s great to see so much interest in the fund over 2018.

“We know involvement in culture has a positive impact on health and wellbeing and the projects supported have given people the chance to take part in new experiences and benefit in a number of different ways.

“Through the CHE Fund we’ve seen activities supported in communities right across Renfrewshire and I’m looking forward to seeing what projects the fund can support in 2019.”

The results of the current round of funding are due to be announced in February, with further funding rounds to be announced for 2019 in the new year.

For more information on Renfrewshire’s cultural grants, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/culturalgrants

Paisley Halloween Festival

Paisley’s Halloween and Spree festivals attracted record numbers in 2018 and delivered a £2.4million economic boost to Renfrewshire.

Paisley Halloween Festival

That’s according to the findings of independent assessments into the two October events, which also showed more people flocked to Renfrewshire from across Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Inspired by the town’s dark and deathly witch history and against the backdrop of the 850-year-old Abbey, Paisley’s Halloween Festival welcomed 34,000 people for two nights of ghoulish goings-on, up by 8000 on 2017.

Thirty-percent of attendees were aged 26 and under – reflecting the popularity of the key date on Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 celebrations.

Paisley Halloween Festival was supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.

There was a 30% rise recorded in visitors from the rest of the UK and growing numbers staying overnight, while the festival attracted almost 13,000 Scots from outside Renfrewshire.

This led to a 300% increase in visitor spend to £907,031 and a phenomenal total £1.96million injection into the economy, with traders’ tills swelling from an average spend of almost £60 per visitor on food and drink, entertainment and shopping over the two-day programme.

Martha Reeves - Spree Festival

The numbers also add up from The Spree, with a £434,702 total economic boost from the 10-day music, arts and cultural festival, up by £311,000 on 2017, and an average spectator spend up by 50% coming as music to the ears of Renfrewshire businesses.

This year saw record ticket sales as almost 11,000 people – including 2000 from outside Renfrewshire – enjoyed the festival which featured Motown legend Martha Reeves and Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi.

There was also a Wee Spree programme for kids during the school holidays and 1400 people packed out venues across the region as the inaugural Spree for All took the festival to pubs, community halls and even bowling clubs in Paisley, Johnstone, Linwood, Lochwinnoch and Renfrew.

Satisfaction levels soared at both events and attendance surveys also showed the events reached a new audience and attracted people to return in equal measure.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “It was phenomenal to see such great numbers coming along to Paisley’s Halloween Festival and to Spree and now this report shows exactly how it translates into more money for the local economy and more spend with local traders.

“We’re working hard with our partners to put on unique events which are a fixture on the calendar for Renfrewshire residents and which attract new audiences from Scotland and the rest of the UK.

“It was particularly pleasing in the Year of Young People to see so many families experiencing the Halloween Festival, added to the hundreds of gifted young performers taking part and the popularity of Spree For All spread the benefits of the festival around Renfrewshire.

“Renfrewshire has so much to offer and major events are an important part of our plans to use our culture and heritage to drive footfall and cement our status as a popular visitor destination.”

Researchers pored over the figures and interviewed hundreds of attendees at the two Renfrewshire Council events to compile the detailed reports, which are being welcomed by the local business sector.

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Bob Grant, said: “Both these council events are firm favourites on the calendar and this report is most welcome, underlining their importance to the local economy.

“Town centre traders will welcome this significant spend and to see more people staying overnight is good news for local hotels too. We’re all proud of what Renfrewshire has to offer and it’s great to know that more people than ever before are learning about our unique heritage and culture.”

paisley town hall

Paisley Town Hall has played a huge part in the lives of generations of Buddies.

Now a new project to gather people’s memories and photographs of the much-loved iconic building has been launched.

paisley town hall

Renfrewshire Leisure wants to hear from anyone who has a special memory of the Town Hall whether it involved a dance or concert held there, a first date, wedding, formal dinner, graduation or a special event.

The Memories of Paisley Town Hall project is being run as the building is about to be closed at the end of this year for a major refurbishment, which will see it re-open in 2021 as a major venue attracting events and people to the town.

paisley town hall

All you have to do is log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/townhallmemories and post your memories and pictures of the Town Hall. People can also pop into the Town Hall before it closes at the end of this month and complete a postcard.

Victoria Hollows, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “While the Town Hall is closed we want to keep it alive in the hearts and minds of Paisley Buddies.

paisley town hall

“We want to hear everyone’s Town Hall tales, from funny stories to how the building has played a part in their lives and memories of some of the shows and famous bands they have seen there.

paisley town hall

“It’s well-known that music star Paolo Nutini was discovered by his first manager at Paisley Town Hall when he stepped in to give an impromptu performance on the stage while hundreds of teenagers were waiting for Fame Academy TV show winner, David Sneddon to appear. Were you there?”

Victoria added: “When we gather people’s stories and photographs we’ll publish them online so everyone can enjoy each others memories of the building over the generations.”

The refurbishment of the Town Hall is one of the key projects within Renfrewshire Council’s £100 million investment in venues and infrastructure over the next few years, as part of a wider plan to use the town’s unique heritage and cultural assets to transform its future.

Local Partnerships meeting

Enthusiastic community members are being encouraged to sign up for their nearest Local Partnership ahead of the deadline for applications.

Local Partnerships meeting

Enthusiastic community members are being encouraged to sign up for their nearest Local Partnership and have their say on the issues that matter locally.

The community representatives will be a key part of the new Local Partnerships, sitting alongside local elected councillors and representatives from the public sector and the voluntary sector.

They will help shape the discussion and debate at Local Partnership meetings, bring their expertise and local knowledge to decision making and provide an important link to local people.

Local Partnerships meeting

The closing date for membership applications is Friday 14 December.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “I’d encourage anyone who has a passion for their community to put their name forward to become a member of their Local Partnership.

“We want to achieve a range of views and give local people the opportunity to have their say on the issues that matter to them within their community.

Local Partnerships meeting

“It’s important that the opinions of local people are highlighted so get in touch and take this opportunity to make a difference.”

A series of community events have been taking place across Renfrewshire to introduce the new partnerships and to encourage people to become community representatives, with the first official meetings of the new partnerships set to take place in early 2019.

The seven new Local Partnerships take on the same boundaries as Community Councils and replace the previous five Local Area Committees, with membership being split evenly between local elected members and local community representatives.

The partnerships will work together to identify the priorities for the local community and representatives will have a key role in the allocation of funding to local voluntary and community groups.

For more information on the Local Partnerships and to submit your application to become a member, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/localpartnerships.

St Fillan’s Primary School

Parents are being encouraged to sign-up for a new cashless payment system ahead of its launch in six Renfrewshire schools next year.

St Fillan’s Primary School

Castlehead and Gryffe High Schools and, Auchenlodement, Howwood, St Fillan’s and St James (Renfrew) Primaries will be the first to go live with ParentPay in January 2019.

The launch is part of Renfrewshire Council’s work to make all Renfrewshire schools cashless by summer 2020.

ParentPay will remove cash and cheques from the classrooms, allowing parents to pay for their childrens’ school meals, activities and trips online.

The cashless system, which is already used in more than 8,000 UK schools, allows parents and carers to make online payments into their child’s account 24/7. They will also be able to see what their child has ordered for lunch, set spending caps and keep a record of all the payments they have made.

Parents and carers who don’t use online banking can put money into their child’s account at their nearest PayPoint, usually located in newsagents and other local shops.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Finance, Resources and Customer Services, Councillor John Shaw said: “I’m delighted that we are introducing ParentPay in six schools, it will revolutionise the way parents and carers pay for school meals, trips and activities.

“We want to make all Renfrewshire schools cashless by summer 2020 and launching ParentPay in six schools is the first step towards this goal.”

ParentPay accounts will be activated in December, ahead of the launch of the new system in January.

Parents and carers will need to set up a MyGovScot MyAccount login to use the new payment system.

Letters advising how to register for ParentPay will be sent to parents and carers before their child’s school moves onto the new system.

To register for MyAccount visit https://myaccount.renfrewshire.gov.uk/

night-out-on-the-town-1

Ahead of the festive period, revellers are being advised to take care when using taxis and private hire vehicles on their Christmas nights out.

night-out-on-the-town-1

Renfrewshire Council and Police Scotland have teamed up to give passengers some important safety tips as the festivities get set to begin.

Party-goers should ensure they plan how to get home from their night out in advance and, where possible, pre-book their taxi home.

They should also only use licensed taxis or private hire vehicles to make any journeys and never be tempted to accept the offer of a lift from a passing car.

Councillor John MacNaughtan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Regulatory Functions Board, said:  “We have lots of fantastic venues for an evening out in Renfrewshire and we want to ensure that everyone has a great time, but remains safe while doing so.

“All licensed taxi companies or private hire vehicles will have Renfrewshire Council plates which display the licence details, and the driver’s badge should be displayed within the vehicle.

“If this is not the case, then don’t accept the lift and call your taxi company to confirm that it is the correct vehicle.”

Police Scotland will have additional patrols in Renfrewshire across the festive period to ensure that revellers are safe at one of the busiest times of the year.

Chief Inspector Simon Wright, Area Commander for Paisley, said: ” The festive period is an exceptionally busy time of year, with large numbers of people out enjoying themselves across Renfrewshire.

“My message would be to have a fantastic, but safe time while out across Renfrewshire. Always plan ahead and make arrangements to ensure you can get home, preferably in the company of friends.

“Never get into a private hire, you have not phoned for and booked in advance and always ensure that the driver is displaying their drivers badge. If you are in any doubt, seek alternative transport.”

Should you enter a vehicle which you believe to be a taxi or private hire vehicle and become aware it is not, or if you feel unsafe in any way you should contact Police Scotland using 101 or 999 in an emergency.

For more information on taxis in Renfrewshire, visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/taxisandprivatehires

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

Industry leaders have praised Paisley: The Secret Collection after it just missed out on the Cultural Project of the Year Award at the 2018 Architects’ Journal Architecture Awards

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

The project was ‘Highly Commended’ by the judges for the inventive nature of its aim to revitalise the high street by bringing the area’s historic collections to life.

Scooping the top prize was the third phase of works to remodel Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre which saw the refurbishment of its basement into an open performance studio capable of hosting a range of events from comedy to jazz.

stella-shabti

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Convener of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The Secret Collection has been a fantastic addition to Paisley as we aim to transform our High Street and bring people into the area.

“The collection includes some of Paisley’s world-famous textiles, plus a mix of ceramics, world cultures, social history, art and sculpture, natural history and local archives – with many of those items unseen by the general public in decades or longer.

“It’s fantastic that everyone involved with this wonderful project has received industry recognition as it really is one of Renfrewshire’s hidden gems and I would encourage everyone to take the time to visit and see the outstanding exhibits.”

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

Paisley: The Secret Collection is the first publicly accessible museum store on a UK High Street and contains thousands of objects which reflect Renfrewshire’s amazing heritage and culture.

The state-of-the-art storage facility is a space where everyone can explore, learn, research and discover hidden treasures in the collection.

Brought to life by Collective Architecture, the project was a key highlight of the work they have carried out transforming buildings using modest budgets to achieve maximum impact.

Ewan Imrie, Project Architect, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this project has gained national recognition through the Architects’ Journal Awards.

“The judges recognised the vision and bravery of the client in placing this precious facility within a very difficult central site, so that it is both accessible and a catalyst for regeneration.

“They were also very impressed by the creative and collaborative working relationship that developed between ourselves and Renfrewshire Council which allowed a bleak former shop unit to be converted into a hidden jewel on the High Street.”

The Secret Collection was one of several successful projects which saw Collective take home the coveted prize of Architect of the Year at the Awards ceremony.

Councillor Hughes added: “Collective brought imagination and an inspired sense of style to what could have been a purely functional space.

“They also had an enormous commitment to getting every detail right in a complex state of the art facility and we’re delighted that their work on the project has been recognised in this way.”

The Secret Collection is open to the public and free guided tours should be booked in advance.

For more information on The Secret Collection, visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com/thesecretcollection

Eric Grounds

One of the UK’s most prolific fundraising directors has been appointed to lead Paisley Museum’s £5million Capital Appeal Campaign.

Eric Grounds will take up his role as Capital Appeal Director in the new year.

Eric Grounds

Eric has directed more than 90 successful Capital Appeals across the UK, including a £35million campaign for Marie Curie and a £350million appeal for the defence National Rehabilitation Centre in Warwickshire.

He has also directed a range of heritage and cultural appeals, including successful campaigns for the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Highland Clearances Project and the Roses Charitable Trust in Mull.

Mr Grounds, who is a fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, said: “I’m very excited to be leading the Capital Appeal for Paisley Museum.

“Paisley is a fantastic town and its people are its greatest asset. This project will transform Paisley Museum into an international attraction that celebrates the town’s unique culture and heritage. We want everyone to get behind this project so we can show the world what Paisley has to offer.”

Work is already underway to transform Paisley Museum, which closed its doors last month, into a world-class tourist destination.

Redesigned by world-renowned architects AL_A, the new museum will house Paisley’s internationally significant art, science and natural history collections and tell the story of the Paisley Pattern and the town’s time as a centre of global textile industry.

Paisley is known around the world thanks to the iconic pattern which bears its name and the revamped museum will gives visitors access to the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls and pattern books. Part of the collection is currently on display at Dundee’s new V&A Museum.

The museum is expected to attract 125,000 visits a year when it reopens in 2022 and boost Paisley’s economy by £72million over 30 years.

The £42million museum transformation is part of a £100million investment in Paisley’s cultural venues and public realm, led by Renfrewshire Council, which is set to put the town firmly on the cultural tourism map. The Capital Appeal Campaign will raise £5million for the museum project, which has already secured funding from the Council, the Scottish Government Capital Grant Regeneration Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Renfrewshire Council is currently in the process of setting up Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd, a new fundraising company which will oversee the project’s fundraising strategy and Capital Appeal. An application to give the company charitable status has been submitted to the Office of Scottish Charity Regulator.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Chair of the Paisley City of Culture Partnership Board, said: “We are delighted to welcome Eric as our new Capital Appeals Director.

“Eric brings a wealth of experience in fundraising and tremendous enthusiasm and energy to the team, and with his leadership of our Capital Appeal Campaign we will deliver our vision for Paisley Museum.”