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The Wolfson Foundation has announced Paisley Museum will receive £200,000 in capital funding towards its transformation into a world-class cultural destination.

More than 80 grants were announced by the foundation with Paisley Museum receiving the highest heritage grant outside London.

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When Paisley Museum reopens it is expected to attract 125,000 visits each year from Scotland, the UK and overseas and provide a £72m economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

The £42m redevelopment of the museum is the signature project in Paisley’s radical regeneration which also includes refurbishments of the town’s A-listed town hall and a new learning and cultural hub housing library services on the town’s high street.

The redesign of the museum campus, being led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam, will allow the number of objects on display to be increased by 100%.

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Few places of Paisley’s size have had such a global impact, and this is reflected in the museum’s internationally-significant holdings, which include an unrivalled collection of 1,200 Paisley shawls and vast natural history collections. They are currently being held in Paisley: The Secret Collection, the only publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.

The Museum’s final phase of fundraising is now under way, with the recently-launched museum website reimagined.paisleymuseum.org showcasing the project’s ambitious vision.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, said:
“We are delighted the Wolfson Foundation is investing in the future of Paisley Museum. The museum has been beloved by generations of Renfrewshire people and this significant sum brings us a step closer to radically transforming this prominent symbol of Paisley’s past into a central part of our town’s future. Investing in our venues is key to our recovery from the pandemic, as it will create jobs, support new and existing businesses in the area, and drive new footfall to our town centre.”

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Eric Grounds, Capital Appeal Director of Paisley Reimagined, said:
“Paisley Museum has remained at the heart of the community since being founded in 1871. This £42m project presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure our world-class collections are safeguarded, and the museum continues to be a source of knowledge, enjoyment and pride for everyone living in or visiting Paisley. We look forward to connecting with others who recognise the national significance of this project and the positive outcomes it will bring to Paisley.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of Wolfson Foundation, said: “The Wolfson Foundation is committed to funding widely across Scotland and so we are delighted to be supporting Paisley Museum, especially at such a challenging time for cultural life generally. The scale of the ambition is extremely impressive – and the new Museum campus will tell a glorious mix of local and global stories, all based on superb collections.”

Paisley Museum Reimagined is supported by Renfrewshire Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

egg and spoon 3

YOUNGSTERS at three Renfrew Primary schools got the chance to take part in their annual sports day – even though they were still in lockdown.

Thanks to the team at Renfrewshire Leisure Sports Services, pupils from Kirklandneuk, Arkleston and Newmains Primary schools competed in a virtual sports day.

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All the usual summer sports day events were held in the pupils’ own gardens as the individual houses in schools competed against each other. Events included Egg and Spoon, Wellie Toss, Limbo, Speed Bounce, Human Pyramid, Transfer the Water, Bowls, Plank, Obstacle Course, Laps of the Garden, Keepie Ups, Burpees and Standing Long Jump.

The winning house at Kirklandneuk Primary was Spartan; Arkleston house winner was Viscount and Newmains winning house was Wallace.

Olympic athlete, Eilidh Doyle sent pupils a good luck video to encourage them to take part. The youngsters were also asked to design flags and banners to put up in their gardens, or the windows of their homes.

The Renfrewshire Leisure Sports Services team paid tribute to Kirklandeuk principal teacher, Mrs Gillian Stafford and teacher Mr Darren O’Hanlon; Newmains principal teacher, Mrs Gillian Hall and Arkleston principal teacher, Mrs Kajla for their help in organising the event.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Lots of pupils and their families look forward to their school sports day and it was a great idea from our Sports Services Team that they shouldn’t miss out this year.

“Lots of things have been happening online since the lockdown began and it was an inspired move to create a virtual sports day for the three schools. I want to thank all the teachers and pupils for getting involved and making virtual sports day a success, they have been brilliant.”

Cathy teamup pick up

Local volunteers from Renfrewshire’s award-winning Team Up to Clean Up campaign have caught fly tippers red-handed as they look to protect the local environment.

Cathy teamup pick up

Six £200 fixed penalty notices have been issued by Renfrewshire Council since April following reports from dedicated volunteers who have encountered fly tipping while cleaning up their area – with 22 issued in total across the area.

Waste found in Renfrew identified the same person’s details on numerous occasions which led to a fine being issued, while a van was caught red-handed dumping waste in Erskine.

Other occasions saw fly tippers fined in Paisley and Erskine woods after they were caught on camera illegally getting rid of their waste.

The notices require to be paid within 14 days, otherwise the council can pursue court action against the offenders.

Any residents using a ‘man with a van’ type companies must ensure that their waste will be disposed of legally by a registered waste carrier as it is still their responsibility if it is dumped illegally.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Fly tipping is not only illegal, but it ruins the appearance and harms our local environment.

“We need people in Renfrewshire to take responsibility for their waste and recognise that dumping it in our countryside, neighbourhoods or laybys is unacceptable.

“The fantastic Team Up to Clean Up volunteers are prime examples of what we should all strive to be, and they are making a tremendous difference to our local area.

“If you see someone fly tipping, or find evidence as to who has done it, then please report to us and together we can stop this happening once and for all in Renfrewshire.”

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, or to report fly tipping, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

switch

It’s game-on for the team at Renfrewshire Libraries who are taking part in the Nintendo Animal Crossing New Horizons video game.

Now they’re inviting youngsters with Nintendo Switch to join the fun on the RenLibrary Island to pick up items and make a virtual visit to their museum and library.

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Animal Crossing New Horizons is a video game that allows Nintendo Switch players to create and escape to their own desert island paradise, where they can collect materials to make furniture for their new living quarters, meet new friends and even go fishing in the ocean without having to leave the comfort of their own home.

The RenLibrary Island gates will be open Monday to Friday, between 2pm and 4pm and a friendly virtual librarian will be on hand to meet and help visitors. The friend code needed to access the island is SW-7364-6035-8713.

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Even if youngsters don’t have a Nintendo Switch console they can download the free Animal Crossing Pocket Camp app, which allows players to add Renfrewshire Libraries as a friend with the ID code of 33390233280.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This project will be great fun for young people and also for the grown ups from our libraries who are taking part.

“Our libraries are far from being places where all you do is borrow books, as we provide a wide range of services on and offline. Getting involved in video games like Animal Crossing New Horizons shows that we are in tune with the digital age and are relevant to people of all ages.”

The project is supported and funded by the Scottish Government’s School Library Improvement Fund and is an expansion on Renfrewshire Leisure’s popular Dip Into Digital Schools’ sessions, which took place in Trinity High library and Paisley Grammar school library between January and March.

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Renfrewshire School Libraries received funding in December 2019 to increase digital participation with digital workshops, which were already successfully being run in Renfrewshire public libraries.

Go to www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk for more information on taking part in the Animal Crossing New Horizons video game.

PfH finished square

Residents receiving food and medicines from Renfrewshire Council will soon see little cards of kindness appear in their deliveries to help bring a little joy to their day.

Around 1,500 households in Renfrewshire will receive postcards in their support parcels, offering a sense of connection at this difficult time and the wider community is also being encouraged to get involved, with more cards being distributed by Neighbourhood Hubs.

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The cards, known as Postcards from Home aim to encourage people to keep in touch in a creative way. The first postcard residents receive is a positive, illustrated poem, which can be coloured in, that evokes summer and better days to come, from Brian Whittingham, Tannahill Makar for Renfrewshire.

The public are being asked to share their drawings, poems, quotes and art on social media using the hashtag #KindnessCounts which may then be turned into postcards to be shared in the coming weeks.

The support parcels, which include items such as freshly prepared meals, toiletries and dry goods like cereal and tea bags, are delivered to residents by teams from across the council. The teams which includes redeployed staff, have been prepping and cooking fresh meals, packing bags and delivering food parcels to the doors of those most in need in the community, all while adhering to physical distancing guidelines.

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This is a combined effort by teams and individuals across the council and Renfrewshire Leisure coming together to provide this vital service to the community.

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron, said: “In times like these a little kindness can go a long way and that’s the inspiration behind Postcards from Home.

“For those receiving the support parcels, who may be feeling isolated at the moment, I hope these little cards of kindness will help them feel more connected to their community.”

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, said: “Creativity has the power to inspire and lift people’s spirits.

“The first of the postcards featuring a poem from Brian Whittingham, Tannahill Makar for Renfrewshire, will, I’m sure, help brighten people’s day with its uplifting message of better times to come.”

Postcards from Home is part of Renfrewshire Council’s Kindness Counts campaign which aims to share uplifting stories about the acts of kindness that are currently taking place throughout Renfrewshire during the pandemic.

The public are encouraged to share their uplifting stories and creations on social media using #KindnessCounts.

Walter McCorrisken

A new film on the life of Walter McCorrisken – who called himself the World’s Worst Poet – is being premiered on a recently-launched internet TV channel.

The film, called The Renfrew Rhymer will be broadcast on Renfrewshire Leisure’s online channel, Ren TV on Sunday, June 7 at 7pm.

Walter McCorrisken

With the help of Walter’s son, Richard, filmmaker, Paul Russell tells the amazing story of the Renfrew poet and writer’s life and how his eccentric verse brought national attention when he was a guest on the Parkinson and Barrymore TV shows among many other TV and radio appearances over three decades.

Walter worked at Glasgow Airport, but spent much of his spare time writing hilarious poems and published ten books of poetry including A Wee Dribble of Dross, which sold thousands of copies.

Walter McCorrisken

The Renfrew Rhymer film is the highlight of this year’s Renfrew on Film event, which is usually held in Renfrew Town Hall as part of Renfrew Gala Week. But because of the current coronavirus lockdown, the festival of film has been moved online to Ren TV.

As well as the Walter McCorrisken story, Renfrew On Film will also give people a nostalgic look into the past with films showing life in days gone by.

Walter McCorrisken

Paul Russell said: “As a film-maker, and with this specific Renfrew on Film event in mind, I’m always looking for interesting local stories to tell, and Walter appealed as an intriguing local character.  Walter was very much in the Bud Neill and Chic Murray style of gentle, parochial humour that I already adored so much, self-effacing, clever with language, slightly surreal, immediately disarming and hilarious.
“Walter passed away in 2004 and I felt his brilliantly funny poetry was at risk of being lost to future generations.  Hopefully this film will help people remember his poems but also learn a bit more about the man behind them.
“Renfrew on Film is a very popular and much anticipated feature of Renfrew Gala Week.  It is was the natural place to launch this film, being Walter’s home town, and the film shall be the centrepiece of a suite of local films screened online in place of this years Town Hall event.”

Renfrewshire Leisure chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Renfrew on Film has become a much anticipated staple of the Gala Week and hopefully this year’s event will help people celebrate Renfrew, its rich traditions, special days, past memories and its people.

“We are particularly delighted to be premiering Paul Russell’s fabulous Walter McCorrisken Film, which shines a light on the life and work of one of the wonderful characters who makes Renfrew the great place it is ”

Lawrence Newton

A father-and-son golf duo were first off the tee at Barshaw Golf Course when the course re-opened yesterday.

Greig Martin, 48, and his 24-year-old son, Dean, from Renfrew were delighted to finally get a game of golf after the ten-week lockdown forced the course to close.

Reopening of Barshaw Golf Club 29.5.20

John Patton and Alan Scoular were one of the first to take advantage of Barshaw Golf Course re-opening.

But with the Scottish Government easing restrictions and moving into Phase 1 of the route map out of the coronavirus pandemic, Renfrewshire Leisure were able to re-open the popular golf course along with two of its bowling greens at Lochfield and Robertson Park, Renfrew.

After his long-awaited round of golf, Dean said: “We hadn’t played since the day before lockdown began and it was great to get back on the golf course at Barshaw.

“My dad and I are regulars at Barshaw and we play there at least once a week, so we’re looking forward to getting back out there a lot more often.”

Lawrence Newton

Lawrence Newton gets in the swing of things after Barshaw Golf Course re-opened.

Within hours of an announcement that the course was being re-opened, all 36 tee-off slots on Friday were booked. Saturday is also fully booked and yesterday there were only a handful of tee-off times available for Sunday.

Renfrewshire Leisure has reduced the annual memberships of Barshaw for 2020 to reflect the lost playing period from April 1 and will be valid until March 31 next year.

Dean and Greig Martin 07919993201Reopening of Barshaw Golf Club 29.5.20

Dean and Greig Martin were first to tee off when Barshaw Golf Course re-opened.

The membership fee to play on the course all year round is now £152 for adults, £106 for concessions and £75 for juniors. Family memberships are the total price for all individuals minus a 25 per cent discount.

Renfrewshire Leisure chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “It’s been a long haul through lockdown, but with the Government easing restrictions, we’re delighted to be able to offer people the chance to enjoy a game of golf or bowling.

Reopening of Barshaw Golf Club 29.5.20

Reopening of Barshaw Golf Club 29.5.20

“And being able to open our golf course and bowling greens has come at the right time, as it looks likes we’ll be having sunny weather for a good few days.

“I’ve no doubt people will be keen to get out in the fresh air and enjoy a game of golf or bowls.”

Councillor Hughes added: “We are asking players to support our staff and those around them by adhering to social distancing and hygiene rules. Details are displayed at each facility and on our website.

“It’s important for the entire community’s health that everyone makes themselves familiar with the rules – and follows them.”

Go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com for more information on the health guidelines.

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First stage of recovery for Renfrewshire Leisure services closed because of coronavirus pandemic

Renfrewshire Leisure will reopen a golf course and bowling greens tomorrow (Friday May 29) after First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today confirmed the first phase of easing Scotland’s coronavirus lockdown can begin.

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Barshaw Golf Club and Lochfield bowling green in Paisley and Robertson Park bowling green in Renfrew will each promote social distancing and strong hygiene measures among players  after the Scottish Government said that non-contact outdoor sporting activities could restart.

Today’s announcement marks the first phase of recovery for Renfrewshire Leisure’s sporting and cultural services, which have been closed since March as measures to protect public health and slow the spread Covid-19 came into force.

Other facilities will reopen – with appropriate safeguards in place – as and when the Scottish Government deems it safe to do so as part of gradual measures outlined in the country’s route map through and out of the coronavirus crisis. Details will be shared when available.

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We are pleased to be able to reopen our golf course and bowling greens from tomorrow. We know how important they are to those who play there and hope this announcement will help their health and wellbeing.

“In line with Government guidance, we are asking every visitor to these sites to ensure they support our staff and those around them by adhering to social distancing and hygiene rules, details of which will be displayed at each facility. It’s important for the entire community’s health that everyone makes themselves familiar with the rules – and follows them.

“All players will be responsible for their own personal hygiene and should provide their own hand sanitiser.”

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure,  said: “The reopening of the golf course and bowling greens is a small but significant step back towards a degree of normality, both for our staff team and the community. It’s important that we get this right and, by working together with the people who use our services to stay in-line with all Government guidelines, we can ensure a positive experience for everyone as these facilities and others are allowed to reopen.

“As the First Minister also confirmed, people will now be able to sit in our parks and meet people from one other household outdoors. While we are all keen to be able to spend time with our friends and loved ones in person, we would echo the Government’s message for everyone to please remain physically distanced.”

While phase one of Scotland’s route map out of coronavirus allows the reopening of the golf course and bowling greens, it does not currently allow for clubhouses or pavilions to return to use. Changing rooms and toilets will therefore not be open until this guidance changes.

Arrangements have already been made for Barshaw Golf Club members to safely collect their equipment, while one-off – carefully-controlled – access is being allowed for bowling club members to collect their bowls. After this, all players must store their equipment and other personal items at home until these buildings are allowed to reopen.

At each bowling green, bowlers will be responsible for the sanitisation of bowling equipment before and after use. Bowls, jacks and mats must be sanitised at the end of each play and before the start of the next playing day. Discussions have taken place with club committee representatives.

Barshaw Golf Course, Paisley

The course will reopen at 9am on Friday, May 29. The pavilion will remain closed to general access, apart from payment. The course will be operated by two members of Renfrewshire Leisure staff, one located at the pavilion to take card and contactless payment for memberships, take tee time bookings and provide support. The second will be located close to the first tee and car park, reminding users of health and safety guidance, social distancing and ensuring golfers begin their round at the correct time. Initially, bookable tee times will be restricted to two-balls at 10-minute intervals from 9am to 3pm. Any rule breaches may result in the player/s involved being restricted from accessing the course. To book golf, call 0141 848 7907.

Lochfield Bowling Green, Paisley

No public pay-as-you-play will be available without a sponsoring member. Non-members will require to join one of the three clubs associated with Lochfield and/or be signed on by a member. A storage box with a numerical Digi-padlock will be provided on site for players requiring to borrow bowls, jacks and mats. No members of Renfrewshire Leisure staff will be present.

Robertson Park Bowling Green, Renfrew

No public pay as you play will be available without a sponsoring member. Non-members will require to join the club and/or be signed on by a member. No members of Renfrewshire Staff will be present.

For more details, go to www.refrewshireleisure.com. Members of the public with any queries can email enquiries@renfrewshireleisure.com.

Paisley Central Library

THERE has been a huge increase in people borrowing books, magazines and audio books from Renfrewshire’s Digital Library.

Paisley Central Library

Paisley Central Library

Since lockdown began there has been an 81 per cent increase in people going online to borrow from the service, a 74 per cent jump in e-book and e-audiobook issues and a 58 per cent increase in reservations compared to the same period last year.

Author Margaret Atwood’s the Testaments: the Handmaid’s Tale Series, Book 2 is the most popular digital title being borrowed with a tale of the tough-guy American loner Jack Reacher in Lee Child’s Blue Moon the next most popular.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Our libraries may have had to be closed, but we are always open for business online. We’ve a fantastic variety of e-books, audio titles and popular magazines available for library members to read when they borrow from our digital library.

“You could say we’re the library that never shuts, which is handy during the current lockdown, as more and more people are spending time reading while they stay at home.”

Anyone can join Renfrewshire Libraries at www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk to get access to the digital books, audio books and magazines.

Here’s the league tables of the most popular digital titles borrowed during lockdown –

Adult e-books – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
The Testaments: The Handmaid’s Tale Series, Book 2 Atwood, Margaret
Blue Moon: Jack Reacher Series, Book 24 Child, Lee
Buried: DC Jack Warr Series, Book 1 La Plante, Lynda
The Foundling Halls, Stacey
The Warning Patterson, James

Adult e-audiobooks – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
The Family Upstairs Jewell, Lisa
The Mystery of Mercy Close Keyes, Marian
Cleaning the Gold Slaughter, Karin
Too Good to Be True Cleeves, Ann
44 Scotland Street McCall-Smith, Alexander

Junior e-books – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
50 Ways to Beat Boredom with LEGO Bricks Dorling Kindersley
What Monster?: Tom Gates Series, Book 15 Pichon, Liz
Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories Palacio, R J
The Day I Started a Mega Robot Invasion: The Day Series McLaughlin, Tom
The Meltdown: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, Book 13 Kinney, Jeff

Junior e-audiobooks – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball (Book 14) Kinney, Jeff
Meg and Mog Audio Collection Nicoll, Helen
The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance Balding, Clare
The Bone Garden Kassner, Heather
How to Read a Book Alexander, Kwame

Young adult e-books – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
Bog Child Dowd, Siobhan
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Boyne, John
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: Vintage Children’s Classics Haddon, Mark
Nightshade: Alex Rider Series, Book 12 Horowitz, Anthony
One of Us Is Next McManus, Karen

Young adult e-audiobooks – 5 most popular titles

Title Creator
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane: The Underland Chronicles, Book 2 Collins, Suzanne
The Secret Commonwealth: Book of Dust Series, Book 2 Pullman, Philip
Tilly and the Lost Fairytales: Pages & Co. Series, Book 2 James, Anna
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series, Book 1 Han, Jenny
American Royals McGee, Katharine

E-magazines – 5 most popular titles

Title
HELLO! magazine
Radio Times
Woman & Home
BBC Good Food Magazine
New Scientist International Edition

Halloween

Renfrewshire Council has today announced that all large-scale Council-run events will be cancelled until the end of October in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision means that the following events will no longer take place: Renfrew Gala Day; Barshaw Gala Day; Johnstone Fire Engine Rally; Renfrewshire Doors Open Days; The Spree festival; and Paisley Halloween Festival.

Halloween

Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day celebrations will be marked this year – but in a different way. A programme of online events will take place on Saturday 4 July to commemorate the historic victory of local weavers, as well as the invaluable contribution of today’s key workers across Renfrewshire.

All Council-run events after October will continue to be reviewed in line with national guidance from the Scottish Government and public health advice, with a further decision on the staging of Paisley Fireworks Spectacular and the Paisley, Johnstone and Renfrew Christmas lights switch-on events expected by June 30.

The Council announced in March that its spring/summer events programme, including the Paisley Food and Drink Festival and the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley, had been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are hugely disappointed to have to announce this news today but, given the ongoing public health and government advice, it’s the safe and prudent action to take.

“Since we announced the cancellation of our spring/summer programme, festivals and events in the UK and further afield scheduled up until October have continued to be cancelled. The current advice on mass gatherings and events is expected to be in place for some months to come, along with significant physical distancing restrictions.

“Our events programme is regarded among the highlights in Renfrewshire’s annual calendar – and we’re rightly proud of the economic and social impact it brings for our communities. As with many of our Council services, and sectors of our local economy, we want to be in a position to restart and support recovery as soon as possible – but only when the public health advice recommends it is safe to do so.

“Despite the cancellation of our large-scale events until the end of October, we will still celebrate Paisley’s annual Sma’ Shot Day – but in a different way. The online programme of events will allow us to honour the historic victory of local weavers and thank the key workers in Renfrewshire today, who are doing a fantastic job on the frontline to support us all during this unprecedented time.”

Renfrewshire Council is continuing to plan its major events programme in Renfrewshire for next year, whilst monitoring the latest government and public health advice.

The Council advises everyone to continue to follow the national guidance on coronavirus set out by the Scottish Government and to consult www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus for up to date medical advice.

For the latest local updates, visit our ‘Information, help and guidance on Coronavirus’ webpage here: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.