LIBRARY members can now have books delivered to their homes for free.

Keen reader, Elizabeth MacPhee, from Renfrew is delighted with her home delivery of books.

Renfrewshire Libraries launched the new service to make it easier for people to access the thousands of titles they have available.

And as Renfrewshire Leisure’s Digital and Library Development Manager, Joyce Higgins says: “While people can’t come to our libraries, we’ll bring the books in our libraries to them!”

The Libraries Direct home delivery service is available to existing and new members of Renfrewshire Libraries who are over the age of 70, people with disabilities and families with children.

Library staff will also visit homes to collect returned books in a socially distanced and Covid-secure way.

People who are eligible for the service should call 0300 300 1188 to register for the Libraries Direct service. They can then request specific titles by calling the same number or logging on to

Staff will also suggest and recommend particular books depending on the readers’ interests and preferences. Members will receive a phone call a few days before their books are delivered.

One library member who had benefited from the Libraries Direct is Mrs Elizabeth MacPhee, aged 79, from Renfrew, who has already had a delivery of books to her home.

She said: “I think the home delivery service for library books is a fantastic idea and I’m sure everyone will appreciate it.

“I read six or seven books a week and during lockdown I’ve not been able to get to my local library like I normally do a couple of times a week.

“I’ve had to rely on friends giving me books after they’d finished with them. This delivery service is great for me.”

Joyce Higgins added: “We know just how much pleasure books can bring, especially in these difficult times.

“Reading a book can help you relax or stimulate your mind. And if your children are home schooling, we can deliver all kinds of wonderful books to help keep young people engaged and enjoying learning.

“The home delivery service is one way of making sure people don’t need to miss the joy of reading.”

billboard mock up 2

THE work of creative writers is being displayed in a very unusual place – a five-and-a-half metre high billboard outside a railway station.

The unique outdoor visual arts project will be seen by people passing Paisley’s Gilmour Street Station and is part of Renfrewshire Leisure’s Out of Place programme that also features online gigs, film, audio performances and creative workshops.

billboard mock up 2

The specially-commissioned work from Renfrewshire writers for the Talk of the Town project will be individually on display from February 22 to April 6.

The first piece to be featured on the billboard is a poem by Roddy Scott, called Sma’ Shot Reel, which talks about celebrating the end of coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

The second is a piece by David Rae, whose words draw on the romance of meeting and parting at the station. And the third in the series is from Kick The Door theatre production company’s, Fraser Scott and Iona Ramsay, whose poem is called Paisley Before, Now and Next: Radicals an’ Revolutionaries.

David Rae

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Visual Arts Projects Producer, Kate Drummond came up with the billboard idea. She explains:

“I thought it would be interesting to use the billboard for something that’s not advertising, or selling to people, as that’s what you would normally see on that space.

“It’s a different way of communicating something in the written word, which is a nice positive message. People wouldn’t normally expect to see something like this on a billboard, so hopefully it will be very noticeable.”

Roddy Scott said: “The idea of my piece of writing on the billboard was to try to get people in the town feel uplifted and to raise their spirits.

Roddy Scott

“It’s an amazing idea to have creative writing on a billboard. When I heard my piece was chosen I was blown away.”

Fraser Scott said: “Our piece is a short poem that recounts the historic moments in Paisley’s past that made it what it is today. In its final words, the poem will ask, with all that behind us, what next?

Fraser Scott and Iona Ramsay

“We really hope our writing will spark excitement about the town and what could be next with those who read itOur hope is to capture a feeling of pride about Paisley and it is our hope that the people who read it will share in that pride.

David Rae said: “I’m very excited by this project as I love Paisley and the town is great inspiration for me.

“I’ve never had my words on a billboard before and I’m fascinated by the thought of my words being used in this way.

billboard mock up 1

“I hope my piece will bring a smile to faces and a few memories to those that pass by. And a reminder that a bag of chips makes everything better!”

Go to for the full Out of Place programme.

The Out of Place events are made possible with the support of Future Paisley – a radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activity and investment using the town’s unique and internationally-significant cultural stories to transform its future.


RENFREWSHIRE Leisure is staging a fantastic array of entertainment, creative events and masterclasses in the coming months.

The Out of Place programme featuring online gigs, film, audio performances, visual arts and creative workshops was launched on Friday, February 5.

Music fans can tune into the Ren TV online channel to hear artists and bands perform in the Stuck In The House Sessions. During February and in conjunction with the Sofar Sounds Glasgow online artists community, performers will include Ghanian-born songwriter and guitarist, Nathan Somevi and Paisley-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Becca Starr, with other artists to be confirmed.

The Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA) move their annual Paisley Takeover at Paisley Arts Centre to an online virtual music experience. This year’s programme includes four performances from Scottish artists that were filmed at home and will be broadcast on Ren TV each Thursday, during March, at 8pm.

There are two premieres planned for February 24 and March 3 featuring Laura Fisher and Sonia Kilmann. By visiting Ren TV listeners can hear Going In-Going Out, which is an audio performance and shared dance event for people to take part in while in their own homes. During the performance they will be gently guided through movement and relaxation.

A companion broadcast is called Going Out-Going In, which is an audio performance designed to be listened to through headphones, which takes the listener on a journey through their local area to a music soundtrack.

Alongside the digital programme, an outdoor visual arts project – Talk of the Town – will feature on a billboard outside the main entrance to Paisley’s Gilmour Street Station with three specially commissioned pieces of writing from Renfrewshire-based artists on display between February 22 to April 6.

The first piece is Roddy Scott’s Sma’ Shot Reel; the second is from David Rae, whose words draw on the romance of meeting and parting at the station and the third in the series is from Kick The Door Theatre t whose piece asks – with that all behind us, what next?

Following last year’s phenomenal success of Ren TV’s Reeling Through The Years series of local films, the popular series of films featuring a selection of archive movies about local characters, history and culture returns.

It’s the first time this latest selection of films, from Paul Russell, Alex Cathcart and members of the Renfrewshire Camcorder Club, will be seen in digital format.

While Paisley Arts Centre remains closed, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Arts team will be delivering a series of free online creative learning workshops with something for everyone from storytelling for under-5s to dancing for the over-60s.

The team has produced an online programme of free masterclasses to encourage artistic and creative excellence among Renfrewshire-based artists and will be delivered by artists such as outstanding musician, Rachel Sermanni and award winning filmmaker Kenny Glenaan

The Creative learning workshops and masterclasses are supported by Creative Scotland’s Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund, supporting artists to continue to make work and reach audiences during the Covid pandemic.

Renfrewshire Leisure Arts Manager, Rikki Payne said: “Our arts venues may be closed due to the coronavirus restriction, but we’re making sure everyone can still access arts and culture through our online channels.

“Most of the programming for our Out of Place programme is specifically designed by Renfrewshire Leisure, so we can deliver unique and high-quality arts, culture and creative activities to the people of Renfrewshire and beyond.”

The Out of Place events are made possible with the support of Future Paisley. Future Paisley is the radical and wide-ranging programme of events, activity and investment using the town’s unique and internationally-significant cultural stories to transform its future.

Go to for full details of how you can access the Out of Place programme.

Derek Provan

Commenting on today’s announcement in the Scottish Parliament from First Minster Nicola Sturgeon on the introduction of tougher quarantine restrictions, Derek Provan, chief executive of AGS Airports, said:

Glasgow airport Derek Provan

“This is the third significant announcement regarding travel restrictions in as many weeks which, once again, have been introduced without any consultation whatsoever. We’re also lacking any detail on how the latest layer of restrictions will be implemented.

We understand the need for short-term emergency measures, and we all want to see this virus brought under control as quickly as possible, however, it’s imperative government engages with industry on developing a recovery plan.

“Our airports are effectively closed, they have been for almost one year and without a recovery plan from government there is no end in sight. We need to see sector specific support beyond the rates relief otherwise our entire industry will remain in a perilous position.”

Youngsters were encouraged to muck about during their last few days at school before the holidays.

Although Covid-19 put paid to their annual Christmas party, pupils from Rashielea Primary 4-7 were given the chance to take part in a fun Rough Mudder assault course, organised by Renfrewshire Leisure’s Active Schools team.

The Rashie Rough Mudder event saw youngsters don their waterproof clothing – funded by the school’s Parents’ Association – and start their messy journey at the bottom of a hill outside their school.

They clambered over logs; weaved through obstacles; jumped in and out of giant tractor tyres, donated by the Hamilton Ross Group; rolled on their stomachs over barrels; crawled under a parachute and slalomed on a space hopper.

As part of their work that led to being given the John Muir Award for improving the environment, Rashielea Primary 6 pupils had cleared a nearby wood and part of the Rough Mudder course included passing through this area and finishing on a mudslide.

Renfrewshire Leisure Active School and Community Club Development Officer, Tammy Johnston said: “We didn’t want the pupils to miss out a last day of fun before breaking up for the Christmas holidays.

“The children weren’t afraid to get muddy and were more than up for a day of messy fun. As soon as they had their waterproofs on they tackled the course with great gusto.”

School staff and volunteers from the nearby Park Mains High were also on hand to help direct the children through the course.

It had been a busy school term for the pupils at Rashielea, as they took part in a reverse Advent Calendar with each pupil bringing in an item for each day for donation to local food banks.

Youngsters video recorded their Nativity Play for residents of LittleInch Care Home, at Inchinnan to watch and pupils also organised a Christmas jumper day raising money to buy toys for the Salvation Army Toy Appeal.

Pupils from Primary 1-3 used technology to transport themselves to Bethlehem for a Christmas carol concert with a difference. They used special green screen recording techniques to video their performance. However, because singing is still not allowed in schools due to Covid restrictions, they used Makaton to sign the words of the songs while accompanied by pupils playing instruments.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

But vibrant programme of digital content and services will be in place to support residents’ health and wellbeing during restrictions

Venues operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will temporarily close in line with the Scottish Government Covid-19 restrictions from Boxing Day.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive.v1

The Level 4 measures coming into place across mainland Scotland on December 26th will be in place for at least three weeks, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.


These restrictions mean that all leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and the heritage centre run by Renfrewshire Leisure must close to the public during that period.


While in-venue facilities will be closed, a vibrant and varied package of content – covering everything from fitness and wellbeing to storytelling and nostalgia – will be available at and via the online REN TV channel.


A vast selection of library books are also available for download via the array of services offered online by Renfrewshire Libraries.


Outdoor non-contact sports will also continue, whilst they remain in line with Government guidance and that of individual sport governing bodies.


Direct Debit payments will not be taken in January in light of this latest announcement.


Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive Victoria Hollows said: “We hope that people understand why we have to suspend in-venue services to help protect our communities. We all hope that this latest period of increased restrictions will have the desired effect in reducing rates of transmission and that we can reopen later in January.


“Even though our venues will be closed, we remain here for our communities and our team will be working hard to continue to create and deliver content for our members and the wider community online and via social media and also through outdoor activity.


“While we cannot offer services in-venue, we hope that our work online and outdoor will help the wellbeing of the region’s residents and keep people safe and well at what is a challenging time for us all, perhaps even more so at this time of year.”


Plans had already been in place for a revised festive programme – as is normal – from December 24th until January 3rd (inclusive).


Details on service updates will be shared as soon as they are available online and via Renfrewshire Leisure’s social media channels.

fionn gavin

A secondary school pupil from Paisley will help influence the future of sporting activity in Scotland.

Fionn Gavin, aged 17 and a sixth-year student at St Andrew’s Academy, has been selected to sit on the sportscotland Young People’s Sports Panel for the next two years.

He will join other young people from all over Scotland to influence the future and raise the profile of sport in the country.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Active Schools team had supported four local pupils in their application to sit on the panel with two getting to the final stages of selection.

Fionn’s has been asked to join the panel out of more than 150 young people who applied.

Fionn said: “When I got the phone call saying I had been selected for the panel I was overwhelmed with excitement and couldn’t believe it.

“I’m really looking forward to getting to know my fellow peers on the panel and I can’t wait to get started to work as a team to make a difference to sport in Scotland.

“I am very grateful to my Active Schools Coordinators, David Rose and Erin Campbell along with the teachers in my PE Department, at St Andrew’s for helping me to become involved and pushing me to succeed in something I love.”

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The Young People’s Sport Panel provides a national platform to represent the voice of young people across Scotland.

“The programme’s principle is that young people’s views are heard and valued and they have the opportunity to influence decision-making and drive change.

“Fionn has been involved with the Active Schools programme from a young age and has shown great commitment to sport. He has all the credentials to become a valued member of the panel and we are delighted he has been selected.

“He will also continue to work with groups in Renfrewshire to raise awareness and promote sporting activity.”fionn gavin


“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on our health, our wellbeing, our communities and our economy, but I am confident that by working together, Renfrewshire will recover and renew to come back stronger.”

That’s according to Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson, as he welcomes plans for Renfrewshire’s economic and social recovery from the Coronavirus pandemic.


Councillors will consider the ambitious plans next week which aim to create jobs and upskill employees, bolster business, invest in housing, tackle inequalities and improve the lives of people living and working in Renfrewshire.

Stark statistics within the reports lay bare the impact of the pandemic in Renfrewshire, with 293 local people having lost their lives.

The number of people claiming benefits rose by 80% at the height of the virus, while 6,000 crisis grant applications have been received, thousands have been supported through neighbourhood hubs and local community groups and Renfrewshire Foodbank has helped more than 4,000 adults and children.

Furlough support for Renfrewshire employees is estimated to equate to £115million and self-income support to almost £10million.


Cllr Iain Nicolson

Councillor Nicolson said: “The pandemic has impacted on all parts of daily life and in some cases exacerbated existing vulnerabilities or created new difficulties. Many people and businesses have been impacted, through bereavement, loss of income, isolation and loneliness.

“Since the outset, Council staff have been working tirelessly together with community groups and local volunteers as well as with national agencies to support people during these unprecedented times, and the collective response has been phenomenal.

“This work continues and while the true impact of the pandemic will take time to fully emerge, we have been carrying out detailed research and together with community groups, local businesses and economic leaders, we have been preparing our plans for recovery and renewal.”

The two-year economic recovery plan has been prepared with, and approved by, Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel, which pools business expertise from major local employers and skills and enterprise agencies.

It is underpinned by economic analysis by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute and by a summer survey of 500 local companies, with further data being collected next spring following the end of the furlough scheme and the Brexit transition period.

Detailing 14 priority actions the panel believe will make the biggest difference locally, the report focuses on support for business, young people, wellbeing, skills and employability, fostering a green recovery and on capital investment.

Councillor Nicolson added: “The building blocks of Renfrewshire’s economy have been consistently strong for some time and there are significant opportunities for growth after the pandemic with a strong business base, excellent educational facilities and £500million in capital investment well under way.

Lovell Cocstruction, social housing, Bishopton

Lovell Cocstruction, social housing, Bishopton

“We will build on this by creating jobs and training opportunities for our young people, including 150 new apprenticeships, with targeted projects to tackle unemployment and reduce health inequalities, and measures to bolster the skills and innovation of our significant manufacturing sector. To achieve this plan, all partner agencies will have a key role to play and by combining our knowledge and expertise, we can achieve so much more.”

Tackling inequalities is at the heart of the developing social renewal plan for Renfrewshire, which is being prepared through a public survey of 1,500 people combined with ‘listening events’ with community groups during winter 2020, to better understand the impacts of COVID-19 and involve local people in identifying solutions to the issues they face.

Council Depute Leader Jim Paterson said: “Local people and communities continue to experience significant impacts on their lives resulting from the pandemic and sadly the initial findings suggest it is most affecting people on low incomes and in insecure employment, in particular women and young people.

“The social renewal plan will act as the blueprint for how we will work with our partners to learn from the pandemic and build on this experience to tackle the inequalities that exist in our communities.”

Councillors will also be asked to approve plans for at least £100million of additional investment over the next 10 years in Council housing across Renfrewshire, with the first phase targeting investment to eight areas across Johnstone, Paisley and Renfrew.

Communities, Housing and Planning Convener Councillor Marie McGurk said: “Coronavirus has underlined the importance of our home on our wellbeing and the need to live within a supportive community environment.

“This planned investment will provide a step-change in housing conditions for Council tenants by enhancing properties inside and out, making them more energy efficient and creating safe, welcoming neighbourhoods.

“At each location, we will develop comprehensive regeneration place plans, engaging with tenants and the wider community to create places to be proud of through a mix of improvements and new homes, this approach will continue the recent investment by the council and housing associations which will see more than 1,000 affordable homes completed by 2022.”

People are being encouraged to walk for a mile and raise a smile at the same time.

Heather Kay from Paisley’s Star Project community group raising a smile

The Renfrewshire Anti Stigma Alliance (RASA) is raising awareness of mental health stigma by organising a Walk A Mile – Virtual Style event on Wednesday, December 16.

The Renfrewshire Leisure Sports Services team are playing a leading role in organising the event, which in previous years would see participants take part in the event in one large group.

However, due to the coronavirus restrictions, it’s not possible for everyone to join together to walk a mile, so people are being asked to walk the mile themselves in their own area.

But so everyone can take part together in a virtual sense, those taking part are being encouraged to take a photo of something they see on their walk that makes them smile and share it on Facebook or Twitter with #RenAntiStigma along with their comments.

The RASA is group of local organisations aiming to tackle the stigma of mental health. Their partners include Renfrewshire Leisure, Renfrewshire Council, RAMH mental health charity, Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership, Active Communities, Accumen, See Me, You Matter Always, Wellbeing 1st and various community projects and volunteers.

Senga McLeod, Renfrewshire Leisure Community Activity Officer, who played a leading role in organising the event, said: “It’s a pity we can’t all get together for Our Walk A Mile event this year.

“But we can still enjoy each other’s company and share a smile online by posting photos of whatever catches our eye and makes us smile during our walks.

“Taking part is a great way to keep active, get some fresh air and bring a smile to our faces.”


Services to resume after Scottish Government confirms that region’s coronavirus measures will ease. Safety remains the charity’s priority.

Victoria Hollows, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure

Venues operated by Renfrewshire Leisure will reopen from Saturday (December 12th) after the Scottish Government confirmed that the region will return to Tier 3 of Covid-19 restrictions.

Leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools, libraries and the heritage centre run by the charity have been closed for the past three weeks as tighter measures were imposed throughout Greater Glasgow to reduce the rate of coronavirus in the community.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced today that those Tier 4 restrictions will be lifted at 6pm on Friday, as planned, with Renfrewshire rolling back to Tier 3 from 6pm on Friday.

Affected leisure centres, gyms, swimming pools and libraries will reopen – in line with all Scottish Government guidelines – from Saturday. Specific arrangements for the library at Johnstone Town Hall will be confirmed following completion of the site’s use as an assessment centre for Covid-19. Renfrewshire Heritage Centre will reopen on Monday. Full details can be found at

Tier 3 guidelines mean that indoor fitness classes and outdoor contact sports for over-18s cannot yet resume. Activities for under-18s will take place within permitted advice. Updated guidance from sportscotland will be closely monitored for any updates to current arrangements.

Staff will, however, immediately restart the popular programme of outdoor fitnesses classes. Members and customers who normally attend indoor classes continue to be encouraged and supported to try gym or swimming sessions, as well as joining their regular routines via classes posted on the Renfrewshire Leisure website.

The click and collect service operated at all of Renfrewshire’s libraries will also recommence.

Renfrewshire Leisure Chief Executive Victoria Hollows said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming our members and customers back to our venues and supporting them in any way we can. As ever, the safety of our staff and visitors is our utmost priority and we are asking everyone to follow the hygiene and social distancing measures we have in place.

“The team here has done a tremendous job over the past few weeks with a great programme of online content, but I know that people are looking forward to being able to enjoy in-person activities again, wherever we are able to offer them.

“Our outdoor and online fitness classes have proved particularly popular while we are unable to offer indoor sessions, and our gym and pool staff are on-hand to help anyone who would like to take part in activities there which they might not normally have the chance to try.”

Members’ direct debit payments for December have not been collected in light of the disruption to on-site services as a result of the Tier 4 restrictions. They will resume in January.

A revised festive opening programme for Renfrewshire Leisure’s venues will be in place from December 24th until January 3rd (inclusive). Services will operate at Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley and ON-X, Linwood, between Christmas and New Year in line with usual festive arrangements. Full opening and programme details can be found online.