RL-Wedding-Fayre-A5-DS-Flyer-19-01-19-FINAL-1

Planning to get married will be a piece of wedding cake thanks to an event taking place at Johnstone Town Hall.

All you need when planning for the big day will be on hand at a Wedding Fayre being staged by Renfrewshire Leisure on Sunday, February 17 between 11am and 3pm.

RL-Wedding-Fayre-A5-DS-Flyer-19-01-19-FINAL-1

The event will feature a wide variety of local wedding suppliers, from photographers to kiltmakers and florists to candy carts.

It will also give future brides and grooms the chance to view a wedding set-up in Johnstone Town Hall, which has hosted many such receptions.

They will also be able to experience the award-winning venue’s state-of-the-art technical facilities and have a look around the dedicated marriage suite. Free consultations will also be available with wedding co-ordinators on the day.

Visitors to the Wedding Fayre will receive a complimentary drink, a goody bag and a range of special offers and discounts.

For more information contact Renfrewshire Leisure on 0300 300 1210.

EXTERNAL PERSPECTIVE - credit CRGP Architects & Surveyors

Plans to build a state-of-the-art athletics facility in Renfrewshire have taken a step forward after councillors backed a Community Asset Transfer to Kilbarchan Amateur Athletics Club (AAC).

INTERNAL PERPSECTIVE 1 - credit CRGP Architects & Surveyors

More than 4000sqm of land will be transferred to the local club to progress plans for a £1.3million indoor facility, which would allow year-round training and be built alongside the outdoor track and field facilities at Linwood’s On-X sports centre.

The proposed indoor training centre would provide the club with:

–     a 60m running track;
–     Horizontal and vertical jumps;
–     Pole vault;
–     Indoor throws cage- including javelin;
–     Club room;
–     Strength and conditioning area

EXTERNAL PERSPECTIVE - credit CRGP Architects & Surveyors

Two of the clubs most high-profile members are Olympians Callum and Derek Hawkins who represented Great Britain in the Marathon at the 2016 Rio Olympics – with Callum finishing in 9th place.

Jim Goudie, Kilbarchan AAC Immediate Past President, said: “This development would offer us the opportunity to train in any weather, all-year-round, and make the On-X Centre a complete facility for elite and club athletes in Renfrewshire.

“We want to bring as many people we can into athletics and having this indoor facility will give people the chance to take up the sport, while keeping younger athletes from becoming disheartened with training sessions cancelled or in the pouring rain.

“We’ve had four Olympians pass through our club so far and we want to give our members the best possible chance to follow in their footsteps – and this facility would do just that.”

In addition to the transfer of the land lease, the project has been allocated £500,000 by Renfrewshire Council to support the development which will provide facilities for both elite and club runners across Renfrewshire.

Councillor Iain Nicolson, Renfrewshire Council Leader, said: “We’re committed to providing opportunities for local groups and residents to make a positive difference to where they live, and the Community Asset Transfer process is one of a number of ways that communities can make their mark.

“The approval of this land transfer will allow Kilbarchan AAC to advance these exciting proposals and the successful completion of the development would significantly enhance the quality of the athletics training facilities available in Renfrewshire.

“The club have a varied membership of both elite and club level athletes and the new facility would not only support the club’s continued development and success, it would also encourage more new members to take up a healthy lifestyle and get involved in sport.”

Scottish Athletics have identified the proposal as an important project within the National Facilities Strategy- which aims to provide athletics with numerous top-class facilities throughout the country to maximise participation and increase standards of performance in all disciplines.

Head of Development for scottishathletics, Colin Hutchison, said: “scottishathletics is delighted that Renfrewshire Council has agreed a Community Asset Transfer with Kilbarchan AAC. As the governing body for athletics in Scotland we are fully behind Kilbarchan’s proposed facility development at the On-X in Linwood and are excited about the opportunities it will present for the club and athletics in Renfrewshire.

“The commitment from the club’s volunteers to get the project to this stage has been phenomenal and we are all extremely grateful to the generous funders that are contributing to the project. The facility will be vital to continue growing athletics in Renfrewshire and the indoor facility will greatly enhance the club’s capacity to develop their young athletes year-round.”

The club will now continue to identify funding opportunities to source the remaining financial support required to advance the project to the next stage.

For more information on opportunities for local people or groups in Renfrewshire, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/communityempowerment.

ladder to the stars

There’s something for everyone to enjoy in the latest programme of shows and events organised by Renfrewshire Leisure during the coming months.

Information about these cultural activities is contained in the newly-published free booklet, The Guide.

ladder to the stars

Renfrewshire Leisure will host a variety of theatre performances as part of Puppet Animation Festival. These performances during April include both puppet theatre and animated films.

New venues will be staging shows and events after Paisley Town Hall and Paisley Museum are closed for redevelopment.

The Out of Place programme features the User Not Found theatre performance in the Paisley Arts Centre café, on May 8 and the Dark Carnival Unplugged is performed in the Paisley Arts Centre grounds, on May 17.

The Guide also highlights a series of acting writing and directing workshops from In Motion Theatre Company.

Paisley Arts Centre will host the Scottish Alternative Music Awards on March 15 and 16, featuring live showcases, music industry seminars and workshops.

The Arts Centre will also be turned into a virtual reality, 3D playground as Paisley YMCA presents Synaethesia, on June 29.

Music fans have a variety of concerts to enjoy, including the Acoustic Beatles and Acoustic Eagles, on February 1; singer Mary Ann Kennedy, on April 27 and legendary piper, Fred Morrison, on May 14, all at Paisley Arts Centre.

Victoria Hollows, Renfrewshire Leisure chief executive said: “There is something for everyone in the guide – from comedy acts to family shows, drama performances to traditional music along with interesting and informative exhibitions.”

The Guide can be picked up for free at Paisley Arts Centre, Renfrew and Johnstone Town Halls and Linwood’s Tweedie Hall or it can be downloaded from www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

To book any of the events log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/whats-on or call the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or visit Paisley Arts Centre, in New Street, Paisley.

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/