, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

SNP Funding Boosts Teacher Numbers Across Paisley

MSP Praises Education Commitment In Face Of Tory, Labour And Lib Dem Opposition

SNP Government education funding has boosted teacher numbers across Renfrewshire – part of an increase of 543 teachers across Scotland – as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to education, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has said.

Teacher numbers in Renfrewshire have risen from 1,633 to 1,656 – while the number across Scotland has increased substantially to 51,513 – 543 more than last year, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers being funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund, money that the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems voted against.

There has also been an improvement in the pupil teacher ratio across Scotland, while skills in reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy are strong – with the proportion of S3 pupils achieving Curriculum for Excellence Third Level or better being between 88% and 91% for each skillset.

Commenting, George said:

“These figures prove that the SNP Government’s approach is working for schools across Paisley and throughout Scotland.

“Despite Tory, Labour and Lib Dem opposition, the SNP is delivering funding aimed at increasing teacher numbers and cutting the attainment gap – and this is already bearing fruit.

“We now have 23 more teachers in Renfrewshire than we did this time last year, and an additional 543 across Scotland. With this record of delivery, it is no surprise that pupils are performing strongly across reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy.

“The SNP has made closing the attainment gap a key priority of this parliament – and these latest statistics show that our efforts are making progress on this, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers across Scotland being funded by the Attainment Scotland Fund.

“It is important that we don’t get complacent and keep working to improve education in Scotland – but given the clear progress that has been made, it would be good to see the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems dropping their political opposition and getting behind our positive efforts to support our young people across Paisley.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Six key sectors to a thriving Renfrewshire economy

Renfrewshire businesses are forming specialist teams to grow six key sectors of the local economy.

RDC Business Panel UWS 28.8.17

Members of Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel – which brings together the region’s business and education experts – have identified the six target areas of culture, health and childcare, manufacturing, skills, tourism and transport.

Now plans are in place to create six groups who will meet in January as they formulate specific strategies for each area of emphasis.

The Leadership Panel was established in the summer to drive Renfrewshire’s future economic success. Its membership is drawn from companies large and small across the area together with representatives from the public sector, further and higher education and national agencies.

Its first task is to support the development of a long-term economic strategy for Renfrewshire from 2018-2035 and the sector specific groups will play a key role.

Audrey Cumberford, Principal and Chief Executive of West College Scotland and Chair of the Renfrewshire Economic Leadership Panel said: “This panel is about taking action and about each organisation recognising its responsibility to develop Renfrewshire’s economic potential.

“These teams will focus on areas we know are hugely important to Renfrewshire’s economic health and will ensure people with the right knowledge and expertise play their part in accelerating the area’s economic fortunes.”

These latest developments come as Councillors on the Leadership Board today (Tuesday 12 December, 2017) approved a new Renfrewshire Economic Profile, providing bitesize data on how the local economy is faring.

The six-monthly snapshot will be shared online and give councillors a handy tool to track local progress.

The example November 2017 profile shows Renfrewshire’s employment rate at 74.7 per cent, outstripping the Glasgow City Region and higher than the Scottish average.

It also shows a five per cent unemployment rate, again bettering the national position, with average weekly earnings £14 up on the average Scot.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are committed to putting the measures in place which attract new jobs and opportunities to Renfrewshire. The Economic Leadership Panel provides vital strategic direction and the formation of these new teams are most welcome to devise specific plans for these six hugely important sectors to the Renfrewshire economy.

“It is only through partnership working that we can achieve our collective goals and at the same time having this regular profile of our economic performance enables us to make the strategic directions to deliver a thriving Renfrewshire.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renfrewshire pupils are on song at Paisley Abbey

The sound of music flowed through Paisley Abbey as pupils from across Renfrewshire performed in the annual schools Christmas concert.

Aspiring musicians from a variety of Renfrewshire schools utilised the stunning acoustics of the historic venue to showcase their talents and musicianship to the local community.

The performance began with the violins and cellos of the Renfrewshire Schools String Ensemble’s as they performed ‘The Arrival of the Queen of Sheba’.

This was followed by a moving performance of Africca and Tron Legacy by the assorted battery of the Schools Percussion Ensemble, which incorporated an array of instruments including timpani, drums, marimba, tubular bells and more.

The Senior Concert band then played a range of Gershwin Classics, as well as music from Shrek, leaving the Abbey reverberating with the sounds of trumpets, saxophones and flutes.

Culture and tradition then enveloped the Abbey as the Feis Phaislig Choir opened the second half with a selection of Gaelic songs.

The Senior Ceilidh Band had the audience tapping along as they concluded the concert with a fantastic rendition of ‘Let Ramensky Go’, featuring Sorcha Alcorn Stewart on vocals.

Councillor Jim Paterson, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Policy Board, said: “We have a wealth of aspiring musicians in Renfrewshire and it’s fantastic to see our pupils bring their talents together to put on such an extraordinary performance.

“It is vital that we encourage our young people to express themselves musically which is why we committed to offering free music tuition to our school pupils, allowing them the opportunity to find their talent from an early age.

“We want our pupils to aim high and achieve their dreams and what better inspiration than performing in the same venue as our home-grown success story Paolo Nutini did so recently.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Business leaders welcome National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to Renfrewshire

Business leaders welcome National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland to Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire’s business community has welcomed the news that Scotland’s National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) will be established in Renfrewshire.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon yesterday (Monday 11 December) announced the industry-led institute will be built on Abbotsinch Road, next to Glasgow Airport, and will become the anchor tenant of a new 130-acre business and manufacturing innovation district in Renfrewshire.

A collaborative project between the Scottish Government and national skills and enterprise agencies together with the University of Strathclyde and Renfrewshire Council, the Institute will bring together skills, expertise, research and innovation to attract investment and develop Scotland into a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

The enabling infrastructure of roads, bridges, cycleways and pedestrian routes are being delivered by Renfrewshire Council through the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project, funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

Chair of Renfrewshire’s Economic Leadership Panel, Audrey Cumberford, feels the new institute will allow Renfrewshire to realise its economic potential.

She said: “Choosing Renfrewshire as the base for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland is a clear indication of the area’s potential to be a leading light in the global manufacturing sector.

“The levels of private investment this could bring to Renfrewshire cannot be underestimated and this will provide a substantial boost to the area’s economic growth.

“The investment, combined with the significant improvement to infrastructure in the area, will be a key contributor in making Renfrewshire a more attractive, vibrant and sustainable place to live, work, visit and invest in.”

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, Bob Grant, has also welcomed the announcement citing the promise of thousands of new jobs coming into the area.

He said: “It is fantastic that Renfrewshire has been chosen as the home for the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland and it is recognition of our growing position within the international manufacturing sector.

“Thousands of highly-skilled jobs are set to be created across the next 20 years in a boost to employment across the area, while also providing an opportunity to inspire young people into an exciting and rewarding career within the industry.

“New and existing businesses in the area will feel the benefit of the increase in skilled workers in Renfrewshire, as well as the expertise and technological advances the institute brings, as it aims to allow Scotland to compete globally in manufacturing.”

The announcement builds on the recent development of the £8.9million Lightweight Manufacturing Centre, set to open in May 2018 at the Doosan Babcock site in Westway, Renfrew.

The centre will develop new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials for the aerospace and automotive industries.

, , , , , , , , , , ,

CHIVAS BROTHERS DONATES £13,000 TO SOCIAL BITE’S SLEEP IN THE PARK EVENT

Chivas Brothers, the Scotch whisky business of Pernod Ricard, has made donations totalling
of £13,000 to Social Bite’s Sleep in The Park event, which took place in Edinburgh on
Saturday 9 th December.

More than 8,000 people came together in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens at the
weekend to show their support for homeless people in Scotland by taking part in the world’s
biggest sleep out. Organised by Social Bite, Sleep in the Park has raised around £3.6million
already, with the aim to catalyse a movement to end homelessness in Scotland within a five-
year period.

Sleep in the Park featured live, stripped back performances from Frightened Rabbit, Amy
Macdonald, Deacon Blue and Liam Gallagher, with John Cleese closing with a bed time
story. Comedian Rob Brydon hosted the event and attendees also heard from Sir Bob
Geldof on his support for the cause. A number of celebrities, sports personalities and figures
from Scotland’s political parties also slept out, including Sir Chris Hoy and Deputy First
Minister John Swinney.

The Chivas Brothers donation is a clear signal of support for Social Bite’s vision to eradicate
homelessness in Scotland for good. In addition to an initial £10,000 donated, a group of
employees representing the company slept out on the night, raining £1,500 in sponsorship,
which will now be doubled to £3,000 via the company’s Doubling Up scheme.

Josh Littlejohn MBE, co-founder of Social Bite said: “I’d like to extend a huge thank you to
everyone at Chivas Brothers for their ongoing support over the years, and especially for the
generous donation towards Sleep in the Park.

“The event took place on Saturday night and I am still completely overwhelmed by the
turnout. Over 8,000 people joined us to spend a cold night in Edinburgh, including a team of
staff members from Chivas Brothers, and it was an incredible night.”

Chivas Brothers Global Communications Director Jennie Norrish added: “We are proud to
have supported Social Bite for five years now, and were delighted to backing them again for
this ambitious and exciting event.

“Those sleeping out faced a cold December night, but we are all acutely aware that the
people who will benefit from the funds raised have no choice but to regularly endure the
unforgiving Scottish weather without the luxury of a warm bed to go home to.

“One of our core values, as a company, is supporting our local communities. We do this
through our Charities of the Year, employee volunteering days, matching our employees’
fundraising efforts through our Doubling Up scheme, and by partnering with remarkable
charities such as Social Bite in their groundbreaking effort to eradicate homelessness in
Scotland.”

Employee Anna Mitchell took part in the sleep-out. She said: “It was exciting to be a part of
such a significant event. I’m proud to work for a company that supports charities in the way
Chivas Brothers does. It was challenging but ultimately very rewarding and humbling to do
my bit and raise more funds for Sleep in The Park. It was a cold but fun night, especially
knowing the money will now go to such an important charity.”

Throughout the year, Chivas Brothers offers a volunteering programme and provides funding
to encourage employees’ charity fundraising. Employees are able to take part in a range of
different community projects through the Chivas SoS scheme – whereby employees can use
one working day per year for volunteering in their community – and the Doubling Up
scheme, where the company will match up to £500 in fundraising per employee. On top of
that, employees can vote for a Charity of the Year which is subsequently supported through
fundraising initiatives.
For example, on one day alone in June this year, 212 Chivas Brothers employees from
Paisley and Dumbarton joined forces to volunteer with Quarriers Village, one of Scotland’s
largest social care charities for vulnerable children, adults and their families. In addition,
dozens of green-fingered employees from the company’s Strathisla Distillery helped spruce

up St Rufus Park in Keith, and 80 employees in London helped refurbish Sand’s End
Adventure Playground in Fulham.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

First Minister leads messages of goodwill to Paisley as City of Culture competition comes to an end

Nicola Sturgeon has said she believes Paisley’s UK City of Cuture  bid will lead to ’ lasting benefit’ for the town.

Paisley Abbey and Town Hall Lit in anticipation of the City of Culture 2021 result. 7.12.17

The First Minister has led an outpouring of good wishes for the town with the close of the competition.

Paisley was the sole Scottish place on the shortlist which included Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea and Coventry, who took the title, announced live on BBC’s The One Show in front of a live TV audience of millions.

The contest saw Paisley involve 34,000 residents in the bid across a two year journey to change the town’s future for the better using the town’s unique culture and heritage story.
The First Minister said: “Everyone involved in the Paisley bid, from bid director Jean Cameron to the many people who have been involved
formally and informally over the last two years, can be rightly proud of their efforts.
“To gather the support of businesses, cultural and community groups, and secure the involvement of more than 30,000 people is a tremendous achievement.
“Although they will naturally be disappointed at the result, I believe the bid will lead to lasting benefits for Paisley, in terms of its profile and cultural life, and that is what we should focus on today.”
Scottish Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson also sent her best wishes to the town and praised the bid.
She said: “Everyone involved should feel a great deal of pride in the way they put forward such a positive case. It show Paisley is a place on the up.”
She added that the bid means the town will continue to be a ‘magnet for jobs and investment.
A wealth of other political and community voices also sent supportive message to the town.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop  tweeted: “Paisley2021 and all Buddies have made us all proud of
Paisley- you have unleashed a cultural and  creative energy which will propel you on.”
Scottish Secretary of State David Mundell said: “Massive commiserations to Paisley 2021 but you’ve achieved so much during the bid and it will be a springboard for the future. You are a credit to Scotland.”
The University of Glasgow added its voice on social media to tweet: “So disappointed for neighbours Paisley 2021 missing out on being named UK City of Culture2021 – congratulations to Coventry 2021.”
Artist Matt Baker said: “Thank you Paisley 2021 you have held a mirror up to all that is brilliant about Scottish culture and utterly redefined the way the country now sees you.”
Scottish Labour Leader Richard Leonard tweeted: “Huge commiserations to all the Buddies and the Paisley 2021 team who worked so hard to be crowned City of Culture 2021.
“The passion and inspiration shown by all involved has been fantastic and you should all be proud.”
The Chief Executive of the Heritage Lottery Fund, Ros Kerslake, said: “There has been an incredible level of support and passion from across communities – a testament to how special the town is and how excited people are for its future.
“Heritage is of course a key part of what makes Paisley unique and we look forward to continuing to invest money raised by National Lottery players into projects across the town.”
Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, said: “The outcome is of course disappointing but we are still in a great position compared to where we were two years ago. Our public and private sector partnerships are far stronger and there’s so much goodwill and momentum created by the bidding process.  This is a great opportunity to capitalise on that enthusiasm and renewed confidence for the good of the visitor economy and tourism, as well as the town centre economy.
“The key thing is to maximise that opportunity and take advantage of where we’re at now through the bidding process.”
Sharon McAulay from the Paisley-based STAR Project said: “What an amazing journey we’ve had! Yes we’re gutted we didn’t win but we’re also proud of what we’ve achieved over the past two years. Paisley’s journey is far from over. We’ll continue to be brilliant, creative, and full of potential and our plans to transform our town will also continue. Paisley has great things ahead and my belief in what we can achieve together remains steadfast and true. “
, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renfrewshire is the ‘perfect home’ for Scotland’s manufacturing centre

Scotland’s national centre for advanced manufacturing has the ‘perfect home’ in Renfrewshire, according to Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

Councillor Nicolson was welcoming the Scottish Government announcement today that the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland (NMIS) will be established on Abbotsinch Road, next to Glasgow Airport.

Work to build the £65million industry-led Institute will start in 2018 with the University of Strathclyde as the anchor university and is expected to be the catalyst for thousands of jobs.

It will be the anchor tenant of a new 130-acre business and manufacturing district being developed around Glasgow Airport.

The enabling infrastructure of roads, bridges, cycleways and pedestrian routes are being delivered by Renfrewshire Council through the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project, funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal.

“Renfrewshire is the perfect home for Scotland’s national manufacturing institute and I am delighted that it will be established here,” said Councillor Nicolson. “We offer the right environment for it to flourish, with a strong manufacturing base and highly skilled workforce already in place, complemented by the excellent research expertise across the region.

“This combined with excellent connections by air, land and sea — which will be further enhanced by our Glasgow City Region City Deal projects — make it the ideal choice for this exciting development.”

The Institute is a collaborative project between the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council, University of Strathclyde and Renfrewshire Council.

It aims to make Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing, combining research, industry and public sector expertise to transform skills, productivity and innovation in a sector which already accounts for half of Scotland’s international exports.

Manufacturers in Scotland and worldwide will be able to access the Institute’s services through virtual reality technology.

There will also be a skills academy to enable manufacturing staff to keep up-to-date with new tools and techniques and the Institute will act as a ‘shop front’ inspiring the next generation of engineers and innovators.

This announcement builds on the development of the £8.9million Lightweight Manufacturing Centre which will open in May 2018 at the Doosan Babcock site in Westway, Renfrew, developing new manufacturing processes for lightweight materials for the aerospace and automotive industries.

Councillor Nicolson added: “Renfrewshire has long been renowned for its manufacturing exports, not least giving Paisley Pattern to the world, and I am excited about the prospect of helping to play our part in making Scotland a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

“This is an exciting time as we put in place the infrastructure and investment which connects communities, creates jobs and delivers a thriving Renfrewshire.

“The arrival of the National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland is a hugely important part of this journey and we look forward to working with colleagues to deliver its ambitious aims.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Niamh has core skills for archery contest

Robin Hood and his band of Merry Men had nothing on the youngsters who took part in the Renfrewshire Schools Archery Championships.


There was some excellent shooting with a bow and arrow from the 22 local primary and secondary pupils who took part in the competition, held at St Andrew’s Academy, in Paisley.

The top eight archers will now go on to compete in an inter-authority competition against teams from East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde. This will be the first time a schools archery contest will be held between the different local authority areas.

At the Renfrewshire championships – organised by Renfrewshire Leisure – first place in the club archers’ section went to Linda Lay, from Renfrew High; second was Hannah Coulter, from Gleniffer High and third place went to Amy Lieberman, also from Gleniffer High.

In the beginners’ section, first place went to Daniel Evans, from Gryffe High; second was Lewis McGeachin, also from Gryffe High and third pace, went to Reece Nicholl, from St Andrew’s Academy.

Joyce McKellar, chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “It was great so much enthusiasm among the youngsters for the sport of archery and there was some fine shooting during the competition.
“We’re keen to encourage people to try all kinds of sport as it’s important to experience as many different sorts as you can when you are young, so you cam find one particular sport that you enjoy and can excel at.

“We’d also like to thank students from West College Scotland who volunteered to act as scorers and assist in the running of the competition and to St Andrew’s Academy for hosting the event.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Riverbrae School celebrates first Christmas

Riverbrae School pupils are getting into the festive spirit, celebrating the achievements of their very own Special Olympian at the switching on of the school’s Christmas tree lights.

Christmas Tree Light switch on at Riverbrae school 1.12.17

MSP Tom Arthur had the honour of switching on the lights and presenting a special award to 13-year-old Lewis Nicholson for his achievements in sailing at the Special Olympics National Summer Games in Sheffield in August.

 

Head Teacher Catherine Gilius said Deputy Head Teacher Mick Kelly had selected Lewis for the games after noticing his talent in sailing.

 

“Riverbrae prides itself on supporting our unique and talented students so it has been wonderful to see Lewis having this opportunity,” Ms Gilius said.

 

“We’re extremely proud of Lewis and the example he’s set for our students to never let anything hold you back from achieving your dreams.

 

“His success is truly reflective of our school’s ethos to transform the learning opportunities available to children with additional support needs.”

 

The community spirit that has boosted Riverbrae since it opened in August was in evidence at the celebrations, with parents and the community police again supporting the school.

 

Ms Gilius thanked Community PC Gordon Aitken for organising the festive Christmas tree, courtesy of a donation from B&Q.

 

She also thanked parents for volunteering their time to make the festivities a success by wrapping Christmas presents and securing raffle donations.

 

“I can’t thank everyone enough for coming together to make Riverbrae’s first Christmas a special and memorable one,” she said.

 

Riverbrae School was joint-funded by Renfrewshire Council (£10.1m) and the Scottish Futures Trust (£8.7m) and designed to transform the learning opportunities available to children with additional support needs.

 

Photo (L-R): MSP Tom Arthur, Lewis Nicholson, Head Teacher Catherine Gilius.

, , , ,

COMMENT ON UK CITY OF CULTURE 2021 DECISION

Responding to news that Paisley has been unsuccessful in our bid to be crowned UK City of Culture 2021, Labour MSP Neil Bibby said:

 

“The announcement is obviously bitterly disappointing for Paisley, and in particular for all the Bid team staff and community groups who put their hearts and souls into the Paisley 2021 project.

“While the final result might hurt, we should hold our heads up high and be very proud with how far our town made it in this contest. And every Paisley buddy can share that pride.

“I would like to congratulate Coventry on winning the award. Being a UK wide contest meant we were up against very strong competition from across Britain and getting to final five shortlist is still a huge achievement that we should not lose sight of.

“Despite just missing out, Paisley is still a winner. The Paisley 2021 bid has helped put our town back on the map once again. Paisley Buddies and organisations have also made many friends and links with other towns and cities across the UK.

“I believe we owe all those who have shaped the bid and helped take us this far a huge amount of thanks. At this time, it is important to recognise that there wouldn’t have been a bid at all without the vision and leadership of former Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan, Bid Director Jean Cameron and all the Paisley 2021 staff and volunteers. It has also been fantastic to see thousands of Buddies get behind the bid over the past two years.

“It is now vital moving forward that we utilise the momentum and buzz the project has helped create. I hope and anticipate that Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government will still progress the ambitious plans that were part of the bid irrespective of the result. I look forward to working with them and local people to leave a lasting legacy from Paisley’s bid.”

Renfrewshire Council Labour Group Leader, Councillor Eddie Devine added:

“Despite this disappointing result, there are still a huge number of positives we can take from the Paisley 2021 bid. Our efforts to be crowned UK City of Culture 2021 not only united the whole of Paisley, but secured support up and down the country.

“Paisley was up against some fierce competition, but without the shared effort, and shared vision for our town, we would not have come as far as we have.

“It’s vital that we don’t accept this as the end of Paisley’s cultural journey, but merely the beginning. We can continue to celebrate our industrial heritage, our stunning architecture, and our talented Paisley buddies with pride, while also striving for the transformative change that our town needs.”