Cllr Cathy McEwan, Gail Scoular, the Unpaid Work team, Cochrane Castle Primar, St David's Primary

Pupils are set to get their hands dirty as every primary school in Renfrewshire receives a brand-new mud kitchen.

Designed to inspire imagination and creativity through messy play, the mud kitchens were a huge success with the area’s nurseries after being gifted earlier this year and now primary school children are set to see the benefit.

Cllr Cathy McEwan, Gail Scoular, the Unpaid Work team, Cochrane Castle Primar, St David's Primary

Made from recycled pallets, they provide an immersive, multi-sensory experience for children to get their hands dirty making mud pies and soil smoothies while interacting with their peers.

Gail Scoular came up with the idea while in her role as Renfrewshire Council Senior Warden and fundraised in her own time to ensure there was no cost to the forty-nine primary schools, with the council’s Unpaid Work Team carrying out the work to create them.

Gail said: “I’m so happy that more and more young people will have access to a mud kitchen and have the chance to discover the joy of outdoor play.

“They’ll be able to use their imaginations to create culinary inventions, while bonding and building relationships with their peers.

“It’s a fantastic way to encourage young people to enjoy the great outdoors and who doesn’t like to get their hands dirty once in a while!”

The kitchens will encourage young children to see the benefits of working together and to find enjoyment in the great outdoors, ensuring they appreciate their local environment which is a key tie in with Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to provide brand-new mud kitchens to each of our primary schools after the brilliant reaction we had from our nurseries earlier in the year.

“A big part of our Team Up to Clean Up campaign is encouraging people to work together while enjoying being outdoors and appreciating our local environment and these kitchens will hopefully inspire our young people to get out in their gardens and green spaces and take care of where they live.”

Donations were made by UNITE, GMB Union and enva which facilitated the purchase of tools for use in the mud kitchens.

For more information on the Team Up to Clean Up campaign, visit


Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership’s Alcohol and Drugs Commission – one of the first of its kind in Scotland – is working to build a true picture of alcohol and drug use across Renfrewshire to help improve life outcomes for people in our communities.


Since its inception in March this year, the Commission has discussed the impact that alcohol and drug use has on individuals and families, and members have made recommendations about how partners can work together to take a fresh approach to tackling alcohol and drug use.

At the outset, Commission members agreed to support those with the highest need who are suffering the most severe disadvantage. In the meetings which have followed, the Commission – which comprises key figures from across health and social care, housing, justice, third sector and higher education – has discussed how we currently support people affected by alcohol and drug use; our services across prevention and early intervention; recovery; the impact of trauma; and how we engage with children and young people.

Cllr Cameron Recovery Cafe2

One of the most important parts of the work of the Commission continues to be listening to the voices of those with lived experience: talking to service users and people in recovery.
To hear these voices, Commission members have visited Renfrewshire services including the Sunshine Recovery Café, the Renfrewshire Men’s and Women’s Groups, Renfrewshire Family Support Group, and Renfrewshire Adolescent Drug and Alcohol Resource (RADAR).

Lead officer for the Commission, Laura McIntyre, said: “The sessions that Commission members have had with local groups and organisations and staff are really what this Commission is all about – listening to those who know what it’s like to live with or support people who are experiencing issues with Alcohol and Drugs.

Lorraine outside Sunshine Recovery Cafe

“Local organisations like The Sunshine Recovery are fantastic, and through the Commission we are recognising the need for everyone in Renfrewshire to work together to support recovery and to build strong relationships with each other.

“As we move into 2020, it’s exciting to see possible recommendations emerging, with a huge opportunity for Renfrewshire as a whole to come together to positively support recovery, and to improve the life chances of local people.”

Before the end of this year, the Commission will continue to review how services are operating across Renfrewshire and consider how best to reach people most in need of support, before reporting on its findings in early 2020.


Recovery case study

Voice of lived experience is vital in tackling drug and alcohol use, says Paisley mum in recovery

A Paisley mum believes listening to the real-life experiences of people affected by alcohol and drugs is integral to the work being done by the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Commission.

Lorraine, committee treasurer at the Sunshine Recovery Café in Paisley, used alcohol and drugs for more than 15 years before turning her life around.

The mum-of-two was in primary six when she started smoking cigarettes and by the time she was in first year at high school, she was smoking hash and taking acid.

At 14 she started going to ‘unders’ nights before meeting up with her older friends, taking ecstasy, and heading out to clubs.

She fell pregnant at 15 and had a termination, which caused her life to spiral out of control.

She said: “The termination was the turning point for me.

“At 16, I ended up in a homeless unit in Renfrew but was kicked out when I started smoking heroin.

“A friend told me that to make the pain go away, I should take more of it, so it just became a cycle.”

Even after technically dying in the operating theatre, she kept using.

She said: “I woke up in hospital one morning and had no idea how I got there.

“My mum told me that she got a call saying her daughter had taken a drug overdose and was going to die. I was completely out of it. They had to resuscitate me and give me adrenalin and I ended up on life support.

“But as soon as I got out of hospital, I started using again.

“When I look back, I know there was no real reason for me to be doing it. I just enjoyed the feeling of not having to worry about things.”

At 21, she started injecting heroin, while taking 200 Valium a day and smoking crack cocaine.

But at 26, she realised she wanted to change.

She said: “I just started to grow up a wee bit. Everyone I knew was going to jail.

“My friends started dying and I realised that I didn’t want that for myself. I wanted to have a life.

“People talk about their friends from years ago but I can’t as so many of mine are dead.”

Lorraine received support from Renfrewshire Drug Service where she would meet her key worker weekly to talk about how she was feeling and her plans for moving forward.

She also used the Cactus service when her addiction was active and she had pending court charges.

Two years after being drug free and on methadone, Lorraine became pregnant. The Family Matters service helped her reduce her methadone dosage throughout her pregnancy so that it had significantly reduced by the time her first son was born.

Lorraine got back into work around three years ago when one of the Family Matters team told her about the Scottish Drug Forum’s Addiction Worker Training Project. She applied for the training and thanks to two successful paid placements at Turning Point Scotland and the RCA Trust, she completed her SVQ 2 in Health and Social Care.

Lorraine’s mum tragically passed away just as she was finishing her placement, and she struggled to adjust to life without her.

One year later, Lorraine contacted Colin Turner at the Sunshine Recovery Café, who offered her a voluntary position, which led onto a committee secretary post and role as treasurer.

She said: “My mum was my best friend. I’m very proud that she got to see me make it through to the other side and to meet my two boys.

“I didn’t think I would be employable due to my past. Renfrewshire services provided me with fantastic support and were a huge part of my recovery.

“The Sunshine Recovery Café is my second home. I love the people there – everyone is in recovery and everyone is supporting each other through it.

“I know that I will always be in recovery but that feels normal to me.

“If I hadn’t been through it all, I wouldn’t be the person I am now.”

Lorraine is pleased that the Renfrewshire Alcohol and Drugs Commission has been set up and has no doubt that hearing from people – and family members – who are living with the impact of alcohol and drug use will be a vital part of how Renfrewshire moves things forward.

She said: “It’s so important that we talk about these issues and bring them out into the open. Everyone is affected by addiction and mental health but some people still have a fear of talking about it.

“I hope that the work of the Commission will encourage services to share information so that we can work together to improve lives.”


Cllr Jacqueline Cameron blog – look back on first six months of the Commission

Over the past few meetings, it has been good to see how enthusiastic the Commission members are about our aims – and while everyone has their own specific area of interest, it feels very much like we are a united group with a common goal.  Commission meetings are alive with debate, discussion and ideas, and I have my work cut out as a Chair to ensure everyone’s voice is heard; which is a very positive problem to have.

Many of us have met with staff, service users and their families. I have found this a truly eye-opening, at times emotional, and wholly uplifting experience.   Not only has this given us as Commission members an opportunity to get to know each other, it has provided us with a chance to hear first-hand from those with lived experience, their families and the staff who support them.  What came through to me most was how well informed and engaged family members were on national strategy and policy, and that there role is very much a caring one that should be supported.  The dedication of staff to provide a respectful, supportive service has been demonstrated in our meetings and I think frontline staff really benefitted from the opportunity to make their views heard.

What I took most from the meetings was that everyone commented on the stigma faced by people using drugs, particularly.  It was saddening to see how much the words that people use, hurt; words that so easily trip off the tongue when people only see the addiction and not the person.  It is clear that people would like to see a robust campaign to tackle this stigma, in the way that we have approached the stigma of mental ill health.  I think this will be a challenge but I would like to see Renfrewshire at the forefront of facing this head on.  I was so grateful for service users allowing us as guests into their forums: at times I felt like I was invading their safe space but by the end of each session, we had all opened up to each other, which was both humbling and moving.

Our next few meetings are crucial as we will be setting out our recommendations – the tangible outcomes that we said from the start we wanted to achieve. We have a wonderful facilitator in Professor Phil Hanlon, who keeps us on track, to ensure the discussion and debate moves in a direction where we make decisions and look at how it will change practice in Renfrewshire.

The Commission has many skilled members and we are lucky to have them. Many sit on the national Drugs Deaths Task Force, including Professor Catriona Matheson who chairs the national taskforce, so we have a direct link to what’s happening in terms of approaches to tackling drug and alcohol use at a national level.

I look forward to learning what our recommendations for the future will be, and to hearing how we will continue to make lives better for people and their families living with drug and alcohol use across Renfrewshire.

Wellmeadow Street Paisley housing

New affordable housing developments right across Renfrewshire are providing properties “of all shapes and sizes for families to grow and people to prosper.”

That’s according to Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board Convener Councillor Marie McGurk as she welcomed news the Council is on target to deliver more than 1000 affordable homes by 2021.

Wellmeadow Street Paisley housing

Councillors have now approved the latest Strategic Housing Investment Plan which sets out our plans in partnership with local housing associations to increase the supply and range of properties in Renfrewshire for social rent and low-cost ownership.

The report highlights more than 300 affordable homes have been built since 2016 at developments in Linwood, Paisley and Renfrew.

A further 370 properties are scheduled for completion by March 2020 followed by 400 new homes by March 2021.


Most recently, Sanctuary Scotland completed a £6.2million development transforming the site of the former Co-Op supermarket in Paisley’s West End into popular energy-efficient properties for social rent.

Natasha-Ann Mccalman moved into her 3-bedroom house at the development in February with her 7-year-old daughter Islay and 4-year-old son Tee-Jay.

“It’s a dream house for us,” said Natasha-Ann. “We like the spaciousness, it has state-of-the-art facilities and the kids really love the garden. My son has autism and with everything on the one floor it gives him the freedom he needs. Sanctuary have been brilliant with me if I’ve ever any questions and being in the west end of Paisley is a good location too, close to the bus links and right next to the town centre.”

Councillor McGurk said: “The fantastic new development in the west end of Paisley is just one example of our collective commitment together with our housing association partners to provide high quality affordable homes of all shapes and sizes for families to grow and people to prosper.

“I’m delighted that we’re on track to build 1000 affordable homes by 2021 and it’s particularly pleasing to see these homes designed to meet both current local needs and those of future generations.”

Council-led developments well under way include at Johnstone Castle where former tenements are being replaced with a mix of two, three and four-bedroom Council homes and own-door flats, while 80 Council homes at Dargavel Village, Bishopton includes a number of properties specially designed for older people.

Next year sees several developments led by local housing associations, with Sanctuary Scotland and Paisley Housing Association working jointly on 131 homes for social rent and low-cost ownership in Glenburn, while Williamsburgh Housing Association are building 18 one and two-bedroom homes for social rent in Kilbarchan.

Major housing-led regeneration projects are also progressing well in Paisley’s West End and the Tannahill area of Ferguslie Park.

In Paisley’s West End, all Council tenants are re-housed and the local growing grounds relocated to a more prominent site nearby as Sanctuary Scotland progress their plans for the phased development of around 150 homes for social rent and affordable sale.

At Tannahill, AS Homes (Scotland) are due to be appointed to build 101 newbuild Council houses, with construction work expected to start in June 2020 providing a mix of terraced and semi-detached houses, flats and bungalows, on the site of the former St Fergus’ Primary School.

Architects have also been appointed to consider the wider Ferguslie Park area, looking at vacant land and buildings and opportunities for new community and cultural activities.

Councillor McGurk added: “I’m pleased to see these major regeneration projects progressing well and critically each stage sees strong support and engagement with local residents and community members. The work in Paisley’s West End will breathe new life into this neighbourhood and create stronger links to the town centre, while in Tannahill the development will enable the tightknit community to stay together and benefit from high quality council houses.

“As well as newbuild developments we are investing in our existing housing stock to ensure all council tenants have well-maintained energy efficient homes to be proud of as we make Renfrewshire an attractive place to live and work.”

Painting at Ferguslie ELCC, Ferguslie Park, Paisley

Renfrewshire Council is recruiting for Depute Heads of Centre and Heads of Centre jobs in nurseries across the area.

Ashleigh Carson has worked in the nursery sector for more than 17 years and says becoming a depute head has been the most rewarding experience yet.

Painting at Ferguslie ELCC, Ferguslie Park, Paisley

She said: “I didn’t start out wanting to work in a management role but having been given the opportunity to work in the role temporarily, I soon realised I was made for this.

“Being a leader is about supporting your staff to grow in their roles and giving them the opportunities to develop. Trusting staff to take the lead and to make a contribution is just as important as being open and transparent as a leader. I always want my team to feel like they can have ideas, develop them and see them flourish into great projects and experiences for the children. If I ever need to say no to an idea, I always explain why so the team understand the reason.

“Making sure every member of staff feels part of the team and takes on responsibility within the centre is at the heart of how our management team functions. When it comes to developing the centre’s vision, we sit down with the team and we talk about what we want the nursery to achieve and what it should be like for our children such as engaging, exploring, investigating and fun, and then pull those ideas together to consult with parents and children. The end result means that we are all working together to a shared vision and everyone feels a part of it.

“Motivating people is a huge part of the job, especially on a dreary Monday morning, but the benefits of working as a leader in early years far outweighs any rainy day. Training is a significant benefit to working within a local authority nursery. Since I first joined Renfrewshire Council, I’ve completed a PDA in Early Childhood Education, my BA, post-grad and masters in Childhood Practice and more recently an Aspiring Leaders Programme and a Development Centre to support me as a centre leader.

“I love working with children, it’s what I wanted to do when I left school and I’m glad my career has taken me where it has. I’d recommend taking on a leadership role in a nursery to anyone who is already working in the field and is ready to take that next step, or for anyone with qualifications and a lot of determination to dive in and empower teams to do what they do best create better outcomes for children and families.”

To apply for a Depute Head of Centre or Head of Centre job, visit

Tannahill Centre

Communities across Renfrewshire have moved a step closer to acquiring assets in their local area as more than £127,000 was awarded from the Community Empowerment Fund.

Tannahill Centre

The fund is designed to support the development of community organisations and build their capacity to undertake potential asset transfers, which can be a building or a piece of land.

Four applications to the fund were approved and include:

  • £50,000 to Active Communities, and to approve in principle a further £50,000, to allow the group to purchase and renovate the old police station in Johnstone into a community hub.
  • £10,000 to the New Tannahill Centre to assist with the second stage of a feasibility study into the proposed redevelopment of the Tannahill Centre.
  • £6,500 to the Western Desert Recce Group to develop a business plan around the potential future use of the Whitehaugh Barracks.
  • £3,800 to Renfrew Victoria Youth Football Club for architects’ plans outlining the refurbishment of the Kirklandneuk Pavilion with upgraded changing rooms.

An award of £6,760 to the Paisley Community Trust for a feasibility study into a High Street Cinema was approved, subject to the updated guidance for the fund being approved by the Leadership Board.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “No one knows what their town or village needs more than those who live there, and I’m delighted that we can provide the funding to help them bring these buildings into better use for the community.

“It’s great see the progress that the community groups are making into acquiring their local assets and I’m looking forward to seeing these buildings reaching their full potential.

“We’ll continue to support them throughout the process, as we will if you have an idea for a building or a piece of land in your area, so please get in touch with the team and make a difference to your neighbourhood today.”

The deadline for the next round of applications to the fund is Tuesday 5 November.

For more information, and how to apply, visit

Veterans at the Cenotaph in Paisley

Hundreds are expected to turn out to pay their respects to the fallen as parades are carried out in towns and villages across Renfrewshire, with services taking place to mark Remembrance Day.

A weekend of remembrance will begin on Friday 8 November as the annual Children’s Remembrance Service takes place at Mossvale and St James Primary in Paisley at 10.30am.

Veterans at the Cenotaph in Paisley

Veterans from the Royal British Legion will visit the school to see a presentation from the pupils on what they’ve learned about Remembrance Day, before speaking about their experiences of having served in Armed Forces.

Veterans marching in Paisley

On 10 November, parades will then take place from 10am to mark Remembrance Sunday, with a two minutes silence at 11am, and all are invited to attend at the following locations:

Start                Finish (Approx)

Houston                       10.00am          10.30am

Kilbarchan                   10.00am          10.30am

Renfrew                      10.45am          11.15am

Paisley                        10.45am          11.30am

Lochwinnoch               10.45am          11.15am

Howwood                    12.15pm          12.45pm

Johnstone                   12.30pm          1.00pm

Elderslie                      2.30pm            3.00pm

Bridge of Weir             3.00pm            3.30pm

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “Every year at this time we stop to remember those we have lost, and I would encourage all who are able to attend to come to one of the services taking place across Renfrewshire.

“It’s so important that we pay our respects to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and I look forward to the community once again coming together to show their gratitude for all that have gone before us.

“Through our Children’s Remembrance Service, we will work closely with our veterans to educate our young people and show exactly why we mark Remembrance Sunday each and every year.”

For more information, visit:

Laura, Convener, Lily and Anne Marie playing with mud - St Margaret's ELCC Johnstone

Parents of young children have praised the positive impact of 1140 hours of Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) on their child’s speech and reading development.

Almost 1,600 three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds across the region are now receiving 1140 hours ELC and parental feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Laura, Convener, Lily and Anne Marie playing with mud - St Margaret's ELCC Johnstone

All children are currently entitled to 600 hours of nursery provision in council-run and funded private and voluntary providers, however a number of nurseries have been able to offer earlier access to the extended childcare ahead of the Scottish Government deadline of August 2020.

Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson, visited St Margaret’s Early Learning and Childcare Class in Johnstone and Glendee Early Learning and Childcare Centre in Renfrew to see the impact 1140 hours has had on around 150 children.

He said: “The expansion in Renfrewshire is focused on providing high-quality experiences for children. It’s positive to hear parents already telling us they see a difference in their child’s speech and reading abilities since they’ve had access to 1140 hours of early learning and childcare. At St Margaret’s and Glendee nurseries, I saw for myself the variety of quality learning experiences that encourage children’s understanding of the world and that takes place in nurseries across the region.

“We will continue to offer parents whose child could benefit from the additional hours early access within their nursery centre or class where there is space and staff in place to support this ahead of the August 2020 timetable. From August 2020 onwards, eligible children will receive 1140 hours of early learning and childcare, and we continue to work towards that deadline by recruiting staff and expanding our nursery estate.”

The council has now recruited around 200 early years staff to support the 1140 ELC expansion and existing provision in nurseries across Renfrewshire, including nine modern apprentices and 23 graduates.

Training and development opportunities are available for current and future early years staff working in council and approved provider settings to help them progress on their career pathway, such as SVQs, leadership courses and development centres. There is also funding support to meet Scottish Social Services Council registration required for jobs in early years.

Refurbishment work at nine nursery centres and classes has already been completed and the final 17 are all on track for completion on their target date.

Headteacher Gillian Miller said it’s been positive to trial 1140 hours ELC within St Margaret’s Early Learning and Childcare Class. She said: “High-quality early learning experiences are vitally important to support children’s development. Our nursery class focuses on supporting children’s development and learning through play experiences.”

For more information on 1140 ELC, visit

Old Village Library, Kilbarchan

Volunteers are set to renovate the Old Library in Kilbarchan as they aim to maintain its status as a thriving community space if their plans are approved by councillors later this month.

With more than 5000 visitors using the hall every year for activities such as yoga, Pilates, Spanish lessons and amateur dramatics, the hall is key part of village life in Kilbarchan and has been for over 120 years.

Old Village Library, Kilbarchan

Kilbarchan Improvements Project would receive £22,000 to carry out repairs to the roof and top floor windows to help secure its position as heritage asset within the village and would be the first project to receive funding through the Villages Investment Fund.

£370,000 has been ringfenced from an overall £1.87million fund specifically for investment in Renfrewshire’s villages and applications must show that they will strengthen the unique identity, heritage and character of village life.

Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board, said: “We want to ensure our villages have the opportunity to enhance and protect their assets which is why we have committed this funding to allow them to tell us what they need and give them the opportunity to make it happen..

“We want to see more and more projects follow Kilbarchan Improvements Project lead by applying to make changes to their community and we’ll support everyone to make their application as strong as possible so please get in touch.”

Four projects have been awarded more than £13,000 under delegated authority from the wider Green Spaces, Parks and Play Areas and Villages Investment Fund as they look to make physical and environmental improvements to their communities.

Erskine Community Garden have received £4800 install a labyrinth, plant fruit trees and create a sensory area in the garden, while the West End Growing Grounds Association have been granted £2609 to carry out grounds maintenance which allow their popular allotments to continue to flourish.

Elderslie Community Council have been awarded £1200 for dog fouling materials, including dog poo bag dispensers located across the village, and the Darkwood Crew in Ferguslie will use their £4810 award to create a community garden for the area which will be used by Falcon Day Centre and Darkwood Court Sheltered Housing Complex, subject to a successful planning application.

Terry McTernan, Darkwood Crew volunteer, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this funding as it will allow us to progress our plans to establish the community garden and growing area.

“We truly believe the village green has the potential to address the many social economic issues which persist in the community, such as isolation and loneliness, and this builds on the success of our recent Ferguslie Flourishes community planting project and our path improvement plan – all designed to increase usage of this beautiful space.”

Awards from the £1.87million fund will assist groups to bring in external funding, increase community participation in local areas and encourage the process of transferring assets to local communities.

Each application must show it has consulted the local community to ensure there is a need and desire for the project and that it would improve community life.

The fund is open all-year-round so for more information and to find out how to apply, visit

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

More than 12,000 festival-goers turned out for The Spree festival as figures show record attendances at this year’s events.

The festival, which is now in its eighth year and is organised by Renfrewshire Council, took place over nine days from 11-19 October.

Gerry Rafferty Song Book

Music and comedy fans were treated to sell-out shows from Hue and Cry, Glasvegas, The Snuts, Jerry Sadowitz and spectacular performances from Soul legend PP Arnold, Hayseed Dixie, Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys, Karine Polwart’s Scottish Songbook and two Friday comedy nights compered by Fred MacAulay and Scott Gibson.

This year’s opening night also saw a fitting tribute to one of Paisley’s favourite musical sons – A Gerry Rafferty Songbook with Roddy Hart, Emma Pollock and Rab Noakes, who thrilled a sell-out crowd with a set spanning the musician’s rich career.

Most of the shows at this year’s festival took place in the stunning Salon Perdu Spiegeltent in Paisley’s County Square – with a bigger tent than in previous years allowing for more people to enjoy the performances.

There was lots of fun for families as the Wee Spree programme of kids activities took place during the school holidays and saw over 2,000 youngsters enjoy events from music and circus skills workshops to cinema and comedy.

This year also saw the return of the popular Spree for All fringe programme, which was extended across Renfrewshire and saw 2,500 people attend events across Lochwinnoch, Johnstone, Kilbarchan, Renfrew and Paisley.

Paisley also played host to an all-day festival within-a-festival on the opening Saturday with LNP Promotions’ ModStuff celebration in the Spiegeltent, which saw the spectacle of over 100 scooters ride off around the town from County Square.

The Spree is a centrepiece in Renfrewshire Council’s annual major events calendar, which has made Paisley one of Scotland’s key cultural destinations in recent years.

This year’s festival was programmed by Regular Music and sponsored by Tennent’s Lager.

Louisa Mahon, Head of Marketing, Communications and Events at Renfrewshire Council, said: “This has been another fantastic year for The Spree as we’ve seen record attendance figures and more fans coming out to enjoy their favourite acts and musicians at the festival.

“The Spree has grown in recent years to become a popular fixture in Scotland’s festival calendar, attracting a wealth of local and international artists and bringing more and more visitors from across the country to see what Paisley has to offer.

“The extended programme of amazing events across towns and villages in Renfrewshire will also boost our local economy and will go some way to benefiting local businesses.”

Mark Mackie, Director of Regular Music, said: “We are proud to have been involved with Renfrewshire Council in programming this year’s The Spree festival in Paisley and are delighted that the concerts were so well attended and enjoyed by everyone that came along.”

The festival also provided a boost to local traders with many festival-goers choosing to spend local and sample the great bars, restaurants and cafes in the area.

Jacqueline McCaig, owner of The Old Swan Inn which hosted the Spree Festival Club of daily events during the festival, said: “We absolutely loved hosting the Spree Festival Club this year at The Old Swan – it was a fantastic week of live music. The pub was really busy with a great atmosphere and a great mix of customers old and new, who came to see what the Festival Club was all about and enjoy the variety of talent we had on show.”

The Spree festival marked the start of Renfrewshire Council’s winter events programme, which continues with the Paisley Halloween Festival (Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October), Paisley Fireworks Spectacular (Saturday 2 November) and Christmas Lights Switch-On events in Paisley (Saturday 16 November), Renfrew (Saturday 23 November) and Johnstone (Saturday 30 November).

To find out more about each of these events, visit



  • New flights to Bodrum and Fuerteventura 
  •  Additional weekly flights introduce 10 and 11 night holidays to destinations such as Florida, Turkey and Greece
  • 170,000 extra seats go on sale today from Glasgow Airport 



22 October 2019 – TUI, the UK’s largest holiday company, has announced their biggest ever holiday programme with new destinations; Bodrum (Turkey) and Fuerteventura (Spain) added to its summer 2020 programme from Glasgow Airport.


The new flights from Glasgow Airport will go on sale today with Bodrum flights operating on Mondays and Fuerteventura on Sundays.   


Sticking with its commitment of offering more flexibility and choice, TUI will also introduce new 10 and 11 night holidays to eight destinations including long haul family favourite Orlando Sanford (Florida) plus mid-haul hotspots Antalya (Turkey), Zakynthos (Greece) and more*, providing even more duration options for customers. 


Glasgow Airport will also see additional flying days added to TUI customer favourites Cancun (Mexico), Dalaman (Turkey), Palma (Spain), Reus-Catalonia (Spain) and Tenerife (Canaries) **, giving customers from Scotland more choice when booking next year’s summer holiday.


TUI UK&I’s Director of Aviation Planning, Karen Switzer said: “Earlier this month TUI announced an additional two million seats to many holiday destination favourites and today the majority of these seats go on sale for summer 2020. We are delighted that our new additions launched today provide holidaymakers departing from our regional airports with even more choice when deciding where to go next summer on holiday. The customer is at the heart of everything we do and this additional growth to some of our customer’s favourite holiday hotspots demonstrates our continued commitment for people to discover their smile with us. “


Paul White, Head of Aviation at Glasgow Airport, said: “TUI’s announcement today is fantastic news for Glasgow Airport and is to be commended. Given the events of recent weeks, there was clearly a need to meet the huge demand out there for some of our most popular destinations. TUI has stepped in with the introduction of a phenomenal number of seats and even more choice to a wide range of destinations, which will be welcome news for our passengers planning their 2020 holidays.”