Fun day to mark end of £1m town centre work

Renfrewshire Council is throwing a party to celebrate the end of a £1m investment which has transformed a section of Paisley town centre.

A family fun day will be held in Paisley’s Johnston Street on Saturday 14 September to show off the work carried out as part of the Townscape Heritage Initiative.

The event is on from noon to 5pm and includes a stage hosted by Pulse FM, giant games, kids’ entertainment, face painting, traditional building workshops and raffles with prizes from local firms.

Acts set to perform on the stage include boy-band Supanova and singers Carrie Mac and Murdo Mitchell.

The day out is intended as a thank-you to residents and traders in the area for their patience while the work was being carried out.

Saturday’s event will coincide with Doors Open Day, which takes place in Renfrewshire over the weekend, and will see around 60 buildings around the district giving residents and visitors a peek behind the scenes.

Since the turn of the year, the seven-figure sum has been invested in the area around Causeyside Street during the public realm works.

This has included wider pavements, landscaping, new trees, and improved parking and loading bays for residents, shoppers and traders.

Paisley-THIThe work has been designed to reflect Paisley’s rich industrial heritage, with special features including a Paisley Pattern set into stone at the junction of Johnston Street and Gordon Street, as well as carved feature strips showing mill workers’ trades.

The overall project is being funded by Renfrewshire Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Historic Scotland.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, said: “The council and its partners have made a significant investment in this part of the town over the past year, and this event is a way of showing that off.

“Our staff and contractors went to great lengths during the project to minimise disruption to residents and traders, and we are grateful for their co-operation.

“We have laid on a great programme of activities for Saturday afternoon, and I would encourage all residents to get themselves down to Johnston Street, check out the quality of the work, and enjoy the entertainment.”

The Causeyside Street work took place as part of the wider Townscape Heritage Initiative/Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, which is a £3.5m project to help restore important built heritage within Paisley town centre.

The project has already involved a £500k restoration of the B-listed Paisley Arts Centre, completed last year, and includes current work to revamp a C-listed building in Forbes Place.

It also includes a grant scheme where retail businesses within the project area can apply for up to 90% of the costs of restoring traditionally-designed shopfronts.

Content Courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.

Cllr Roy Glen

£200k cash boost for extra apprenticeships

Renfrewshire Council is to pour an extra £200,000 into creating up to 40 new apprenticeship positions for young people within the local authority.

The council already runs a highly-regarded apprenticeship programme, which offers opportunities in both office-based and craft environments for people aged 16 to 19.

Young people who sign up to be a modern apprentice get the chance to pick up on-the-job experience while studying for a relevant vocational qualification.

Cllr Roy GlenFunding for the additional posts will come from the council’s £8m Invest in Renfrewshire scheme, which has the twin aims of boosting the local economy and tackling youth unemployment.

The cash injection will provide a £5,000 subsidy for each new apprenticeship, with the relevant council department meeting the rest of the salary cost.

Currently the council’s modern apprenticeship scheme offers opportunities in areas such as business admin and customer service, as well as trades including joinery, bricklaying and gardening.

Councillor Roy Glen, convener of the council’s Economy and Jobs Policy Board, said: “Creating employment opportunities for young people is a big priority for us.

“Modern apprenticeships are a great way for young people to learn on the job while picking up a relevant qualification.

“The council’s modern apprenticeship scheme has already provided a route into work for hundreds of young people, and this extra funding will increase the number of opportunities available.”

Invest in Renfrewshire has been in operation for more than a year, and includes a number of schemes designed to help young people into work.

This includes an employer recruitment incentive, which provides a wage subsidy when a company takes on an unemployed young person, as well as a graduate internship scheme.

The council’s modern apprenticeship scheme was honoured at a prestigious national awards ceremony earlier this year, when it was named the joint-winner of the Apprentice Award category at the s1jobs recruitment awards.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at


Renfrewshire Council Must Follow Legal Standards

The re-organisation of school estates in Renfrewshire was discussed in the Scottish Parliament this week.  The Cabinet Secretary for education, Mike Russell MSP, was questioned by Paisley’s MSP about the proper process that should be followed when local authorities are reviewing educational facilities.

george-abbeyAfter questioning the Cabinet secretary George said;

‘It is essential that full scrutiny and all relevant statutory processes are followed when reviewing local authorities educational estates.  The Cabinet Secretary agreed with me and I have voiced my concerns on the record in Parliament about what is happening within Renfrewshire Council.

‘The review and council consultation being undertaken by Labour in Renfrewshire must ensure that correct procedures are adhered to.  This is not only to ensure that parents and the children have full confidence in any of the proposed changes but to ensure that legal challenges do not emerge.

‘The information that I have had to gather myself from the council has raised some questions.

‘There are claims that shutting a school and moving the pupils to another school is not actually a school closure.

‘There are also concerns that the pupils being moved in to an existing school is not the model of shared campuses that we know.  Here in Renfrewshire purpose built schools were built to house shared campuses, differing educational facilities with other shared aspects.

‘These concerns are troubling.

‘We must ensure that any consultation is a real consultation, I would advise every parent to follow what is happening to their school, do not get caught out by changes that surprise you when the consultation process ends.’

For more information please visit


Participate in a theatre Q&A with The Weegie Board Director, Mary McCluskey.

Next week, Scottish Youth Theatre will be stopping off at Paisley Arts Centre to perform their latest show, ‘The Weegie Board: A West of Scotland Ghost Story’ written by BAFTA Scotland winner David Cosgrove.

Plus drama fans will get the unique opportunity to put their questions to Mary McCluskey, Artistic Director of Scottish Youth Theatre and director of this edge-of-your-seat Glaswegian ghost story, straight after the show.

1878-sytweegieContaining frightening scenes, ‘The Weegie Board’ depicts the exhilarating experience of six Glasgow teenagers who meddle with an Ouija Board.

Both funny and shocking at points, ‘The Weegie Board’ is set in a big old empty house, where the six teenagers indulge in a little bit of drinking and some flirting before conducting a séance with their spirit board – but what could possibly go wrong?

The Weegie Board: A West of Scotland Ghost Story will be at Paisley Arts Centre on Wednesday 11 Sept at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £7.50 (£3.50 conc / students) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to The performance is suitable for ages 14+ and does contain some strong language and sexual content – parental guidance is advised.

For further information on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ events log on to or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @RenArtsMuseums.

Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock

Two of the country’s leading jazz artists collaborate for a special gig at Paisley Arts Centre.

Arguably two of Scotland’s greatest jazz musicians, saxophone and piano partnership Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock are joining their considerable talents together for an unforgettable live show in Paisley.

Interview with Peter Greenwood from with Tommy Smith

Incorporating themes from the Great American Songbook, this intimate live set will see the pair perform tracks from their duo album ‘Symbiosis’.

Renfrewshire Arts & Museums anticipate that jazz fans will travel far and wide to see the partnership’s unique musicality and sheer artistry, as Smith & Kellock’s trip to Renfrewshire is just one of three shows they are set to perform together.

Jazz fans are urged to book soon to avoid missing this unique collaboration live.

Tommy Smith & Brian Kellock will be at Paisley Arts Centre on 8 Sept at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £12 (£10 conc) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to

For further information on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ events log on to or follow us on Facebook or Twitter @RenArtsMuseums.

 Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock

Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock

What is jazz? Where did it come from and what does it all mean? These and other musical questions can be readily answered by experts like Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock.

Tommy Smith is well known to Scottish jazz fans as one of the world’s leading saxophonists and the founding director of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra (SNJO). He is also a frontline educator and current artistic director of jazz at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Brian Kellock is an internationally recognized jazz pianist who has worked with many familiar names in jazz such as Art Farmer, Herb Geller and Stanley Turrentine.

Playing together as a duo, they have already surprised the jazz world and delighted countless fans with their wonderfully inclusive interpretations of jazz standards and Broadway melodies. Their readings of Moonlight in Vermont and Skylark have been described as “exquisite”; while The Guardian’s John Fordham wrote, “..(they) can play anything they can think (of), and increasingly think of things other people don’t”.

It has been said that the duet is “one of the most exposed forms in jazz”, but where better to clearly hear the structure, poise and beauty of the most alluring popular music ever composed? On albums like Bezique and Symbiosis Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock have brought a bare truth to You Must Believe in Spring and found the keys to a patently powerful vehicle on Ladies in Mercedes.

Next spring sees the release of their third collaboration The Whispering of the Stars and it promises to be something very special indeed. The mere mention of timeless classics such as Tenderly, Stardust and Moonlight Serenade should be enough to grab the attention. But fans who are able to catch them on tour this year will get a rare advance preview in a repertoire strongly featuring selections from this set.

Jazz is the music of memory, mystery and boundless imagination, but why are Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock so eminently able to communicate its enduring appeal? Well, many other well-qualified people such as those at The Guardian, The Observer and The Scotsman have described them as, “..a scintillating partnership; dazzling; inventive and subtly captivating”. Chris Parker in Ronnie Scott’s Magazine thought their work “luxuriously rich”.

However, anyone lucky enough to have caught them performing Rhapsody in Blue with the SNJO at last month’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe will also know them as thoughtful artists, passionate players and hugely entertaining people. The twelve thousand good folks present at The Montreal Jazz Festival can also testify to their world-class musicianship, natural rapport, easy charm and ready wit.

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland | |

Scottish National Jazz Orchestra | |

Spartacus Records Ltd | |

Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra | |

Johnstone Town Hall exterior

Building work set to begin on Johnstone town hall

The project to deliver Johnstone’s new £14.5m town hall is about to reach its latest major milestone – with construction on the building set to begin in October.

The new town hall is being delivered by Renfrewshire Council and is expected to transform the look of the town centre once completed.

The building will be home to a new library, marriage suite, theatre and conference space, meeting rooms and a café.

It will also contain offices for council housing and social work staff, as well as Police Scotland and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The demolition of the former town hall and library was completed over the summer and with subsequent site investigations throwing up no significant issues, construction is due to start next month as planned.

The construction and fit-out of the new building is expected to take 21 months, meaning it should be open for business in spring 2015.

Councillor Jim Harte, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Sport, Leisure and Culture Policy Board, said: “The council is making a significant investment in delivering this new building, which will provide a striking 21st-century centrepiece to the town.

“This new building is one of the biggest public sector investments taking place in Scotland at the moment.

“Contractors have been busy on site over the summer making sure everything is in place ahead of the building phase of the project.

“Over the next nine months or so, Johnstone residents will be able to see the progress for themselves, as the structure of the new building is put into place.

“Throughout the project, we have aimed to develop good relationships with local residents and traders, and we hope to keep them involved in the months ahead.”

The council is planning a range of activities over the next few months to ensure the community continues to have the chance to be part of the project.

Specially-created artwork depicting iconic buildings around the town has been commissioned for the site hoardings, and will be unveiled soon.

There will also be opportunities for the community to involve themselves in public art which will go on display inside the new building.

The project will also see extensive landscaping and public realm works in the area surrounding the new building, including Ludovic Square.

A temporary library has been opened in nearby Collier Street, and will stay in place for the duration of the works.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at


Historical Adventures Youth Theatre


Drama Classes


45 Blackford Road, Paisley

historical-adventuresSTARTS ON WEDNESDAY 18th SEPTEMBER

JUNIORS (5-7 YEAR OLDS) 3.30 P.M. TILL 4.30 P.M.

SENIORS (8-12 YEAR OLDS) 4.30 P.M. TILL 5.30 P.M.


All of the tutors are professional actors who are fully enhanced disclosure checked.

For any enquiries or to book a place in our class for your child please contact us on

07812437559 or

Did you know you can find us on Facebook? Simply search for “Historical Adventures Ltd” or go to


Council Leader praises Paisley school’s money saving scheme

Renfrewshire Council’s Leader paid a recent visit to a Paisley school to see first-hand how pupils are turning their money saving ideas into a scheme that will benefit pupils.

Councillor Mark Macmillan was so impressed by the credit union being set up by Brediland Primary School that he’s urging Renfrewshire residents to take a leaf out of the pupil’s book joining a local credit union themselves.


The scheme has been set up by the Paisley school and sees young children taking the role of junior bankers as well as saving their own cash.

Councillor Macmillan said: “This is a fantastic way to encourage children to take a responsible approach to money issues. This scheme is giving pupils the right skills and attitude to deal with finances and these are valuable lessons that will hopefully stay with them for life.

“I completely value the role that credit unions play in our community – especially during these tough times by encouraging saving and ensuring access to affordable credit rates.

“My congratulations go to Brediland Primary school for showing an entrepreneurial spirit and taking forward the important issue of financial education. I hope the school’s enthusiasm spills over into the community and I’d urge all local people to consider joining a local credit union.”

Marie-Claire Temple, Head Teacher of Brediland Primary, said: “The Credit Union is run by children for children and is a very worthwhile initiative, which encourages young people to save in a safe way, and fosters in them desirable habits for their future lives.

“Credit unions help families and communities avoid the problems of debt and financial exclusion. In Brediland, we are developing our children’s financial capabilities using our pupil-run credit union, by teaching experiences and outcomes within Curriculum for Excellence and making connections across learning.”

The children are currently undergoing training for the launch of the Brediland Credit Union on Wednesday 11th September.

A photograph of Councillor Macmillan meeting pupils from the school is attached. Please click on the attached link above.

Information from Renfrewshire Council


St James’s Primary Parent Council are holding a race night on Friday 4th October 2013.

This is to raise funds for the school, we contribute towards buses for school trips which last year cost £600 for the entire school to go on their annual trip…that was for buses alone! We need to top up out funds for this years events & buses etc. All money raised is for the benefit of the children that attend St James’s Primary school.

It’s being held in Caledonia Bowling Club, Greenock Road, Paisley. From 7pm with the first race at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £5 and that includes a pie.

Tickets available by contacting :

All over 18’s welcome!

We are also looking for local businesses to sponsor races, so if you would like to donate a prize or sponsor a race we’d love to have you support our event.


ROCCO 2013 – Still time to enter….

The ROCCOs are the annual business awards of Renfrewshire Chamber. Now in their 10th year, they are the main corporate event in Renfrewshire. The ROCCOs are fast paced, fun and a great way for local businesses to get recognised for their success and reward staff & clients. This year the Chamber has 16 categories – all free to enter. Companies & organisations can enter as many as they wish. Entry is open to all members based anywhere AND non-members that are based in Renfrewshire. Deadline for entry is 9am on Monday 16th September – so still time to enter.


ROCCO 2013 main sponsor is Life Technologies whose EMEA HQ is in Inchinnan.

There are 3 new categories this year:

ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business <=5 staff sponsored by IRW Systems
ROCCO Award for Enterprise in Education sponsored by the University of the West of Scotland
ROCCO Award for Community Champion of the Year sponsored by Engage Renfrewshire & The Royal Bank of Scotland

The remaining 13 are:

ROCCO Award for Customer Service sponsored by intu Braehead
ROCCO Award for Journey to Zero Waste sponsored by the William Tracey Group
ROCCO Award for Excellence in Manufacturing sponsored by the Scottish Leather Group
ROCCO Award for Innovation & Technology sponsored by MEPC Hillington Park
ROCCO Award for Business Leader of the Year sponsored by Diageo
ROCCO Award for Family Business of the Year sponsored by The Malcolm Group
ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business >5 & <25 staff sponsored by Renfrewshire Council
ROCCO Award for Outstanding Performing Business >25 staff sponsored by the Phoenix Car Company
ROCCO Award for Best New Business sponsored by Business Gateway
ROCCO Award for International Trade sponsored by Glasgow Airport
ROCCO Award for Young Business Person of the Year sponsored by West College Scotland
ROCCO Award for Employer of the Year sponsored by Rolls Royce
ROCCO Award for Invest in Renfrewshire sponsored by Renfrewshire Council


Shortlisted companies & organisations (excluding Business Leader) will get invited to attend a panel interview / presentation in October – the 3 judges will be sponsor, a Chamber Board Director and a neutral subject matter expert.

The night itself is Friday 15th November at The Normandy Hotel, always a sell-out with just under 500 people attending (black tie). The host this year is ROCCO favourite, Fred MacAulay

To enter, book a table or find out more info, visit