Paisley farmers' market

Revamped farmers’ market has taste of success

Traders and shoppers alike have given the thumbs-up to Paisley’s relaunched farmers’ market, after its first outing in its new home at the weekend.

The popular twice-monthly market has been a fixture in the town’s County Square for the past 12 years, but last Saturday saw it move along the road to Paisley Cross.

To mark the occasion, organisers hired face painters, stilt walkers and balloon modellers to help keep youngsters entertained.

And the relocation was a success, with hundreds of shoppers turning out to sample the range of fresh farm food on offer, with some traders doubling their takings on the previous market.

As part of the revamp, midweek markets have been introduced – with the event taking place on the second Thursday and last Saturday of every month from now on.

That means the next market – on Thursday 12 September – will be the first to take place during the week.

All markets will now take place slightly later in the day, running from 10am to 2pm, as opposed to the previous time of 9am to 1pm.

The changes came about after a consultation of traders and customers earlier this year. The market is run by Ayrshire Farmers’ Market and promoted by Renfrewshire Council.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “The farmers’ market has been a popular feature in the town for a number of years now, but we wanted to see if there was anything we could do to refresh it.

“The feedback we received was that it should be later in the day and that people wanted midweek markets, so we acted on that.

“Saturday’s turnout suggests the change of location has worked. We hope the market will thrive in its new home and will continue to bring people into the town centre.”

Howard Wilkinson, market relocation co-ordinator, added: “We were delighted with the number of new customers who came to the market, as well as our regulars.

“I hope they found the experience really positive and we look forward to seeing people a week on Thursday at the next market.”

All information and photographs courtesy of Renfrewshire Council.

Presenting the DoE winners with their awards

Eight more ‘golden’ pupils achieve Duke of Edinburgh success

Eight Renfrewshire pupils from Park Mains High School and Kersland School are celebrating after achieving a Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.

The golden eight have achieved the highest standard possible in the long-running national scheme for young people.

Renfrewshire Council is an ‘operating authority’ for the scheme and the council’s Youth and Sports Services team is currently taking many local young people through the scheme.

The scheme asks young people to volunteer, develop a skill or hobby, test their physical fitness and undertake an expedition. Participants work through the Bronze and Silver award levels before attempting the ultimate Gold Award.

Councillor Stuart Clark, depute convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, met with the winners and said: “My congratulations to all eight of these pupils and their families.

“The Duke of Edinburgh Scheme needs a major commitment of time and effort and it’s great to meet a group of young people who worked all the way through the scheme to reach the highest standard possible.

“A Duke of Edinburgh Award is a major boost to any young person’s CV and I know it’s highly valued by prospective employers.”

The eight pupils to receive their Gold Award were:

* Miriam Donald (Park Mains)

* Fraser Gunn (Park Mains)

* Sarah-Jane MacIntyre (Park Mains)

* Sandy Sneddon (Park Mains)

* Steven Coutts (Kersland)

* Darren McEachran (Kersland)

* Laura Mitchell (Kersland)

* Rory Wilson (Kersland)

 

Youth and Sport Services are currently looking for adult volunteers who can support scheme activities. If you’re interesting in lending your support, call the team on 0141 889 1110

Futurefest

Renfrewshire Young people turn out for council careers fair

Young people from Renfrewshire turned out to a council-run event to meet people who could help them find their ideal career.

The Futuresfest careers fair for young people aged 16 to 24 took place at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre and featured more than 40 exhibitors.

They included significant local employers such as Quarriers, the Lynnhurst Hotel and St Mirren FC.

Visitors on the day could also speak to staff from training providers, and organisations including the NHS, JobCentre Plus and Skills Development Scotland.

Council staff were on hand to dish out information about their apprenticeship scheme, youth employability hub and £8m Invest in Renfrewshire programme.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan popped along to see the event for himself, and said: “The council will do all it can to make sure young people have the best chance possible of finding work.

“The aim of Futuresfest was to give them the opportunity to speak to a range of people who can help them get to where they want to be in life.

“Whether it be further education, apprenticeships, access to training or help finding work, there was something for everyone on offer.”

The same day also saw an open day at the council’s youth employability hub in Gauze Street, Paisley.

Staff at the hub are able to offer young people aged between 16 and 24 help with finding work, access to training and CV and letter writing.

For more information about the council’s youth employment services, call 0300 300 1180, email employability@renfrewshire.gov.uk or visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk

Renfrewshire Business hub opening

New hub for local firms is open for Renfrewshire business

A one-stop shop where local firms can find out how to get financial help has been officially opened for business.

The Invest in Renfrewshire Business Hub in Lawn Street, Paisley was given the seal the seal of approval by invited guests from the local business community at a recent event.

Invest in Renfrewshire is Renfrewshire Council’s flagship £8m programme to boost the local economy and tackle youth unemployment.

Renfrewshire Business hub opening

The new facility is open for any local company – whether big or small – to pop in and find out more about the range of support on offer through Invest in Renfrewshire.

It also boasts meeting rooms and will be a venue for networking and business information events, with a series of ‘meet the expert’ clinics in the pipeline.

To mark the official opening, Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan welcomed representatives of local firms, training providers and partner organisations to a business breakfast at the hub.

He said: “The council sees the local economy as a top priority, which is why we have made a sizeable financial commitment to the Invest in Renfrewshire programme.

“It is essential that small businesses are given the chance to thrive, and the council has a key role to play in creating conditions in which that can happen.

“The new business hub is intended to be exactly that – a central place where local firms can visit, attend events, access funding, and network with other professionals.

“Our team of business development advisors are on hand to offer help and advice, as will staff from Business Gateway, who will be based there one day a week.

“We would also encourage any small businesses who need somewhere to go to meet clients can use the facility by booking one of our meeting rooms.”

Renfrewshire Business hub opening

Support on offer to local businesses through Invest in Renfrewshire includes the following;

– business growth grants of up to £10,000 to help firms develop new products or pay for property improvements and IT equipment

– financial help of up to £5,000 for any company taking on an unemployed person or a graduate intern

– loans to help businesses grow or meet the cost of specific projects

– retail improvement grants and help with staff training.

Find more opportunities and information by going to www.investinrenfrewshire.com

Paisley Farmers Market

Paisley Farmers Market moves to its new location at the Cenotaph.

Paisley Farmers’ Market features a wide range of stall-holders offering quality fresh produce, straight from the farm to the shopping bag, such as meat,fish, cheese, fruit and veg, and chocolate.

The market is operated by Ayrshire Farmers’ Market and Renfrewshire Council, and the decision to relocate came after consultation with traders and shoppers.

Photographs taken by Tracey Clements for www.paisley.org.uk you can find all our photographs on our Flickr page here http://www.flickr.com/photos/paisleyorguk/

500 tonne jacket barges down the Cart

A 23 m tall, 500 tonne wind turbine jacket passed beneath the drawbridge style Bascule Bridge. The 60 m barge carrying the component had to temporarily stop before the bridge so that it could be accurately lined up before passing under it.

Renfrewshire Council’s vision in restoring Inchinnan’s Bascule Bridge paid dividends today (Saturday 31 August) when it rose up its full 30m height to allow a 500 tonne, wind turbine jacket out into the open sea at the start of its voyage to Methil in Fife.

The 23 metre tall jacket forms the foundation for what will be the world’s largest wind turbine, which in turn forms the heart of Samsung Heavy Industries’ Wind Turbine Demonstrator. The jacket is being transported down the cart on a 60 metre long barge.

The wind turbine jacket was built by Renfrew based, Steel Engineering Ltd. Peter Breslin, Director of Steel Engineering Ltd, said, “We operate in a highly competitive market and we have worked extremely hard to secure the ground breaking contract to manufacture this prototype.

“It is a huge honour that a global giant like Samsung recognises our talent and has faith in our ability to manufacture and deliver. But that ability to deliver depends on the Cart and the ability of the Bascule Bridge to open. Without the Cart and the bridge we would have no way of moving components of this scale.”

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board said, “Creating and maintain jobs is a key goal for Renfrewshire Council. We are the Harbour Authority for the Cart and we actively support the use of the river for transporting heavy goods. The strengthening and refurbishment of the historic Bascule Bridge in 2005 has ensured that the Cart is available as a working economic asset.

“Steel Engineering Ltd is at the forefront of the expanding renewable sector. It is very gratifying that our role in maintaining the vital infrastructure that Steel Engineering Ltd relies on is allowing the company to deliver the goods to global firms such as Samsung.”

Steel Engineering Ltd is one of more than 300 companies signed up to Invest, Renfrewshire Council’s £8m programme to boost the local economy.

The Bascule Bridge is a listed building and was built in 1923. It is just one of 17 drawbridge style structures left in Britain and shares its counter-weight operation with Tower Bridge in London.

Renfrewshire Council invested some £1.4million in rebuilding the bridge as part its commitment to keeping the River Cart open to commercial traffic. In a quirk of fate Steel Engineering Ltd carried out much of the refurbishment work on the Bascule Bridge.

All photographs taken for www.paisley.org.uk by Alex Kyle. You can find more photos from Alex by clicking here.

Mill Girls on tour

Launch of Renfrewshire’s Mill Girls on Tour at the Atrium, Anchor Mill, Abbey Mill Business Centre

Saturday 7th September, performances at 3:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.

Weaving Musical Threads presents ‘Mill Girls on Tour’. A spell-binding synergy of poetry, performance and musical interludes inspired by the famous mill girls of Renfrewshire. Four local writers Tracy Patrick, Gwen McKerrell, Kathryn Daly and Mo Blake bring the stories to life: the trials and triumphs, the feistiness and resilience of the women who worked in the mills and brought a unique energy to the town. Joining them is Scottish singer songwriter, Anna MacDonald.

Mill Girls on tour

Come along and see Mill Girls on Tour; remembering and celebrating an important part of our social and industrial heritage. A home-grown production with heart and humour, guaranteed to cheer.

Tickets: £5.00 (includes refreshments) can be purchased by contacting info@weavingmusicalthreads.com or call 07990981682
Mill Girls anthology and cds available to purchase.
Lift access to Atrium.

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.

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

Tommy Smith and Brian Kellock

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 www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/onlinebooking

For further information on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ events log on to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts or Twitter @RenArtsMuseums.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Language teaching boost for Renfrewshire schools

Six Renfrewshire primary schools are to pilot an ambitious new approach to language learning.

Pupils will be able to learn a foreign language from primary one. A second additional language will be offered to pupils no later than primary five.

Following an evaluation of the pilot scheme, it is anticipated that all Renfrewshire primary schools will deliver a modern language from primary one on a phased basis from the 2014-15 school year.

renfrewshire council logo .JPGThe teaching of a second foreign language from primary five is set to follow on a phased basis in the 2015-16 session.

The six primary schools taking part in this year’s pilot scheme are Todholm, Lochfield, Lochwinnoch, Kirklandneuk, Houston, and St James (Renfrew).

The approach will take forward the ‘1 plus 2’ model of foreign language teaching as recommended by the Scottish Government’s report , Language Learning in Scotland – a 1 + 2 Approach.

The aim is that children will be given the opportunity to start learning two foreign languages in primary school in addition to their own mother tongue.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Education Policy Board, said, “The opportunity to learn foreign languages helps pupils’ general learning as well as being useful in later years for employment, further study, or even simply making the most of trips abroad.

“There’s no doubt that there’s a need to maintain children’s interest in and commitment to learning foreign languages. Starting that work in primary school is a great way to do that.

“We are setting ambitious and challenging targets but we want to support our schools and our pupils in this key area.”

Dick Gaughan

Sound of Scots – Dick Gaughan at Paisley Arts Centre

Celebrate Gaeldom mere weeks before the Royal National Mòd arrives in Paisley with an intimate live set from talented folk singer, songwriter and musician Dick Gaughan at Paisley Arts Centre.

Brought up immersed in the culture of the Gaels, both Scots and Irish, it is clear Gaughan’s upbringing has helped shape his musical style.

Dick first turned professional musician and singer in 1970, and over the course of his hugely successful career has played with legendary Scottish folk-rock band Five Hand Reel, composed music and film for television dramas, recorded countless solo albums and was commissioned to create a 90-minute orchestral work that was performed at the closing concert for Celtic Connections in 2004.

Dick Gaughan

Gaughan’s act is simple. He is a stunning singer with a wonderfully expressive voice belying passion, allied to a dazzling guitar technique. Dick just doesn’t deliver gigs that are ‘ordinary’, which music fans will discover at Paisley Arts Centre on the night.

This simplicity has seen Gaughan remain at the cutting edge of Scottish music for over four decades, earning serious acclaim from his industry peers along the way. Currently, Gaughan is the only performer to hold the joint honours of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC Radio 2 Folk Music Awards and an induction in to the Scots Traditional Music Hall of Fame.

See Dick Gaughan at Paisley Arts Centre on 7 Sept at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£6 conc) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/onlinebooking

For further information on Renfrewshire Arts & Museums’ events log on to www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/renfrewshirearts or Twitter @RenArtsMuseums.