[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Doors Open Days – First events take place tomorrow! 

Scotland’s annual festival of buildings opens up its very first doors tomorrow Saturday 6 September.

Angus, Ayrshire, East Fife and St Andrews, Highlands: In and around Inverness, Moray: Lossiemouth, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders: Kelso and Stirling have hundreds of venues all waiting to welcome you in.

Paisley Abbey interior

There is so much on offer it can be difficult to know where to start, Visit Scotland have created some week one highlights on their Doors Open Days blog HERE

Our local area coordinators have curated lots of thematic links on our inspiration pages HERE

And we have created lots of links to Homecoming Scotland 2014’s themes too, from Food and Drink to Scottish Ancestry, Creativity and Culture or Natural and Active resources there is sure to be something for everyone.

On Friday 5 September Doors Open Days and Visit Scotland launch the 2014 Golden Ticket competitions, offering extra opportunities to get involved in some exciting Doors Open Days events, details on our website competition pages onwww.doorsopendays.org.uk

 

John Pelan, Director of Scottish Civic Trust, the national coordinators of Doors Open Days said:

‘2014 is an exciting year for Doors Open Days, with more on offer for our visitors than ever before. Our teams have all worked extra hard to make sure that the festival has something for everyone and it will be a year of events I am sure our audiences and supporters alike will be very proud of. We wish everyone a great Doors Open Days experience and hope they enjoy going Through the Keyhole.’
Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management, national sponsors of Doors Open Days said:

‘Aberdeen Asset Management is delighted to support Doors Open Days for the fourth year running. We decided to remain involved this year following the excellent feedback we received from colleagues and visitors who had taken advantage of the wonderful opportunity to tour the buildings covered by this great initiative.’

 

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said:

‘The Doors Open Days are a key part of Homecoming Scotland and a terrific opportunity for people of all ages to explore this country’s hidden gems. I would encourage everyone to make the most of Scotland Through the Keyhole, which celebrates our rich heritage, architecture and culture.’

 

To find out more see our website www.doorsopendays.org.uk

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renfrewshire council leader

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Paisley’s visitors now have new signs to help them get around – and Renfrewshire Council Leader reckons they are pointing the way to a better future for the town.

The black finger-post-style signs have gone up around the town centre in recent weeks, showing the direction to key buildings and tourist sites.

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The traditional-looking signs can be seen outside busy locations such as Gilmour Street station, the Abbey and Town Hall, and the University of the West of Scotland.

And Councillor Mark Macmillan reckons they mark just a small step along the road to some much bigger plans designed to attract tourists to the town.

He said: “Earlier this year, the council unveiled ambitious proposals to transform the area’s future by using culture and heritage to sell Paisley as a destination.

“There will be various strands to that – but one of the key ones is in creating a better product for visitors, and improving our tourist infrastructure.

“New town centre signage represents a very small step along what will be a very long road over the next decade or so.

“But it is the sort of practical everyday improvement we want to put in place while detailed work takes place in the background to investigate how the major infrastructure projects could take shape.

“These would include turning Paisley Museum into a national museum of textile and costume, the creation of a Paisley Fashion and Design Centre, and a new 300-seat theatre space in the town.

“Along the way we would also look to ramp up the existing programme of town centre events and festivals, ahead of a possible bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021.

“We are also working to develop our Discover Renfrewshire campaign, which may already be familiar to residents through signage around the area.

“Experts reckon that if the plans were carried out in full they would create 800 jobs and be worth £45m a year to Renfrewshire’s tourist economy.

“All of the above would involve the input of the entire local community, and the benefits would extend to all of Renfrewshire, not just Paisley.

“So just like our new signs, we know which direction we are going in – and that should be a brighter future for the whole area.”[/vc_column_text][vc_separator icon=”star”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Provost invites Renfrewshire to reflect on First World War centenary

Renfrewshire’s Provost, Anne Hall, is inviting local people to join her in marking the moment when Britain declared war on Germany and become involved in the First World War.

A multi-faith service is being held at St Mirin’s Cathedral, Paisley on 4 August as part of the Renfrewshire Reflects commemorations.

renfrewshire reflects

The service is open to the public and tickets are not required. Anyone interested in attending should contact Dorothy Kerr on 0141 618 7578 or email dorothy.kerr-es@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

The service starts at 10.15pm and finishes at 11pm when a candle will be symbolically extinguished, reflecting the words of Sir Edward Grey, the then Foreign Secretary, when he said, “The lamps are going out all over Europe and we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”

The service includes hymns and scripture readings. Members of the PACE Youth Theatre will also be reading war poems and extracts from First World War letters sent by a mother to her son at the front and by a serving soldier to his wife.

Provost Hall said, “I would like to invite everyone who can attend to join me at St Mirin’s Cathedral on 4 August to mark the 100th anniversary of Britain’s entry into the First World War. We will not be celebrating the event. At the time, the First World War was the most terrible conflict humanity had ever seen. It was originally called the Great War and the War to End All Wars. We will be coming together to reflect on events which cost the lives of millions of people across the globe and give thanks for the peace that we enjoy.”

All the lights except one will also be switched off in Renfrewshire House, the council’s Paisley headquarters, as part of the Lights Out initiative. Lights Out is a UK wide invitation to everyone to turn off their lights from 10pm to 11pm on 4 August, leaving on a single light for a shared moment of reflection.

Britain declared war on Germany at 11pm on 4 August 1914 after the Germans refused to withdraw their forces from Belgium. Britain was bound by the 1839 Treaty of London to guarantee Belgium’s neutrality and come to its aid if the country was attacked.

Renfrewshire Council is taking part in a national programme of commemorative, educational, cultural and community events to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War.

The events will honour and remember the lives of those who served in the First World War and those who were affected by it. The commemorations will span a four-year period from 2014 to 2018. They will focus on the impact of the war and on marking the significant events of the conflict. The service at St Mirin’s Cathedral marks the first key date.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Paisley Abbey

Council Leader’s community call over regeneration plans.

The council unveiled proposals in January for a multi-million pound investment in Paisley’s infrastructure to kickstart heritage-led regeneration and boost the town’s tourist economy.

The hope is this would lead to a bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021 – and Councillor Mark Macmillan wants local groups to help shape that bid.

Council staff have already started to meet local business and community interests to explain the detail behind the Paisley Town Centre Heritage Asset Strategy.

Paisley Abbey

It is thought the existing Paisley Vision Board – a public-private group aimed at boosting town centre trade – could evolve into a wider body which better fits the scope of the council’s proposals.

Cllr Macmillan said: “The next few years are going to be hugely exciting for Renfrewshire as we aim to lead a multi-million-pound investment in our tourist potential and a possible UK City of Culture bid.

“The Paisley Town Centre Heritage Asset Strategy is a bold statement of where we want the area to be – but for us to reach our potential we will need to work in partnership with a wide range of groups who also stand to benefit.

“That will require contributions from a range of people – from public-sector bodies to business leaders to cultural groups to residents and everyone in between, as we look to transform perceptions of Paisley at home and abroad.

“The Paisley Vision Board has served the town well over the years and led the way on many worthwhile projects – but as we widen our ambitions for Paisley and Renfrewshire, we have to widen the scope of who we work in partnership with.

“Over the months ahead I want us to harness the talents of all interested parties and give them the chance to help us transform Paisley’s future for the better.”

Tom Johnston, president of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce, added: “The plans being taken forward to regenerate Paisley are far-reaching and unique.

“The local business community stands to benefit from these proposals and I would encourage them to get on board and help shape the transformation.”

The Paisley Town Centre Heritage Asset Strategy was commissioned by the council to assess how the town’s rich history and culture could be used to drive tourist-led regeneration.

The report describes Paisley’s heritage – including more than 100 listed buildings, rare books and paintings, and the finest Paisley Shawl collection in the world – as being of ‘international interest and significance’.

It is estimated the developments proposed by the strategy could increase Renfrewshire’s tourist economy by £45m a year, and create around 800 new jobs for the area.

Key recommendations include a multi-million-pound revamp of Paisley Museum, possible new theatre space in the town, and work to investigate whether Paisley could receive UNESCO World Heritage Status, as well as the possible City of Culture bid.

For regular updates on local news and events follow @RenCouncilNews on Twitter or our page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/renfrewshirecouncil

Paisley Abbey

Explore area’s hidden gems for Doors Open Day

The countdown is on to Renfrewshire’s Doors Open Day, with more than 60 local buildings set to offer visitors a peek behind the scenes this weekend.

The event offers residents a showcase of the area’s fascinating architectural history, with this year marking the 20th anniversary of Renfrewshire’s participation.

This year – for the first time – there is a special feature for children in the form of a wicked-history-themed Diabolical Diaries booklet.

There will be prizes for any child who picks up at least five ‘venue-stamps’ in their booklet, available through all libraries and participating venues.

Buildings set to throw open their doors include historic gems such as Paisley Abbey as well as newer sites like St Mirren Park and the On-X Leisure Centre in Linwood.

Other highlights include a chance to see the A-listed Bascule Bridge at Renfrew in action, with the bridge set to open at 11am, 1pm and 3pm on Saturday.

Also open will be local churches, fire stations and Paisley Sheriff Court. There will also be tours of Glasgow Airport, but places on these are now fully booked.

Paisley Abbey

Other events of note include:

– a family fun day in Paisley’s Johnston Street to mark the end of a £1m investment in the Causeyside Street area from noon until 5pm on Saturday;

– an information event regarding the project to restore the stunning 19th-century Grand Fountain in Paisley’s Fountain Gardens from 1 to 4pm on Saturday;

– a consultation event to let residents have their say on the latest proposals for the Semple Heritage Trail project in Lochwinnoch’s Castle Semple Centre on Sunday from noon until 4pm.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall said: “Doors Open Day is a great chance for residents to uncover the hidden gems on their own doorstep.

“Renfrewshire has some superb buildings, both old and new, and I would encourage everybody to get out and about and take stock of their own surroundings.”

Residents are also invited to take part in a photo competition through social media.

All they have to do to be in with a chance of some great prizes is share their photos of the day on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Instagram tagged with the hashtag #doorsopendaysrenfrewshire

Doors Open Day is one of many European Heritage Days, which take place in over 50 countries, with more than 20 million visits each year.

For more information and for a full list of participating venues, visit www.doorsopendays.org.uk, or pick up a brochure from any Renfrewshire library.

Doors Open Day 2013 will be chance to get into buildings

An annual celebration of Renfrewshire’s fascinating architectural history will return later this year – and organisers are looking for buildings to add to the list.

Doors Open Day is a showcase of the country’s built heritage, where visitors take a peek through the keyhole at hundreds of Scotland’s buildings for free.

This year’s event takes place on 14 and 15 September and will be the 20th anniversary of Renfrewshire’s participation.

Paisley Abbey interior

Local buildings set to throw open their doors on the day include Paisley Abbey, the council chambers at Renfrewshire House, local churches and fire stations.

But organisers are looking for local buildings of historical or architectural significance which have not taken part before to come forward for this year’s event, which is supported by Renfrewshire Council.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of the council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, said: “The idea behind Doors Open Day is to show people the hidden gems that link present-day Renfrewshire to its past.

“Renfrewshire has an architectural heritage to be proud of, and Doors Open Day gives residents a glimpse of the fascinating history on their own doorstep.

“While there are many local buildings that prove popular with visitors every Doors Open Day, we would love to add new attractions to our list.

Paisley Abbey interior“We are keen to hear from the owners or managers of interesting buildings throughout Renfrewshire.

“If you would like to offer or recommend a building to add to Doors Open Day, please call 0141 618 6794 or email towncentres@renfrewshire.gov.uk by the end of May.”

Doors Open Day is part of a wider Europe-wide celebration of built heritage, and sees over 50 countries take part, with over 20 million visits annually.

The Renfrewshire event will feature a competition for children to have their passport ‘stamped’ as they visit different venues, and will have a fun historical theme.

The council will also be running a photo competition with visitors encouraged to share their pictures of the buildings on social media.

For more information about the national event, visit www.doorsopendays.org.uk

 

You can download the Doors Open Day Leaflet for the Renfrewshire area by clicking here..

St Mirin’s Cathedral Carboot Sale

St Mirin’s cathedral tabletop – carboot sale 3rd Saturday of every month come and pick up some great bargains.

Add more events here.