Renfrewshire’s award-winning youth diversionary programme Street Stuff, has been presented with the prestigious Clean Up Scotland ‘Hero of the Month’ award in recognition of its efforts to support the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

Street Stuff volunteers and coaching staff from St Mirren FC have assisted Renfrewshire Council with community clean up activities, including litter picking, removing graffiti from public spaces and spraying dog fouling with paint to make it more visible – therefore highlighting the problem.

The award forms part of the Clean Up Scotland campaign, organised by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, and acknowledges Street Stuff’s work to help reduce youth disorder and to instil responsibility in young people.

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “We are delighted that Street Stuff have been named as the 50th recipient of the Hero of the Month Award.

“The work volunteers and staff do to engage local children and provide them with activities they may not normally have the opportunity to undertake is fantastic, and has been extremely successful since its inception in 2009.

“They are making a real difference to the local community through participating in litter picks, removing graffiti from shop fronts and supporting the Team Up to Clean Up dog fouling initiative.

“With £2.5million being invested across the next five years, we hope that many local community groups will be able to follow in Street Stuff’s footsteps as we continue to advance the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and make a tangible improvement to the quality of Renfrewshire’s environment.”

Street Stuff works as a partnership between St Mirren FC and Renfrewshire Council delivering a youth activity programme including dance and football, as well as volunteering and employment opportunities for young people.

Gordon Scott, St Mirren FC Chairman, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen as Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Hero of the Month and it’s testament to the work of the Street Stuff volunteers and staff.

“We’re proud to support the Team Up to Clean Up campaign and will continue to work hard to improve Renfrewshire’s environment for the benefit of the entire community.”

Heather McLaughlin, Community Project Officer with Keep Scotland Beautiful added: “High levels of graffiti, litter and flytipping are closely linked to community safety. By helping to tackle litter in their local area, Street Stuff, its participants and volunteers have all helped to make their local area both cleaner and safer for all of its residents.

“Keep Scotland Beautiful recognises that there are armies of volunteers all across Scotland working very hard to clean up and green up their local area. Clean Up Scotland can help to support their efforts as well as recognising the contribution made by individuals with our Hero of the Month award.”

Lindsay Richmond-Kearns, Communities Manager at Helping Hand Environmental, which provides a clean up kit to each monthly hero, commented: “We are delighted to present Street Stuff with this award. I would like to commend them for successfully improving and delivering significant local environmental improvements in Renfrewshire.

“Helping Hand has been privileged to sponsor the Hero of the Month award in partnership with Keep Scotland Beautiful since 2014, and have rewarded 50 Scottish Heroes to date. If you know a Scottish volunteer who is making a difference to their local environment – you can nominate them for this prestigious award.”

For more information on Renfrewshire’s Team Up to Clean Up campaign visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/teamuptocleanup.

Keep Scotland Beautiful is encouraging everyone to organise or take part in a clean up this spring www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/cleanupscotland.

Thousands of people will party on the streets of Paisley when St Mirren’s SPFL Championship winning side are honoured with an open-top bus parade through the town centre.

Renfrewshire Council is marking the Buddies’ return to the top-tier of Scottish football by staging the large-scale outdoor celebration event on Saturday 21 April.

St Mirren mathematically confirmed the title on Saturday after a 0-0 draw with second-placed Livingston means they can now no longer be caught.

That means the league trophy will be presented next week on the pitch immediately after their last home game of the season – against local rivals Morton – which the parade will follow.

The open-top bus will leave the Paisley 2021 Stadium before 7pm and travel through the town centre, to a specially-erected stage in Bridge Street, behind Paisley Abbey, around 7.30pm.

There, fans will be able to greet their heroes, with short speeches for the crowd from key figures from the club as they show off the trophy.

Before the team arrives, DJs from Pulse FM will be keeping the crowds entertained with St Mirren-themed songs and entertainment.

The bus will arrive in the town via the west end, with fans encouraged to see the team travel along the following route: High Street (at Paisley Museum), Storie Street, Witherspoon Street/New St (past Paisley Arts Centre), Causeyside Street, St Mirren Brae, Gauze Street, Cotton Street.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron – who will help host the event – said: “We want to congratulate St Mirren on a wonderful season and are delighted the council is able to stage this event so the people of Renfrewshire can honour their team.

“I am sure the streets of Paisley will be full of celebration on the 21 April and I am looking forward to being there for what will be a great atmosphere and a wonderful occasion.”

St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott added: “We want to thank Renfrewshire Council for organising this event to allow the people of Paisley – whether hardcore fans or not – to see the team and trophy.

“St Mirren are – and always will be – at the heart of the Paisley community, so it is fitting we get to celebrate a memorable year for the club and celebrate together as a town.”

For more event information and to keep up to date on all local events, visit www.paisley.is

The St Mirren celebration event will be the first of two weekends which will see the area around Bridge Street and Abbey Close packed with activity – with the Paisley Food and Drink Festival to take place one week later.

Groups who formed the heart of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 gathered at a special event to hear how the town’s bidding journey will continue.

The Paisley 2021: The Journey Continues event saw around 70 people gather in Paisley Town Hall to hear how the vision behind the bid will still be delivered.

A range of creative, cultural and business groups heard from speakers from various organisations who played a role in the bid about the positive impact it made – and the platform it created for the future.

The event was MC’d by Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire – who worked on the community engagement push which saw 36,000 people involved in the conversation around the bid.

Speakers including Paisley 2021 bid director Jean Cameron, St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick, Alan Clark of the Creative Renfrewshire Network, and representatives of community groups the STAR Project and Stronger Women in Ferguslie Together gave their own reflections.

Looking to the future, some of the partners behind the bid – including Glasgow School of Art, Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce and West College Scotland – outlined plans to deliver on the aims and vision it contained.

And senior council and Renfrewshire Leisure staff talked about investment in Paisley’s cultural infrastructure and programming, and efforts to promote the area as a great place to live, work and invest, underpinned by the new paisley.is destination brand. That includes:

– a £100m-plus investment in town centre venues and infrastructure, including the £42m project to turn Paisley Museum into a world-class facility, and revamps for Paisley Town Hall and Arts Centre

– £5m for a programme of new events and festivals – including the Royal National Mod in 2022 – to add to the area’s existing and successful major events programme;

– a £500k investment in building the area’s cultural capacity by topping up the existing Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, and creating a new fund to help organisations grow;

– work to embed the opportunity to take part in cultural activity – and the benefits it brings – at the heart of all the area’s anti-poverty, education, health and well-being work;

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The Paisley 2021 bid has already changed the area for the better.

“It raised our profile and awareness of our unique story, and brought a sense of self-confidence back to the town, not to mention the more tangible benefits through the increase in visitor numbers and event attendees we’ve already seen.

“Today’s event was about bringing people together to celebrate all of that – but more importantly it was about looking to the future and making sure the groups who contributed to the bid know the journey can and will continue.

“The bid was only ever one part of a wider plan to harness the power of our internationally-significant heritage and cultural story to transform our future….and with exciting opportunities and major investment over the next few years, that is still in our hands to do.”

Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire, added: “The Paisley 2021 bid was a team effort that became a mass movement – so it was fitting we brought the team back together today.

“The bid formed new partnerships between people and groups, gave them a voice, and invited them to help shape a shared vision for our town.

“Today was about reminding ourselves of that vision and looking at how it can still be realised – and the people of Paisley have the power to do it.”

For more information on what Paisley has to offer, visit www.paisley.is

Almost 2,000 primary six pupils have taken part in a series of safety workshops designed to keep Renfrewshire children safe.

The annual Safe Kids events, organised by the Renfrewshire Community Safety Partnership and hosted by St Mirren Football Club, has delivered safety messages to more than 20,000 young people since it was first introduced more than a decade ago.

Pupils from every school in Renfrewshire were invited to take part a wide range of workshops, from littering, dog fouling and anti-social behaviour to fire safety, drugs and alcohol awareness and emergency situations.

The workshops took place in and around the Paisley 2021 Stadium, including the dressing rooms and hospitality suite, with pupils taking their seat in the stand before being split into their groups for the day.

Kids were also tasked to create their own posters detailing what being safe means to them and five winners were selected by Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron.

The winners, and their families, were invited to a special VIP day at the Paisley 2021 Stadium and were joined by pupils from Bargarren, St John Bosco, Glencoats and Barsail Primary.

The five winners were:

Momina Ali – Newmains Primary, Renfrew

Gracie Boyd – Ralston Primary, Paisley

Evie Crawford – Lochfield Primary, Paisley

Jemma Johnston – St Anthony’s Primary, Johnstone

Summer Coyle – Rashielea Primary, Erskine

Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “Safe Kids is a fantastic project which is ensuring our children have the correct information and skills to stay safe in a variety of situations.

“More than 20,000 pupils have had the opportunity to learn from a variety of our community partners and this will allow them to be fully informed to deal with issues both in and out of school.

”The workshops are delivered in a fun and engaging manner which means the young people involved can enjoy the day while still taking in the serious messaging behind the activities.”

Safe Kids events took place on 7-8 March, 13-16 March and will conclude between 19-22 March.

The workshops were delivered by a range of partners including Renfrewshire Council’s Youth Team, Renfrewshire Council’s Wardens, Renfrewshire Council’s Civil Contingencies Service, Renfrewshire Council’s RADAR (Drugs and Alcohol), Police Scotland, British Transport Police, Scottish Fire and Rescue, Who Cares Scotland and Street Stuff.

Prizes for the winners, including discounted passes, bags and tickets, were kindly donated by Flip Out, Joma Sport and St Mirren.

St Mirren fans can now cast their votes on which club legends they want to name a street after when new housing is built on the site of the club’s old Love Street ground.

Earlier this month Renfrewshire Council launched the #SaintsStreets competition, inviting fans to submit suggestions for St-Mirren-related street names – and there was an incredible response, with more than 1,000 submissions made.

Those have now been sorted through and a final shortlist chosen – meaning fans have until the weekend to make the final call on which names will be honoured.

The £17million Love Street housing project is being delivered by Sanctuary Scotland in partnership with Renfrewshire Council and the Scottish Government – with work to start soon on 132 new affordable homes.

There are five streets to be named on the site – two have already been named North Bank and Cairter’s Corner after well-known sections of the old ground they sit on the locations of.

The expert panel which picked the shortlist was Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board; Pat Cahill, director of Sanctuary Scotland; St Mirren chairman Gordon Scott; celebrity Saints fan and broadcaster Chick Young, and the club’s fan-elected director David Nicol, of the St Mirren Independent Supporters Association, which part-owns the club.

They picked the following 15 names, from which the five most popular will be chosen during the final vote. Fans have until 4.45pm on Saturday 3 March to cast their votes via www.surveymonkey.com/r/SaintsStreets

– Abercromby Avenue (cult-hero midfielder Billy Abercromby came through the youth ranks and won the 1987 Scottish Cup);

– Bryceland Avenue (the late Tommy Bryceland won the 1959 Scottish Cup and had two spells at the club);

– Copland Lane (Paisley-born defender Jackie Copland had two spells at the club and later became the club’s general manager);

– Fitzpatrick Way (current club chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick is a club legend, winning the 1987 Scottish Cup and enjoying two spells as manager);

– Gemmell Gardens (forward Tommy Gemmell spent his whole career at St Mirren and was part of the 1959 Scottish Cup winning team);

– McCrae Crescent (David McCrae is St Mirren’s all-time record goalscorer, with 222 goals from 1923 to 1934);

– McGarry Terrace  (local lad Steven McGarry helped the club he supports to the 2000 First Division title, while his late father Tam was a well-known supporter);

– McWhirter Street (Johnstone-born defender Norrie McWhirter dedicated his whole 15-year career to the buddies);

– Money Street (one-club goalkeeper Campbell Money spent 15 years at the club and was part of the 1987 Scottish Cup Final winning team)

– Saints Street (affectionate name for all St Mirren supporters);

– Somner Street (Dougie Somner played for St Mirren from 1979-1983 and scored plenty goals, including the Saints first ever UEFA Cup goal);

– Telfer Street (stalwart defender Willie Telfer played for St Mirren from 1943 to 1957);

– Torfason Terrace (Icelandic international Guðmundur Torfason was a cult hero at the club, top scorer in each of his three seasons from 1989-1992);

– Van Zanten View (David van Zanten enjoyed two spells at St Mirren, helping the side to the 2006 First Division title and the 2013 League Cup);

– Yardley Avenue (striker Mark Yardley scored crucial goals en route to the 2000 First Division title and is warmly remembered for his eight-year spell);

There were a number of suggestions the panel couldn’t consider due to Royal Mail requirements intended to stop clashes with existing streets in the area.

That ruled out a number of notable past players and managers, including Jim Clunie, James ‘Daddy’ Dunlop, Sir Alex Ferguson, David Lapsley, Hugh Murray, Alex Smith, Steven Thompson and John Cockles Wilson.

They were also unable to name streets after numbers – with key dates such as 1959 and 1987 having been put forward – or after St Mirren itself.

Sanctuary Scotland will also name the children’s play area at the new housing development after Paisley Panda.

Councillor McGurk said: “We are pleased to be working with Sanctuary to bring the Love Street site back into use – with the new housing making a big contribution towards the council’s target of 200 high-quality affordable homes being built in Renfrewshire each year.

“Given how much the Love Street site means to so many people, we wanted to be able to let St Mirren fans decide how best their club’s history should be reflected within it.

“The panel had a tough task to whittle the names down but after some very lively discussion we arrived at a shortlist which spans the generations and different eras of the club’s history.”

The development will provide 103 houses for social rent. A further 29 houses are available for affordable sale through the New Supply Shared Equity scheme.

Sanctuary is also building homes for social rent in Station Road, Renfrew and at the former Co-op site in Wellmeadow Street, Paisley.

Renfrewshire school children are being asked to design a winning flag to wave off drivers taking part in one of the world’s most iconic races.

Paisley is the only British starting point of the 2018 Monte Carlo Rally, with 25 cars setting off for the 1500-mile trip to the South of France next month.

A competition has been launched for local pupils to design a flag to send the competitors in the historic event on their way.

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will select the winner, who will also get to keep the flag after the event on January 31st.

Almost 100 cars in total are expected to leave the start ramp outside Paisley Abbey at 6pm, in three separate categories.

Next year’s event also has crews from Scotland, England, Wales, as well as Europe and the USA.

Provost Cameron said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for school children to get their creative thinking caps on and put their own stamp on a world class event.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the amazing designs I know our talented pupils will come up with and can’t wait to wave the drivers off at the start line.”

Entries can be submitted at schools and local libraries with a closing date of January 15th. The competition is exclusive to primary school children and please remember to include your name, age, school and contact information with your entry.

Next year’s event, which sees Paisley as the sole British starting point for the fifth time, will feature the popular Monte Carlo Heritage Runs and the competitors will be sent off in style from Paisley in a party atmosphere with lights, music and fireworks.

The event will also have lots of motor-themed activities such as a giant scalextric, racing arcade games and free children’s workshops in Paisley Town Hall from 4pm.

Douglas Anderson, the rally’s UK co-ordinator and the man responsible for bringing the Monte Carlo Rally back to Scotland in 2011, said: “We are delighted that the youngsters of the community can get involved in the rally in this way and the winning design will be seen all over Europe.

“It’s wonderful to be returning to Paisley for the fifth year and we are looking forward to a huge turn out on January 31st.”

The Historique class is being run for the 21st year and is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. It will run over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews having undertaken a series of fourteen demanding test stages in the mountains of southern France.

The Classique event is for older cars from as early as 1911 to 1969 and follows the same route to Monte Carlo but does not include any test stages, the goal simply being to finish after checking in at a series of control points on the way, including Dumfries in the south of Scotland, Barnby Moor in Nottinghamshire and Banbury in Oxfordshire.

For more information please go to www.paisley2021.co.uk

Paisley singer-songwriter Lisa Kowalski has unveiled her very first music video – inspired by the positivity of her hometown.

“Hearts of Gold” recounts the 17-year-old’s experiences of busking on Paisley High Street since the age of 14 and the wave of support she has received from local people.

The video sees the up-and-coming singer joined by a crowd of fellow Buddies – including St Mirren Football Club mascot, the Paisley Panda, and youngsters from PACE Youth Theatre – as they dance along Paisley High Street and around some of the town’s iconic landmarks.

Lisa was awarded funding from Renfrewshire’s Culture Heritage and Events (CHE) Fund towards her debut EP “Free Spirits” and the filming of a music video for her single “Hearts of Gold”.

The CHE fund aims to raise cultural ambition, enhance participation and unlock creative potential in Renfrewshire.

It is one of the key legacies of Paisley’s 2021 bid for UK City of Culture and has so far supported 80 projects to the tune of more than £630,000.

Paisley was the only Scottish place on the shortlist for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition alongside Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland, Swansea and Coventry, which took the title.

Lisa’s video was filmed by local youth arts organisation Create Paisley, which has worked closely with Lisa in recent years through a number of song-writing programmes and events.

After unveiling her first music video, Lisa Kowalski said: “I’ve received so much support in Paisley since starting my music career and it only felt fair to give something back to show how grateful I am.

“It was so much fun to film and I was so happy that a lot of people turned up to take part. I absolutely love the way it turned out!

“I really think this video captures the amazing community and talent this town has to offer and the happiness that Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid has caused. Although we missed out on the title, we’ve still come really far and achieved so much in this journey and I believe that this town and the people in it will only continue to excel.”

The release marks the end of a successful year for the young musician after she reached the final six of Salute Music UK’s Top 100 competition in October.

Lisa’s original song “I Do” was selected by a panel of music industry judges to be one of 100 songs from over 2000 entries in the competition.

Renfrewshire Council Leader and Convenor of the Leadership Board, Councillor Iain Nicholson said: “Lisa’s video really captures the pride of Paisley and the positive journey around the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid – and it’s great to see another fantastic project benefiting from Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund.

“The CHE Fund has already supported amazing talent in the area, such as filmmaker Morgan Spence’s spectacular Lego animation about Paisley, a collaboration between local group right2dance and the internationally renowned Sir Matthew Bourne’s Re:Bourne company and much more.

“This funding is an important part of the legacy of Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and will continue to shine a spotlight on local talent across Renfrewshire.”

Applications for the next round of Renfrewshire’s CHE Fund should be submitted by February 12th 2018.

You can watch Lisa Kowalski’s video for “Hearts of Gold” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F19NLO8NsPs&feature=youtu.be

St Mirren FC will continue to fly the flag for Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid with an extension to a deal to keep its stadium name in place until the end of May 2018.

If the town takes title there will be an option to extend the sponsorship to retain the name of the Paisley 2021 Stadium until May 2022.

The news is announced as the club erected new signage outside the stadium and is an extension of the original two year two-year sponsorship and stadium naming rights deal struck with Renfrewshire Council in November 2015.

The venue was renamed from St Mirren Park to mark Paisley’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Paisley is shortlisted for the title alongside Coventry, Stoke-on-Trent, Sunderland and Swansea. The winner will be announced tomorrow evening by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, which organised the competition.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “St Mirren are at the heart of the community and we are delighted to have their continued support. Paisley’s bid journey has been a positive one and will continue no matter what the outcome.

“The Paisley 2021 stadium forms part of this legacy and keeps the name going.”

St Mirren Director Tony Fitzpatrick said: “The fortunes of the town and the club are interlinked and we are delighted to continue with our support of Paisley 2021.

“A winning year of culture would be great for both the town and the club.

“With the UK City of Culture decision imminent, we wish Paisley the very best of luck in its bid for the title.”

Final preparations are being made for the Paisley start of the 2018 historic rally run to Monte Carlo…..and it’s been confirmed there will be the largest number of entries so far with a total of 25 cars setting off for the 1500-mile trip to the South of France.

It’ll be the fifth time the town – the sole shortlisted Scottish entry for the title UK City of Culture 2021 – will be the only British start point of six European cities.

Pictured Alan Stark and Driver Sandy McEwan in a 1971 Porsche ,Douglas Anderson the Uk Coordinator with his 1961 Triumph Herald ,Tony Fitzpatrick Chief Executive St Mirren Football Club and Rally Driver Iain MacDonald from Kilmacolm in a 1967 Saab 96 with Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron
Final preparations are being made for the Paisley start of the the 2018 historic rally run to Monte Carlo…..and its been confirmed there will be the largest number of entries so far with a total of 25 Cars setting off for the 15000-mile trip to the south of france.Itll be the 5th time the town -the sole shortlisted Scottish entry for the UK city of culture 2021 will be the only British start point of six european cities.
All rally enquiries to Alan Douglas -alan.doug@ntlworld.com
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk
www.gibsondigital.co.uk
All images © Gibson Digital 2017. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the commissioning client’s press-released story. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

Close to a hundred cars in total are expected to leave the start ramp outside Paisley Abbey at 6pm on Wednesday January 31st in three separate categories.

The Historique class is being run for the 21st year and is restricted to car models which competed in the Monte Carlo Rallies between 1955 and 1980. It will run over eight days on open public roads with the cars and crews having undertaken a series of fourteen demanding test stages in the mountains of southern France.

The Classique event is for older cars from as early as 1911 to 1969 and follows the same route to Monte Carlo but does not include any test stages, the goal simply being to finish in Monte Carlo after checking in at a series of control points on the way, including Dumfries in the south of Scotland, Barnby Moor in Nottinghamshire and Banbury in Oxfordshire.

Once again the event will feature the popular Monte Heritage Runs which will follow on from the full-scale events and motoring enthusiasts in a range of interesting cars from over the years will take in a series of short classic routes in Scotland, including Aberdeen, Dumfries and Stirling.

Pictured Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron in a 1967 Saab 96
Final preparations are being made for the Paisley start of the the 2018 historic rally run to Monte Carlo…..and its been confirmed there will be the largest number of entries so far with a total of 25 Cars setting off for the 15000-mile trip to the south of france.Itll be the 5th time the town -the sole shortlisted Scottish entry for the UK city of culture 2021 will be the only British start point of six european cities.
All rally enquiries to Alan Douglas -alan.doug@ntlworld.com
Mark F Gibson / Gibson Digital
infogibsondigital@gmail.co.uk
www.gibsondigital.co.uk
All images © Gibson Digital 2017. Free first use only for editorial in connection with the commissioning client’s press-released story. All other rights are reserved. Use in any other context is expressly prohibited without prior permission.

In January this year a crowd of around 10,000 gathered in the centre of Paisley with the magnificent backdrop of the Abbey to wave off the crews in a party atmosphere with lights, music, street food and fireworks…..and working with staff from Renfrewshire Council and volunteers from many motorsport clubs in Scotland, the organisers are confident of making the start even bigger and better next year.

At today’s official launch of the 2018 event at St Mirren Football Club’s ground, the Paisley 2021 Stadium, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “We are delighted to welcome the only UK start leg of this prestigious international event back to Paisley for another year – and it’s great to have the support of St Mirren.

“The cars are always a really popular spectacle which draw a big crowd into the town centre and I am looking forward to waving them off on the night as they head to Monte-Carlo.

“By the time the event rolls around we will know if Paisley has been successful in its bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 – events like this one are a huge part of our plans to bring visitors into Paisley and boost the local economy.”

St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick added: “Paisley means everything to St Mirren, so we support anything which helps put the town on the map – and Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and this event both certainly do that.

“We enjoyed welcoming the cars to the Paisley 2021 Stadium and I’m sure they will generate another great turnout in the town centre.”

Douglas Anderson, the UK co-ordinator and the man responsible for bringing the Monte back to Scotland in 2011, will be leading the cars off to Monte Carlo in his 1961 Triumph Herald Coupe.

He said: “The Paisley Abbey Start of the Monte Carlo Rally is acknowledged to be the best of all the Rally Starts, with thousands of Paisley buddies cheering the cars and crews on their way to the snowy Alps and on to the sunshine in Monte Carlo.”

Among the entrants who’ll be heading for Monte Carlo in the Historique Class is Iain MacDonald of Kilmacolm, along with Swedish co-driver Patrick Toorell in his 1967 Saab 96.

He’s looking forward to the adventure: “I competed in rallies in the Sixties and Seventies around the UK and more recently in Scandinavia but the Monte has got to be the ultimate and it’ll be a challenge in our 50 year old Saab. It’ll be interesting to set off from Paisley Abbey. I was married there in 1972.”

Also taking part in the Historiques is Sandy McEwen and Alan Stark in a rare 1971 Porsche 914/6 which Sandy has bought specially for the event. Although Sandy has more than 45 years of experience in motorsport including driving single-seaters, GTs, saloons and historics, he describes himself as “a rallying newbie”.

One of the crews in the Classique Class is Albert De May and co-driver Roland De Bargigli from Belgium. They’ll be driving their 1936 Chevrolet Coupe and had originally planned to set off from Lisbon but when that start point was cancelled they opted instead for Paisley.

“I love the UK and especially Scotland so it’s all worked out well. The Paisley start point also gives us the opportunity to travel through more attractive routes,”

said Albert.

All the competing cars will assemble from around 4pm in the precincts of Paisley Abbey on the evening of Wednesday January 31st before setting off at 6pm for the long drive south.

 

More information can be found at www.monte.scot

Local heroes across Renfrewshire are to be recognised as the Provost’s Community Awards open once again for nominations.

The awards are into their third decade and aim to give civic recognition to those who work or live in Renfrewshire, and are making a difference to their community.

Nominations can be made in six categories this year, an increase from five in previous years.

A new Arts and Culture award has been created which will seek out the hidden, or not so hidden, gems who light up Renfrewshire’s cultural scene.

Five other awards, Community Group, Community Volunteer, Sporting Achievement, Carers’ Award and Employer of the Year, give the opportunity for local people to give recognition to their colleagues, friends and family for the work they do in their community.

Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron said: “This will be my first Community Awards in my role as Provost and I can’t wait to see the nominations coming in.

“Our area is full of inspiring community members who deserve to be recognised for the difference they make to the lives of those around them.

“There are a number of different categories to nominate in so don’t miss your chance and nominate the people or groups who you think deserve to win a Community Award.”

The Community Group award is sponsored by the Piazza Shopping Centre and celebrates the organisations in Renfrewshire that have a positive effect on their communities.

Sponsored by Glasgow Airport, the Community Volunteer award recognises those who give their time and effort for nothing more than the knowledge that they are making a difference to their community.

Perennial award sponsor Acre Industrial will present the Sporting Achievement award to the person, team or group who have represented Renfrewshire to a high standard this year in the sporting arena.

Former Renfrewshire Provost Nancy Allison, who has been a part of each of the Community Awards since its inception, donates the Carers Award which recognises anyone who cares for a relative, friend or neighbour.

This year, Employer of the Year is sponsored by UNISON and encourages nominations for employers who have provided a positive working environment and have gone above and beyond the call of duty for their staff.

Anyone who lives or works in Renfrewshire can be nominated for an award.

Further information can be found on www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/provostawards

Printed nomination forms are available at Council offices and facilities.

The closing date for nominations is Friday 1 December.

The winners in each category will be invited to a special ceremony which will be held in March 2017

For further enquiries contact: provostawards@renfrewshire.gov.uk.