Open Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Venues all over Renfrewshire are preparing to throw open their doors and invite people to delve deeper into their history.

Doors Open Days – Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment, old and new – takes place this weekend, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September.

Open Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

More than 50 buildings across Renfrewshire – many of which do not normally allow access to what’s going on behind the scenes – will welcome people of all ages, and share interesting stories on Renfrewshire’s history and heritage.

Activities will take place in Paisley, Renfrew, Linwood, Johnstone, Lochwinnoch, Kilbarchan, Bridge of Weir, Houston, Erskine and Inchinnan.

New venues introduced across Renfrewshire this year include – Brediland Allotments, Grow in Glenburn, Fountain Gardens, PACE, Paisley Florist Society Gardening Club, Renfrewshire Witch Hunt Experience, Wellmeadow Bowling Club, Renfrew Association of Growers & Gardeners, Renfrew Police office, Renfrew North Parish Church and Johnstone Credit Union.

A group of intrepid individuals will also be going underground on a tour of Paisley’s medieval Abbey Drain. Places on this year’s tour were decided by a ballot.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Doors Open Day nationally, with more than 1000 buildings set to open across the country.

Open Doors at Renfrewshire. 8.9.18

Renfrewshire Provost Lorraine Cameron will be visiting a few of the venues on Saturday.

Provost Cameron said: “Doors Open Days is a weekend full of learning and fun and it’s always great to see people of all ages taking part.

“To have more than 50 venues signed up to take part this year is fantastic, and I’m looking forward to hearing interesting stories about our history and heritage that will inform our future.

“Major events like this are great for the local economy as they get people out and about and spending money locally. I hope that people of all ages take time out this weekend to get involved.”

Doors Open Days is coordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust and is part of European Heritage Days supported by Historic Environment Scotland.

Visitors are being encouraged to share their Doors Open Days photos on social media using  #DODSCOT

A full list of venues can be viewed online at https://paisley.is/featured_event/renfrewshire-doors-open-days/

For a look forward to what’s coming up across Renfrewshire visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/events or www.paisley.is

A local fostering agency is urging more families to become foster parents once their children leave the family home for university. 

With over 200,000 18-year olds from across the UK being offered a university place this year, Fosterplus, which provides fostering services in Paisley is looking for more parents to open up their hearts and homes to welcome children in need of care, support and love. 

The latest heart-breaking statistics from Ofsted show that 53,040 children were in care as of 31st March 2018, an increase of just over 1,000 compared to 2017 figures. This staggering number of children is enough to fill Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium. 

To support the growing number of young people entering care, it’s currently estimated that over 8,000 families are required to become foster parents.

Fostering is a professional and paid role that welcomes people from all walks of life, but those who have brought up their own children will already have the experience and life skills that are so sought after in foster carers. 

Service Manager, Katie Broatch, commented; “As children grow up and move on to new adventures, it’s not rare to see parents going through what’s known as Empty Nesters Syndrome where they can experience feelings of grief and loneliness.” 

She continued; “While not a clinical condition, research has shown that it can result in depression and a loss of purpose. Instead of focusing on these negative feelings, we want parents to reflect on their life’s purpose and make them aware of how valuable they could be to a foster child.

“As they enter this new stage in life where children are leaving home, they’ll be in the perfect position to welcome a new child as their home will already be set up accommodatingly. Not only this but as they have cared for their own child, they’ll have built up so much experience and care, making them invaluable to a child in need.”

 

Fosterplus is an independent fostering agency whose aim as a fostering provider is to ensure that those in their care lead happy, stable, active childhoods – childhoods that provide the foundations for fulfilled and productive adulthoods.

If you would like to find out more about fostering, call the friendly team on 0800 369 8512 or visit https://www.fosterplus.co.uk/.

town hall

This small video was taken in and around Paisley for us by Paisley Buddie Drone Flights (no drones were used this time).

It shows a lot of local landmarks and is created in a way which is called motion capture, sit back and enjoy. This is the first video they have created so lessons learned and they will only get better…

You can see the drone videos created by Paisley Buddie Drone Flights by clicking here.

andy campbell

Andy Campbell has received an Honorary Doctorate from University of the West of Scotland (UWS) at its Paisley graduation ceremony (Wednesday 3rd July 2019) held at Paisley Abbey.

The Paisley born businessman has a wealth of experience in business start-ups and scale-ups spanning his 20-plus year career during which time he has concluded over £25m in international contracts, secured £2m in venture capital, and been responsible for the strategic vision, creation and management of several creative IT businesses, specifically within the Video Games sector.

andy campbell

Presently, Andy heads up the Accelerator Division for Elevator, a social enterprise at the heart of Scotland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem which supports start-ups, scale-ups and entrepreneurs. He has been instrumental in the creation of a Centre for Entrepreneurship in both Aberdeen and Dundee, as well as the formation of a Creative Accelerator Programme in Perth, a new programme in the Highlands & Islands and the ‘Global Domination’ Accelerator aimed at internationalisation of Scotland’s digital media and Video Game Sector.

A big ambassador of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), he works tirelessly to inspire future generations of Scientists and Engineers, and also consults as European Commercial Director for the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET). The UK registered charity uses space to inspire and motivate young people to believe they can become whatever they want to be.

Andy was instrumental in bringing the ISSET Mission Discovery programme for schools to Paisley, which UWS hosted last month. Here, school children had the chance to work with astronauts, rocket scientists and NASA leaders to design an experiment to be launched into space and carried out by Astronauts on the International Space Station. As part of this, NASA astronaut, Dr Michael Foale (CBE), the most experienced British-born astronaut in the history of human spaceflight, gave a lecture to UWS staff, students and members of the public.

Andy is also a champion of his hometown and is a Founding Trustee of the Paisley Community Trust which aims to deliver community focused economic regeneration in the town.

Commenting on his Honorary Doctorate from UWS, Andy Campbell said: “The world truly is a wonderful place, filled with beauty, intelligence and opportunity. On spaceship Earth there are no passengers, only crew. As earth hurtles through the universe, I work away each day with the simple hope of assisting my fellow crew. I hope they can discover, explore, pioneer and learn. Fulfilling their potential whilst leaving a positive legacy behind. Allowing the next generation to stand on our and their shoulders to reach even greater heights.

“It is with this principle and ethos that I do what I do. Therefore, I am both honoured and humbled to be recognised and awarded with an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the West of Scotland.”

Andy Campbell – Elevator

craig-mahoney-and-andy-campbell-2

Professor Craig Mahoney Principal and Vice-Chancellor, UWS said: “Andy is a hugely inspiring individual with deep roots in Paisley and so it is with great pride we have presented him with an Honorary Doctorate from UWS.”

“His entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen make him an inspiring role model for our students and his efforts to champion STEM aligns closely with our own ambitions as a university.”

UWS Principal Prof Craig Mahoney

Professor Gary McEwan, CEO of Elevator, said: “Having worked with Andy for more than two decades, I couldn’t think of a more deserving individual for this title. Throughout our working relationship we have weathered a few business storms; however, Andy’s entrepreneurial mindset, ambition and drive have played an instrumental role in seeing us come out on top every time.

“Elevator prides itself on creating and nurturing an entrepreneurial society. Andy’s ethos mirrors this and I know that he will work tirelessly alongside our dedicated team to see us achieve our goals. Personally, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate, not only a hugely respected member of our team, but an old friend too.

Andy received his Honorary Doctorate at a ceremony alongside 189 graduates of UWS’ School of Media, Culture and Society.

inspiring-women

UWS are delighted to host Professor Sheila Rowan, MBE, as their next Inspiring Women speaker on the 13th February on their Paisley Campus.  As Chief Scientific Adviser for Scotland, Prof Rowan ensures the Scottish Government has access to the best scientific advice to inform and guide policy across all areas.  Prof Rowan’s research was awarded a share of the 2016 Special Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics for her and the member of team’s input into the discovery of Gravitational Waves. An elected Fellow of the Royal Society, Sheila is in good company with the likes of luminaries such as Einstein.

inspiring-women

The UWS Inspiring Women Lecture Series was developed at the request of Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Craig Mahoney, to provide an opportunity for staff, students and members of the public to hear from women who have been successful within their field, be that within science, arts, humanities, business or other areas. The diverse range of speakers has encouraged engagement and discussion, and the series is now a regular and important feature in the University events calendar.  The events this year have been made possible by the kind sponsorship of akp Scotland Ltd.

Their most recent Inspiring Woman, Shona McCarthy, CEO of the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival Society said:

“the event was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the success, creativity and determination of women in leadership.  UWS have created an important platform that helps to shine a spotlight of positivity on what women can achieve and can aspire to be, and I was delighted to be a part of it.  I loved getting the chance to meet with some of the students from UWS and local Colleges, and to hear about their ambitions and focus for the future”.

The event is free but ticketed, with tickets (going fast) available via Eventbrite:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/making-waves-in-science-professor-sheila-rowan-mbe-tickets-53700943969?aff=erelexpmlt

More information about the Inspiring Women lecture series can be found here:

https://www.uws.ac.uk/about-uws/a-21st-century-university/uws-inspires/inspiring-women/

Chloe Wright

A new project in Paisley will support start-up businesses looking to make the leap into their first commercial premises.

Chloe Wright

The town’s George Street will become Start-Up Street as vacant Renfrewshire Council-owned units are adapted into a range of low-cost, high-quality digitally-connected workspaces for up to 20 businesses.

It follows a survey of new and early-stage Renfrewshire businesses, with more than 80% looking for subsidised space to grow, but many citing high costs and a lack of know-how preventing them taking this significant step.

George Street is next to the University of the West of Scotland business school and close to the council’s existing economic development hubs.

Businesses based here will benefit from an on-site business advisor, training space and a shared reception.

George Street

Each company can rent the space for up to two years, with lease costs incrementally increased until they are ready to move to an alternative commercial space in Renfrewshire.

The Council’s Leadership Board rubber-stamped the proposals yesterday (Wednesday 5 December 2018) and now its economic development team will further develop the plans, working jointly with London Youth Support Trust, a charity which specialises in supporting young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We have a responsibility to nurture new businesses and Start-Up Street is being developed in response to what local businesses are telling us they need.

“It will provide a whole package of support to enable businesses to overcome any barriers and grow sustainably, offering an environment which helps them achieve long-term sustainability, moving into commercial premises in our town centres.

Laura Provan

“We’re excited to be working in partnership with the London Youth Support Trust, who have an excellent track record in helping young people progress, adding to our own economic development team’s fantastic achievements in helping local businesses to grow and local people to find jobs.”

The project comes as Renfrewshire’s regeneration continues to make excellent progress, according to the latest economic indicators.

Renfrewshire’s Economic Profile published this week highlights an employment rate outstripping its neighbouring local authorities and well above the national average.

There are more than 4500 private companies based in Renfrewshire, with a lower average closure rate recorded than across the rest of the country.

And over a two-year period, visitors to Renfrewshire attractions have risen by more than 400,000, while ambitious housebuilding targets remain firmly on target, with 630 new homes completed in the first nine months of 2017.

Councillor Nicolson added: “The latest economic figures give us many reasons to be positive and Start-Up Street is the latest investment in Renfrewshire’s future, building on the five-year funding we have put in place to deliver support to the people and places who need it most.

“We boast the best performing employability programmes in Scotland and our local economy is growing, bolstered by an incredible rise in visitor numbers to the area.

“Against a tough financial outlook for all councils, we remain committed to creating the conditions which attract more companies and bring more jobs to Renfrewshire, ensuring inclusive growth across the region.”

Interested businesses can contact InCube Start-Up on 0300 300 1180 or email incube@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Loopy Lally Designs

Textile designer Chloe Wright is excited by the opportunity Start-Up Street will offer for creative businesses. The former Paisley Grammar School pupil founded Loopy Lally Designs in 2017, producing colourful, abstract interior products including cushions, framed prints and lampshades.

Having outgrown her Paisley house, Chloe is now looking to establish her own premises. She said: “I work from home in the wee spare room, but I’m fast running out of space and from a professional perspective, I don’t want to be inviting people into my house.

“My business is growing and moving into new premises is the natural next step for me, it’s really exciting. You can be waiting for years for studio space so Start-Up Street is coming at the perfect time.

“It sounds great, especially having business advice available whenever you need it. Sometimes you can be too close to your business and so it helps to pick people’s brains and get helpful feedback. It’s really exciting what’s happening in Paisley and for school kids to know that there is an opportunity to do creative arts and set up your own business in the town is great.”

www.loopylally.com

Paisley Pins

For Laura Provan, the buddie behind Paisley Pins, the opportunity Start-Up Street will provide is a “no-brainer” for businesses.

Laura took on her own workspace in her hometown this summer and has not looked back as her popular product continues to build a local, and international customer base.

“It’s amazing the amount of people with connections to Paisley that I meet, I even get orders from Paisley in Oregon in the USA. The acrylic pins continue to fly off the shelves and now there’s a much more diverse product range on offer, with ear-rings and necklaces, tie pins and cuff links.

“I’d been looking for premises for a while as I just didn’t have the space I needed to keep working from home and it was a lonely experience being there, with no opportunities to meet people or collaborate and lots of distractions like tidying up after my kids.

“Having a dedicated workspace has been fantastic, having somewhere where people can find me has definitely improved my business-to-business relationships. Upstairs there’s workspaces for other jewellers to rent out and downstairs we’ve space to run workshops.

“The emotional connection people have with jewellery is very important and people want to know the provenance of a product so it was so important to me that my Paisley product is made here in Paisley.

“Start-Up Street is a fantastic idea and it’s the one thing myself and other creative businesses have always said was sorely missing. It is definitely something people should go for if they’re looking for space, advice and being able to move their business forward – it’s a no-brainer and can only be a positive move.”

www.paisleypins.com

paisley own hall
Ensuring the benefits of Renfrewshire’s ‘buoyant’ economy reach right across the region was the hot topic at the area’s annual Economic Development Conference yesterday (Tuesday 20 November 2018).
paisley own hall
More than 150 staff from jobs, skills and economic development agencies attended the popular conference organised by Renfrewshire Council’s economic development team Invest in Renfrewshire, held at Paisley Town Hall, which this year focused on tackling inequalities and delivering inclusive growth.
Delegates heard how Renfrewshire’s economy is greatly improved, with the highest employment rate across the Glasgow city region and more businesses generating a greater turnover than this time last year.
paisley own hall
They also learned about new developments and opportunities set to boost the economy even more, including a manufacturing innovation district being developed next to Glasgow Airport and £100million being invested to transform Paisley town centre and its cultural venues.
Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills delivered the keynote speech.
He said: “The Scottish Government recognises a strong, vibrant and diverse economy is essential to our national prosperity. We are committed to delivering inclusive growth and tackling the inequalities that prevent people from achieving their potential.
“We have invested £48 million to develop a National Manufacturing Institute for Scotland. Located at Inchinnan, Renfrewshire, it will provide support for manufacturing businesses, help to attract investment, and connect all of Scotland’s engineering universities and colleges.
“Our devolved employability support service, Fair Start Scotland, offers a distinctly Scottish approach where participation is voluntary for everyone who chooses to take part. We want the process of finding work and starting a new job to be seen as an opportunity and choosing to take the opportunity of support can’t be driven by fear of sanctions.”
Colleagues from Creative Scotland and the Council’s regeneration team outlined plans to develop Renfrewshire’s creative economy, while delegates also discussed the changing labour market.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Renfrewshire’s economy is buoyant, and this conference sees the organisations contributing to its success share best practice and consider the next steps.
“We’re helping more people find and sustain work and are working hard to create the conditions which bring new businesses to the area and enable established businesses to grow and innovate.
“Over the next five years we have made a long-term commitment to help people most in need into work and do more to support start-up and early stage businesses with exciting plans in place to grow the creative business sector and attract thousands of high skilled jobs in manufacturing.
“I am pleased that the conference focused on how best to achieve inclusive growth as this is central to improving the opportunities for current and future generations in Renfrewshire. It is vital the area’s economic growth benefits everyone and that’s why we are targeting our resources to communities facing deprivation and to help people unemployed and underemployed.”
Fast facts on the Renfrewshire economy
• Business incubator InCube supports the start-up of 300 new businesses each year
• Programmes to help people into work are rated the best performing in Scotland
• At 76.1%, our employment rate outstrips the entire Glasgow city region
• Weekly earnings for Renfrewshire residents are £28.50 higher than the Scottish average
• Hosting major events this summer boosted the local economy by £1.25million
• 80% of 16-64-year-olds are economically active, but by 2041, our working age population is expected to decrease by 2.1%
• Manufacturing provides employment to 11% of our total workforce with 358 different manufacturing sites in the area, including world-renowned Rolls-Royce and Diageo.
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Photo 1 shows the Town Hall conference
Photo 2 shows (l-r): Ruth Cooper, Economic Development Manager, Renfrewshire Council; Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Scottish Government; Alasdair Morrison, Regeneration Manager, Renfrewshire Council and Councillor Marie McGurk, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Communities, Housing and Planning Policy Board.

Here is a little photograph for you. A certain generation will remember, and probably have fond memories of, the Paisley Public Baths at the bottom of Storie Street. 

As you can see we are looking up from the bottom of Storie Street, you can see the building on the left and main entrance to the baths (just where the people are standing to the side of the car).

Unfortunately, the Public Baths were closed and demolished in the mid 1980’s as well as the buildings on the right-hand side of the street and both sites were left vacant for many years. 

The only buildings in this picture that remain are the building at the top of the street (High Street) which is now shared by a cafe, “Deli Malatso” and what was an insurance broker and the building top right, “Leisureland”.

Fortunately over the years there have been major developments, mainly by the University of the West of Scotland. From top right (next to the Leisureland building) is the University’s Students Union building – a big multi-level purple building and further down is the Paisley Shopping Centre multi-storey car park.

Also to the left, what was the Paisley Baths is now the impressive new student library complex which along with (out of shot) the new dormitories for students, which would be to the right of the picture.

The side entrance to the University also has a brand new shop called ReMode and this is what brings us to why we have combined an old photograph with the new.

ReMode is a youth-focused organisation aiming to raise awareness of the environmental impact of the textiles industry.  They started originally in Lochwinnoch and have now opened new premises in the university in Paisley.

Both venues serve as learning hubs where local communities can access information about climate change and decide on actions they can take to tackle it.

They run a programme of free workshops and events for ages 11 up to adult, from classes in upcycling and clothing alteration, natural dyes, and screen printing to hands-on learning from local artists and makers. You can find out more about their programme of events here.

You can also visit their facebook page by visiting https://www.facebook.com/remodeyouth/.

We hope you liked the mix of old and new to show you exactly where ReMode is and have a wee blast of the past too.

Image of old Baths Copyright of David Douglas, modern day (right-hand side Brian McGuire) and Front entrance Copyright Danielle McGuire

Renfrewshire Council is looking for the views of Paisley town centre businesses on how it can best work with them during the ongoing £100m investment in town centre venues and infrastructure.

The council is leading an overhaul of the town’s cultural venues as part of wider push to use the Paisley’s unique cultural, heritage and events offer to drive new footfall and help transform the whole area.

That includes a £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections, and a £22m revamp of Paisley Town Hall into a landmark performance venue to stay at the heart of local life for future generations.

But that work means the museum is planned to close in September until 2022 and the town hall at the end of the year until 2021 – so the council is keen to talk to businesses now about how best to work with them during that period.

An online survey has been created which is available now which aims to inform Paisley town centre businesses about the upcoming work and invites their views on its impact, and asks how they would like to be kept up to date, and their views on ongoing town centre regeneration work.

Staff from the council and Renfrewshire Leisure will also be contacting some of the businesses closest to the museum in coming weeks to talk to them in person about how the building’s closure and future construction work might affect them.

Anyone interested in keeping up to date with news relating to Paisley town centre can now sign up for Paisley town centre email news updates via the council’s new gov.delivery news service – available via Renfrewshire.gov.uk.

Other projects coming over the next few years include a new learning and cultural hub housing library services on the High Street, a £2.5m upgrade to Paisley Arts Centre, and major investment in key outdoor public spaces and transport junctions.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson launched the survey this week while meeting local business at a question-and-answer event organised by Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce.

He said: “The upcoming investment in cultural venues is the next stage of a journey aimed at transforming the whole area by promoting culture, heritage and events.

“Changes to the way people shop and live have changed the role of town centres everywhere – but we believe investing in our unique assets is the way we have to go to bring new life to Paisley.

“We are already seeing the benefits of that through our successful major events programme and in the boost to our reputation and profile which came through Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

“We predict the revamped museum will quadruple current visitor numbers to 125,000 a year and the town hall will see visitors double to around 100,000. That will create new footfall, jobs and opportunities for the long-term – which will create benefits across Renfrewshire.

“But there will be a period of disruption while we get there and we are determined to work hand in hand with businesses to understand how we can help them during that period.

“Our starting point for doing that is this survey – I would encourage as many Paisley town centre businesses as possible to fill it out as your feedback will help us work with you better.”

The survey is at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/haveyoursay

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has welcomed new statistics which show that a record number of students from Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas have successfully gained a place at university.

The UCAS figures show the number of prospective students from the 20% most deprived areas – SIMD 20 – successfully getting a place at a UK university has risen by 5% to a new record level for all ages and by 9% for 18 year olds, taking the increase for 18 year olds to 21% since 2016. This comes alongside UCAS reporting a 3.1% fall in the total number of 18-year-olds in the overall population of Scotland.

This year the total number of Scottish students getting a place at a Scottish university has also hit a new record high of 28,970, up 4%.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“University should be an option for everyone regardless of their background or their circumstances. We still have a road to travel to ensure that everyone has an equal chance of accessing a university education. However, these figures show that Scotland is making good progress on widening access with the number of students from Scotland’s most deprived areas accepted into university increasing to a record high for the third year in a row.

“Universities could learn a lot on this from our local university, the University of the West of Scotland, which is leading the sector in recruiting students from some of the most deprived backgrounds.

“We still have work to do on this, but progress is being made and we’re on the right track. Good luck to all those new students who are about to start their studies in September.