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.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has congratulated all the UWS students who graduated recently, including his wife, Lynn.

Gavin Newlands attended the UWS Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday 4th July in the Paisley Abbey to support his wife, Lynn, who graduated with a first class honours degree in Human Management.

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

“Congratulations to all the student who graduated from UWS. It’s a fantastic achievement to have reached this stage and I hope all the student and their families had a memorable day in the Paisley Abbey.

“Graduation days are always special occasions for the student, but they’re probably more memorable for the wider family who are in attendance to celebrate this special occasion. I know this as I am incredibly proud of my wife Lynn who joined her fellow students in graduating.

“I am extremely proud of Lynn’s success and she has worked incredibly hard to graduate with a first class honours degree. Not only is she a full-time mother, who has to put up with me being in London for most of the week, but she also works part-time as well. She’s put in the effort and the whole family is proud of her.

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland, said:

“I was pleased to welcome MP Gavin Newlands to our ceremony at Paisley Abbey on Wednesday 4 July to celebrate the achievements of all our graduates, but in particular his wife Lynne, who I know he is incredibly proud of.”

A primary school voted the first Scottish recipient of UK Literacy School of the Year has been given a glowing report by inspectors.

Staff from Education Scotland visited St Anthony’s in Spateston, Johnstone in April and spoke with pupils, staff and parents.

The school received ‘very good evaluations’ over all four quality indicators and was praised by inspectors for its ‘literacy rich’ environment.

Head teacher Jacqueline McBurnie’s ‘clear strategic direction’ and ‘strong personal and professional commitment to meeting the needs of all children’ was also picked up.

The school was praised with helping to close the poverty related attainment gap and the report noted: “Children facing barriers in their learning, including those facing socio-economic challenge are making good progress.

“There are positive signs that the work of the school is having an impact on closing the attainment gap.”

The school’s welcoming ethos was also praised, as well as it’s ‘supportive culture’ for learning.

Head Teacher Jacqueline McBurnie said: “I am delighted that our school community has received such a positive inspection report. This is testimony to the strong team spirt we have built in St. Anthony’s where our values are at the core of what we try to achieve, every day in every way for everyone. “

The inspection report also detailed how children are benefitting from being part of an inclusive learning community in which issues of poor behaviour are rare.

Inspectors said: “Children behave very well in classes and are eager and motivated to learn. Staff have a strong commitment to creating a purposeful learning climate for children. In addition, there is a strong and shared focus from all staff to build children’s resilience in learning and communication skills. The impact is that children feel nurtured, cared for and are keen to learn.”

Another significant strength identified by inspectors was the ‘strong collegiate culture and professional engagement’ which enables staff to work well together and to feel valued and supported.

Ensuring children’s wellbeing is another strength of the school, with children valued, cared for, respected and included.

The school also houses a unit for children with communication disorders such as autism, and children with additional support needs are well supported.

The 35 children there benefit from the ‘warm, nurturing ethos’, with the overall environment for learning and teaching showing a commitment to children’s well-being and development.

Inspectors deemed the overall quality of teaching as very good and added: “Staff have a strong understanding of the individual strengths and needs of children and use this well in their teaching. Overall, teaching is motivating and interesting and engages learners well. “

Renfrewshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “We are committed to ensuring that all our children and young people are supported to reach their full potential by providing the best learning environments possible.

“It’s wonderful to see the hard work and drive of the head teacher and staff at St Anthony’s being rewarded with such a positive inspection report.

“As well as making strides in closing the attainment gap and providing access to high quality teaching, it’s also clear that the school’s nurturing and caring environment is benefitting pupils.”

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay is encouraging students to submit their 2018/2019 funding applications now.

SAAS have now opened applications for 2018/2019 full and part time courses.

To ensure students have their funding in place for the start of their course all students should apply now, submitting their complete application along with all the required supporting evidence.

Visit www.saas.gov.uk now for more information and to access your SAAS Account.

SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting students throughout their education.

“I would not want anyone to miss out on the funding and support they are entitled to. Therefore, all students should submit their applications as soon as possible.”

SAAS Chief Executive, Paul Lowe said:

“We are pleased to open funding applications for both part-time and full-time students on the same day.  Each year SAAS handles over a quarter of a million applications. I would encourage students to apply now to ensure they receive their funding in good time. Eligible students should

Local pupils learned more about Paisley’s unique built heritage at an event encouraging people to share their favourite snaps of the town’s architectural gems.

The pupils from Ralston Primary School attended the launch event for the Story Map, held at UWS. The Story Map aims to capture a visual record of historic properties within Paisley Town Centre Conservation Area. Pupils were asked to share their photos, memories and comments on buildings in the town they either have links with or simply admire to have their entry added to the Story Map. The map also shares knowledge about local heritage.

 

The pupils brought along a digital copy of their image along with a comment explaining their reason for choosing their shot.

 

In addition to presenting their photographs the pupils also received a talk with advice on how to photograph buildings from local professional photographer Tommy Graham.

 

Eight pupils from the school received winner certificates for their contributions to the map, including Eva McOuat whose picture of Paisley Abbey was selected to be included in the Story Map.

 

“It was a really fun event to be part of and it was even better to be able to go along with all my friends. I really enjoyed hearing from the professional photographer about how to take great pictures and I was so surprised and pleased to get a certificate for my picture – I really didn’t expect it.”

 

Deputy Head Teacher at Ralston Primary School, Caron Kerr, said: “The Story Map gave the children a great reason to learn more about the local heritage and history of the town they live in. The children undertook the exercise in their own time with the support of parents. It was wonderful to see their perspective on their own place and encouraged them to get out and about to look at the local area.”

 

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Cllr Iain Nicolson, said: “Paisley’s architecture is unique with many iconic buildings that you wouldn’t see anywhere else. It’s a real jewel in the crown of the town.

 

“It’s wonderful to see so many of our young people recognising the town’s beauty through its historic buildings. Congratulations to all the pupils for their fantastic contributions to the Story Map.”

 

The Story Map will go on to be used as a public online resource where people can view and continue to contribute to the story capturing the town’s built environment as time goes on.

 

This forms a key part of the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme 2 (TH.CARS2) which is funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council and will deliver grant opportunities to property owners in a defined area of the town centre for high quality building repairs and shopfront improvements.

 

To find out more about the TH.CARS2 project please visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THCars2 or to find out more about the Story Map please visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/THcars2StoryMap.

Brexit Blamed For Fall In EU Students

The latest UCAS figures reveal that a record number of Scots were accepted to UK universities in 2017 and Scottish universities opened their doors to record numbers of new students.
While all other UK countries saw a decrease in the number of their residents accepted to university, Scotland bucks the trend with increasing numbers of Scots accepted to universities here.

Meanwhile, after years of positive growth, UCAS has cited Brexit as a possible cause for the 4.4% decline in EU applicants choosing to come and study in the UK.

The damage that this Brexit-fuelled reduction in EU students will do to both our economy and the world of academia is highlighted by the Universities UK research which found that EU students generated £414.1m for the Scottish economy in 2011-12, and in doing so created 3,743 jobs.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

“It is fantastic that Scotland’s education system has supported 36,500 people to secure a place at university this year – that’s a 2.4% increase on last year.

“We are also bucking the trend with increasing numbers of Scots accepted to universities here, while all other UK nations have experienced a decline in local applications to university.

“And while it’s great that Scottish universities opened their doors to record numbers in 2017, it is concerning that the UK has become an increasingly less popular destination for EU students since the Brexit vote last year. This is bad news for our universities and for the wider Scottish economy, which is boosted by hundreds of millions of pounds generated by EU students each year.

“The Tories’ increasingly insular approach to the world and the endless uncertainty they have created for EU citizens living here in Paisley is damaging the UK’s reputation, our economy and future prosperity, and the SNP will do all in its power to protect EU citizens in Paisley and continue making Scotland an attractive place to work and study.”

COACHES from Kilbarchan Amateur Athletic Club ran out with a hat-trick of wins at the annual Renfrewshire Sports Awards.
Arthur Smith won both the Community Coach of the Year and Dedication to Sport awards along with John Rodger, who lifted the Event Volunteer of 2017 award.

Arthur has been a member of Kilbarchan AAC for more than 50 years and has been coaching young athletes for three decades, including Scottish internationalist, Laura Stark and GB runner, Jemma Reekie.
John has been involved with the club for more than 20 years and has been instrumental in the development of athletics – cross-country, road race and track and field events in Renfrewshire’s schools. He is also heavily involved in organising the popular annual Paisley 10k Race and Fun Run.

Other winners presented with awards at the event,organised by Renfrewshire Lerisure and held at a ceremony in Johnstone Town Hall, were – Development Coach of the Year, Susan Wright, who is head coach of Clyde Judo Club; Young Coach of the Year, Claire Scougall, who coaches Paisley Juniors Netball Club and Volunteer of the Year was won by Joanne McDowall, who has developed sporting activity at Barsail Primary, in Erskine.
Young Volunteer of the Year went to Lusia Steele, who delivers school health days at Barsail Primary and volunteers at the Johnstone Jets cycling club; Disability Coach of the Year is Rachel Killens, who is a disabled athlete herself and coaches swimmers with additional support needs.

And Jack Thomson, a referee at the Basketball Paisley Friday Night Superleague, West Regional Development League and other Scottish League games, won the Technical Official of the Year award.
The Honour Our School Sports Award was given to one student from every local secondary school who has shown commitment to sport. The winners were –
Alan Rice, Linwood High; Amy McCann, Renfrew High; Craig Kennedy, Park Mains High; Eilidh Murphy, Gleniffer High; Franca Paterson, St Andrew’s Academy; Gemma Whyte, St Benedict’s High; John Martin, Johnstone High; Mario Girasoli, Trinity High and Rebecca Telford, from Gryffe High.

A Level Six Award in Higher Sports Leadership was presented to Alan Rice, Calum Findlay, Emma Driver, Heather Fawcett and Laura-Rose Reid.
The special guest at the awards ceremony was Corinne Hutton, from Lochwinnoch who has defied the odds after having had both her hands and legs amputated when she suffered acute pneumonia and septicemia.
Since losing her limbs, Corinne has gone on to set three world records including becoming the first female quadruple amputee to climb Ben Nevis. She has also set up a charity called Finding Your Feet to support families affected by amputation, or limb differences through a range of sporting and social inclusion initiatives.

Corinne took to the stage for a Question and Answer Session with the event host, broadcaster Lorraine Herbison.

Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “These awards showcase the talent, dedication and commitment of individuals in our community.

“With Paisley’s bid to become UK city of Culture 2021, sport plays a large role in the culture of our community. We have a vibrant and exciting sports network in Renfrewshire, which adds energy and passion to the overall bid.”
The successful event was sponsored by Renfrewshire Council, West College Scotland, Renfrewshire Sports Network, and SportScotland.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has extended a warm welcome to all Freshers who have started their courses at either the University of the West of Scotland or at West College Scotland.

As classes begin, Gavin Newlands MP is also reminding those students to remember to sign up to the electoral register to make sure that they are entitled to vote.

 

While youth turnout was at its highest in this year’s General Election since 1992, and the gap between the number of older voters and younger voters decreased, young people are still noticeably less likely to vote and millions are still missing from the electoral register.

Gavin Newlands, SNP MSP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:
“I extend a warm welcome to all those students who have moved to study in Paisley. Renfrewshire is a fantastic place to live and I hope you enjoy your stay here whilst you are studying.

 

“Many of the students will be moving away from home for the first time and they should remember to register to allow them to vote. Registering to vote online takes a couple of minutes and it is important that the thousands of freshers who may have moved address to begin their studies this year make sure they are registered to vote.

“Decisions are being taken every day that will affect young people, not least on Brexit-related issues, jobs or indeed tuition fees.

“In Scotland, the SNP has legislated to grant 16 and 17 year olds the right to vote, however at Westminster, the Tories are reluctant to extend the franchise to them, despite the SNP’s repeated calls to allow 16 and 17 year olds to have a say in general elections.

“My advice to anyone given the opportunity to register to vote, is to take it with both hands.”