Six establishments get clean bill of health from food bosses

Six Renfrewshire establishments have had a thumbs-up from food standards bosses after becoming the first in Renfrewshire to receive a prestigious hygiene award

The Rowantree Café in Paisley’s Barshaw Park, Capability Scotland’s Corseford School in Kilbarchan, and four sheltered accommodation units run by Hanover Housing have all been presented with the Eat Safe Award.

The four housing units are Ailsa Court and Newton Court, Paisley; Orchard Court, Renfrew; and Walkinshaw Court, Johnstone.

The Eat Safe scheme is run by the Food Standards Agency and aims to recognise excellence in food hygiene and food safety management.

It also aims to improve public confidence by showing consumers their food has been prepared with the utmost care.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Environment Policy Board, visited each of the three organisations being honoured by the scheme.

He was joined by Dr Jim Wildgoose, a member of the FSA’s board for Scotland and chair of the Scottish Food Advisory Committee.

Councillor Devine said: “We are delighted to be able to announce these awards and I would like to congratulate all those involved for their achievement.

“It is important for the public to know the highest standards have been applied to the preparation of their food. Each of these buildings can now proudly display a certificate showing they have met those standards.

Tommy Greenhorn, manager for Hanover Housing, said: “Good food hygiene and food safety management standards are a priority for us and we are delighted the efforts of the catering staff have been recognised and rewarded.”

Doris Milne, owner of the Rowantree Café, said “My staff and I are very proud to gain this award, and I would encourage other businesses to go for it.

“We have very loyal customers and it’s nice for them to know that the food is not only homemade but prepared safely too.”

Capability Scotland chief executive Dana O’Dwyer said: “This award is a fantastic achievement for the catering team at Capability Scotland’s Corseford School.

“Food safety is always at the forefront of our team’s minds when preparing nutritious meals for the pupils. It is good to see this being recognised externally by this award.”

Eligible establishments are assessed for the Eat Safe Award as part of scheduled food hygiene inspections carried out by council food enforcement officers.

Since the Eat Safe scheme launched in Scotland in 2005, more than 1,000 establishments have been recognised.

More information on the Food Standards Agency Scotland and the Eat Safe Scheme can be found at

Street Stuff football festival street stuff coaches

Hundreds turn out for Street Stuff football festival

Hundreds of youngsters from Renfrewshire’s award-winning Street Stuff youth diversionary project took to the turf of St Mirren Park for a festival of football.

Boys and girls aged from 10 to 18 from throughout Renfrewshire descended on the stadium to compete for glory during the annual end-of-season tournament.

Street Stuff is a partnership between various organisations, including Renfrewshire Council and St Mirren, which provides activities for young people at various locations in Renfrewshire.

The programme includes street football with coaching from St Mirren and mobile youth activities with computer games, and has helped reduce youth disorder in each of the areas where it operates.

Around 300 youngsters from 53 teams took part in the five-a-side football contest, with separate sections for the 10-12, 13-15 and 16-18 age groups.

Action took place on the pitch, as well as in the new indoor covered Dome behind the stadium, which was recently opened for business by St Mirren.

The event was funded by Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, who are also partners in the Street Stuff initiative.

Councillor Eddie Devine, Renfrewshire Council’s Street Stuff Champion was there on the night to present prizes to the winning teams.

He said: “Once again, the Street Stuff football festival was well attended and proved to be a great success.

“The scheme has rightly been recognised at a national level for the work it has done to reduce youth disorder by giving kids something positive to do in the evenings.

“I’m sure Street Stuff activities will continue to be popular over the summer holidays and I would urge any kids looking for something to keep them occupied to check out what is on offer in their area.”

St Mirren chief executive Brian Caldwell said: “We are a community club and it is important to us to be involved in schemes like this, and offer something to local youngsters.

“We were delighted the end of the first-team’s season allowed us to be able to open up our doors and give so many youngsters the chance to play on the pitch and in the dome at St Mirren Park.

“Going by the size of the crowd there on the night, we are sure they enjoyed the experience.”

Street Stuff is a partnership between Renfrewshire Council, St Mirren, Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Engage Renfrewshire, McGill’s Buses and Reid Kerr College.

The latest Street Stuff timetable can be viewed online at

Funding for new start businesses in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire & Inverclyde

For individuals thinking about starting their own business, knowing the right people to ask for advice and information is vital to the success.

For many prospective business owners accessing funding sources is also important in the start-up process. Through Business Gateway, businesses in Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde can potentially access some early stage funding provided by the local authorities.

(This news update is from the Business Gateway Ezine, you can find out more by clicking the following link. )


Renfrewshire – The Renfrewshire Microloan

The Renfrewshire Microloan fund, delivered by Invest In Renfrewshire, aims to support the creation of new enterprises and support the growth of existing micro and small businesses that have potential to create jobs and generate additional economic value.

Unsecured loans of between £1,000 and £5,000 are available with repayment terms of up to 2 years to both new and existing businesses which are unable to secure funding elsewhere but have a viable business capable of repaying a loan.

Loans can be used for the following:

  • Start-up costs including the purchase of existing businesses
  • Provision of working capital
  • Purchase of assets
  • Purchase of commercial property, property extensions or alterationsbusiness-gateway

Inverclyde – Launch Pad Grant

In Inverclyde, the local authority Launchpad Grant (LPG) offers up to £1000 grant support for capital expenditure on business development activities. The LPG provides ‘gap’ funding which is the minimum finance needed to allow a project to proceed after a business – which has been trading for at least six months – establishes how much it can raise itself and from banks and other lenders.

East Renfrewshire – The East Renfrewshire Microloan

Micro and Social Enterprise loans will be available from June 2013 for smaller scale start up projects and social enterprise projects. Loans of between £1,000 and £3,000, repayable over three years, can be accessed through the East Renfrewshire Credit Union.

For each of the local authority funds application and eligibility criteria apply. To find out further information and eligibility criteria, please contact us on 0141 585 6353. We will also post updates on our information and advice for local businesses on Facebook and Twitter.

Find out more by visiting the Business Gateway website here.

Curtain twitching Mrs Peery takes the lead in hilarious new play at Paisley Arts Centre.

Presented by Paisley favourites The MsFits Theatre Company, new play I Spy Mrs Peery will take to the stage at Paisley Arts Centre on Thursday 6 June.

I Spy Mrs Peery, the brainchild of multi award winning, BAFTA nominated playwright Rona Munro is a humorous tale of mystery, intrigue and suspense: more spine-chilling than ice cubes down the back of your nightie!

A thought-provoking slice of life, the play is based on three female neighbours all deftly brought to life by acclaimed comedy actress Fiona Knowles. Set in a street where the old are too frightened to go out and drugs and violence are the norm, Mrs Peery sees it all from behind her net curtains. She never crosses her own doorstep but she’s certainly got plenty to say about the state of her neighbours! But what would she do if the big bad world got in through her nets?

Not only is the latest MsFits performance an Edinburgh Fringe award winning show, it is also a Paisley Arts Centre staple, drawing in sell out audiences each spring for the past five years. Audiences are therefore advised to book soon to avoid disappointment.

I Spy Mrs Peery will be at Paisley Arts Centre on 6 June, 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 (£6 concession) and can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0300 300 1210 or going online to

For further information on I Spy Mrs Peery, future events, exhibitions or shows log on to or follow us on Facebook

We are having a fundraising folk evening at the Cottages on Thursday 6th June at 7.30pm.

Collins and Collins (formerly of Clydebuilt) will be performing.

It’s a ‘bring your own bottle’ arrangement with tea & coffee etc. at the break.

Tickets are £10 and can be bought at the Cottages or people can call Susan Reid at 0141 887 2273.

St Mirren Youth Academy Golf Day

The big tee-off for this year’s St Mirren Youth Academy Golf Day will take place on Tuesday 2nd July at the Dundonald Links.

All proceeds from the day will go directly to the St Mirren Youth Academy to support the excellent work being done in producing Saints players of the future.

Each team of three that is entered will be joined by either a player, member of the coaching staff, a director or a celebrity fan to make up a four ball who will all be in place for a ‘Shotgun Start’ at 9:00am on the day.

st-mirren-dev-golfPrizes will be awarded for Best Team, Nearest the Pin and Long Drive competitions.

Entry for each team of three is £450.

The day will start at 8:00am with coffee and bacon roll.  Then after the round of golf a three course lunch will be served at 1:30pm which will be followed by the presentation of prizes.

There will be photo opportunities with the League Cup and you can also hear Danny Lennon’s thoughts for the forthcoming season.

Please note that there are limited team numbers so entries will be accepted on a first come, first served basis.  Teams will be drawn a week before the event.

To reserve your team’s place please e-mail or for further information please click on the link at the bottom of this email.

St Mirren Youth Academy

Council leader hosts event for karate visitors

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan laid out the red carpet for a group of dignitaries who visited Paisley at the weekend for a prestigious sporting event.

Councillor Macmillan hosted a reception at Renfrew’s Glynhill Hotel for delegates of the JKAWF traditional karate Afro-Eurasia Championships, which took place over Saturday and Sunday at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre.

The event saw 72 competitors from 17 different countries – as far afield as Nigeria, South Africa and Russia – travel to Renfrewshire to fight it out.

The event took place in the main sports hall at the Lagoon, which has been transformed over the past few years by an £8.5 million refurbishment.

Councillor Macmillan said: “I was delighted to host the reception for the delegates, many of whom had travelled thousands of miles to come to Renfrewshire for these championships.

“The fact the area was able to host a truly international event of this scale is testament to the infrastructure and the standard of sporting facility we have here.

“Hopefully, the success of these championships will allow Renfrewshire to attract other events of this kind in the future.”

The event saw team and individual contests, with elimination rounds on Saturday and finals on Sunday, and attracted a crowd of hundreds over the two days.

The event was organised and brought to Paisley by Elderslie man Ken Taylor, who is the JKAWF’s chief executive for the Afro-Eurasia region.

Ken said: “We put in a bid to bring the event to Scotland and we could have held it in Glasgow, but I wanted it to be in my home area.

“The facilities here at the Lagoon have been ideal and the staff here have been brilliant, they have bent over backwards to help us.

“I would like to thank everyone at Renfrewshire Council for their help in facilitating this event, as that has been much appreciated.”

The May Renfrewshire Chamber networking lunch speaker is Iain McFadyen, the Managing Director of the Scottish Leather Group.

Scottish Leather Group Ltd. is the largest manufacturer of leather in the United Kingdom. The Group comprises of four leather manufacturing subsidiaries and a technology company, 4 of which are located in Renfrewshire. Formed in 1965 and employing 550 people, their exports represent 80% of turnover. Their specialist leathers are produced for a wide range of industries: automotive, furniture, marine, aviation, shoe and leather goods. The Group export sales represent over 80% of turnover.

The lunch takes place on the 30th May 12-2pm at St Mirren FC. To book please visit

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 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


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

The 2nd meeting of the Inchinnan Business Community Group recently took place at Rolls Royce. The group set up by Renfrewshire Chamber encourages companies based in Inchinnan to come together once a quarter to network, share best practice and work together to make Inchinnan a better place to work.

Bob Davidson, CEO of Renfrewshire Chamber said “senior management from companies that attended the 1st session are already meeting up in between the meetings to get to know each other better, share learning’s and discuss opportunities – this is exactly what it’s all about. Inchinnan is home to many great business names employing thousands of Renfrewshire people. Anything we can do to help improve their business can only be a good thing.”

If any Inchinnan based business would like to attend the next meeting (tbc end August) please get in touch with Bob Davidson, CEO of Renfrewshire Chamber, the events are free and last a couple of hours.