Shoppers in lunchtime munch for Fairtrade

Paisley shoppers helped munch their way to a fairer deal for people in the developing world when they popped by a special Fairtrade cookery event.

Hundreds of passers-by at Paisley’s Piazza stopped for a taste of free food samples at the lunchtime event, held as part of Fairtrade Fortnight.

Chefs from local restaurant La Rambla, in the town’s Renfrew Road, whipped up tasty treats including homemade paella for the crowd, using Fairtrade ingredients.

Fairtrade is a scheme which sees producers in the developing world given a fair price for their goods, which are sold in this country under a specially-branded Fairtrade mark.

Councillors Derek Bibby and Brian Lawson – who are both members of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group – popped by to taste the Fairtrade fayre.

The food was served up by La Rambla chef Anita Chauhan, who also provided cookery demonstrations for the passing crowd.

The mobile cookery facilities were provided by the Co-operative, with management at The Piazza kindly providing space within the centre.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Convener of Renfrewshire’s Fairtrade Steering Group, said: “This was just one of many events which took place around the area for Fairtrade Fortnight involving members of the community.

“Local schoolchildren held their own activities – from tuck shops and assemblies to rice sales – while members of local Fairtrade groups also did their bit to help raise awareness of the cause in their own towns and villages.

“This all helped to shine the spotlight on the Fairtrade cause, and of the good work done by the Fairtrade Foundation around the world, and I would like to thank everybody who took part.

“I would also like to give a special thank you to the management and staff at La Rambla and from The Piazza, as this well-attended event couldn’t have been staged without their help.”

For more information on Fairtrade, visit

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Paisley Property Market on the Rise

Paisley town hit the national headlines in18 December 2012 when the Scottish Government rated Ferguslie Park as the most deprived datazone. The damning statistical revelation was published in the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2012 (SIMD 2012). This was not shocking news for Paisley residents because Ferguslie Park topped SIMD’s most deprived datazone rankings in 2006 and was runners up in 2009. However, the news presented major concerns to the town’s administrators and investors alike because of the backlash it was likely to generate in the local business and political circles. Looking at the bigger picture, though, such panic and pessimism was unwarranted. Truth be told, Ferguslie Park is only but a small section of Paisley and its predicaments do not necessarily translate to doom for the entire town. Trends in the town’s real estate sector and other fundamental economic parameters, tell it all.

Paisley Pattern

Paisley PatternReal estate is the bedrock of Paisley’s economy but also the hallmark of its heritage. The mere mention of real estate brings to fore the renowned Paisley Pattern that has dominated the town’s architecture for centuries. Save for the property market glut that was widespread in the town and all over Scotland during the 2009 global economic recession, Paisley’s real estate and housing sectors have remained vibrant over the years. Property dealers in the traditional town centre have been raking in millions of sterling pounds as both residential and commercial property uptake continue to flourish. Property developers, estate agents and commercial property insurance providers are experiencing good business tidings. The Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce has categorically outlined these abundant commercial and investment opportunities in the town.

Property Trends

The recently completed property developments have given Paisley streets major facelifts. One such development was the mega student accommodation facility that was completed at the University of West of Scotland’s Paisley Campus. The building was constructed at a cost of £17.6 million provided an additional 336 bed spaces for Paisley campus. The university’s flats in George Street as well as those that located along the Lady Lane were transformed tremendously with repairs that were worth £4.4 million.

Paisley Town Hall

paisley town hallIndeed, property trends in the town have been changing fast that the Renfrewshire Council issued a directive requiring all privately owned properties to be refurbished or risk demolition. The Council has already commenced repairs on some of its properties, including the Paisley Town Hall and Paisley Arts Centre. Notably, repairs at the Paisley Town hall will reportedly cost £1.6 million. The Council seeks to conduct thorough repairs on all the public facilities in Paisley that are within its jurisdiction. Private property owners were expected to take cue and ensure their properties met the new architectural benchmarks that have been set in the town.

Progressing and Planned Developments

Paisley has been dubbed Renfrewshire’s fulcrum of property for sale and indeed, it has lived up to the billing. The town has been transformed into a bee hive of constructions activities following the realisation of more and more commercial and public planned developments. Some of the major planned developments that are already underway include the Gilmour House, the Paisley Piazza Multi-Story Car Park and Tesco Superstore, Wallneuk.

Gilmour House was purchased by FreshStart Living in August 2012. FreshStart Living then converted this particular piece of architectural wonder from its initially intended office space facility to an accommodation facility for UWS students in Paisly Campus. The building has a capacity of 235 flats and students would have sufficient number of en-suite rooms to choose from. It was estimated that Gilmour House would be ready for use during the 2013 academic year.

NewRiver Retail, a leading real estate developer in Paisley, acquired the Paisley Piazza Multi-Story Car Park at a record-breaking cost of £68 million in 2011. Paisley 2020 reported that the building was earmarked for extensive renovations that were set to begin in 2013. The planned renovation will significantly improve the town’s parking facilities.

Tesco’s plans to put up a hyper retail store right at Paisley’s entry point, Wallneuk, have been underway since 2009. Tesco has been busy preparing and seeking approval for its architectural plan that will see the construction of giant a 24-hour shopping mall. The old structures and facilities that previously occupied the targeted site were demolished in 2012. The planned development is now at its advanced stages and construction activities were expected to commence in 2013.

Article written by Evelyn Moffat.

paisley photographs

Here are some Paisley Photographs taken from the roof of the old Glen Cinema by Tom Adleigh before he moved back to Australia, thanks for these Tom. If anyone would like to see their photos published send them into hope you enjoy the photos below.

Santa Rockettes

Video of the Santa’s Parade through Paisley on Saturday the 5th November 2011.

Video sent in by one of our volunteers John McIntyre