Council Leader launches Renfrewshire Living Wage campaign.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan has launched a campaign urging businesses and organisations in Renfrewshire to sign up to the Living Wage.

The Council Leader visited the Phoenix Car Company in Linwood to meet with employers from the private and public sector that have already pledged to pay the Living Wage.

By supporting the campaign, Living Wage employers will receive recognition through the council’s website and be entitled to use the campaign logo across their own publicity activities.

KE Living Wage Week

Earlier this week the UK Living Wage, the amount people need to earn to meet the basic cost of living, was unveiled as £7.65 per hour, significantly higher than the legal minimum wage of £6.31 for over-21s.

Councillor Macmillan said: “The national minimum wage has not kept pace with life here in Renfrewshire. It certainly isn’t sufficient to support a family. We need the help of the business community to make work pay so that employment is always the more affordable option for parents and individuals.

“Renfrewshire’s Living Wage campaign will provide practical local assistance to help employers do the right thing.

“Paying the Living Wage is good for business, good for families and good for Renfrewshire. It means that people can work their way out of poverty and it ensures Renfrewshire remains an attractive and prosperous place in which to work or build a future”.

In June this year Renfrewshire Council announced plans to pay an extra £1,000 per post to firms which agree to pay at least the Living Wage, taking the council’s investment in youth employment and Renfrewshire’s economy above the £8 million mark.

Renfrewshire Council pledged its commitment to the Living Wage at the end of 2012, benefiting around 800 council workers. Those who experienced the biggest gains were mostly female part-time workers involved in catering, cleaning and school crossing services.

Last month ahead of the campaign the Council Leader wrote to 150 employers across Renfrewshire to share with them the council’s own experience and inspire them to get behind the campaign. Among the first firms to pledge its support was Phoenix Car Company in Linwood.

Managing Director John McGuire said: “Paying a Living Wage has had a positive effect on productivity because it shows we value our employees.

“Also if you pay people a Living Wage they can afford to contribute to the economy and if people are spending, that’s good for business in the long-run.”

Other Renfrewshire employers who support the Living Wage campaign include Share Scotland, Link Housing, University West of Scotland, West College Scotland, Smith & McLaurin and Ceridian HR & Payroll Services.

Businesses wanting to add their name to the list can find further information on the council website at or contact the Leader’s Office at Renfrewshire House.

Paisley First for Business

I was at the launch of the Paisley Business Improvement District (Paisley BID) last week. Here are some of my thoughts on the BID and what it really means to Paisley.

BIDs are well established in Scotland and from the map on, local BIDs such as Clarkston and also Falkirk, Bathgate & Inverness are seen to be a success. Certainly Falkirk seems to be making all the right noises and actions from an outsider’s perspective, for instance unlike Paisley, actually has some leaflets in Glasgow Airport explaining what is on in Falkirk and where to go to eat, drink, sleep etc which is a far cry from Paisley’s external self promotion, or lack of it should I say.

The following definition is from the Paisley BID website:

What is a Business Improvement District?

A Business Improvement District (BID) is a business-led collaboration initiative which originated in Canada and is widespread throughout the UK. A “BID” is governed by legislation whereby businesses within a defined area work together and invest collectively in those priority issues they believe will benefit them, whilst contributing to the sustainable economic growth of the local economy. source..

paisley-firstNow what will the BID bring to Paisley? Well from what I can see it has already managed to get local traders and business owners in the same room and talking.  Did you know there has not been a local traders’ organisation for some years which just makes you realise why the town has had problems… In harsh economic times we need to pull together and come up with a way to turn around the decline.

So, good on the people behind the BID as they are doing something to help and at least coming up with solutions and not more problems. Yes there is a long way to go but this is certainly a start and knowing most of the businesses behind the BID I really hope it succeeds.

I have heard questions about the amount of levy that will be charged to businesses when it goes live, before that there has to be a vote consisting of one question, ‘Do you want the BID – Yes/No’.  The vote will be some time towards the end of 2014.

They have cross party political support and also the backing of lots of local businesses, including Houston Kilts, Hamishes Hoose, Ashtree House, Marks & Spencers and also the support of the two major educational facilities in town, the University of the West of Scotland and West College Scotland (formerly Reid Kerr).

A question raised at the meeting was:  ‘Are the BIDs basically doing the work that the local authority should be doing?’ I would like to think not, as in the last few years and through various administrations the council has been doing a lot to help improve the town. They have also been applying for essential grant money for major improvements such as the Causeyside Street improvements which look fantastic.

If you are looking for more information on the Paisley BID process which is now officially called Paisley First then please visit their website by following this link. Lets hope it is Paisley First for Business..

Blog by Brian McGuire.

Full House at YES Renfrewshire Area Finals

The area finals of the Young Enterprise Scotland – Renfrewshire Area Board, Company Programme took place at UWS Paisley on the 14th March 2013.  Teams of 5th & 6th year pupils from schools across Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire & Inverclyde took part in the largest finals YES Renfrewshire have ever had. The Company Programme involves pupils from participating schools forming a real company that design and market a real product / service. They are aided in their journey by a volunteer business adviser and supported within the school by a Link Teacher – with the Board supporting all involved through the whole programme. YES Renfrewshire Area Board is run by a number of volunteers chaired by George McEwan. The programme is launched at Reid Kerr College in August with a Christmas Trade Fair held at Xscape in December.

The overall company winner for 2013 was St Ninian’s High School team “Full House Apps” – who developed & launched two apps developed for Android that have had over 1000 downloads.

YES Renfrewshire would like to thank all the business advisers, link teachers, judges, speakers & sponsors, the programme would not be possible without their support. Special thanks to the following organisations for their support in this year’s company programme:

UWS PaisleyReid Kerr CollegeXscapeSnow Factor Founder & MD, Jamie SmithPhoenix Car Company Founder & MD, John McGuireRenfrewshire CouncilInverclyde CouncilEast Renfrewshire CouncilRenfrewshire Chamber

The full list of winners:

A.            INNOVATION AWARD  Sponsored by IBM.           St Ninian’s High School. “Full House Apps”

B.            MARKETING AWARD.  Sponsored by UWS.          St Ninian’s High School. “Full House Apps”

C.            BEST DISPLAY STAND (Runner up ).                          Inverclyde Academy.      “Click”

D.            BEST DISPLAY STAND (Winner).                                 Gryffe High School.        “Jeweltek”

E.            BEST BUSINESS PRESENTATION (Runner up).      St Stephen’s High School  “Bakers Dozen”

F.            BEST BUSINESS PRESENTATION (Winner).            Gryffe High School.        “Jeweltek”

G.           BEST BUSINESS REPORT (Runner up).                     Renfrew High School.     “Exponential”

H.            BEST BUSINESS REPORT (Winner).                            St Ninian’s High School. “Full House Apps”

I.             BEST YES COMPANY (Inverclyde).                             St Stephen’s High School  “Bakers Dozen”

J.             BEST YES COMPANY (East Renfrewshire).             St Ninian’s High School. “Full House Apps”

K.            BEST YES COMPANY (Renfrewshire).                      Linwood High School.  “Swags”

L.             BEST OVERALL COMPANY 2013.                                 St Ninian’s High School. “Full House Apps”

Items C to L are sponsored by the Renfrewshire Area Board.

St Ninian’s will represent YES Renfrewshire area board at the Scottish Finals in Glasgow on the 18th. June 2013.

For more info please visit

Images courtesy of Shona Morrison at Young Enterprise Scotland



Wanted: Young people with important opinions
Renfrewshire students are being urged to come along and have their say on local issues that are important to them later this month.

Renfrewshire Council is urging Reid Kerr College and University West of Scotland students to drop in to the UWS Brough Hall on Wednesday 20 February and voice their opinions during an interactive question and answer session.

Their views will help the council and its partners to shape the next Renfrewshire Community Plan.Renfrewshire_Council_ezg_1

Information stalls will also provide advice on community safety, student services, career and job opportunities including internships, volunteering, health, equality and human rights.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “Young people are our future and it’s so important that their views help to shape the next community plan for the area. The plan will set out the key areas that the council and our partners need to focus on to make Renfrewshire a better place to live, learn, work and do business. I would urge all young people who go to university or college here to some along and tell us what’s important to them.”

The drop-in session will be open from 12noon until 6pm. Refreshments will be provided.

There will be a free return bus service every half an hour between the main entrance of Reid Kerr College and Brough Hall from 12pm until 4.00pm.

Paisley Abbey Britain from above

History of Scotland 1 – LLNG07016 Credit and Level:10 points SCQF Level 7

Entry Requirements: LLNG07008 First Steps in IT or Basic IT competence

Assessment: Group project

Paisley Abbey Britain from aboveDelivery/Location:

Tuesday 6-9pm, September – Hamilton  from 25th Sept

Wednesday 6-9pm, September – Paisley from 26th Sept

Fee: £110 – Can be funded though ILA and first time students may qualify for a fee waver depending on their benefits.


This module aims to introduce students to the history of Scotland from the 5th Century to the 15th Century, and to encourage recognition of the complexity of Scotland’s past,

through the study of primary and secondary sources. During this period Scotland emerged as a unified entity within the British Isles and established a national identity that

still remains today. The wars that led to the development of Scotland from a number of different kingdoms, and the later Wars of Independence fought between Scotland and

England, are central to this module.  Although the Focus is on Scotland, Paisley and Renfrewshire are dominant in the module giving participants a good introduction to local history as well as National, as does the 1697 Witch hunt case, where i spend a session looking at the accusations and its background.


Family Histories LLNG07014 Credit and Level: 10 points SCQF Level 7

Entry Requirements: LLNG07008 First Steps in IT/Basic IT competence

Assessment: Individual coursework, including family tree

Delivery/Location: Monday 6-9pm, September – Paisley from 24th Sept

NB. This module is delivered over 10 weeks.

Fee: £110 Can be funded though ILA and first time students may qualify for a fee waver depending on their benefits.


This module will introduce the main issues associated with genealogical research in Britain and Ireland. It will embed basic research techniques for conducting online

and practical archive enquiry within the broader historical context of the west of Scotland in particular and the British Isles generally.

You will learn how to identify the key historical resources involved in genealogical research, notably the census, birth, death and marriage registers, and how to extract

and collate this information in the form of a ’family tree.’ This module will also give you an understanding of the economic, social and political circumstances that shaped

the life experiences of previous generations dating back to the early-Victorian era. The classes will consist of a combination of lectures and practical tutorials working

with family tree-building software such as that offered by MyHeritage, and online resources, in particular the official records made available through

Please note: there will be additional costs to participate fully in this module. These concern the downloading of certificates and documents from the governmental agency run Scotland’s People website.

Lifelong Learning –  0141 848 3193

or Email:

We had an email the other day there from a former student of the University of the West of Scotland and he showed us some amazing images of paisley Town Hall, I wanted to make a blog post to show the talents of Ian below.

Here is what Ian says.

I built this model of Paisley town hall as a project to myself as i’ve always been interested in cgi architectural modelling, this is an industry which is really just taking off and would usually involve a developer having the property modelled via CGI in order to display it to the builders (before building) and the customers (whilst being built). This is one of many uses for a CGI property being built as well as the obvious advantages in promotion.

I wanted to model a building that was easily recognized and my end goal in the town hall was to have a model that would actually look and render as a realistic form. I am happy with the model and am constantly adding parts to it or editing it. I am currently building a scene in which the town hall is a run down derelict building, this is far from finished though (i’ve attached a render to this email)

The town hall was modeled, surface and rendered using professional software Lightwave (9.6) which is a professional piece of software used in many films and CGI projects. architectural modelling is certainly something which i would like to ‘get into’.

I recently graduated from University of west of Scotland in Paisley with an honours degree in computer animation (2:1).

If anyone would like to contact Ian please email 

The University of the West of Scotland has a £250 million plan to revamp all of its campuses to attract more students and boost its international reputation.

It could transform the former mill town, famous for creating the Paisley pattern and home town to actor David Tennant and former banker Fred Goodwin, into a student-heavy campus town.

The latest step in the plan is a £13.6m student residence complex to be built in the heart of the town on the site of a former car park.

UWS changed its name from Paisley University last year, making it the newest higher education name in Scotland.

Work on the 340-bedroom complex begins in March and includes en-suite bathrooms, communal living and kitchen spaces, management suites, lounges and laundry facilities.

A further £4.6m project will refurbish 160 University-owned flats at George Street and Lady Lane in the town.

It’s hoped the new facilities will help attract increasing numbers of students to the town for entry in 2012.

The overall project also includes a new £70m campus at Ayr and will see classroom and IT upgrades across all four campuses to attract quality applicants.

Professor Seamus McDaid, university principal, said: “The development is crucial to our ambitions to attract and retain more students and is part of the wider investment programme to improve the quality of our estate across all four campuses.

“It will increase the enormous contribution that the university makes to the local economy, greatly enhancing the centre of Paisley and bringing long-term benefits to the town.”

Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson said the town held a reception each year to welcome overseas students.

A report by Spanish bank, Santander, last week found overseas students contribute £15m annually to local economies near universities, outwith fees.

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