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Renfrewshire’s education ‘big three’ launch mission for young scientists

Renfrewshire’s three big education providers have teamed up to blast off the careers of future astronauts and scientists.

West College Scotland and University of the West of Scotland (UWS) have signed up with Renfrewshire Council as the two top sponsors of Mission Discovery, a unique space school led by former NASA astronauts which takes place in Paisley next month.


The event, being organised by Renfrewshire Council along with the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET), has never before taken place in Scotland.

From 14 to 18 July, around 200 S3-S5 Renfrewshire school pupils and students from both the college and university will work directly with an expert panel that will include former NASA astronauts, astronaut trainers and rocket scientists.

They will learn NASA teambuilding, personal development and leadership skills and in teams will compete to develop an experiment geared to the conditions of space. The winning team’s idea will be sent to the International Space Station where astronauts will carry out the experiment.

Councillor Jacqueline Henry said: “I am absolutely delighted that thanks to the support of our partners at UWS and West College Scotland we are able to offer the young people of Renfrewshire this amazing opportunity to take part in Mission Discovery.

“This is a unique educational programme that will greatly enhance the study of science, maths engineering and technology and is also a fantastic launch-pad for a future career in this field.


“This is one of a number of initiatives we are working on in partnership with the college, university and local business community to prepare and equip young people in Renfrewshire for successful employment.”

Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal & Vice-Chancellor of University of the West of Scotland, said: “The University is committed to playing a key role in the communities in which it is based and we are delighted to be an educational sponsor of this important event.

“The importance of promoting science, engineering, technology and mathematics based subjects and nurturing our best talent in these areas cannot be underestimated and this project will go a long way in achieving this goal.”

David Alexander, Vice-Principal Operations at West College Scotland, said: “West College Scotland is delighted to be associated with this unique community event. It’s a fantastic opportunity for innovative learning and will help our young people develop important social, team-building and leadership skills

“It will also show students that science and engineering can be fun, as well as being the gateway to great careers. We at West College Scotland are sure that young people across Renfrewshire will seize this chance to `reach for the stars`!”

As well as directly enhancing the studies of those pupils taking part, UWS and WCS will also be supporting Renfrewshire Council’s aim of building a legacy that will benefit students of all ages and set Renfrewshire up as a centre of excellence in science, technology, engineering and maths for pupils.
In addition, the council welcomes support from the local business community, particularly any opportunities for students to gain experience through talks, master-classes and work placements.
For more information please call 0141 618 5974.[/vc_column_text][vc_separator icon=”star”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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.

Take part in the Mini Game Jam University of the West of Scotland

On 19th June 2013, 56 Primary 7 children from Royston and Carntyne Primary will be visiting the University of the West of Scotland to take part in the Mini Game Jam.

mini-game-jamAmanda Wilson a PHD student from UWS and Gavin Divers from XBLGamerhub a Paisley based XBox online community who are running the event said.

“After almost 3 years researching games construction with children I thought it would be a good idea to get a couple of schools together and let the children spend the day working on games, while at the same time spending time in a university environment and getting the chance to work with lecturers and others from the games industry.”

If you would like to find our more about the Mini Game Jam then please visit the Facebook page by clicking here..

If you would like to visit and join the Xbox Live community of XBLGamerhub then please click here..

“Business really does matter in Renfrewshire”

The largest business to business event in Renfrewshire has just completed a successful 2 day residence at the beautifully restored Paisley Town Hall. Ran by Renfrewshire Chamber, “Business Matters in Renfrewshire” a free local B2B event (Business to business) open to all business people, students & school pupils was attended by >500 people over the 2 days.

The business conference on Day 1 attracted an impressive panel of speakers including:

Deputy First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon MSP
Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander MP
Dr Walter Boettcher – Economist – Director, Research and Forecasting Colliers International
Sir Tom Hunter – Scottish businessman, entrepreneur & philanthropist

Hosted by Douglas Fraser, BBC Scotland Business & Economy Editor

Economist Dr Boettcher commented that “….the focus was on the real economy, how to break the hiatus of investment and especially how to capitalise on Scotland’s numerous comparative advantages (energy, engineering & technology, education, to name a few).  The economy may still be lacking traction, but the messages were consistently positive suggesting that a turning point in sentiment is at hand and stronger economic performance within reach.”


Sir Tom Hunter – whose first retail outlet opened in Paisley in 1984, gave an inspirational speech and before leaving gave his time to a number of people keen to get some advice from one of Scotland’s most successful business men. Sir Tom, who stayed for the whole event commented “well done, speakers were all good… was a good event with an impressive turnout”.

Day 2 attracted 35 exhibitors and offered delegates the opportunity to learn about a broad range of topics from the “How to…” themed seminars including:

How to Build a Brilliant Brand with Fission Creative
How to Ruin Your Brand on Social Media with NSDesign
How to Grow Your Business with Invest in Renfrewshire
How to Improve your Tendering with Renfrewshire Council Procurement Team
How to be a Great Business Leader with Dr Stuart Paul of UWS
How to Deliver Customer Service the Disney Way with Renfrewshire Chamber Board Director & ex Diageo Supply Chain Director Colin Neill


Chamber President Tom Johnston said “This was our 1st time adding the business conference to Business Matters in Renfrewshire – and I have to say it went very well. Great speakers and a good turnout of approx. 200 people on day 1. We listen to our members and the Chamber Team used that feedback to improve the 2nd day from last year. Over the course of Day2 – approx. 350 attended. I would like to take this opportunity again to thank all our speakers, exhibitors and the people from Renfrewshire and beyond that attended. I hope what they heard & seen will inspire them to bigger & better things – improve their business and ultimately protect and ideally create jobs in Renfrewshire.

All images from the event are available on the Chamber facebook page – and to see the many twitter comments use the hashtag #b2bpaisley – 200+ tweets used the hashtag

Twitter comments included:

@fissioncreative: #b2bpaisley has been a fantastic event! @RenfrewshireCoC have done an amazing job, seminars were very useful and informative!

@LAShuttleworth – Oh. My. Goodness. #b2bpaisley absolutely fantastic. Colin Neil & Dr. Stuart Paul in particular were excellent. @fissioncreative also great.

‏@FullHouseApps: Hilarious and informative talk from @nsdesign #b2bpaisley

@markmacmillan12: Great turn out from at @RenfrewshireCoC #b2bpaisley event in Paisley Town Hall

‏@ModPhaislig2013: At the #b2bpaisley event in Paisley Town Hall. Lots of interest on #modphaislig2013


About Renfrewshire Chamber

Est. in ’64 and based in Paisley at Glasgow Airport, the fully accredited award winning Chamber is run by Chief Exec Bob Davidson and his team.  Bob reports to a Board of Directors chaired by President Tom Johnston. Renfrewshire Chamber is the area’s main business member organisation – whose purpose is to “help Renfrewshire grow & prosper” and have just under 600 members. The Chamber delivers a year round calendar of events and offers a range of member benefits.

For more information on Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce please visit

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:

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.

news from


Paisley Festival Hits The Right Note

Paisley has further sealed its reputation as Scotland’s Choir Town with a fantastic finale to Paisley Choral Festival 2009.

The two week festival came to a close with a stunning performance from City of Glasgow Chorus in the historic Paisley Abbey, and also included concerts by All Angels, Ex Cathedra and Dieci.

The closing concert was followed by a civic reception for the organisers to toast their success with Renfrewshire’s Provost Celia Lawson and Minister for Culture Mike Russell MSP.

At the reception organisers were also presented with a certificate for becoming Scotland’s first Fairtrade festival.

Festival Director Fred Hay said: “We are delighted to have managed to deliver a really high quality programme in the face of extremely challenging financial circumstances. The support provided by Renfrewshire Council, Reid Kerr College and the University of the West of Scotland was critical to our success.”

Provost Celia Lawson said: “Paisley Choral Festival has been running for sixyears and it is a testament to its reputation that it continues to attract such big names in the world of choral music. It is also a community event which gives members of the public the opportunity not only to hear great music but get involved themselves. This wide-ranging programme is why so many people continue to come to Paisley every year for this festival.

“This is another event which is adding to Renfrewshire’s growing reputation for fantastic events. This year we have seen big names such as Karen Matheson, Dougie Maclean and Eddi Reader all performing in Paisley Abbey and the revamp of Sma’ Shot Day and Fireworks Night have brought thousands of people into Paisley town centre for these family events.”


CAB Scotland

What is the Scottish CAB service?
The Scottish Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) service is made up of:

  • Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS)– a national umbrella body that provides essential services to Scottish citizens advice bureaux
  • Citizens advice bureaux – independent, local charities that are members of Citizens Advice Scotland. Bureaux provide advice and information to people in need in over 200 locations

The aims of the Scottish CAB service
The Scottish CAB service is united by two aims:

  • to ensure that individuals do not suffer through lack of knowledge of their rights and responsibilities, or of the services available to them, or through an inability to express their need effectively

and, equally

  • to exercise a responsible influence on the development of social policies and services, both locally and nationally.
    CAS and Scottish bureaux work together to achieve these aims.

A service with principles
The CAB service is led by 12 principles that guide the work we do. These 12 principles are:

  • A free service
  • Confidentiality
  • Impartiality
  • Independence
  • Accessibility
  • Effectiveness
  • Community accountability
  • The client’s right to decide
  • A voluntary service
  • Empowerment
  • Information retrieval
  • A generalist service

You can also read more about the CAB Service 12 Principles.

We also operate an equal opportunities policy: the CAB Service is independent and provides free, confidential and impartial advice to everybody regardless of race, sex, age, disability or sexuality.

For more information go to

Or for the Paisley Citizens advice Bureau office

45 George Street, Paisley, PA1 2JY
View map

Tel. no. 0141 889 2121
Fax. no. 0141 849 7116