,

Start-Up Street will help Renfrewshire businesses grow

Chloe Wright

A new project in Paisley will support start-up businesses looking to make the leap into their first commercial premises.

Chloe Wright

The town’s George Street will become Start-Up Street as vacant Renfrewshire Council-owned units are adapted into a range of low-cost, high-quality digitally-connected workspaces for up to 20 businesses.

It follows a survey of new and early-stage Renfrewshire businesses, with more than 80% looking for subsidised space to grow, but many citing high costs and a lack of know-how preventing them taking this significant step.

George Street is next to the University of the West of Scotland business school and close to the council’s existing economic development hubs.

Businesses based here will benefit from an on-site business advisor, training space and a shared reception.

George Street

Each company can rent the space for up to two years, with lease costs incrementally increased until they are ready to move to an alternative commercial space in Renfrewshire.

The Council’s Leadership Board rubber-stamped the proposals yesterday (Wednesday 5 December 2018) and now its economic development team will further develop the plans, working jointly with London Youth Support Trust, a charity which specialises in supporting young entrepreneurs from deprived backgrounds.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “We have a responsibility to nurture new businesses and Start-Up Street is being developed in response to what local businesses are telling us they need.

“It will provide a whole package of support to enable businesses to overcome any barriers and grow sustainably, offering an environment which helps them achieve long-term sustainability, moving into commercial premises in our town centres.

“We’re excited to be working in partnership with the London Youth Support Trust, who have an excellent track record in helping young people progress, adding to our own economic development team’s fantastic achievements in helping local businesses to grow and local people to find jobs.”

The project comes as Renfrewshire’s regeneration continues to make excellent progress, according to the latest economic indicators.

Renfrewshire’s Economic Profile published this week highlights an employment rate outstripping its neighbouring local authorities and well above the national average.

Laura Provan

There are more than 4500 private companies based in Renfrewshire, with a lower average closure rate recorded than across the rest of the country.

And over a two-year period, visitors to Renfrewshire attractions have risen by more than 400,000, while ambitious housebuilding targets remain firmly on target, with 630 new homes completed in the first nine months of 2017.

Councillor Nicolson added: “The latest economic figures give us many reasons to be positive and Start-Up Street is the latest investment in Renfrewshire’s future, building on the five-year funding we have put in place to deliver support to the people and places who need it most.

“We boast the best performing employability programmes in Scotland and our local economy is growing, bolstered by an incredible rise in visitor numbers to the area.

“Against a tough financial outlook for all councils, we remain committed to creating the conditions which attract more companies and bring more jobs to Renfrewshire, ensuring inclusive growth across the region.”

Interested businesses can contact InCube Start-Up on 0300 300 1180 or email incube@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Loopy Lally Designs

Textile designer Chloe Wright is excited by the opportunity Start-Up Street will offer for creative businesses. The former Paisley Grammar School pupil founded Loopy Lally Designs in 2017, producing colourful, abstract interior products including cushions, framed prints and lampshades.

Having outgrown her Paisley house, Chloe is now looking to establish her own premises. She said: “I work from home in the wee spare room, but I’m fast running out of space and from a professional perspective, I don’t want to be inviting people into my house.

“My business is growing and moving into new premises is the natural next step for me, it’s really exciting. You can be waiting for years for studio space so Start-Up Street is coming at the perfect time.

“It sounds great, especially having business advice available whenever you need it. Sometimes you can be too close to your business and so it helps to pick people’s brains and get helpful feedback. It’s really exciting what’s happening in Paisley and for school kids to know that there is an opportunity to do creative arts and set up your own business in the town is great.”

www.loopylally.com

Paisley Pins

For Laura Provan, the buddie behind Paisley Pins, the opportunity Start-Up Street will provide is a “no-brainer” for businesses.

Laura took on her own workspace in her hometown this summer and has not looked back as her popular product continues to build a local, and international customer base.

“It’s amazing the amount of people with connections to Paisley that I meet, I even get orders from Paisley in Oregon in the USA. The acrylic pins continue to fly off the shelves and now there’s a much more diverse product range on offer, with ear-rings and necklaces, tie pins and cuff links.

“I’d been looking for premises for a while as I just didn’t have the space I needed to keep working from home and it was a lonely experience being there, with no opportunities to meet people or collaborate and lots of distractions like tidying up after my kids.

“Having a dedicated workspace has been fantastic, having somewhere where people can find me has definitely improved my business-to-business relationships. Upstairs there’s workspaces for other jewellers to rent out and downstairs we’ve space to run workshops.

“The emotional connection people have with jewellery is very important and people want to know the provenance of a product so it was so important to me that my Paisley product is made here in Paisley.

“Start-Up Street is a fantastic idea and it’s the one thing myself and other creative businesses have always said was sorely missing. It is definitely something people should go for if they’re looking for space, advice and being able to move their business forward – it’s a no-brainer and can only be a positive move.”

www.paisleypins.com

, ,

Extra food bank funds agreed after introduction of Universal Credit

universal credit

Renfrewshire Councillors have approved £30,000 funding to Renfrewshire Food Bank to reduce the impact of Universal Credit.

universal credit

The proposals to give the food bank the money over a three year period were agreed at a meeting of the Council’s Leadership Board today (December 5).

The funding follows the introduction of Universal Credit in Renfrewshire in September 2018.

Administered by the Department of Work and Pensions, Universal Credit replaces Housing Benefit, Income Support, Income Based Jobseekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits with a single monthly payment.

However, research by Trussell Trust has shown that there has been a 52% increase in demand at food banks in areas where the new system has been in place for 12 months.

Renfrewshire Council’s Convener for Finance, Resources and Customer Services, Councillor John Shaw, said: “The introduction of Universal Credit by the UK Government in other areas has put a lot of additional pressure on food banks with more demand from those most in need. This funding will help Renfrewshire Food Bank cope with any increased demand that may come, allowing it to continue supporting anyone in Renfrewshire that needs its help.”

Renfrewshire Council has provided the food bank with funding in recent years, working flexibly with them to provide extra money when needed from its Tackling Poverty Fund.

The Tackling Poverty Programme has been at the centre of many projects to help struggling families and households in Renfrewshire since launching in 2015.

The Healthier, Wealthier Children Service, which is funded by the programme, helped 219 families in Renfrewshire boost their household incomes by a total of £300,000 between April and September 2018. The service gives financial, debt and welfare rights advice to new and expectant parents and helps families check what benefits they are entitled to before and after the arrival of their baby.

The Tackling Poverty Initiative’s energy advice service, which provides support to people who need to reduce their energy bills, has also helped 177 households in Renfrewshire save a total of £49,220 since July 2018.

In March 2018 Renfrewshire Council announced £5million funding for the Tackling Poverty Programme over five years to deliver key projects and activities that will support people and families on low incomes.

Projects within the programme are designed to provide support for families that need it most, remove barriers to participation for children and young people, and support health and wellbeing for young people.

Councillor Shaw said: “The work that the Tackling Poverty Programme is doing is making a real difference to the lives of families in Renfrewshire who are struggling to make ends meet.

“This additional funding will ensure that these crucial services can help families in need in Renfrewshire for years to come.”

, , ,

Hundreds march to raise awareness of domestic abuse

Campaigners marched through Paisley on Tuesday 27 November to mark the beginning of Renfrewshire’s 16 Days of Action campaign, which aims to eliminate violence and sexual abuse towards women.

The Reclaim the Night march left from the University of the West of Scotland and marched to Dunn Square where Renfrewshire’s Provost, Lorraine Cameron led a two-minute silence in memory of those affected by domestic and sexual abuse.

reclaim the night

The assembled campaigners also heard speeches from Renfrewshire’s Year of Young People Champion, Councillor Michelle Campbell, and from White Ribbon Scotland Ambassador, Gavin Newlands MP.

The theme of the march this year was “Year of the Young People let’s talk about it” reflecting on the statistic that young people experience the highest rates of domestic abuse of any age group.

Provost Cameron said: “For far too long, fear, silence and stigma have allowed violence against women to escalate to pandemic proportions – and one in three women worldwide now experience gender-based violence.

“It was inspiring to see so many people, including a huge turn-out of men and young people at the march this year. They are breaking the silence on this issue and giving hope to those who are suffering.”

The 16 Days of Action takes place from 25 November to 10 December.

Anyone suffering from domestic violence can get help via two national helplines, which are available 24 hours a day and are free to call from a landline.

Scottish Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 027 1234

Abused Men in Scotland Helpline – 0808 800 0024

Locally, Women and Children First can be contacted on 0300 300 0345

, , ,

Festive fun comes to Johnstone

Johnstone Christmas Lights 2018

Thousands descended on Johnstone town centre to mark the start of the festive season this weekend at the annual Christmas Lights Switch On.

Johnstone Christmas Lights 2018

The Pulse FM DJs hosted a main stage in Houstoun Square packed with young up-and-coming talent who helped get everyone in the festive mood.

Youngsters in attendance were spoilt for choice with the chance to visit Santa’s Grotto as well as take part in free festive face painting and Christmas crafts.

Johnstone Christmas Lights 2018
Kids could also meet some of Santa’s reindeer and enjoy the funfair rides in the square.

A Christmas market was run by St Vincent’s Hospice with a selection of goodies available for those early Christmas present ideas.

At 5pm, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron was joined by lucky competition winner, nine-year old Jonathan from St Anthony’s, on stage to push the button and light up Johnstone

Provost Cameron said: “It’s been another fantastic event and I was so pleased to see such a great turn out in Johnstone this year.

“I was honoured to have Jonathan with me to switch the lights on and I hope he had an incredible day that he will remember forever.”

The lights switch-on was organised by Renfrewshire Council as part of its town centre events programme.

, , ,

Thorn Primary School take the 30 for 30 challenge!

Thorn Primary School

Pupils and teachers from Thorn Primary School in Johnstone have taken part in a “30 Challenge” for St. Vincent’s Hospice as part of their 30th Anniversary celebrations, raising an incredible £1,664.50.

Thorn Primary School

Primary 7 classes, teachers and staff each committed to walk, jog or run for 30 minutes every day for 30 days straight. Regardless of weather conditions, they faithfully brought their running kit to school every day to make sure they took part.

The primary 7 teachers, Mrs McLeod, Miss Murphy and Mrs Adams, were proud of all of the pupils for taking on this Challenge and giving it their all.

They said: “We noticed as the weeks went passed that there was an overall improvement in fitness and willingness to complete the challenge for such a worthy cause.  Our runs involved looping the entire school grounds which meant other pupils and staff could see our efforts, and often encouraged them to keep going. This definitely gave pupils the feel good factor.

“Pupils also did their own 30-minute walk, jog or run during the weekends and were supported greatly by parents in order to complete the Challenge.

“As teachers, we have felt really inspired by this 30-day Challenge and thoroughly enjoyed participating in and out of school. We are thankful to everyone who sponsored us and feel a great sense of achievement for the P7 pupils of Thorn and of course the money raised for St. Vincent’s which is such a worthy, local cause.”

If you would like to take part in your own 30 challenge, contact the Hospice directly info@svh.co.uk.

, , ,

Johnstone set to get festive this weekend

Johnstone Christmas Lights

Johnstone will officially mark the start of the festive season as the Christmas lights in the town are switched on this weekend.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

 

Saturday (1 Dec) will see Houstoun Square transformed in to a winter wonderland with a variety of entertainment to put everyone in the festive spirit.

From 12noon, the Pulse FM DJs will host the main stage – set in the Houstoun Square bandstand – accompanied by a host of local performers including The Logans, Todi and the RockUs Community Choir.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

Santa will arrive in style by vintage fire engine, provided by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Heritage Trust, and will be taking a break from his busy schedule to hear what all the children are hoping to find in their stockings this year. You can find him inside his grotto, run by St Vincent’s Hospice. Don’t forget to say hello to his reindeer friends.

The children’s entertainment doesn’t end there however with free festive face painting and Christmas crafts running all afternoon. Thrill seekers can also take a spin on the funfair rides.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

At 5pm, Renfrewshire’s Provost Lorraine Cameron will be joined by lucky competition winner, nine-year-old Jonathan from St Anthony’s, on stage to push the button and light up Johnstone for the Christmas period.

Johnstone Christmas Lights

Provost Cameron said: “The winter events have all been incredible so far and I can’t wait to bring the festivities to Johnstone.

“The town will be buzzing all afternoon with Santa making an appearance and lots of entertainment to keep young and old entertained.

“I’m looking forward to turning on the lights with our lucky competition winner and I hope to see you all there for the big moment.”

The lights switch-on is organised by Renfrewshire Council as part of its town centre events programme.

Young people in Renfrewshire have their say on improving mental health services

johnstone town hall

Young people in Renfrewshire have come up with a list of ten recommendations to improve youth mental health services.

More training on youth mental health in schools and young people being given the tools to help peers who may experience issues, are among ten proposals put forward by Renfrewshire’s Youth Commission.
The recommendations came after a survey of young people aged 11 – 22 across Renfrewshire, which revealed that 45 per cent believe there should be quicker access to mental health services.
Other findings revealed that half of young people speak to a parent or carer first if they are experiencing poor mental health and more than half –  57 per cent – believe the best place to get information is online,

Almost half – 49 per cent – of young people believe there should be a drop-in at school for young people experiencing poor mental health.
The proposals, which also included using Apps to bring resources into the 21st Century, were put to the Youth Generations Assembly in Paisley Town Hall. Pupils from every secondary school in Renfrewshire were asked for their feedback.
The final recommendations will be presented to professionals working locally with young people experiencing poor mental health. They will be asked to adopt these within their organisational practice.
Jade Lochhead, 23, from the Youth Commission on Mental Health, said: “Most of the members of the Youth Commission are still in school, so the recommendations very much reflect their experiences.
“Mental health a big issue for young people and it’s amazing that we get to have our say. I think the more young people who are consulted, the better. We will be the next generation to take things forward and opportunities like today mean we have a real voice.”
Education and Children’s Services Convener, Councillor Jim Paterson said: “Young people have shown they are able to make decisions on issues which matter to them and want to play a key part in designing effective strategies to tackle these.
“We are committed to giving young people a voice and to understand what they need to be supported. The Youth Generations Assembly is a great forum for them to tell us what they have found out about mental health in Renfrewshire and what can be done to ensure all young people have positive mental health.”
The post Young people in Renfrewshire have their say on improving mental health services appeared first on Paisley Scotland. Visit the Paisley website by going to www.paisley.org.uk or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Fitness fans raise cash for hospice charities

johnstone town hall

Two local hospices were given a fundraising boost thanks to Renfrewshire Leisure staff and customers.
A total of £10,608 was raised after various sponsored events were held throughout the year at the sports and leisure centres throughout the area.

Now the money is being split between St Vincent’s and ACCORD Hospices.
Charlie McDougall, senior facilities manager at the ON-X, who organised the charity fundraising, said:
“Every year we just seem to raise more and more money for these two worthy causes. The generosity of our staff and customers knows no bounds and I’m really proud we have raised so much money this year.
The post Fitness fans raise cash for hospice charities appeared first on Paisley Scotland. Visit the Paisley website by going to www.paisley.org.uk or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Communities take up the challenge to make it a Spotless September

johnstone town hall

Communities across Renfrewshire are joining forces this weekend (28-30 Sep) to make it a Spotless September in Renfrewshire.

Schools, community groups, businesses and volunteers will be donning their bibs, grabbing their litter pickers and heading out onto the streets of Renfrewshire to make a difference as part of the Spotless September Challenge.
More than 20 litter picks are scheduled to take place across the weekend, with numerous other groups heading out this week to ensure they still do their bit for the Team Up to Clean Up campaign.

The community clean-ups have been arranged by local people and new volunteers are encouraged to join in at any of the events taking place across Renfrewshire.
Every litter pick is supported by Renfrewshire Council’s Community Wardens and StreetScene team to deliver the equipment and remove collected litter after the event.
Councillor Cathy McEwan, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Infrastructure, Land and Environment Policy Board, said: “I can’t wait to see the number of inspiring volunteers who will set out across Renfrewshire this weekend to make it a cleaner, brighter place to live and somewhere they take pride in staying.
“Whether it’s five minutes, an hour or a full afternoon, it all makes a difference to the cleanliness of our streets and I’m so proud of the way people have taken this campaign to new heights.
“Thank you to everyone who is taking part, and if you’re not yet planning to then please come along if you can and learn about all the worthwhile work going on in our communities.
“The events are open to all and the volunteers are always delighted to meet another keen face!”
A special, free, thank you event is being hosted on Sunday 30 September, 2:30pm-5.30pm, at Paisley Town Hall to thank everyone that has taken part over the weekend, and the campaign as a whole, since it began almost a year ago.
Anyone who has taken part, however small, is invited along for food, chat and a chance to meet like-minded people as the campaign takes a look back at what has been achieved so far.
For a full list of the clean ups taking place, visit www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/SpotlessSeptember.
The post Communities take up the challenge to make it a Spotless September appeared first on Paisley Scotland. Visit the Paisley website by going to www.paisley.org.uk or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.

Nominate your favourite business: Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business Rocco Award with PDE

johnstone town hall

Know a business that gives great service, welcomes you with a smile or you love going there? Nominate them for Renfrewshire’s favourite business ROCCO Award.

To nominate your favourite business in Renfrewshire please email gavin.mcinally@reachplc.com  by 12pm on Thurs 27th Sept. Please include ROCCO AWARD in the subject header. In the email please include the name of the business you wish to nominate and why in <100 words and include your own name, address and phone number. A shortlist of six will be announced early October with online voting open for 3 weeks after that. The winner will be announced at the ROCCO ceremony on the 16th Nov at the Normandy Hotel hosted by Fred MacAulay. More info at www.roccoawards.com #2018Rocco The post Nominate your favourite business: Renfrewshire’s Favourite Business Rocco Award with PDE appeared first on Paisley Scotland. Visit the Paisley website by going to www.paisley.org.uk or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.