Finding your Flow with Hand Knitting Workshop

Saturday 25th May, 10.00am – 3.30pm (includes a half hour break for lunch)

Location: WEvolution Paisley Hub, 25 Moss Street, Paisley PA1 1DJ

A daylong exploratory workshop for beginners & refreshers in hand knitting led by professional knitter Rosie Little. Suitable for aged 14+, however all under 18’s must be accompanied by a participating adult. Materials will be provided.

Part of SMHAF 2019.

This is a free event but booking is advised as spaces are limited.

To book a place email the TH.CARS2 Team using the link below or Call 0141 618 7939


Supported by TH.CARS2

Natural Dyeing Workshop

Saturday 18th May, 10.00am – 3.30pm (includes a half hour break for lunch)

Location: WEvolution Paisley Hub, 25 Moss Street, Paisley PA1 1DJ

A daylong beginners’ workshop exploring natural dyeing techniques led by textile artist Gillian Steel. Suitable for aged 14+, however all under 18’s must be accompanied by a participating adult. Materials will be provided.

Part of SMHAF 2019.

This is a free event but booking is advised as spaces are limited.

To book a place email the TH.CARS2 Team using the link below or Call 0141 618 7939


Supported by TH.CARS2

Spinning Workshop

Saturday 11th May, 10.00am – 3.30pm (includes a half hour break for lunch)

Location: WEvolution Paisley Hub, 25 Moss Street, Paisley PA1 1DJ

A daylong beginners’ workshop in hand spinning led by fibre artist Laryna E. Wuppermann. Suitable for aged 14+, however all under 18’s must be accompanied by a participating adult. Materials will be provided.

Part of SMHAF 2019.

This is a free event but booking is advised as spaces are limited.

To book a place email the TH.CARS2 Team using the link below or Call 0141 618 7939


Supported by TH.CARS2

Artist’s Talk

Saturday 2 March, 5pm – 6pm

Location: Made in Paisley, 69 High Street, Paisley

Mandy McIntosh and the participating makers will expand on their work, the impact of the Jessie Wylie Newbery study and the processes which led to the exhibition.

Part of Held Fast: Jessie Wylie Newbery, an Inspiration (see below)

Free Event

Supported by TH.CARS2

Supported by TH.CARS2

Paisley Museum is being transformed into an international-class visitor attraction showcasing the town’s people, stories and Pattern – and we can introduce some of the team making that possible.

When it reopens in 2022, the hidden treasures of Paisley’s outstanding art, science and natural history collections and internationally-significant textile heritage will be on display in greater volumes than ever before.

The building is being redesigned by award-winning international architects AL_A and the project will see a transformation of the Victorian buildings – including Coats Observatory, Scotland oldest.

Renfrewshire Council is leading the £42m project, with funding already earmarked from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

And a new team has been assembled to run the capital appeal to raise the final £5m to allow the full transformation to take place.

Here, capital appeal director Eric Grounds, fundraising manager Andy Robin, and fundraising assistant Laura Wedderburn tell us a bit about themselves – and what they think makes Paisley and its museum special….


I was a sportsman, who represented England and Great Britain as a swimmer, and as a bobsleigher at the 1976 Olympic Games in Innsbruck. I also represented England as an athlete, throwing the discus.

I was a serving soldier for 16 years in 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards, saw active service in Saudi Arabia and Northern Ireland, and worked for the Joint Intelligence Committee in the Cabinet Office.

I later founded a picture framing business which went global and saw me flying around the world providing the art programmes for hotels, ships and offices. I also worked as a magistrate for 21 years, served as the High Sheriff of Northumberland, and recently became a published author.

This is my 93rd big gift appeal….and I am still learning. I have worked in senior leadership roles at Marie Curie Cancer Care, Sue Ryder Care, and Crohn’s and Colitis UK, and led appeals for a number of military museums. I am one of only 32 Fellows of the Institute of Fundraising in the UK as well as being a  Certified Fundraising Executive – the only global fundraising qualification.

Museums help tell the story of who we are and where we are going. We tend to pay lip service to the lessons of history, but our history is the foundation for our future.

Apart from Paisley, how many towns and cities gave their name to a design or product? There are others but you have to add the name of the product to understand it. Paisley stands on its own and the vision for its regeneration merits full support at local, Scottish, UK and international levels.


I am an experienced capital appeal fundraiser, who worked on the £66m transformation of the Burrell Collection in Glasgow’s Pollok Park. Before that I worked for social care charity, Cornerstone.

I am a proud Buddie, and a season ticket holder at St Mirren so I am delighted to be back in the town and supporting its ambitious regeneration plans.

Museums are a social connector, and are unique in the way they bring people together. Museums give us a great way to learn about our past, which can then bring deeper meaning to the current day.

As a child I visited Paisley museum most weekends. I used to go with my late Gran. It fills me with joy to think about the future generations who will benefit from the refurbished museum and I hope they have as much fun as I did.

Paisley has given so much to the world in the way of heritage and entertainment. Even a five-minute walk through the town centre is breathtaking due to the wonderful array of listed buildings on show. The museum is at the heart of that and I am proud to be helping bring much-needed fresh life into the incredible building.



I have a masters degree in Art History from the University of Glasgow, having specialised in illustrated Renaissance printed books. As fundraising assistant, I will be the first point of contact for anyone who wants to know more about the campaign and developing content to keep the public up-to-date and engaged with the appeal.

History has always been a passion of mine…the heritage and museum sectors work wonderfully together to preserve our past and in turn allowing us to understand our present.

Historical artefacts are one of the best ways for us to learn from the past. It is crucial these are not only conserved but displayed in an engaging way – so they can be enjoyed for generations to come and made fully accessible to the widest audience.

Paisley’s collections are world class and international in outlook. My favourite parts include work by the Scottish Colourists and our eclectic archaeological collection…they have such an interesting and exciting story to tell.

Paisley has such a colourful history as a town and the collections tell that story. I love that some of the items manage to be local and international at once – such as the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls. Items like these are key to understanding Paisley’s global role.


Museums help tell the story of who we are and where we are going. We tend to pay lip service to the lessons of history, but our history is the foundation for our future.

Eric Grounds
Campaign Appeal Director
Paisley Museum Reimagined

Around 34,000 people flocked to Paisley for the spooktacular Halloween Festival in October, celebrating the town’s witchcraft past.

The festival, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 and EventScotland, was significantly enhanced for the themed year with a full town centre takeover.

Young people were at the heart of the festival’s development, with a 28-strong Youth Events Panel working alongside Renfrewshire Council’s Events Team and Youth Services to design and deliver the programme, while more than 700 took part in a new creative learning programme.

This offered the opportunity to participate in all aspects of festival delivery from performance to live event management and technical production.

The Youth Events Panel involved young people from across Renfrewshire with differing needs which ensured a diversity of voices in the event’s creation and helped act as a driving force that shaped, developed and delivered the event activities.

Throughout the programme, the young people were supported to learn new skills and make new connections that will prove invaluable.

One of the young people involved in the aerial performance, Patrick Doherty, said he enjoyed having his creative ideas listened to in an open and fun environment.

Patrick said: “My personal challenge was meeting new people and working in a group with people I didn’t know, but I was able to overcome this and really enjoyed the experience.”

Andi Brogan, who was also part of the aerial performance, enjoyed learning a new skill and being able to network with aerial dance theatre company, All or Nothing.

Andi said: “As someone who wants to be a professional dance artist, this was an invaluable experience.”

Youth Events Panel member, Jessica Willcox, said: “Being involved in Halloween allowed me to have a completely new experience. I’ve made new friends and been able to socialise, which has increased my confidence.”

A huge well done to everyone involved!

The festival provided so many fantastic opportunities for young people to show us what they are made of and those involved should be very proud of what they have achieved.

Paul Bush
OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events

Look back on Paisley Halloween Festival 2018... and look forward to this year!

We jumped at the chance to choreograph a piece involving 50 young people for the Flying Witches performance around Paisley Town Hall and Abbey. Celebrating Paisley’s witchy heritage, it definitely looked spectacular to have witches swarm the Town Hall as aerialists fly 120 feet up in the air.

Jennifer Paterson
All or Nothing

Culture has the power to transform towns, lives and communities, defining who we are, opening up new opportunities and shaping our civic centres, neighbourhoods and communities.

It is such a powerful force and it is driving our plans for the transformation of Paisley and its town centre.

From its buildings to its music, its creative, radical and entrepreneurial spirit, its industrial heritage and its people, Paisley is unlike any other town in Scotland. Walking through the town centre the quality of Paisley’s culture, architecture and heritage is there for all to see. That’s exactly what we want, for people to see Paisley for what it is, and for what it can be; a thriving and connected town with culture at its heart.

We are investing £100million in Paisley’s cultural venues in a bold programme that will reimagine the High Street and turn the town centre into a place where residents and visitors are drawn to explore, gather and shop, creating jobs and benefiting the whole of Renfrewshire.

The programme will invest £42million transforming Paisley Museum into a world-class museum that will showcase Paisley’s unique heritage, collections and iconic Paisley Pattern to the world. It is expected to attract around 125,000 visitors a year.

Paisley Town Hall will become a flagship performance venue after its £22million investment, bringing approximately 100,000 visitors to the town each year, and Paisley Library will move into a new cultural and learning hub on the High Street, creating a town centre that offers places and spaces to be curious, to connect and to participate in and enjoy culture in a range of ways.

These are bold plans, especially when high streets up and down the country are facing such challenging times, but we believe that Paisley’s time is now.

This investment will transform the town not only culturally but socially, economically and physically.

There are challenges, culture alone cannot bring about social change and transformation, but by working with partners, communities and artists and creative and cultural organisations we can make changes that will benefit everyone in Renfrewshire.

I have worked in culture for over 20 years in a range of roles from Programme Director of The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design & the City to leading Scotland’s cultural programme for London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 and more recently as the lead on the Scottish Government’s Culture Strategy and Director of Arts at Creative Scotland. Paisley has such great ambitions and ideas and I hope I can use my experience to support Paisley’s ongoing transformation.

The 2021 UK City of Culture bid was inspiring and impressive in its ambition, its commitment and the way it was community driven. It captured peoples’ imaginations and gave them a sense of the possible back. It also showed that culture is for everyone and is in everything we do. The visual arts, architecture and design, craft, theatre, dance, music, books, cinema, festivals, fun fairs and pantomimes, all of this is part of Paisley’s culture, it’s what has shaped the town and its people.

People are looking at what Paisley is doing and we have an opportunity for the town to be a lead the way in culture led regeneration. Paisley’s story goes beyond the bid. We want to build on the possibilities it set out, transforming Paisley into a thriving 21st century town.

The area punches above its weight in providing leading artists and cultural icons.

Anthony Jenkins
What's Our Story?

Award-winning photographer Gary Chittick has captured some amazing winter scenes in Paisley and Renfrewshire’s – and he shows you some of his favourites here:

The winter weather can be unpredictable, which plays havoc with transport but can give some additional interest to photographs. I really enjoy being out in the snow and seeing how it changes the landscape and the colours of the scene. Renfrewshire has so much rural land on its doorstep that there are always places you can escape to and go for a long winter walk – with a hot chocolate to look forward to afterwards.

I’ve picked out a few recent winter scenes from the area to share with you and I hope you enjoy seeing them. As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, recommendations or challenges, please feel free to get in touch with our PaisleyIs team.

Image 1 – Paisley Town Centre, Paisley First’s Winterfest

The first image was taken during a wander around Paisley Town Centre exploring Paisley First’s Winterfest.

Paisley Town centre is great for walking around at any time of year but there is a certain magic when the festive lights are switched on and there is a lot of colour and buzz around the town. Winterfest has lots of activities for the family including the ice rink, rides, food and drink stalls, Nutcracker trail and the big wheel.

The big wheel is a landmark you can see for miles around and it’s a spectacular sight at night when it’s dark and the lights are on.

The image was taken looking down the White Cart River towards the big wheel. It’s a slightly longer exposure than normal to get a little movement in the water without appearing too unnatural.


Image 2 – Reindeer in Paisley?

I thought this image was particularly festive and shows the annual arrival of Santa and his herd of reindeer as they come past Paisley Abbey and Paisley Town Hall.

Mr Claus’ arrival coincides with the Christmas Lights Switch On and the town centre is always a hive of activity and events long before the live music and switch on are performed.

It’s always great to see the number of children and families in Paisley town centre at this time of year and being able to see Santa’s actual reindeer at close quarters is really special. The team that look after the animals with Santa are fantastic and they clearly love what they are doing.

I thought this image captured the fun and spirit of Christmas events in the town and it’s one of many events on right throughout winter.

Keep an eye on for a whole range of events and activities for all the family.


Image 3 – Paisley Abbey in the Snow

I could not post images in winter and not include a snowy scene so here you go.

Last winter provided some incredible snowfall (it didn’t prevent me getting into work … somehow!) and because of the red weather warning, most people were safely tucked up at home in the warm. Four layers of clothes later and I was wandering around the town centre looking for a winter scene for a Christmas card.

I stopped at our historic Paisley Abbey and enjoyed the view in between blizzards of course! The snow, quiet roads and silence really set a poignant and beautiful scene and one that I hope we get to see again this winter!

You can find all about Paisley Abbey here.


Image 4 – A Wander on the Braes

I thought it would be a great idea to go for a long walk up on the Gleniffer Braes in the snow. Four falls later, my enthusiasm was wearing off but I kept going!

I stopped on the road that runs from near Hartfield Moss to Howwood and enjoyed the view over endless white fields. Even the cows and sheep seemed to be enjoying the weather although they have slightly thicker hair than me!

There wasn’t another soul around, which meant my falls went unnoticed, but it also added to the experience as it was very quiet and peaceful. I highly recommend that you (safely) explore the country roads in Renfrewshire in the snow. It’s a lot of fun and you’ll see the landscape in a whole new way.

I’d also highly recommend the walking routes available in Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park – you can get details here.


Image 5 – Winter Aurora

I’ve displayed images of aurora before but I wanted to use this opportunity just to highlight that winter can be one of the best times to view aurora from Renfrewshire. This particular image was taken from Lochwinnoch overlooking Castle Semple Loch.

Remember that aurora is dependent on a number of factors that can affect viewing including solar activity, clear skies, a new moon and minimal light pollution. I’ve been lucky enough to see and photograph aurora in every month of the year from Renfrewshire (including the day after the summer solstice) but longer, darker nights mean there is more opportunity to take advantage in winter.

The winter nights are great for night sky viewing in Renfrewshire and there are a number of phenomena that can be observed at different times including aurora, the milky way, meteor showers, comets (Comet 46P/Wirtanen is currently just about naked-eye viewable in the Southern sky) and the very rare nacreous clouds. Take a flask of warm tea, some food, a blanket and warm clothes and go and sit in a dark spot for a couple of hours – you’ll be amazed at what you’ll see. Look up!

Remember that Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park run stargazing nights with astronomer John Pressly and these are highly recommended, especially whilst Paisley Museum and the Observatory are transformed over the next few years. Look out for dates and events here.

Remember to share your adventures, videos and images on social media with #PaisleyIs and check out the latest news at

In a town that sees creeping influences of Mackintosh and Thomson amongst others, it very much extends the structural beauty of Glasgow to its neighbour in the west.

Neil Robertson
Travels With A Kilt

One of the UK’s most prolific fundraising directors has been appointed to lead Paisley Museum’s £5million Capital Appeal Campaign.

Eric Grounds will take up his role as Capital Appeal Director in the new year.

Eric has directed more than 90 successful Capital Appeals across the UK, including a £35million campaign for Marie Curie and a £350million appeal for the defence National Rehabilitation Centre in Warwickshire.

He has also directed a range of heritage and cultural appeals, including successful campaigns for the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Highland Clearances Project and the Roses Charitable Trust in Mull.

Eric said: “I’m very excited to be leading the Capital Appeal for Paisley Museum.

“Paisley is a fantastic town and its people are its greatest asset. This project will transform Paisley Museum into an international attraction that celebrates the town’s unique culture and heritage. We want everyone to get behind this project so we can show the world what Paisley has to offer.”

Work is already underway to transform Paisley Museum, which closed its doors last month, into a world-class tourist destination.

Redesigned by world-renowned architects AL_A, the new museum will house Paisley’s internationally significant art, science and natural history collections and tell the story of the Paisley Pattern and the town’s time as a centre of global textile industry.

Paisley is known around the world thanks to the iconic pattern which bears its name and the revamped museum will gives visitors access to the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls and pattern books. Part of the collection is currently on display at Dundee’s new V&A Museum.

The museum is expected to attract 125,000 visits a year when it reopens in 2022 and boost Paisley’s economy by £72million over 30 years.

The £42million museum transformation is part of a £100million investment in Paisley’s cultural venues and public realm, led by Renfrewshire Council, which is set to put the town firmly on the cultural tourism map.

The Capital Appeal Campaign will raise £5million for the museum project, which has already secured funding from the Council, the Scottish Government Capital Grant Regeneration Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Renfrewshire Council is currently in the process of setting up Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd, a new fundraising company which will oversee the project’s fundraising strategy and Capital Appeal. An application to give the company charitable status has been submitted to the Office of Scottish Charity Regulator.

Find out all about the Paisley Reimagined project by clicking the link below.

This is one of the most radical briefs I have read – it triggered in us a desire to tell the untold history of Paisley and search for a narrative thread that will drive the design. The project is bigger than the building itself and I am excited to re-imagine the relationship between the street and museum. This is not only about finding the way to best show the museum’s collection - it’s also about showing the world how an ambitious cultural project can have a profound impact on a community and its identity.

Amanda Levete

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

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.

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

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.

Interested businesses can contact InCube Start-Up on 0300 300 1180 or email

But first, find out why Laura Provan – the buddie behind Paisley Pins – feels the opportunity is a “no-brainer” for new 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.”

I would advise any other creative businesses to think about setting up in Paisley because the potential is massive – there is such a great community of creative people.

Jane Hunter
Textile artist