Renfrewshire Council

Renfrewshire events deliver benefits for the community

Communities and children throughout Renfrewshire were given hundreds of opportunities to participate in the Council's annual events programme in 2023, delivering a wide range of benefits to those who took part.

More than 3,500 opportunities were created for children, young people and local groups to take part in events last year, which included Paisley Halloween Festival, Paisley Food and Drink Festival and Renfrew Pipe Band Championships.

A report to be considered by Renfrewshire Councillors this week sets out the community benefits from the programme, which generated £5million for the local economy and brought £3.3million in local spending from both residents and visitors providing a boost to local businesses.

The benefits captured in the report range from creating opportunities for people to gain valuable training and develop skills through working with cultural and artistic professionals, helping people connect and improve their wellbeing by joining in activities, co-designing events, volunteering roles and removing barriers to participation.

Renfrewshire Council Leader, Councillor Iain Nicolson said: "Renfrewshire's popular events programme not only delivers an economic boost for the area and local businesses, it also plays an important role in helping to support our communities.

"By generating more opportunities for people to participate in creative activities and working with the local community to help design events, we can ensure we continue to deliver inclusive events that people want to attend which can help positively impact people's wellbeing."

The Council's flagship event, Paisley Halloween Festival, provided the greatest opportunity for local people to get involved.

The event generated more than 700 opportunities for young people, local groups and cultural organisations to participate in creative workshops in the lead up to the event, run by national and international event producers and artists.

The festival provided significant opportunities for young people to develop confidence and skills, socialise and make friends through high quality artist-led activity. This included creating artistic installations for the event as well as participating in dance, theatre and aerial performances throughout the festival.

Last year's Paisley Food and Drink Festival saw more than 360 children participate in free family activities including pizza making workshops and cookery classes. While the 2023 Sma' Shot Day event included 15 community groups in the co-design of the parade through a creative workshop programme led by Bridgeman Arts.

Hilda Cameron from Cameron School of Dance said: "The children had an amazing experience boosting their confidence and learnt new skills such as aerial skills - trapeze and hoops."

Another positive outcome delivered through the events programme is the creation of more opportunities for people to volunteer. Renfrewshire's volunteering programme grew in 2023, with more than 2,000 volunteering hours carried out across the events calendar. A majority of those hours supported Paisley's hosting of The Royal National Mòd last October.

One Mòd volunteer commented: "It was inspiring, full of camaraderie, customer-facing, and a brilliant use of my time. I loved it!" While another said: "There was plenty of support and a great atmosphere during the Mòd.  I felt valued."

Volunteer opportunities can help improve people's health and wellbeing through building a sense of community and creating an environment that helps build friendships. The programme prioritises inclusivity, actively involving students, older people, and those seeking to explore further education, employment or a return to the workforce.

Renfrewshire Council Events Manager, Pauline Allan, said: "I'm delighted that each year we're able to grow the number of opportunities for our local communities to take part in our events programme, whether that's through helping design the events, join in or play a part in making the event happen.

"We listen to feedback all the time which is really important to reflect on as we develop our programme to ensure communities get the most out of our events and we make them as inclusive and accessible as possible."

The paper which will be considered by councillors this week also sets out the events calendar for this year.



Published on 30 April 2024