Siorrachd Rinn Friù
|Coordinates: 55°49′47″N4°32′34″W / 55.829858°N 4.542838°W Coordinates: 55°49′47″N4°32′34″W / 55.829858°N 4.542838°W|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|• Body||Renfrewshire Council|
|• Control||SNP minority (council NOC)|
|• Provost||Lorraine Cameron|
|• Council Leader||Iain Nicolson (SNP)|
(SNP – Paisley and Renfrewshire North)Paisley and Renfrewshire South)
(SNP – Paisley)
(SNP – Renfrewshire North and West)Renfrewshire South)
|• Total||101.0 sq mi (261.5 km2)|
|• Rank||Ranked 24th|
|• Rank||Ranked 10th|
|• Density||1,800/sq mi (680/km2)|
|ISO 3166 code||GB-RFW|
Renfrewshire ( /ˈrɛnfruːʃɪər,-ʃər/ ) (Scots : Renfrewshire; Scottish Gaelic : Siorrachd Rinn Friù) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland.
The council area has the same name as the historic county of Renfrewshire, which had been abolished for local government purposes in 1975, but the modern council area only covers the central part of the historic county. The eastern part of the pre-1975 county is covered by the East Renfrewshire council area, and the western part by the Inverclyde council area.
Renfrewshire is located in the west central Lowlands. It borders East Renfrewshire, Glasgow, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire and West Dunbartonshire, and lies on the southern bank of the River Clyde. The current council area of Renfrewshire was established in 1996.
The term Renfrewshire may also be used to refer to the larger historic county, which was established in the fifteenth century. The three council areas of Renfrewshire, Inverclyde, and East Renfrewshire together form the Renfrewshire lieutenancy area. The same area also has a joint valuation board area for electoral registration and local tax valuation purposes. The three council areas together are sometimes referred to as Greater Renfrewshire to distinguish them from the council area called Renfrewshire.
The town of Paisley is the area's main settlement and centre of local government. The area also contains the historic county town of Renfrew.
The name Renfrewshire derives from being the shire (the area controlled by a sheriff) administered from the royal burgh of Renfrew. The name Renfrew has been attested since the Roman occupation of Britain. The name is believed to originate from Common Brittonic/Cumbric, from ren, as in Scottish Gaelic: rinn, or as in Welsh: rhyn (a point or cape of land) and from frew, as in Welsh: fraw, or ffrau (flow of water). This suggests a point of land near the flow of water, such as at the confluence of the Cart and Clyde rivers. 
The historic county of Renfrewshire was abolished for local government purposes in 1975. The county was divided to become three of the nineteen districts in the Strathclyde region, being Eastwood, Inverclyde, and Renfrew. 
In the debates leading to the local government reforms of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, the government initially proposed replacing these three districts with two council areas: "West Renfrewshire", covering Inverclyde district and the western parts of Renfrew district (including Paisley, Johnstone, and Renfrew), and "East Renfrewshire", covering Eastwood district and the eastern parts of Renfrew district (including Barrhead, Neilston and Ralston). The proposals were criticised, with West Renfrewshire having three times the population of East Renfrewshire; the accusation was made in parliament that the proposed changes constituted gerrymandering, with East Renfrewshire only being kept separate because it had more Conservative voters. 
The proposals were not supported locally, with Inverclyde successfully campaigning to be allowed to form its own council area, and the Ralston area voting in a referendum not to be transferred to East Renfrewshire.  When the government conceded to allow Inverclyde to continue as a separate authority, the name West Renfrewshire was dropped. The central district was instead named Renfrewshire, despite only covering the central part of the historic county of that name. The new Renfrewshire covered the former Renfrew district except for the Barrhead electoral division (which also included Neilston) which went instead to East Renfrewshire. The new council areas came into effect on 1 April 1996. 
The Braehead shopping centre was built in 1999 straddling the boundary between Renfrewshire and Glasgow, leading to a dispute between the two councils. It was agreed that the boundary should be changed to place the whole centre in one council area, but both authorities wanted it. In 2002, the Local Government Boundary Commission eventually redrew the boundary to include all of the centre in Renfrewshire.  
The area is divided into 25 community council areas, 20 of which have community councils as at 2023 (being those with asterisks in the list below): 
Renfrewshire contains several places of interest. In the west of Renfrewshire, Castle Semple Loch at Lochwinnoch and the wider Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park are natural areas of interest, as is the Gleniffer Braes country park in the south.
Paisley contains several historic buildings and notable sites, including Paisley Abbey, Paisley Museum and Coats Observatory, Paisley Town Hall, Coats Memorial Church, Sma' Shot Cottages and St Mirren Park (home of St Mirren F.C.). Outside of Paisley, Elderslie, the claimed birthplace of Scottish knight William Wallace, contains a monument in his honour, while the Weaver's Cottage at Kilbarchan is in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. The town of Johnstone is notable for Johnstone Castle, Johnstone High Parish Church and for containing a museum within a supermarket.
The Braehead Arena in Renfrewshire close to the boundary with Glasgow is home to leading professional basketball team, the Scottish Rocks, who compete in the British Basketball League. The arena was also host to the 2000 Ford World Curling Championships.
since 18 May 2017
since 18 May 2017 
since November 2021 
21 / 43
13 / 43
5 / 43
1 / 43
3 / 43
|Single transferable vote|
|6 May 2022|
|Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley, PA1 1AN|
Renfrewshire Council is the elected local authority for Renfrewshire. Its consists of 43 directly elected councillors who elect from among their number a provost to serve as the council's convener and ceremonial head and a leader of the council who is typically the head of the largest political group. The council meets collectively as a full council and carries out a number of functions. Its Scheme of Delegated Functions sets out where the council has agreed to allow powers to be exercised by a committee (referred to as a "board" in Renfrewshire Council), a sub-committee, an officer of the council or a joint committee with one or more other councils. The council continues to reserve a number of functions that can only be carried out by the council acting as a whole. The council's staff is headed by a chief executive who is responsible to the elected council. 
Renfrewshire Council acts as the lead authority for Scotland Excel, a collaborative procurement vehicle established in 2008 to support the local authorities of Scotland. 
The first election to Renfrewshire Council was held in 1995, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new system came into force on 1 April 1996. Political control of the council since 1996 has been as follows: 
|Party in control||Years|
|No overall control||2007–2012|
|No overall control||2017–|
The leaders of the council since 1996 have been: 
|Hugh Henry||Labour||1 Apr 1996||1999|
|Jim Harkins ||Labour||1999||May 2007|
|Derek Mackay||SNP||17 May 2007||May 2011|
|Brian Lawson||SNP||26 May 2011||May 2012|
|Mark MacMillan||Labour||17 May 2012||May 2017|
|Iain Nicolson||SNP||18 May 2017|
The most recent election was held in May 2022, following which an SNP led council was formed with the support on confidence and supply from Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch independent councillor Andy Doig.  As of November 2022 the full composition of the council is as follows:
|Scottish National Party||21|
The council is based at Renfrewshire House on Cotton Street in Paisley, which was completed between 1969 and 1973 as the "County and Municipal Buildings", being a joint facility for the old Renfrewshire County Council and Paisley Town Council.    After the reforms of 1975 the building was shared between Renfrew District Council and Strathclyde Regional Council. Following the creation of Renfrewshire Council in 1996 the building was renamed Renfrewshire House. 
Since 2007 elections have been held every five years under the single transferable vote system, introduced by the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004. Election results since 1995 have been as follows: 
|Year||Seats||SNP||Labour||Conservative||Liberal Democrats||Independent / Other||Notes|
|1999||40||15||21||1||3||0||New ward boundaries. |
|2007||40||17||17||2||4||0||New ward boundaries. |
|2017||43||19||13||8||1||2||New ward boundaries. |
For the purposes of elections to Renfrewshire Council, the Renfrewshire area is divided geographically into a number of wards which then elect either three or four councillors each by the single transferable vote system.  The electoral system of local councils in Scotland is governed by the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004, which first introduced proportional representation to councils in Scotland.
These electoral wards, following a 2017 review and first used in the 2017 Renfrewshire Council election are as follows:  
|#||Ward Name||Seats||Population |
|1||Renfrew North and Braehead||4||17,827|
|2||Renfrew South and Gallowhill||3||12,232|
|3||Paisley Northeast and Ralston||3||12,810|
|5||Paisley East and Central||3||12,218|
|8||Johnstone South and Elderslie||4||15,860|
|9||Johnstone North, Kilbarchan, Howwood and Lochwinnoch||4||14,740|
|10||Houston, Crosslee and Linwood||4||19,152|
|11||Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank||3||10,040|
|12||Erskine and Inchinnan||4||18,063|
The two parliamentary constituencies covering Renfrewshire are Paisley and Renfrewshire North and Paisley and Renfrewshire South, being represented by Gavin Newlands and Mhairi Black respectively. Created in 2005, both seats and their predecessor constituencies had traditionally been safe seats for the Labour Party, until the Scottish National Party gained them with swings of over 26% in the SNP landslide at the 2015 general election. Although both constituencies were only marginally held by the party over Labour at the 2017 snap election, they returned to safe SNP majorities in the 2019 general election.
Following the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999, the Labour Party held the three seats covering Renfrewshire, although with lower majorities than their House of Commons equivalents.
Constituency boundaries were redrawn for the 2011 Scottish Parliament election, with the new constituencies of Renfrewshire North and West and Paisley being gained by Derek Mackay and George Adam, who became the first SNP parliamentarians in Renfrewshire. The remaining Labour seat, Renfrewshire South, was gained by the SNP's Tom Arthur at the 2016 Scottish election. Arthur and Adam were re-elected in 2021 winning over half the vote in their respective seats, while Mackay was replaced by Renfrewshire Councillor Natalie Don.
A majority of Renfrewshire rejected independence in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, although with 55,466 (47.2%) votes cast in favour and 62,067 (52.8%) against, the Yes vote was higher than the national result. The turnout was 117,612 or 87.3%, the highest recorded in the democratic era.
With a turnout of 69.2% (88,197), Renfrewshire voted to remain in the 2016 European Union membership referendum with 64.8% (57,119) of votes cast in favour of remaining while 35.2% (31,010) were for leaving. This was the sixth highest vote for Remain out of Scotland's 32 councils.
Renfrewshire contains the University of the West of Scotland, a new university that was granted university status in 1992 as the University of Paisley. Prior to this, the Paisley Technical College and School of Art was a Central Institution or polytechnic. In 2007 the university merged with Bell College, a further education college in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire and the UWS name was adopted. The university today has sites across the west of Scotland, notably also in Ayr and a joint campus in Dumfries; the main campus remains in Paisley.
Further education is provided by Paisley Campus of West College Scotland in Paisley, which caters to around 20,000 students. The college also has sites in Inverclyde and West Dumbartonshire. 
Renfrewshire contains eleven state secondary schools, 51 primary schools and three schools for children with additional support needs.
Renfrewshire is home to Scotland's second busiest airport, Glasgow International Airport, at Abbotsinch between Paisley and Renfrew. The presence of the airport and the proximity to Glasgow means that Renfrewshire supports one of the busiest transport infrastructures in Scotland.
The airport is served by the M8 motorway, which terminates in the area, just east of Langbank, and is a major artery between northwest and southwest Scotland, via the Erskine Bridge.
Developments to ease traffic flow have included a lifting of tolls on the Erskine Bridge, original plans to extend the rail network to connect to the airport have been cancelled and the latest suggestion in 2019 is a metro line connecting Paisley to the airport then on to Glasgow via Braehead. Also the M74 extension was completed to handle traffic from Renfrewshire heading south, diverting it away from Glasgow city centre.  Renfrewshire also has bus links provided by FirstGroup, McGill's Bus Services and other smaller operators.
Bruce James McFee was a Scottish National Party (SNP) politician. He was elected as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the West of Scotland region at the 2003 election. McFee served on the Scottish Parliament's Procedures and Justice 1 Committees. He was involved in local campaigns to save Ferguson's shipyard in Port Glasgow and to retain the name of the University of Paisley.
Johnstone is a town in the administrative area of Renfrewshire and larger historic county of the same name, in the west central Lowlands of Scotland.
Paisley and Renfrewshire South is a constituency of the House of Commons, located in Renfrewshire, Scotland to the southwest of Glasgow. It elects one Member of Parliament at least once every five years using the first-past-the-post system of voting.
East Renfrewshire is a constituency of the House of Commons, to the south of Glasgow, Scotland. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) using the first-past-the-post system of voting.
Renfrew District was, between 1975 and 1996, one of nineteen local government districts in the Strathclyde region of Scotland.
West Renfrewshire was a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1885 to 1983 and again from 1997 until 2005. In 2005 the constituency was abolished and the area is now represented by Inverclyde, Paisley and Renfrewshire North and Paisley and Renfrewshire South.
Renfrewshire or the County of Renfrew is a historic county, registration county and lieutenancy area in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. The lieutenancy area covers the three modern council areas of Inverclyde, Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire, and this area is occasionally termed Greater Renfrewshire to distinguish it from the modern council area called Renfrewshire. The historic county additionally included territory on the south-western edge of Glasgow which was gradually transferred to the administrative area of the city as it grew.
Colin McIver Campbell is a Scottish politician and military historian. He was a Scottish National Party (SNP) Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for West of Scotland region from 1999 to 2003. Campbell is a former history teacher and secondary school headmaster.
Inverclyde Council is one of the 32 local authorities of Scotland, covering the Inverclyde council area. In its current form the council was created in 1996, replacing the previous Inverclyde District Council which existed from 1975 to 1996.
Dumbarton is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood) covering parts of the council areas of Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post method of election. It is also one of ten constituencies in the West Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to the ten constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.
Greenock and Port Glasgow was a burgh constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1974 until 1997, electing one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election.
Renfrewshire North and West is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood). It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post method of election. It is also one of ten constituencies in the West Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to ten constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.
Renfrewshire South is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament covering parts of the council areas of Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post method of election. It forms one of ten constituencies in the West Scotland electoral region, which also elects seven additional members to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.
Renfrew is a town 6 miles (10 km) west of Glasgow in the west central Lowlands of Scotland. It is the historic county town of Renfrewshire. Called the "Cradle of the Royal Stewarts" for its early link with Scotland's former royal house, Renfrew gained royal burgh status in 1397.
Neil James Bibby is a Scottish Labour co-operative politician who has served as a Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) for the West Scotland region since 2011.
The 2017 Renfrewshire Council election took place on 4 May 2017 to elect members of Renfrewshire Council. The election was first to use the twelve wards created as a result of the 2015-16 Boundary Commission review, with each ward electing three or four Councillors using the single transferable vote system, a form of proportional representation, with 43 Councillors being elected, a net increase of 3 members compared to the 2012 Council.
East Kilbride West is one of the 20 electoral wards of South Lanarkshire Council. Created in 2007, the ward elects three councillors using the single transferable vote electoral system and covers an area with a population of 13,737 people.
Scotia Future was a political party in Scotland which supports Scottish independence. The party was in favour of what it considered "Real Independence and a Scotland of Equals" outside both the United Kingdom and the European Union with a Swiss style relationship within EFTA. On social and economic issues, the Party looks to an older radical nationalist tradition in Scotland than the Scottish National Party (SNP), such as to the economic radicalism of the Scots National League, the Co-operative Movement, and the Highland Land League. Its colours were purple and white, and its logo was a triquetra superimposed on a map of Scotland.. Following discussion with members its Nominating Officer, Cllr Andy Doig, dissolved the Party in March 2023. The Party Leader and Treasurer, Chic Brodie, former MSP, having died in September 2022. The remaining party funds were donated to the pro-independence campaign group, Salvo Scotland, in April 2023.
Renfrewshire is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, formally established in 1996 to succeed the Renfrew district within the Strathclyde region, both of which were abolished; the headquarters are at Paisley.
The 2022 Renfrewshire Council elections took place on 5 May 2022, as part of the 2022 Scottish local elections on the same day as the 31 other Scottish local authorities were up for election. The election used the 12 wards created under the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 and last changed as part of the as a result of the 2015-16 Boundary Commission review, with 43 councillors being elected. Each ward elected either 3 or 4 members, using the STV electoral system.