Shieldinch will welcome a new visitor later this month when the Scottish Parliament’s Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP, visits the set of the popular BBC One programme, River City.
The visit, which takes place on Monday 24 February, is part of “Parliament Day Dumbarton”, an initiative which takes the Parliament and its work out of Holyrood and into local communities across Scotland.
As well as meeting the fictional residents of Shieldinch, the Presiding Officer will meet staff and customers at Café Connect, which employs adults with learning disabilities. She will also record news stories for Rockvale Rebound, the ‘talking newspaper’ delivered to local people with visual impairments.
Presiding Officer, the Rt Hon Tricia Marwick MSP said:
“Parliament Day is all about taking the Scottish Parliament out of Edinburgh and into communities across Scotland.
“I am delighted we’ll be visiting Dumbarton for our next Parliament Day and I am very much looking forward to meeting local residents and to visiting Café Connect and Rockvale Rebound – two initiatives which contribute so much to the local Dumbarton community.
“It will also be fascinating to see behind the scenes at Shieldinch and to hear about how the establishment of the River City studio in Dumbarton has made an impact locally, particularly in terms of the local economy.
“I hope that by giving the people of Dumbarton a snapshot of the Parliament’s work and activities, we will help to build stronger links between the local community and their Parliament.”
The Presiding Officer will be accompanied by Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, as she visits the set of River City to meet both cast and crew. They will also tour behind the scenes and finding out more about the editing process. During her visit, the Presiding Officer will be briefed on the economic impact of the studio, which employs around 200 people during a year, and has a significant effect on the local economy.
Parliament Day Dumbarton will also involve the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee taking evidence on the Housing Bill. It is an opportunity for people to meet everyone involved with the Parliament: the Presiding Officer, Members, and the staff of the Parliament.
The organisations being visited by the Presiding Officer include:
- River City. River City is the popular BBC One soap-opera that is filmed at the BBC studios in Dumbarton.
- Café Connect. This project is a not for profit social enterprise run by West Dunbartonshire Council which provides a supported employment environment for adults with learning disabilities.
- Rockvale Rebound. The Rockvale Rebound is a tape news service specifically for visually impaired people resident within the Strathleven Area. It is run as a volunteer-based organisation by Bobby Simpson MBE, himself totally blind.
Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee: The Committee is taking evidence on the Housing Bill. The Committee will hold a series of informal meetings during the day with local tenants groups and housing associations before its formal public meeting at the Burgh Hall begins at 6pm. Members of the public are invited to attend this public meeting, which will have an open Question and Answer session on housing matters at the end.
Education: MSPs who represent the region will visit Renton Primary School, Braehead Primary School and Bonhill Primary School on Monday 24 February to take part in activities designed to help pupils learn more about the Scottish Parliament.
Dumbarton is the fifth Parliament Day to be held with events already being held in Hawick, Stornoway, Stirling and Arbroath. The Parliament Day aims to take the Parliament out of Edinburgh. It allows people to see the Parliament at work, be it ‘official’ Parliamentary business, or on a less formal level.
The Parliament Day is at the heart of the Parliament’s engagement strategy for its fourth session. The Parliament Day seeks to take the Parliament into communities around Scotland, inspiring local people to take an interest in and engage directly in the work of their Parliament.