A sell-out crowd of 500 people witnessed 17 Awards presented at ROCCO 2018 on Friday 16th November at the Normandy Hotel Renfrew.

Renfrewshire’s principal business event now in its 15th year was sponsored by Paisley.is, the new destination brand for Paisley and Renfrewshire. Chamber President Tom Johnston welcomed the audience warmly and showcased the chamber’s achievements in the last year.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance Derek Mackay MSP spoke as a special guest and emphasised the economic success and future investments coming to the area, acknowledging the vital contribution of the Chamber to the local economy.

Deputy Council Leader Jim Paterson gave the main sponsor address and highlighted the opportunities showcased via the Paisley.is destination website, considered the place to find out all that is happening in Paisley and Renfrewshire. The audience were given paisley.is branding toolkits and encouraged to use the new brand on their own media channels to help promote Renfrewshire to the world.

The ROCCO raffle raised a record-breaking £11,000 with individual pledges of £1000 each from intu Braehead and the Normandy Hotel for local charities and good causes with main beneficiaries St Vincent’s Hospice and Paisley YMCA’s digital fabrication project.

The outstanding entertainment was provided by talented emerging artists from Scottish Opera; Mezzo-soprano Bethan Langford, pianist Erika Gundesen and soprano Lucy Anderson. General Director Alex Reedijk emphasised the importance of young people building on three sell-out shows of Pagliacci in the summer at Paisley Opera House. He noted the support of the community in bringing these performances to life.

ROCCO favourite Fred MacAulay hosted and was enthralled by all three performers. The ROCCO audience were in awe of the talented artists who received thunderous applause. The ROCCO Twitter Wall proved a great hit with all the guests and saw #2018ROCCO trending on the night reaching almost 300,000 accounts and 1.1 million impressions.

Commenting on the awards, Chamber chief executive Bob Grant said “ROCCO 2018 will be remembered as a ROCCO record-breaker. The event sold out in record time, we had a record number of awards and raised a record amount for our two ROCCO charites.