The Paisley Development Trust (PDT) was formed to take forward a programme of community renewal through the arts and culture and is focussed on the creation of a Unique Selling Point for the town and the preservation and re-use of redundant buildings throughout Paisley. Through the regeneration of Paisley (Scotlandâ€™s largest town) we can also regenerate the whole of Renfrewshire.
The establishment in Paisley of a Scottish Cinema and Film heritage centre would fulfil these aims. The fact that Paisley used to be a town with a strong tradition of cinema going (not too long ago there were 7 cinemas in Paisley) and that Paisley University is recognised for the film and media courses they provide, it was agreed that the aim of the PDT should be to work towards the establishment of such a USP.
To raise awareness of the trust in the wider community a series of events have taken and will take place with the aim of involving as many people as possible in the common aim to promote Paisley in the national and international community.
The first of the PDT events in 2004 was a very successful and exciting exhibition called â€˜Cinema Buddiesâ€™.This was to commemorate the 71 young lives that were lost in tragic circumstances in the cinema, on Hogmanay 1929. PDT continued with an end of year lantern procession that was featured in the BBC and STV live news for the day as well as a large number of print media. The Glen Cinema story received interest from a film production company and a documentary of the tragic events was created for broadcast on BBC.
During the 60th commemoration of the end of World War 2 in 2005 the PDT in Partnership with Fablevision (Scotlandâ€™s leading cultural planning company) staged a drama piece in the Fountain Gardens which received national interest which was also reviewed by the Hearldâ€™s drama critic. There have been many other smaller projects that involved all sections of our community including, a radio play (Jimmy the Ninja) and involvement in local cultural events and festivals
Projects for the future include the replacement of the Horseshoe commemorative inlay at Maxwellton Cross (which has been commissioned from internationally renowned Paisley Sculptor, Sandy Stoddart) as well as an annual community festival featuring a dramatic re-enactment of the terrible events that saw a number of wrongly accused witches put to death in 1697 and their remains placed under the horseshoe. Further as part of its future community consultation process the Trust will host an â€˜understanding the Town Centre Regenerationâ€™ event featuring the Project Director and create a walk-in information and consultation facility in the Town Centre.
The PDT will also represent its memberâ€™s and their communitiesâ€™ views and interests at local Community Planning conferences and the Regeneration of the Town Centre consultation events and feedback to its membership.
What can you do? The Trusts activities are varied and very interesting, as are the current membership and directors. We all contribute fully in the process and need others of like minds to become part of our friendly, approachable and presentable bunch that meet once a month for around an hour and a half.
Through the regeneration of Scotlandâ€™s largest town we can also regenerate the whole of Renfrewshire.
Tofind out more about becoming more involved in Paisleyâ€™s future, contact the Paisley Development Trust at: