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Paisley Abbey. New entrance and visitor facilities for the Abbey


Paisley Abbey has selected top Scottish architectural firm Simpson and Brown (www.simpsonandbrown.co.uk) to design a new entrance and visitor facilities for the Abbey and renovations to the Place of Paisley. The firm was selected from ten who were invited to compete for this prestigious commission. The selection panel included representatives from the Abbey, the Church of Scotland, Renfrewshire Council and Historic Scotland.

The Abbey and the Place of Paisley have a long and varied history at the heart of the town’s church and community life. The Abbey wishes to continue to strengthen its role in Paisley’s cultural life.

A key part of the Abbey’s strategy is to create new indoor space between the Abbey and the Place, as well as to adapt existing accommodation in the Place of Paisley. These improvements will provide better facilities for visitors, the local community and the congregation, and help the Abbey to become more financially sustainable in the future.

The Abbey wishes to create an inspirational new public space which both the congregation and the local community will use, share and feel proud of. The intention is to conserve the Abbey and Place as special places – in terms of their religious, architectural and historical significance – and create an extension of the very best architectural quality.

This is an exciting opportunity to create something which is open and welcoming to all the people of Paisley – something which not only they will be proud of, but which will be of international quality.

The Minister of Paisley Abbey, the Reverend Alan Birss, said:

“As minister, I am very excited about the proposed development. We have a long tradition in the Abbey of welcoming pilgrims and visitors and of serving the parish and community around the Abbey. This development, when completed, will greatly enhance our work in these areas and reaffirm for a new generation the Abbey’s central place in the life of the whole community. Our hope is that the new and upgraded facilities will enable visitor and local resident alike to feel ‘at home’ in the Abbey and that, in a real sense, the Abbey ‘belongs’ to all.”

The Abbey’s aspiration is that the extension and renovations will open their doors to the public on the 850th anniversary of the founding of the Abbey: 15th September 2013, St Mirin’s Day. The architects will be starting design work shortly with this target date in mind.

For further information please contact:

Rev. Alan D. Birss (Minister of Paisley Abbey)
Paisley Abbey
Abbey Close
tel: 0141 889 7654
email: info@paisleyabbey.org.uk