Improvements to Paisley’s built environment are continuing as work starts on the first buildings benefiting from the latest raft of heritage funding.

Repairs to 9 Gilmour Street are being carried out through the £4 million Paisley Townscape and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (TH.CARS2) which is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council and will be delivered over the next four years.

The multi-million pound regeneration programme aims to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest.

Through the scheme, building owners can apply for grant funding for building repairs and shopfront improvements with a view to creating a high quality environment which will increase business interest and reduce the number of vacant properties in the area.

The grant funding secured for 9 Gilmour Street will deliver repairs to the external fabric of the building with work being carried out by local construction firm Clark Contracts.

Mr Allan Toti of A.D.T Properties who owns the ground floor shop units at 9 Gilmour Street, said:  “There is such beautiful architecture in the town and by making funding available for improvements to the properties it gives people the opportunity to admire them more.

“The grant funding is a great thing and I would encourage other shop owners to take advantage of it as it offers business benefits to them as well as improving the look of the buildings in the town.

“I love the town, I think it’s a great place and improvements to the town centre will only help to make it an even better place.”

The building is also the head office of Walker Laird and is occupied by 55 solicitors and support staff.

Ronnie McGinlay, Partner at Walker Laird said: “Our firm is keen to stay in the centre of Paisley and due to the cost of the major refurbishment works sought advice on grant funding from Renfrewshire Council.

“The decision to award the grant has allowed Walker Laird to maintain its presence in the town and the firm is very grateful for the assistance and advice offered throughout this process.”

Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Cllr Iain Nicolson, said: “Paisley boasts an impressive built heritage which we want to protect and revitalise. By investing in our built environment we will encourage more visitors and businesses to the area which will in turn increase footfall on the High Street and reduce the number of vacant properties.

“Through the scheme we, along with the support of HLF and HES, want to help building owners repair and improve their premises to help increase business interest. It’s great to see building and business owners in the community take advantage of the scheme and  I would encourage more people to find out about the grant funding offered through this project and what the potential business benefits are likely to be.”

The scheme builds on the success of the initial £3.5m THI/CARS scheme which transformed the area around Causeyside Street including shopfront repair grants and public realm improvements.

A number of other projects have been implemented aimed at driving people back into the town centre including the restoration and reuse of the Russell Institute, the proposed relocation of Paisley Central Library to a vacant building on the High Street and plans for a £42 million revamp to Paisley Museum.

To find out more about the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme please visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/thcars2.

For more information on the Council’s wider regeneration plans please visit: www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/paisley.