, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Anti-poverty programmes save £3m for Renfrewshire residents

(l to r) Renfrewshire Tackling Poverty commissioners Dr Jim McCormick, Prof Sue Ellis (University of Strathclyde), Cllr Mike Holmes and Dr Linda de Caestecker (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde director of public health)

Innovative anti-poverty programmes have put more than £3m into the pockets of Renfrewshire’s hardest-pressed families.

(l to r) Renfrewshire Tackling Poverty commissioners Dr Jim McCormick, Prof Sue Ellis (University of Strathclyde), Cllr Mike Holmes and Dr Linda de Caestecker (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde director of public health)

(l to r) Renfrewshire Tackling Poverty commissioners Dr Jim McCormick, Prof Sue Ellis (University of Strathclyde), Cllr Mike Holmes and Dr Linda de Caestecker (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde director of public health)

Renfrewshire Council’s Tackling Poverty programme was the first of its kind in Scotland – and members of the commission whose report preceded it today returned to Paisley to see how their recommendations are being brought to life.

The programme is made up of more than 50 individual projects covering education, health, income support, employability, and digital and cultural inclusion.

two of the Street Stuff coaches outside Renfrewshire's culture bus - Sarah Beattie and Emma Phelan

two of the Street Stuff coaches outside Renfrewshire’s culture bus – Sarah Beattie and Emma Phelan

Since the programme started in summer 2015 it has:
– allowed almost 1,000 home visits by energy advocates, cutting almost £270,000 from residents’ household bills;
– created 600 new credit unions members across Renfrewshire, saving them £85k in interest payments compared to high-street rates;
– put £84k into year one of a cost-of-the-school day fund – the first of its kind in Scotland – breaking down the barriers for less-affluent pupils;

That work complements the council’s existing Families First early-years scheme, which has helped residents claim £2.7m in benefits they didn’t know they were entitled to.

The Tackling Poverty programme has funded three new Families First locations from earlier this year, to add to the two which had been running in Ferguslie and Linwood since 2013.

Other achievements since the Tackling Poverty programme started include:
– more than 750 primary school teachers trained in literacy coaching through a programme unique to Renfrewshire;
– a 72% reduction in sanctions on Jobseekers Allowance claimants in the area;

The original commissioners included a range of local and national experts from the fields of education, health, housing, industrial relations, social affairs and more.

They and other guests were invited to Paisley Museum for an interactive showcase of some of the key Tackling Poverty Programme projects by the staff running them.

That included a unique scheme to increase literacy skills in partnership with the University of Strathclyde, the award-winning youth diversionary Street Stuff scheme, and a Making Futures project to engage young people in culture.

Renfrewshire Council’s depute leader Councillor Mike Holmes chaired the initial commission and gave the closing speech to visitors at the event.

He said: “Renfrewshire is a diverse area but deep-seated pockets of deprivation remain in some of our communities – as was shown this summer when government stats showed Scotland’s most deprived area was in Ferguslie Park in Paisley.

“These are long-term problems to which there are no easy fixes – and only a long-term solution will suffice.

“But this council was determined to take a fresh approach, which is why we pulled together a group of national experts and prioritised a £6m investment.

“I am pleased to say the work we are doing has attracted widespread attention and Renfrewshire is now recognised as leading the way in taking on poverty – several other Scottish councils have now followed our model.

“Today’s event was a way to thank our commisioners for their input and show them the steps we have made to act on their recommendations.

“I am immensely proud of the work the programme has done over the past 18 months – and would like to thank all the staff from the council and our partners across all 50 projects for everything they are doing.”

Dr Jim McCormick, Associate Director Scotland to the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation, was one of Renfrewshire’s Tackling Poverty Commissioners.

He said: “Renfrewshire has been one of the first areas to take such a comprehensive view of mapping out the causes of poverty – and across partners, not just the council.

“I see a big focus on removing cost barriers on families. There is reason to be optimistic about the long-term prospects for the area.”

For more information, visit  www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/tacklingpoverty

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Businesses provide their views on Glasgow Airport Access Project

glasgow airport

A survey of businesses from across the West of Scotland, designed to give them a say on the Glasgow Airport Access Project (AAP) has closed, with early results indicating a strong level of support for the project.

glasgow airport

The AAP is the flagship project of the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal and is intended to provide a rail link between Glasgow Central Station and Glasgow Airport via Paisley Gilmour Street station.

The survey, issued by the Renfrewshire and Glasgow Chambers of Commerce, sought the business community’s views on the potential economic benefits of the AAP and the two options for the airport link. Results from the survey, which closed on Friday 2nd September, will be used to help inform the choice between the two options.

The full results are currently being collated and evaluated by the project team in an appraisal process which will be included in the Outline Business Case. That is expected to be presented for consideration to Renfrewshire Council’s Leadership Board and Glasgow City Council’s Executive Committee in December 2016.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said; “The business community is central to our drive to create permanent jobs and revitalise Renfrewshire’s economy, and the Glasgow Airport Access Project is a key component of that strategy.

“We’re pleased that businesses, of all sizes, took the opportunity to have a direct input into the project. While we’re just beginning to analyse the results, early indications are that the local business community is right behind the project and eager for it to be delivered as soon as possible.

“Glasgow Airport is Renfrewshire’s economic engine and its continuing success is vital to the future of the wider economy of the Glasgow City Region. The AAP will promote and support growth by offering passengers a better experience and improving links with the already existing transport network.

“In order for this project to progress, the transport agency Transport Scotland, needs to include it in future rail planning proposals due to be finalised next year. The project’s inclusion in this document is critical.”

Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council and Chair of the Glasgow City Region Cabinet, said: “A new direct link between Glasgow Airport and the city centre is essential for the thousands of travellers who fly into and out of Glasgow every day.

“The Glasgow City Region City Deal will deliver that link, generating jobs and inward investment. I’d like to thank all of the businesses who proactively engaged with the business survey, as we value the input of those who will ultimately benefit from the project.

“We’ll be looking for the full support of the Scottish Government and its agency, Transport Scotland, to not only commit to helping us deliver the rail link but also to speed up its delivery.”

Councillors Macmillan and McAveety are meeting with Transport Minister Humza Yousaf tomorrow (14 September) to press the case for including the £144 million project in high-level rail plans due to be finalised next year and critical to the successful delivery of the project.

One option for the AAP is a tram-train link which would provide passengers with a direct link between Glasgow Central station and Glasgow Airport. It would run on the existing heavy rail network before switching onto a new tram line from Paisley to the airport terminal building.

The estimated cost of the tram-train link is £144.3m. This includes construction, rolling stock, inflation and land acquisition.

The other option is a light-rail, Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system where passengers would travel by normal train to Paisley Gilmour Street. At Paisley Gilmour Street they would change onto a new light-rail system to complete their journey.

Around 30 airlines operate from Glasgow Airport, serving 120 destinations around the globe and moving more than nine million passengers. In one month alone, July 2016, more than one million passengers passed through the airport, a significant increase on the corresponding week during the previous year of 6.4%.

The AAP will be delivered by Renfrewshire Council and Glasgow City Council. Glasgow Airport, Transport Scotland and Network Rail are key stakeholders. Construction is expected to start in 2022 with services scheduled to begin in 2025.

See www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/citydeal for more information on Renfrewshire’s other City Deal projects.

See www.glasgowcityregion.co.uk for more information on the Glasgow City Region City Deal projects. Follow us on Twitter: @GlasgowCityDeal


, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

£3million investment in Renfrewshire community centres

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Some £3million is being spent upgrading and improving six Renfrewshire community centres over the next 12 months.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG
The programme starts on Monday 12 September at Johnstone Castle Community Centre. The centre will be closed for around 10 weeks during its refurbishment.

Cargill Hall, Foxbar, Gallowhill, Glenburn and Ralston Community Centres are all in line for major work under the programme.

Specific proposals are being drawn up for each building but the work is likely to include: repairing or replacing the roof; re-rendering external walls; replacing the windows; redecorating; replacing floor coverings, ceilings, toilets and sinks; re-wiring; new lighting and the replacement of under floor heating with more efficient systems.

Councillor Jim Harte, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Limited, said, “Across Renfrewshire millions of pounds are being spent on regeneration projects and new affordable housing.

“This refurbishment programme is a major cash injection into local facilities which provide services directly to their communities and are often run by those same communities. This investment will make our community centres more attractive for users and extend the buildings’ lives into the 2030s.

“It’s also good news that some of the works will be carried out by council’s own Building Services, a team which is developing a deserved reputation for delivering high-quality work, on time and on budget.

“This project has seen employees from across the council working with Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd to make sure that the cash available generates the biggest benefit for local communities.”

Renfrewshire Leisure Limited (RLL) manages Renfrewshire Council’s indoor sports centres and swimming pools. In July 2015 RLL also took over the management of town halls, libraries and museums.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Retail Academy produces job ready recruits

Left to right::  Moroaj Alkenani, Morag Doig (Retail Coordinator), Cllr Mark Macmillan, Amrit Pall, John Docherty, Pauline McAree (Retail Academy Assistant)

Over the next six weeks, seven young people are learning the tricks of the trade at Renfrewshire Council’s Retail Academy.

Left to right::  Moroaj Alkenani, Morag Doig (Retail Coordinator), Cllr Mark Macmillan, Amrit Pall, John Docherty, Pauline McAree (Retail Academy Assistant)

Left to right:: Moroaj Alkenani, Morag Doig (Retail Coordinator), Cllr Mark Macmillan, Amrit Pall, John Docherty, Pauline McAree (Retail Academy Assistant)

The Retail Academy is based at the InCube shop in Gilmour Street, Paisley. It offers employer led training which is designed to help young people gain the knowledge, skills, qualifications and experience they need to work in a customer service or retail environment.

The trainees are: Natasha Aitchison, Moroaj Alkenani, Ruth McCallum, John Docherty, Nicole McGregor , Amrit Pall and Kelsey Robin

Trainees initially spend three weeks at the InCube shop where they learn to: deliver high standards of customer service, process till point sales and gain product knowledge and selling skills. They will also take part in merchandising activities and stock control. This is followed by a three week work placement where the trainees demonstrate these skills to potential employers.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said, “We want to make sure that there is a pool of well trained, customer focused staff available for local retailers to choose from. Our trainees will graduate in time for the Christmas rush when many retailers are looking to recruit new employees.

“But our aim is to do far more than just provide extra staff for shops during busy times. The council’s Invest in Renfrewshire initiative has been particularly successful in reducing unemployment amongst young people. Over the last six years we’ve seen a 60% drop in the number of 18 to 24 year olds claiming unemployment benefit.

“The Retail Academy is about giving young people the skills and experience which will be the foundation for long-term employment in retail or a customer service role.

“The InCube shop, itself, is an important part of our drive to regenerate Paisley’s town centre. It is more than just a Retail Academy. It is a real shop, selling high quality goods made by local manufacturers and designers. It is the kind of niche establishment that represents the future for traditional town centres in a time of expanding out-of-town shopping centres.”

Morag Doig, Retail Coordinator, said, “The InCube shop offers a unique live retail trading environment for trainees to learn in. The programme we offer isn’t just classroom-based, it is actual work experience which involves engaging with customers on the shop floor.

“An important part of our programme is helping our trainees break down any barriers that may be holding them back. This includes issues such as a lack of qualifications and limited work experience. At the end of the programme our trainees are talented, job-ready, potential employees with practical shop floor skills and an up to date work history.”

If you are a local retailer and would be interested in offering a work placement to a Retail Academy trainee, please contact Morag Doig, 0141 618 6040 or stop by the InCube Shop, 9b Gilmour Street, Paisley.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Gavin Newlands MP meets with Sanctuary Housing

Sancturary Housing

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, has met with Sanctuary Scotland to find out more about the housing association’s developments in Renfrewshire.

Sancturary Housing

Mr Newlands joined area housing manager Robert Campbell to discuss a number of common housing issues that he’s been working on as a constituent MP, as well as speaking about housing developments that Sanctuary Scotland is engaged in.

During the meeting, Mr Newlands was given a tour of new-build Sanctuary schemes at Shortroods and Gallowhill.

Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“I was grateful to Robert for taking the time to meet me to speak about a number of issues that have been raised to me as the local constituency MP. Housing is the number one issue that is raised with me by local people, so it was good to meet with Robert and find out more about the work that Sanctuary Scotland is doing to address the housing need in Renfrewshire.

“It was also good to be shown around Sanctuary’s new-build housing at Shortroods and Gallowhill. These new houses not only make a massive difference to the lives of the families who live in them, but they also go a long way in helping to regenerate the area.”

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renfrewshire Council’s jobs drive cuts unemployment by 43%

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

New figures show Renfrewshire Council initiatives have almost halved unemployment among local people.

renfrewshire council logo .JPG

Over the last six years the number of Renfrewshire residents claiming Jobseekers Allowance or Universal Credit has dropped by 43%.

More than 2,000 adults have found work, bringing the overall unemployment rate down to 5.8%. The reduction is most marked amongst young people with the number of 18 to 24 year olds, who are claiming unemployment entitlement, dropping by 60%. Currently there are 620, 18 to 24 year olds out of work, a fall of 920 since 2010.

Councillor Mark Macmillan, Leader of Renfrewshire Council, said, “The massive improvement in the unemployment figures is largely down to the efforts of Renfrewshire Council. Year on year we have been getting people into real jobs with real prospects.

“Our drive to end youth unemployment has paid particular dividends. We’ve seen a 60% drop in the number of 18 to 24 year olds claiming unemployment benefit.

“It is one of the most basic lessons of economics that getting people back into work is the best way to kick-start the economy. People who have jobs, which pay a decent wage, have the means to buy goods and services. This supports and creates other jobs in a virtuous circle.”

Invest in Renfrewshire is one of the key Renfrewshire Council programmes which offers a range of funding packages, designed to boost the local economy and help companies grow.

The business growth fund can pay up to 50% of costs of specific projects, up to a maximum of £10,000 while employer recruitment incentives help businesses meet the costs of hiring an unemployed young person for a new post.

Under the scheme, Invest in Renfrewshire pays 50% of their wage bill, at national minimum wage, for up to 40 hours a week for a maximum of 39 weeks. An extra £1,000 is available for companies paying the Living Wage of £7.50 per hour. Some 900 firms are signed up to the Renfrewshire Recruitment Incentive scheme. The jobs created must be new, additional to existing staff and, importantly, permanent.

Invest in Renfrewshire also matches companies with unemployed graduates, helping businesses benefit from new ideas and skills.

Microloan funding is available to help existing small businesses grow. It offers unsecured loans of between £1,000 and £5,000. The West of Scotland loan fund offers loans of up to £50,000, which can be used for working capital, equipment or property.

Grants of up to £10,000 are available to help retail businesses improve their shop-fronts and interiors and help is also on offer to find new premises.

InCube is another key part of the Invest in Renfrewshire programme. InCube is a business incubator designed to give new businesses the best possible start in life. The services provided by InCube are backed, quite literally, by a shop window for the unique goods created by local entrepreneurs.

The InCube shop itself has revitalised a vacant unit on Paisley’s Gilmour Street and sells textiles, paintings, jewellery, accessories, hats and children’s clothes.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

£34million Renfrewshire affordable housing investment plan unveiled


Renfrewshire Council has unveiled a five-year plan to target £34million in grant funding into projects which will provide local people with more than 700 high-quality, affordable homes in neighbourhoods where they want to live.

housinginforgraphics-auguust2016-webThe homes will be a mixture of council and housing association properties.

The draft Strategic Housing Investment Plan 2017/18 – 2021/22 will be presented to Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety (HACS) Board on Wednesday 23 August.

Board members are expected to give the green light for a four week consultation on the draft plan. If approved the public, housing associations, developers and other key partners will be asked for their views on the proposals.

Copies of the draft plan will then be sent to local tenants’ and residents’ associations and the 15 housing associations working in Renfrewshire. The plan will also be made available to the public through the council’s website.

The final plan will be published by the end of the year as part of the Local Housing Strategy.

Councillor Tommy Williams, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Housing and Community Safety Policy Board, said, “Good Quality, affordable housing helps to improve people’s quality of life.  It is essential to achieving the council’s priorities on regeneration, economic growth and prosperity and has a positive impact on health and wellbeing.

“Renfrewshire Council is committed to providing high-quality homes that people can afford to rent and buy. But the draft Strategic Housing Investment Plan isn’t just about building more houses. It is about creating homes that people want to live in, in places where they want to live.

“We are already well on track to delivering our target of 1,000 new affordable homes by 2020 and I fully expect that the final version of the Strategic Housing Investment Plan will take us beyond that.”

Affordable housing includes a range of options for people who are looking for a home to rent or buy: new council homes for rent, housing association homes for rent, low cost home ownership/shared equity schemes and intermediate/mid-market rental.

Since 2011/12, 842 homes have already been completed in Renfrewshire under the Affordable Housing Investment Programme.

The draft Strategic Housing Investment Plan contains details of a range of projects which are: due to start on site soon, have recently been completed or are expected to be finished this year.

Proposed projects over the next five years include:
·        Bishopton Community Growth Area. Renfrewshire Council – Phase 1, 100 new council homes. Phase 2, 100 new housing association homes.
·        Johnstone Castle. Renfrewshire Council – 100 new council ‘back and front door’ houses
·        Smithhills Street, Paisley. LinkGroup – 24 flats.
·        Milliken Road, Kilbarchan. Williamsburgh Housing Association – 18 one and two bedroomed flats for rent.
·        Inchinnan Road, Renfrew. Sanctuary Scotland – 67 affordable homes
·        West End, Paisley. Sanctuary Scotland – redevelop Co-op site in Wellmeadow Street and regenerate Well Street area.
·        Orchard Street/Causeyside Street, Paisley. Renfrewshire Council, Scottish Government and Paisley South Housing Association – Comprehensive Tenement Improvement scheme.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renfrewshire schools show improved exam performance


Renfrewshire schools have recorded an improvement on exam results compared to last year, according to early indications.exam-results

Initial data from this year’s SQA exams shows the percentage of local young people leaving school with three or more Highers has increased by 2%, to 27%.

And there has also been a jump in the numbers getting five or more awards at National 5 level – up by 1.5% to 55% of all pupils.

Pupils across Renfrewshire were among 142,000 across Scotland ending a nervous summer-long wait today when they found out their individual results, either online or via the post.

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson said: “This year’s results are very encouraging – we have achieved an improvement on last year across two of the key measures and we are very pleased with how the overall picture is looking.

“We want to congratulate all our pupils for all their hard work, as well as thanking our school staff for the great job they do all year round.

“And as important as exam results are, we want our pupils to leave school not just with academic achievements, but with a full range of individual achievements too, through schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh award.”

For any pupils who didn’t get the results they hoped for or who want more information over their next steps, help is available through a free national helpline for pupils and parents.

The Skills Development Scotland helpline will be open from 8am to 8pm on 9 and 10 August and from 9am to 5pm until 17 August. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.

Pupils will be able to speak to qualified careers advisers with access to information on course vacancies at colleges and universities, and advice about apprenticeships, employment or volunteering.

Local careers advice is also available via the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire team, by visiting investinrenfrewshire.com or calling 0300 300 1180.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Renfrewshire cultural groups, performers and charities urged not to miss out

PACE Youth Theatre performing at the launch of the CHE Fund earlier this year

Cultural groups, performers and charities from across Renfrewshire are being encouraged to submit their applications to the Culture, Heritage and Events (CHE) Fund before the 1st August deadline.

PACE Youth Theatre performing at the launch of the CHE Fund earlier this year

PACE Youth Theatre performing at the launch of the CHE Fund earlier this year

Created by Renfrewshire Council, the CHE Fund is a key component of Paisley 2021, the town’s bid to become UK City of Culture 2021. It was established to unlock and support the area’s creative potential by helping the cultural community organise its own events and projects in the run-up to the bid.

Applications are being sought for the second round of funding to be provided by the CHE Fund, which will deliver £500,000 during the next five years. Launched in March 2016, the fund made awards totalling more than £62,000 to 12 Renfrewshire projects in its first round of funding.

It’s open to any organisations or individuals from Renfrewshire, who wish to create or develop cultural or heritage activities specifically inspired by Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

Successful proposals will demonstrate a compelling connection to Paisley’s bid, strengthen cultural activity in neighbourhoods and town centres across Renfrewshire, enhance the annual cultural calendar in Renfrewshire, and showcase the region’s talent, not just locally but in other parts of the UK.

Jean Cameron, Bid Director for Paisley 2021, said: “Applications are once again pouring in for the CHE Fund, highlighting the breadth, depth and quality of the cultural scene across Renfrewshire.

“The deadline for the next round of funding is fast approaching and we don’t want anybody to miss out on the opportunity to be in with a chance of securing support for their project. The passion and creativity contained in the applications we’re receiving is fantastic to see and further emphasises why Paisley is in a prime position to be named UK City of Culture in 2021.”

The first round of funding attracted 72 applications and the benefits are already being felt by the 12 groups who received awards. The successful applicants included Right2Dance, who received £13,946 to run free weekly dance classes and stage a new performance in 2017.

Another group to benefit were Renfrewshire Disability Art Forum, who will use their £6,000 to develop a range of creative solutions to help address cognitive impairment among the program’s participants. This will include digital artforms, printmaking, animation and music technology.

Information about and application forms for Renfrewshire Council’s Culture, Heritage and Events (CHE) Fund can be found at: http://www.paisley2021.co.uk/culture-fund/

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

£4.5m town centre revamp to start as national lottery funding confirmed

High Street 03

Plans for a multi-million-pound transformation of Paisley town centre have now cleared the final funding hurdle after receiving a £1.9m national lottery grant.

High Street 03

Renfrewshire Council will now start work on a five-year £4.5m Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest.

The Heritage Lottery Fund last year awarded the council £113,000 to prepare detailed plans for the scheme, and earmarked a further £1.9m subject to approval of those plans – which has now been given.

Historic Environment Scotland has already confirmed an award of £1m towards the scheme to cover repairs to historic buildings, with the rest of the total to be made up by Renfrewshire Council and investment by the building owners themselves.

The programme will start this year and will focus on a defined area covering the west end of the High Street – from the junction with New Street to the university – plus parts of New Street and Shuttle Street.

A series of priority buildings have already been identified for repairs and restoration, while the HLF money will also fund a programme of community activity designed to complement Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

It will build on the success of the £3.5m THI/CARS scheme which has transformed the area around Causeyside Street over the past few years, including shopfront repair grants, public realm improvements, and a revamp of Paisley Arts Centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted this award has been confirmed and we would like to thank our friends at Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland for supporting our ambitions.

“Paisley town centre has a tremendous built heritage – with only Edinburgh having a higher concentration of listed buildings of anywhere in Scotland.

“This project will deliver some much-needed investment to bring some vacant historic buildings back into use.

“In doing so we will not only be improving the look and feel of the town centre, but also stimulating the local economy, and hopefully increasing footfall in the area around the High Street.

“The project is scheduled to run until 2021 – making it a perfect fit for the UK City of Culture bid and the planned £56.7m revamp of Paisley Museum – and will deliver a programme of activity designed to complement both.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The regeneration of town centres is an obvious way in which we as an organisation can make an important contribution to improving the economy of an area and the standard of living for the people resident there.

“Investing National Lottery money to revitalise historic buildings at the heart of a community, not only makes a place more attractive to live, visit and invest in, it also provides jobs and training opportunities for local people.

“Building on the success of what has been achieved already, we are delighted to make this award to Paisley. It is part of our on-going commitment to preserving Scotland’s heritage in a way in which is relevant to the needs of today.”