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Paisley to celebrate trio of food and drink events

Paisley is getting set for a food and drink extravaganza next month – with three great events taking place over the same week.

(left to right) – David Cassidy (Renfrewshire CAMRA), Tony Fitzpatrick (St Mirren), Linsey Reith (Three Sisters Bake), Rachna Dheer, (Babu Bombay Street Kitchen), Jason Smith (The Bankhouse Bar) and Hollie Stark (Kilty Kilty’s)

The 30th annual Paisley Beer Festival – Scotland’s largest – will return for another year to Paisley Town Hall from Wednesday 19 to Saturday 22 April.

On the Saturday the Paisley Food Festival brings a one-day culinary carnival of street food from across the globe plus free family entertainment to Abbey Close.

And Paisley Restaurant Week, being delivered by local business improvement district Paisley First, runs from Saturday 15 to 23 April, with discounts and deals at eateries throughout the town centre.

The events are taking place one week before Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is due to be lodged with the UK Government.

The beer festival is organised by the Renfrewshire branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, who are marking the event’s 30th anniversary by celebrating St Mirren’s 1987 Scottish Cup win – which took place on the same day as the first festival – on their logo and pint glasses.

To promote the event, beer festival organisers were joined by St Mirren chief executive and 1987 cup-winner Tony Fitzpatrick, plus some of the vendors from the food festival, and local businesses taking part in Paisley Restaurant Week.

David Cassidy of Renfrewshire CAMRA said: “When we first started we had no idea we would still be going 30 years on – back then we just had 30 beers and one hall.

“Now we are the biggest real ale festival in Scotland with more than 250 beers over three bars, plus a cider bar and foreign beer bar.

“A few of us are St Mirren fans and it was an easy decision to celebrate the link with the 1987 team in this year’s festival. We also want to thank our sponsors, the Bungalow Bar and Callum’s Cavern.”

The food festival is run by Renfrewshire Council and is taking place for the third time, as part of the area’s major events programme, which aims to attract visitors to the town centre and showcase it as a vibrant destination, alongside the town’s UK City of Culture bid.

It will run from noon to 7pm and will include a wide range of food vendors, from global cuisine to the best of the Scottish larder, with smaller-sized portions at reduced prices for children, and all dietary options catered for. There will also be live music, children’s entertainment, cookery demos and workshops and more – all free.

Rachna Dheer of Babu Bombay Street Kitchen said: “We are absolutely delighted to be taking part in the Paisley Food Festival – we’ve done a lot of these events and they are a great way for people to try lots of new things.”

Paisley Restaurant Week is running for a second year and will be backed by more than 20 businesses in the town centre.

Andrew Mitchell, Paisley First manager, said: “Paisley town centre has a wide range of fantastic restaurants and cafes to suit every taste and budget, and during restaurant week these businesses are putting on some amazing deals which can be found on our website, so don’t miss out on Paisley culinary delights and visit Paisley”.

You can find more information on Paisley Food Festival at www.paisley2021.co.uk, on the beer festival at www.paisleybeerfestival.co.uk and on the restaurant week at www.paisleyfirst.com

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NNE Presents The Complete Stone Roses & Madchester Party

Calling all fans of MADCHESTER….

**Saturday 18th March****

NNE are delighted to announce we have The Complete Stone Roses + Full Support Headlining a full night of MADCHESTER mayhem for us at the SAUWS, Storie Street, Paisley.

This is going to be an awesome night paying homage to one of the most inspirational periods & cities in modern music history.

The SAUWS Paisley will be open from 19:30hrs, with full support act lined up, followed by our headliners – THE COMPLETE STONE ROSES – who are now one of the UK’s most well-known, most seen and most successful tribute bands.

The aftershow party kicks in with DJ playing sounds of Madchester right through to 3am.

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Real-life Princess Leia launches Star Wars toys exhibition

A REAL-LIFE Princess Leia yesterday launched a unique exhibition of Star Wars toys and memorabilia that has come to Scotland for the first time.

Leia Brown, aged 10, from Paisley, who was named after Princess Leia, launches a Star Wars toys exhibition at Paisley Museum

Leia Brown isn’t just named after the space heroine from a galaxy far away, she was also born on May 4, which is known by fans as Star Wars Day – as in ‘may the fourth be with you’!


And the force was definitely with ten-year-old Leia when she got a sneak preview of the May The Toys Be With You exhibition, at Paisley Museum.

Leia Brown, aged 10, from Paisley and Star Wars toys collector, Matt Fox at the launch of the May The Toys Be With You exhibition at Paisley Museum

Shortly after Leia was born, her Star Wars fan dad, Peter persuaded mum, Paula to name her after Princess Leia. And after seeing the movies over the years she was growing up, Leia loves Star Wars as well.

The May The Toys Be With You exhibition is free and open from today, Saturday, March 18 until May 29.
The exhibition features one of the UK’s finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys, original cinema posters and memorabilia. It also includes fun family activities and additional Star-Wars related workshops during the Easter holidays.


Leia said: “I love everything about Star Wars and I’m always dressing up as Princess Leia. I’m glad mum and dad gave me that name.

“I’m really excited about May The Toys Be With You and being chosen to launch the exhibition. It’ll be great fun as it’s got lots of amazing toys and things about Star Wars to see.”

The collection of more than 400 exhibits and worth £100,000 is owned by 44-year-old Star Wars enthusiast Matt Fox, from Canterbury, in Kent, who was given his first Star Wars Darth Vader figure by his parents on his fifth birthday.

He said: “I can still remember sitting in the back of the car so excited and ripping open the packaging to get my hands on the Darth Vader figure.

“My love affair with Star Wars began when I saw the first movie in 1977 and from that day all I would ask my parents at birthdays and Christmas as a present would be Star Wars figures.

“This was in the days before we had videos to watch the movies again and again and the only way kids could recreate the adventures they saw in Star Wars movies was to play with the figures.

“My galaxy was under the dining room table!”

As a teenager Matt stopped asking for Star Wars toys, but years later, as a 28-year-old, he was in the loft of his parents’ home and came across a big box. When he opened the box he was amazed to see all his Star Wars toys had been kept safely by his parents.

“I looked into the box and it was like a golden glow of nostalgia beaming up at me,” he revealed. “It was quite an emotional moment and that’s when I started to seriously collect Star Wars memorabilia again.

“They say collecting is an illness and sharing is the cure and that’s what I want to do with this exhibition – let as many people, young and old, experience the same excitement as I have about Star Wars.”

One of the most rare exhibits on show at Paisley Museum is an original painting by artist Tom Beauvais, from 1977, as the poster for the very first Star Wars film.

However, his painting never appeared as the movie poster, as an illustration by his colleague, Tom Chantrell was used instead.

Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure, Joyce McKellar said: “This exhibition is a must-see for all Star Wars fans.
“It’s a celebration of the now highly-collectable vintage toy line and also of the iconic design work and art of the Star Wars movies.”

Paisley City of Culture 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “The Star Wars films remain as iconic and popular as ever and I am sure there will be huge interest in this exhibition at Paisley Museum over the next few months,

“That will bring visitors to the town and help raise awareness of Paisley’s wider cultural offer.
“Our outline programme for Paisley 2021 will be open and accessible, and will bring culture for all – and this exhibition is a great example of what that could mean. May the Force be with Paisley’s bid!”

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Funding boost means green light for £5m High Street library

Work to build a new £5m library in an empty unit on Paisley’s High Street will start this year – in the latest stage of the push to use culture to breathe new life into Paisley’s High Street.

Renfrewshire Council had already made £3.5m available for the project – and the final piece of the funding jigsaw arrived today with confirmation of a £1.5m grant from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

The project will see the existing Paisley Central Library relocated from its existing home adjoining Paisley Museum to the unit at 22 High Street, formerly the Internacionale store, to form a new learning and cultural centre.

The move is part of a wider effort by the council to use culture to transform the fortunes of the town centre, taking place alongside the UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

Work is already under way on a publicly-accessible museum store in a formerly-empty unit at 9 High Street, due to open later this year.

And plans are moving forward for a £49m revamp of Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based around Renfrewshire’s unique heritage, which would bring an estimated extra 125,000 visitors per year to the town centre.

The library project will involve a major refurbishment of the building and a new shopfront but will retain the historic façade on the upper levels, in keeping with the rest of the High Street.

The new facility would be managed by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd and is planned to be open by the end of 2019. A consultation with existing, lapsed and non-users of the current library last year showed they were mainly supportive of the principle of relocating to the High Street.

Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan said: “We are delighted to have attracted the money needed to top up the council’s previously-announced investment in this project.

“I am sure people will welcome the fact this is bringing an empty High Street unit back into use – the new library is just one strand of a wider push to use cultural attractions to transform Paisley town centre.

“Changes in shopping behavior have created tough times for traditional town centres everywhere – but we can’t turn the clock back and we won’t sit back and manage decline either.

“Paisley has a huge amount to offer in terms of architecture, heritage and culture – and we can use all of those to bring people here and generate the footfall through which existing and new businesses can thrive.

“The new library, the museum store and the planned museum revamp will all help do that – and if we were to win UK City of Culture 2021 we could look forward to one million visitors that year.

“But good things are already happening – with free public wifi on its way, a £5m revamp of the Russell Institute nearing completion and work to bring the former Arnotts site back into use as new flats and a restaurant.

“The library project is just the latest piece of good news on that front – and it will also provide a first-class learning resource for the area’s children and young people, with a greater range of new technology for 21st-century learning.

“And the new modern building will be fully equipped to offer improved physical access than is possible at the library’s current location.”

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Museum store to bring new life to Paisley High Street

Paisley will soon be home to Scotland’s first high street museum store – as part of a wider plan to use culture and creativity to help breathe new life into the town centre.

museum decant team members Stella Hook,Joel Fagan, Cllr Jim Harte and, Archie Henderson

Work is well advanced on the £2.7m facility, expected to open at the end of 2017, which will house tens of thousands of items from Paisley’s internationally-significant museum collection not on display in the main museum.

The store will occupy the basement of the unit at 7 High Street, currently being fitted out, and will be accessible to the public via a shopfront entrance.

Stella is holding the Egyptian Shabti

The work is being taken forward by Renfrewshire Council in connection with Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021

Currently, a team is preparing and packing the items at an existing storage facility elsewhere in the town, ahead of the mammoth decant to take place later in the year.

Archie is holding the mediaeval cross fragment

And some of the team gave a sneak peek of the quality and depth of the collection to be housed in the store, by showing off items including:
– a ceremonial 5,000-year-old hand axe dating back to the Neolithic era;
– a fragment of a 10th-century medieval cross found at Inchinnan;
– a copper mould for a frieze of the Parthenon created by renowned 19th century Paisley sculptor John Henning;
– a Paisley tram driver’s badge from the 1960s;

Also on show was an Egyptian Shabti – a small sculpture buried with a person and expected to serve them in the afterlife – dating back to the 26-27th dynasty.

The museum store is intended to complement plans for a £49m revamp of the main Paisley Museum, further up the High Street, due to be turned into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage story by 2022.

The completed facility will be managed by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, and Councillor Jim Harte, chair of RL, joined the decant team to preview the items.

He said: “Other places in Scotland have publicly-accessible museum stores, but this is the first time such a facility has been built on a High Street, and will bring a previously-empty unit back into use.

“High streets everywhere – including Paisley’s – have suffered in recent years from changes in the way people shop.

“But we can’t turn the clock back – we need to be creative in finding new ways to repopulate units, and bring in new footfall which existing traders can benefit from.

“The museum store is part of a wider effort to use cultural attractions to do that, along with the UK City of Culture 2021 bid, the plans to revamp the main museum – which we expect to bring 125,000 visitors a year to the town centre – and the relocation of Paisley Central Library to a vacant unit on the high street.

“It was great to meet the team behind the decant and hear the stories behind some of the fascinating items they are uncovering every day.

“Once opened, the facility will give the people of Renfrewshire a chance to see the full extent of the town’s incredible and internationally-significant collection, while also being a top-class educational resource bringing history to life for our pupils.”

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Coats supports Paisley bid to become UK city of Culture 2021

Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 has been backed by a famous global name which started life in the town – Coats, the world’s leading industrial thread manufacturer.

The Renfrewshire town is bidding for the title as part of wider plans to transform its future using its heritage and cultural assets.

Coats has strong links with Paisley as its origins can be traced back to the Coats and Clark families that created the weaving and textile industries there during the 1750s.

Rajiv Sharma, Group Chief Executive, Coats, said: ‘Coats is very proud of its heritage and Paisley is where it all began.  This bid will help transform the future of Paisley by bringing much-needed regeneration and opportunities that will give the town the civic pride it rightly deserves once more.’

In the 1880s Paisley was one of the fastest growing towns in the UK and more than 10% of its 60,000 population were employed by the Coats or Clark firms, which came together in the 1890s to form Coats.

The families were major benefactors to the town of Paisley including iconic buildings such as the Coats Observatory – one of only three remaining public observatories in Scotland  – and the A-listed cast-iron Grand Fountain, recently restored to its former glory.

They also funded the building of Paisley Museum and bequeathed many items which remain in the town’s collections. Renfrewshire Council last year revealed plans for a £49m revamp of the museum to turn it into an international-class heritage attraction by 2022.

Coats still retains a presence in the town today through its global Colour Systems Team, which is based in the Mile End Mill building.

The team is an integral part of the global business and leads the development of cutting-edge colour management technology which drives best practice and productivity improvements across Coats’ 45 thread dyehouse operations around the world.

Paisley 2021 Bid Director Jean Cameron said: “We are thrilled to have one of Paisley’s most famous names on board for the bid.

“Paisley’s name is known around the world for the role it played in shaping the global textile industry. But as much as Paisley made textiles, textiles also made Paisley.

“The legacy left by the Coats and Clarks is all around us in the town today in our buildings and in our people – and that legacy will feature strongly in our bid when it is lodged.”

The UK City of Culture competition is run by the UK Government’s Department for Culture, Media and Sport and bids are due to be lodged in April.

To find out more about Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 go to: http://www.paisley2021.co.uk

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Nominations Open for Scottish Album of the Year Award

The 6th annual Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award has launched for 2017, encouraging artists, labels and the general public to nominate eligible albums released between 1 April 2016 and 31 March 2017 on The SAY Award website.

The SAY Award is a prestigious and exciting arts prize produced by the Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA), with confirmed partners for 2017 including Paisley for UK City of Culture 2021, Creative Scotland, TicketWeb and PPL. The award celebrates, promotes and rewards the most outstanding Scottish albums released each year. Respected by artists and valued by the industry, The SAY Award is responsible for a surge in musical discovery and an explosion of impassioned debate on social media.

Once all eligible albums have been collated, 100 impartial ‘Nominators’, chosen from press, radio, music venues, jazz, classical, traditional folk, retail and elsewhere in the arts, will consider titles from The SAY Award’s Eligible Album List, nominating their five favourite albums and ranking them in order of preference. The 20 highest scoring albums will make up The SAY Award Longlist for 2017, announced on May 24th. The Longlist will be further whittled down to a shortlist of 10 albums, one of which will be chosen by the public during a 72-hour public vote (12-14 June) and the others decided by a panel of prestigious judges. The SAY Award 2017 Shortlist will be announced on June 15th as part of a BBC Quay Sessions show, with the award ceremony then taking place on June 28th in the surroundings of Paisley’s elegant Town Hall, in support of Paisley’s bid for Paisley to become UK City of Culture 2021. The winning artist will pick up a £20,000 cash prize, provided by long term Award partner Creative Scotland. The 9 runners up will each be awarded a £1,000 prize, as well as an exclusively designed piece of artwork from the SAY Award Design Commission.

Robert Kilpatrick, Projects and Operations Manager at the SMIA, said:

“The Scottish Music Industry Association (SMIA) is delighted to present The SAY (Scottish Album of the Year) Award 2017. Now in its sixth year, the impact of The SAY Award on an artist’s career is indisputable, while the anticipation and excitement around the campaign and award ceremony reflects the award’s growing cultural significance. We’re delighted to see Scotland’s pre-eminent arts prize launch for 2017, with the award placing a spotlight on the wealth of musical talent our country produces year after year.”

For the second year running, The SAY Award ceremony will be taking place in the historic town of Paisley, a place with a deep cultural heritage, not only in music but across the arts. Mark Macmillan, Renfrewshire Council Leader and Chair of the Paisley 2021 Partnership Board said:

“The SAY Award is one of the biggest dates in Scotland’s musical calendar and we are delighted to welcome it back to Paisley Town Hall for a second year.

“The town has a thriving music scene and is fast establishing itself as a key destination on Scotland’s major events map. To be able to attract and host an event of the importance of the SAY Award is a big boost for Paisley ahead of the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 being lodged.”

Alex Kapranos of FFS was shortlisted in 2016, and said: “It’s a real honour to be nominated for The SAY Award.” 

Alan Morrison, Head of Music, Creative Scotland, said:

“Scotland’s music excels in every genre, and there’s no better snapshot of our world-class talent than the list of nominees competing each year for the SAY Award. This is diversity in action: folk, hip hop, indie, rock, pop, electronica, classical, jazz… everything that makes up the vibrant Scottish scene has a voice here. The SAY Award is also a celebration of Scotland’s wider music industry, as work that’s released down a DIY route sits shoulder to shoulder with chart hits from the majors and the cream of Scotland’s home-based indie labels. It’s a great way to cheer on your personal favourites while discovering new music at the same time.”

Previous winners of the Award include Bill Wells and Aiden Moffat (2012), RM Hubbert (2013), Young Fathers (2014), Kathryn Joseph (2015) and last years winner Anna Meredith, who won with her critically acclaimed full length debut album Varmints. Anna spoke of her involvement with The SAY Award:

“It has been a total honour and a privilege to be considered for The SAY Award. It’s been great getting to know the other albums and during these politically difficult times to see positivity, creativity and spirit coming out of the longlist and shortlist.”

To nominate an album, please visit The SAY Award website for guidelines and more information: http://www.sayaward.com/

#SAYAward #SAYeligible17

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Events at The Bungalow in March

Date: Thur 2nd
Venue: The Bungalow, 15 Shuttle Street, Paisley, PA1 1YD
Artist(s): Love Street DJs Present ‘Roulette’
Genre: Northern Soul
Doors: 7pm – 11pm
Entry: Free Entry
Age: 18+

Date: Friday 3rd
Venue: The Bungalow, 15 Shuttle Street, Paisley, PA1 1YD
Artist(s): The George Lindsay Blues Band + Stephen McLaren
Genre: Blues
Doors: 6pm
Entry: Free Entry
Age: 18+

Date: Sat 4th
Venue: The Bungalow, 15 Shuttle Street, Paisley, PA1 1YD
Artist(s): Durand Duran
Genre: Tribute to 80’s legends Duran Duran
Doors: 8pm
Entry: £8.00 Entry
Age: 18+

Date: Friday 10th
Venue: The Bungalow, 15 Shuttle Street, Paisley, PA1 1YD
Artist(s): Deadly Inscription, Razor Sharp Death Blizzard & Overhaul
Genre: Rock/Metal
Doors: 8pm
Entry: Free
Age: 18+

Date: Saturday 11th
Venue: The Bungalow, 15 Shuttle Street, Paisley, PA1 1YD
Artist(s): The Dead Settlers + The Blue Lenas + Murray Torrence
Genre: Alt-Indie
Doors: 8pm
Entry: Free Entry
Age: 18+

Date: Fri 17th
Venue: The Bungalow, 15 Shuttle Street, Paisley, PA1 1YD
Artist(s): ALL OR NOTHING with Seaside Sons & All or Nothing DJs
Doors: 8pm
Entry: £4.00 on the door
Age: 18+

Date: Saturday 18th
Venue: The Bungalow, 15 Shuttle Street, Paisley, PA1 1YD
Artist(s): Rackhouse Pilfer + Saint Huck
Genre: Alternative Country
Doors: 8pm
Entry: £5.00
Age: 18+

 

Date: Sat 25th
Venue: The Bungalow, 15 Shuttle Street, Paisley, PA1 1YD
Artist(s): ClydeSide Live
Genre: Alternative
Doors: 8pm
Entry: £5.00
Age: 18+

Date: Fri 31st
Venue: The Bungalow, 15 Shuttle Street, Paisley, PA1 1YD
Artist(s): March of the Mods with The Sectors, Berry Tweed & The Chasers, The Absolute Jam, The Shotguns, Skaledonia and DJ set from Boab Williamson.
Genre: Soul, Ska, Punk, Funk …a wee bitta pop!
Doors: 6pm
Entry: £10.00
Age: 18+

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Father of American Ornithology is honoured by his home town Paisley

ONE of Paisley’s famous sons who became known as the Father of American Ornithology has been honoured by his home town.

David Clugston, Honorary Librarian for the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club and Morag Macpherson, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Head of Cultural Services at the unveiling of Alexander Wilson plaque.


A commemorative plaque paying tribute to the life of Alexander Wilson – poet, artist, scientist, explorer and social commentator – was unveiled at Paisley Arts Centre.


And ironically, the Arts centre wall where the plaque is mounted is part of the former Laigh Kirk Church, where Wilson was baptised in 1766 by Rev John Witherspoon, signatory of the American Declaration of Independence.

Wilson rose to fame after he emigrated to America in 1794 and travelled 10,000 miles on foot across that country with the pioneering ambition of observing birds in their natural habitats, scrutinising behaviour, posture and habits and classifying the different species.

This culminated in the publication of nine volumes of the book American Ornithology featuring Wilson’s drawings, paintings and descriptions of more than 260 species of birds – with 25 species previously unknown – in North America.

By the time Wilson died of dysentery in 1813, seven volumes of American Ornithology had been published with the final two volumes produced posthumously.

Five species of bird have been named after Wilson – Wilson’s Storm-petrel; Wilson’s Plover; Wilson’s Snipe, Wilson’s Phalarope and Wilson’s Warbler.

This amazing feat of Wilson’s, which took six years to complete and earned him credit for establishing ornithology as a science in America, was a far cry from his early years in Paisley.

He left school at the age of ten after his mother died and started work, first as a cow herder and then as an apprentice weaver.

Wilson became a poet and was a contemporary of Robert Burns and like many weavers became well read and a radical on social issues.

Alexander Wilson portrait.

But he fell foul of the law over a satirical account of a local mill owner and was imprisoned as he faced charges of libel and blackmail. But after a second run-in with the law over the distribution of radical propaganda, Wilson decided to emigrate.

The Historic Environment Scotland commemorative plaque was unveiled by David Clugston, Honorary Librarian for the Scottish Ornithologists’ Club.

Morag Macpherson, Renfrewshire Leisure’s Head of Cultural Services said: “The countryside around Paisley became Alexander Wilson’s playground in his early years and that exposure to the world of nature would have a profound effect on his later life.

“Soon after he arrived in America, Wilson developed a passion for the study of birds and his truly scientific approach to ornithology made him a pioneer.
“This Commemorative Plaque Scheme celebrates the lives of people who have made a significant difference to Scotland and its people.
“Paisley’s own Alexander Wilson certainly merits this honour.”

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Boost for Paisley town centre

The launch of a multi-million pound regeneration scheme is the latest initiative aimed at revitalising Paisley town centre.

L – R – Provost Anne Hall and Councillor Mike Holmes, Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council

The scheme is now open to receive grant applications to improve Paisley’s built environment following the launch of the Paisley Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme. The £4million project is funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council and will be delivered over the next five years.

The programme aims to make the area around the High Street a more attractive place to visit and invest while highlighting the significant role Paisley has played in the weaving and textile industry.

Through the scheme building owners are able to apply for grant funding to invest in 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, while the money will also fund a programme of community activity designed to complement Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.

Depute Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Cllr Mike Holmes, who was present at the launch said: “Paisley boasts an impressive built heritage only surpassed by Edinburgh. 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. I would encourage building owners to find out more about the grant funding offered through this project and what the potential business benefits are likely to be.”

The launch of 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, public realm improvements and a revamp of Paisley Arts Centre.

Jim Peacock from Phelps Butchers benefited from funding during the initial THI/CARS initiative which covered improvements to the shop front and helped with the installation of a new roof. He believes it offers great a support opportunity for local businesses.

He said: “The funding we received helped make our shop front more attractive to customers by giving it a more traditional feel and you can see a real difference in the area as a result.

“Paisley is a great, historic town and it’s nice to see the local shops and buildings reflect that to help the town look better and more appealing to people.

“It was a no brainer for us to apply for the funding and we’ve really seen the benefit. I’d encourage others to jump on board and apply for the funding – improvements like these can only be a good thing for the town and for local businesses.”

Lucy Casot, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund, Scotland, said: “This latest round of £1.8 million of National Lottery funding into Paisley will bring a real economic boost as well as restoring community pride into this important Renfrewshire town. The project will breathe new life into the centre making it a better place to live and work through the refurbishment of key historic buildings and the surrounding area.

“Sitting alongside physical regeneration there will also be real benefits for local people including training in traditional skills and a chance to learn more about the town’s fascinating industrial past including its world famous textiles.

“The National Lottery has invested £7m National Lottery into Paisley’s heritage allowing the town to reinvigorate its historic past making it a more vibrant place for the people who call this town home today.”

Michael Easson, Project Manager for HES, said: “We first awarded grant funding to Paisley through our Conservation Area Regeneration scheme in 2009, and since then the programme has played a significant role in supporting investment through heritage-led regeneration.

“The revitalisation of Paisley’s historic town centre is a great example of what can be achieved, with a number of historic buildings already back in use thanks to the funding. We’re looking forward to seeing even more regeneration work for the built environment in Paisley, and the benefits this will bring to the local community.”

A number of other projects have been implemented aimed at driving people back into the town centre including the relocation of Paisley Central Library to a vacant building on the High Street and plans for a £49million revamp to Paisley Museum. These projects are collectively expected to attract more than 250,000 people to the High Street each year.

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: http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/paisley.