Paisley was also known for its shipbuilding and engineering industries.
The latter thrived because of the demands for large machinery from the thread mills and other factories, but recession in the recent years has closed all Paisley’s heavy engineering firms.
Shipbuilding also had a period of importance, with several yards using the waters of the Cart, which led down to the Clyde. The local specialism was dredgers, and even though the last shipyard closed some thirty years ago, Paisley-built dredging equipment can still be seen in many of the world’s major ports.
New industries have been brought to Paisley which have helped replace the ones disappearing, including the blending and bottling of whisky, which ironically reintroduced a long defunct nineteenth century industry in the town.
Since 1975 Paisley has been the administrative headquarters of Renfrew District, part of the Strathclyde Region of Scotland. In this way it continues the domination of the surrounding area that it has enjoyed since the late fifteenth century.