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Warm welcome for return of Grand Fountain

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Warm welcome for return of Grand Fountain.

One of the jewels in Paisley’s architectural crown is back and looking better than ever after a year-long restoration project.

The A-listed Grand Fountain in the town’s Fountain Gardens has been reassembled on site over the past fortnight, sparking a flurry of interest from residents.

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The intricate cast-iron structure – notable for its distinctive walrus sculptures – has been the centerpiece of the park since 1868, but has now been restored to its original deep-red colour and condition.

The £650,000 project – funded by Renfrewshire Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland – saw the fountain dismantled and removed to be painstakingly repaired by specialists, before coming back on site at the end of July.

Work is continuing to reconnect the fountain’s water-flow system ahead of its official opening on Saturday 6 September

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Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan and Councillor Terry Kelly, convener of the council’s Planning and Property Policy Board, paid the fountain a visit to see the work for themselves.

Councillor Kelly said: “The project to restore the Grand Fountain has been a long time in the making but there is no question it was worth the wait.

“The fountain is looking spectacular and when you see it close up you can really appreciate the detail of this magnificent structure.

“I know many of our local residents will have fond memories of the fountain and surrounding park, and I would encourage them to get along and see it for themselves once the work is fully completed in the next week.

Councillor Macmillan added: “The Grand Fountain is a direct link with Paisley’s proud past at the centre of the world’s textile industry, having been gifted to the town by the Coats family.

“Paisley has an outstanding built heritage, with the second-highest concentration of listed buildings of anywhere in Scotland – and the Grand Fountain is one of the finest examples of that.

“The council is working to make the most of those priceless assets – having this year unveiled ambitious plans to use Paisley’s heritage and culture as the engine to drive a wide-ranging process of regeneration over the next decade.”

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Doors Open Day 2014

The Grand Fountain will be officially opened at a Victorian Garden Party between noon and 4pm on Saturday 6 September, as part of Renfrewshire Doors Open Day.

The event will feature entertainment, family fun and refreshments, with the official switch-on ceremony at 1pm.

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Grand Fountain – Scottish Ironwork Seminar

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Grand Fountain – Scottish Ironwork Seminar.

As part of the Grand Fountain: ‘Interpretation and Restoration’ project, a Scottish Ironwork Seminar, focussing on the Grand Fountain in Paisley and the Sun Foundry, Glasgow, is to be held on Tuesday 29th October in Paisley Town Hall.

The Grand Fountain project is funded by Historic Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund and Renfrewshire Council and will see the A listed cast iron fountain at the centre of Fountain Gardens, Paisley, restored to full working order by summer 2014.

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The seminar will provide information on the current restoration project and explain the architectural and historical context of the Grand Fountain.

The full programme is attached here:

Places at this event are free, but spaces are limited so must be reserved by contacting the project officer on 0141 618 4844 or emailing pt@renfrewshire.gov.uk.

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Fountain Gardens Paisley 500k Boost

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£500k cash boost to help restore fountain

A historic Paisley landmark is set to be returned to its former glory thanks to a lottery cash boost of more than half a million pounds.

The money will go towards the restoration of the Grand Fountain – the centrepiece of Paisley’s Fountain Gardens park.

The eight-metre-tall Category A-listed monument is considered to be one of Scotland’s finest remaining fountains.

The project to restore it is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has awarded a grant of £527,100.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Planning and Economic Development Policy Board, has welcomed the news

He said: “We are delighted to have secured this funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

“This money will go a long way towards ensuring this link with Paisley’s rich industrial past will be kept alive for future generations to enjoy.

“The project will also provide a community benefit, in that local volunteers and tradespeople will be encouraged to learn more about the traditional skills needed to restore and maintain the fountain.

“The community have already been involved in the efforts to secure this funding and it is great to see their hard work rewarded.”

The fountain dates back to 1868, having been gifted to the people of Paisley by Thomas Coats of Ferguslie, joint-owner of the once-massive J&P Coats textile firm.

It still stands as a proud reminder of the town’s rich industrial heritage but is currently fenced off for safety.

The work will restore the cast-iron fountain’s surfaces and decorative detail as well its original colour scheme.

The council is still awaiting the outcome of an application for funding to Historic Scotland.

If successful, this will be added to the Heritage Lottery money and council funding to meet the full £660,000 cost of the project.

Fountain Gardens – recognised as Paisley’s oldest public garden – were created in 1797 by John Love, a local textile manufacturer after whom the adjoining Love Street was named.

Thomas Coats bought the park in 1866 and redesigned the open space before gifting it to the townspeople two years later.

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