An initial £4million programme has been launched to transform a derelict site in Paisley which was once occupied by the town’s famous department store.
An innovative partnership has been signed between Renfrewshire Council and Park Lane Group who now jointly own the site of the former Arnotts store on Gauze Street, Paisley.
The council and its commercial partner aim to boost the potential for redevelopment by firstly carrying out environmental improvements including some selective demolition work.
Then the partnership will prepare a detailed masterplan for the site with a mix of residential and commercial uses along with car parking.
The Arnotts site has lain derelict since 2002.
“This major investment and joint approach between the public and private sector provides a unique opportunity to boost the regeneration of Paisley town centre,” said Renfrewshire Council Leader Derek Mackay.
“The Arnotts site holds special place in the memories of many Paisley people. What we want to do now is to redevelop this iconic site to continue the town’s regeneration.
“We will work quickly over the coming months to make the site ready for development. Even in the current difficult economic climate, we feel our partnership will get things moving and turn the site’s fortunes around. The council is committing not only major investment but also the experience gained in a range of successful initiatives to improve Paisley. Those improvements have included better road access for motorists to the town centre, a popular and greatly expanded events programme, the redevelopment of the council’s former headquarters and securing of major funding from the Scottish Government and Heritage Lottery Fund.
“People can see that things are changing for the better in Paisley and this redevelopment plan for the Arnotts site is further evidence that the town’s fortunes are improving.”
Sean Robinson, Joint MD of Park Lane Group, said: “Our firm has a strong track record in commercial development in Renfrewshire and throughout Scotland. That includes major regeneration schemes at Glasgow Harbour and the successful development at Renfrew Riverside.
“We fully recognise the historic importance and, more importantly, the significant commercial potential of the Arnotts site. It’s our intention to actively seek interest from a range of developers and operators and we are confident that they site will again play a thriving role in the economy of Paisley.”
The initial £4million programme for the Arnotts site involves a £3m purchase price and a further Phase One £1m fund to carry out environmental improvements. The bulk of Renfrewshire Council’s contribution comes from the £1.83m which the council secured for Paisley from the Scottish Government’s Town Centres Regeneration Fund.
Renfrewshire Council and Park Lane Group will each have 50/50 shares in a limited liability company which owns the site.
The store on Gauze Street originally opened in 1927 and changed to Arnott’s in 1973.