Plans to relocate Paisley Central Library will preserve the historic front of a landmark high street building.

Paisley Library - Paisley Museum

Renfrewshire Council approved £5m proposals to retain the existing façade of the upper floors at 22/22A High Street, while developing a complete new structure behind.

The plan will protect the town centre’s architectural heritage while delivering an accessible and new Learning and Cultural Centre.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “An incredible 131,000 people visit the library every year and they will now benefit from a modern, fully accessible building.

“This new Learning and Cultural Centre will be a valuable addition to Paisley’s High Street.

“It will offer users an enhanced experience and allow us to grow the number of activities for young people and children.

“It will also bring a vacant building back into popular use and draw people into the heart of the town centre, meaning more potential customers for local businesses.”

He added: “The decision to preserve the historic front of the existing building protects Paisley’s architectural heritage and will maintain the character of the town centre for future generations.

“This is part of our ambitious vision for Paisley and a vital step to our delivering a redeveloped, signature museum of national status that will help establish the town as an attractive destination for visitors.”

The design of the new structure at 22/22A High Street will be informed by further surveys of the existing building.

This survey work is ongoing and would be required regardless of the final design.

In November 2015 Renfrewshire Council’s Economy and Jobs Board agreed to allocate £2.7m towards the redevelopment of Paisley Central Library, with the purchase of 22/22A High Street then completed in June 2016.

The council was successful in its application to the first stage of the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund , seeking £1.5m for the project.

The outcome of the second stage application is due in February 2017. Should the grant be received councillors have agreed to put an extra £800,000 towards the cost of the project to bridge the funding gap.