Two of Paisley town centre’s much-loved buildings are now off the national Buildings At Risk Register (BARR) thanks to their successful restorations.
The category A-listed Russell Institute and category B former Arnott’s store have both been removed from the register alongside the flats and ground floor shop at 14 Moss Street that have been restored by the owner and part funded by Renfrewshire Council’s Retail Improvement Grant.
Works on the former Hawkhead Hospital site will also see various listed buildings being renovated as homes, including the category A and B listed wards seven and eight.
There is even more good news as the second Townscape Heritage/Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (TH/CARS2) at the top of Paisley’s High Street – funded by Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council – has three buildings deemed at risk that have been identified as potential priority projects.
The renovation works are expected to run until 2021 and will make significant changes to the look and feel of the area as part of plans to create a warm welcome for visitors that supports Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
A total of 43 out of the 564 listed properties across Renfrewshire are currently on Buildings At Risk Register, including five that have restoration works in progress, four that have been granted planning permission, nine that will be targeted in the TH/CARS2 and three that are part of the wider masterplan.
The Council has taken a proactive approach to working with property owners of buildings at risk of becoming vacant, helping owners to find support early on and identifying those that need to be added to the national register.
Renfrewshire Council’s Convener of Communities, Housing and Planning, Councillor Marie McGurk, said: “Renfrewshire has a wealth of beautiful buildings and as part of wider regeneration plans for the area, we are working proactively with property owners to restore and bring their properties back into use.
“The successful restoration of the Russell Institute building and the renovation of the former Arnott’s store are two significant examples of bringing back heritage buildings into modern day use. Whether listed or unlisted, there are a number of positive restorations and repairs taking place across the area that will improve the condition of these buildings and see them being used as homes, office space or other facilities.
“As Paisley prepares to submit its final bid to the UK Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport at the end of September, it’s great to see our restored heritage buildings shining a light on the town and showing us the investment in infrastructure that lies ahead as part of a year of culture.”