A major package of capital investment in Paisley town centre is set to be considered by Renfrewshire councillors when they meet next week.
Plans being put forward propose a package of investment totalling £45.7million in refurbishment and upgrades to Paisley Town Hall, Paisley Arts Centre, a new venue at the former Galbraith’s site on Back Sneddon Street in the town; improvements to Paisley town centre as well as an upgrade to St James Playing field.
The plans are part of the town’s final bid for the UK City of Culture 2021 competition, which is also being considered by councillors next week, with a decision on the winner expected by the end of the year.
Paisley was this summer named as the only Scottish bidder on the shortlist for the 2021 competition, alongside Coventry, Stoke, Sunderland and Swansea.
The bid is part of a wider push to use Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage offer to make it a key visitor destination within Scotland, and transform the future of the whole Renfrewshire area.
Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “The whole of Renfrewshire has such a rich heritage and world class local talent and this investment will bring significant benefit to communities right across the region.
“Culture and heritage can play such a transformational role in supporting our local economy and improving the opportunities and wellbeing for our communities, investing in improvements to our existing venues and our town centre environment, we can make a real change in the fortunes of the area.
“Winning the title will boost the local economy by £175million, create more than 4,700 local jobs in the area, boost our tourism industry and improve the profile of the area, showing investors how much Renfrewshire has to offer.”
The plans include:
£22million for Paisley Town Hall – to increase performance attendances and attract high quality events to improve the visitor experience and improve the physical infrastructure of the building to secure its long term future
£2.5 million for Paisley Arts Centre – to upgrade electrical works, improve toilet provision, provide changing accommodation for performers, new seating, improved staging, redecoration and improved access arrangements
£10million improvements to Paisley town centre – include improved access into the town centre, pedestrian and cycling routes, public transport, local traffic improvements and investment in the physical appearance of the town centre
£3.5million to transform the former Galbraith’s building on Back Sneddon Street to provide a venue for performance and visual art events.
£7.7million redevelopment of facilities at St James playing field including an upgrade to grass pitches, a new pavilion and café, and an area to accommodate large scale events; and an upgrade to the existing Ferguslie Park Sports Centre.