Work has started on a £600k investment to restore the architectural gems of one of Paisley’s key historic quarters – including repairs to the town’s much-loved Sma’ Shot Cottages visitor attraction.
The work was made possible by the Renfrewshire-Council-run five-year £4.5m Townscape Heritage/Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, which aims to repair historic buildings, shopfronts and outdoor spaces throughout the town centre.
The TH/CARS2 programme is working with the property owners to deliver three projects in the Shuttle Street/George Place area over the next few months. They are:
– the Sma’ Shot cottages – two buildings of massive historical significance for Paisley and Renfrewshire taking visitors back in time with a unique insight into the area’s textile heritage. The work includes building, stone and roof repairs, new doors and window grilles, and repainting;
– conservation work including roof and stone repairs and new traditional windows for the Category B-listed 5 George Place, a fine example of a mid-Georgian townhouse;
– work to improve the outdoor streetscape along George Place and around the side of the cottages, with new Caithness slab paving and relaid cobbles on the road;
Contractors are already on site at the Sma’ Shot Cottages and work is expected to start on the two George Place projects in the coming weeks.
TH/CARS2 is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and the council. The bulk of the work is funded through grants from the programme but also includes a six-figure total contribution from the building owners.
Some of the volunteers from the Old Paisley Society, the charity which owns and operates the Sma’ Shot Cottages, were on hand to mark the start of the work, dressed in traditional costume.
Cath Mitchell, chair of the Old Paisley Society, said: “We open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 1 April through to September and we get visitors from all over the world.
“With TH/CARS2 we are getting the front painted and so many more things done and it will help preserve the wonderful history we have here.”
The TH/CARS2 scheme is currently funding a number of other projects around the town centre – with grants towards repair work to restore prominent buildings at 3 County Place and 44 High Street, plus a series of shopfront restoration projects throughout the town.
The work complements wider regeneration in Paisley town centre and forms part of the £100m currently being invested in the town’s historic venues and outdoor spaces to help drive new footfall, including the transformation of Paisley Museum into a world-class destination.
Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson added: “Paisley has a wonderful architectural heritage – and we want to keep it looking at its best, which is what the TH/CARS2 scheme is designed to do.
“We are fortunate to have been able to attract substantial external funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland. That money is going to good use to help owners bring empty buildings back into use and restore historic features for future generations.
“I am delighted that includes these three projects and in particular that we are able to help preserve the Sma’ Shot Cottages, which is one of Paisley’s most unique and important attractions.”
The TH/CARS 2 team will liaise with residents and businesses over any impact to parking and access expected to be caused by the work.