head of renfrewshire leisure

Access to gyms, fitness classes and swimming pools will be via pre-booked time slots only

Bookings for sessions at gyms and swimming pools being reopened by Renfrewshire Leisure can be made from today (Monday September 7th).

head of renfrewshire leisure

The local leisure charity’s online booking system has gone live ahead of the first phase of services restarting at its leisure centres from next Monday (September 14th) following their Covid-19 lockdown closures.

Its team will provide 110 fitness classes, 4,800 fitness class slots, 4,011 swimming slots and 10,665 gym sessions at its reopened venues every week. 

By logging on to https://bookings.renfrewshireleisure.com/ people will be able to book slots for sessions and classes up to seven days in advance. These will be filled on a “first come, first served” basis.

Renfrewshire Leisure has repeatedly stressed that the safety of customers and staff is its top priority. Pre-booking ensures that all Scottish Government guidelines on social distancing and hygiene are adhered to.

Mark Tokeley, Head of Leisure and Community Services at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We know how much our services have been missed since their closure in March and are very much looking forward to their return.

“The pre-booking system will ensure that we can manage numbers in our venues at any one time to ensure that social distancing will be maintained. When each booking is made, we will issue advice on the measures we have put in place for people’s safety and instructions of what to do at the venue when they arrive.

“Our team has been working incredibly hard to prepare to welcome everyone back in the safest way. While things will operate differently to what we are all used to, by working together, we are sure that everyone will enjoy being able to benefit from our on-site services once again.”

For those without internet access, bookings can be made by calling 0300 300 0250.

On September 14th, ON-X in Linwood, the Lagoon Leisure Centre in Paisley, Renfrew Leisure Centre, Renfrew Victory Baths, Erskine Sports Centre and Erskine Swimming Pool will reopen, complying with all Scottish Government guidance on hygiene and physical distancing. 

 

Shared leisure facilities at Park Mains High School in Erskine and at the Johnstone Community Sports Hub will open in a second phase, with strictly controlled public access. This will involve detailed health and safety reviews and will ensure there has been sufficient time to settle pupils and staff safely back to school. Planned investment work in maintenance of the swimming pool at Johnstone means that this part of the venue will not be ready to reopen alongside other areas of the site, but will follow later.

It has previously been confirmed that members will not be charged any membership fees until November.

Details on restarting the Learn to Swim programme are being reviewed. An update on this will be provided shortly.

 

Information about all Renfrewshire Leisure services and how they are operating can be found at www.renfrewshireleisure.com/coronavirus.

 

Throughout lockdown, Renfrewshire Leisure has been operating an innovative programme of online services to help people stay fit and healthy. For more details about how to take part in them, go to  www.renfrewshireleisure.com or follow the charity’s channels on social media.

Lily the frog with joke book

It’s time for youngsters to join the Silly Squad this summer.

All kinds of daftness is the theme of this year’s Summer Reading Challenge and children between the ages of four and 11 are being encouraged to sign up for a celebration of funny books, happiness and laughter.

Lily the frog with joke book

The Silly Squad is a team of animal friends who love to go on adventures and read all kinds of humorous books. This year’s Reading Challenge also features characters designed by the award-winning author and illustrator, Laura Ellen Anderson who created books like Amelia Fang and Evil Emperor Penguin.

The challenge runs from now until August 15 and to join all you have to do is visit www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk where you’ll find the link to the Silly Squad website. Parents or carers will need to give consent for children to sign up for the Summer Reading Challenge.

Once registered, youngsters can set their own personal reading challenge and the website helps keep track of their books, reviews and the rewards for reading books during the summer.

Lily the frog with joke book

The website is also packed with suggestions of brilliant books to read and tips on how to keep reading over the summer. There will also be heaps of super silly activities, quizzes, videos and games to keep children entertained.

Youngsters can also tune into the #ScottishSillySquad on YouTube where every week three authors and storytellers will broadcast their tips on how best to enjoy and complete the Summer Reading Challenge.

A wide variety of children’s books and e-books can be borrowed for free with library membership. To do that, or to join a library, just go to the Renfrewshire Libraries website.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Reading should be fun for children and that’s exactly what this year’s Summer Reading Challenge is.

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“Last year more than 2000 young people took part in our reading challenge and even though we have been in lockdown in recent months, we’re making sure children don’t miss out on the joy of books this year.”

The Summer Reading Challenge is being organised by Renfrewshire Libraries and the Reading Agency with the aim of getting youngsters to read books during the summer break.

Renfrewshire Libraries have now re-opened for click and collect and returning books only. For more information go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com.

Renfrewshire's libraries

It was one for the record books as avid reader Ann Clark was the first person to visit Johnstone Library after it re-opened after months of lockdown.

The sprightly 77-year-old was at the head of the queue before the library opened at 10am to return 15 books and borrow another nine books to keep up with her favourite pastime of reading.

Renfrewshire's libraries

As she clutched her latest supply of books outside Johnstone Library, Ann, from Kilbarchan said:

“Being able to visit the library was the thing I missed most during lockdown. I’ve loved reading since I was a young girl and I always had my nose in a book.

“I was overjoyed when I heard the library was reopening, as I visit the library twice a week and I must be their most regular customer.”

Ann whose favourite books are romance novels and wartime stories added: “When the library was closed over the past few months I got books from friends and I even read some books twice.”

All 12 Renfrewshire Leisure libraries re-opened yesterday (Monday) for members to return titles and pick up books they had ordered by phone or online by click and collect.

The move comes after the Scottish Government last week gave the go-ahead for libraries to open as part of the move into Phase 3 of the route map out of the coronavirus pandemic.

To keep both staff and the public safe, only one customer at a time will be alllowed into a library to drop off books, or collect pre-ordered books and face coverings should be worn inside the building.

It has also been decided that there won’t be any fines for people returning overdue books.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “We encourage people of all ages to read books, as it brings enjoyment and knowledge into our lives.

“Libraries have always been an important resource in our community and it’s brilliant to be able to open up our libraries again and provide a vital service to the public.

“Due to the current coronaviris guidelines from the Scottish Government we will have to operate our libraries in a different way for the time being. But I’m sure our customers will understand and we thank them for their patience and willingness to abide by these guidelines as we welcome them back.”

Renfrewshire’s libraries are at: Bishopton; Bridge of Weir; Erskine; Ferguslie; Foxbar; Glenburn; Johnstone; Lochwinnoch; Linwood; Paisley Central Library; Ralston and Renfrew.

Books can be reserved online at www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk or by telephone on 0300 300 1188.

Entrance_Exterior

The Wolfson Foundation has announced Paisley Museum will receive £200,000 in capital funding towards its transformation into a world-class cultural destination.

More than 80 grants were announced by the foundation with Paisley Museum receiving the highest heritage grant outside London.

Entrance_Exterior

When Paisley Museum reopens it is expected to attract 125,000 visits each year from Scotland, the UK and overseas and provide a £72m economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

The £42m redevelopment of the museum is the signature project in Paisley’s radical regeneration which also includes refurbishments of the town’s A-listed town hall and a new learning and cultural hub housing library services on the town’s high street.

The redesign of the museum campus, being led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam, will allow the number of objects on display to be increased by 100%.

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Few places of Paisley’s size have had such a global impact, and this is reflected in the museum’s internationally-significant holdings, which include an unrivalled collection of 1,200 Paisley shawls and vast natural history collections. They are currently being held in Paisley: The Secret Collection, the only publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.

The Museum’s final phase of fundraising is now under way, with the recently-launched museum website reimagined.paisleymuseum.org showcasing the project’s ambitious vision.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, said:
“We are delighted the Wolfson Foundation is investing in the future of Paisley Museum. The museum has been beloved by generations of Renfrewshire people and this significant sum brings us a step closer to radically transforming this prominent symbol of Paisley’s past into a central part of our town’s future. Investing in our venues is key to our recovery from the pandemic, as it will create jobs, support new and existing businesses in the area, and drive new footfall to our town centre.”

Shawl 53 Kashmir

Eric Grounds, Capital Appeal Director of Paisley Reimagined, said:
“Paisley Museum has remained at the heart of the community since being founded in 1871. This £42m project presents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to ensure our world-class collections are safeguarded, and the museum continues to be a source of knowledge, enjoyment and pride for everyone living in or visiting Paisley. We look forward to connecting with others who recognise the national significance of this project and the positive outcomes it will bring to Paisley.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of Wolfson Foundation, said: “The Wolfson Foundation is committed to funding widely across Scotland and so we are delighted to be supporting Paisley Museum, especially at such a challenging time for cultural life generally. The scale of the ambition is extremely impressive – and the new Museum campus will tell a glorious mix of local and global stories, all based on superb collections.”

Paisley Museum Reimagined is supported by Renfrewshire Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Paisley Central Library

THERE has been a huge increase in people borrowing books, magazines and audio books from Renfrewshire’s Digital Library.

Paisley Central Library

Paisley Central Library

Since lockdown began there has been an 81 per cent increase in people going online to borrow from the service, a 74 per cent jump in e-book and e-audiobook issues and a 58 per cent increase in reservations compared to the same period last year.

Author Margaret Atwood’s the Testaments: the Handmaid’s Tale Series, Book 2 is the most popular digital title being borrowed with a tale of the tough-guy American loner Jack Reacher in Lee Child’s Blue Moon the next most popular.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Our libraries may have had to be closed, but we are always open for business online. We’ve a fantastic variety of e-books, audio titles and popular magazines available for library members to read when they borrow from our digital library.

“You could say we’re the library that never shuts, which is handy during the current lockdown, as more and more people are spending time reading while they stay at home.”

Anyone can join Renfrewshire Libraries at www.renfrewshirelibraries.co.uk to get access to the digital books, audio books and magazines.

Here’s the league tables of the most popular digital titles borrowed during lockdown –

Adult e-books – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
The Testaments: The Handmaid’s Tale Series, Book 2 Atwood, Margaret
Blue Moon: Jack Reacher Series, Book 24 Child, Lee
Buried: DC Jack Warr Series, Book 1 La Plante, Lynda
The Foundling Halls, Stacey
The Warning Patterson, James

Adult e-audiobooks – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
The Family Upstairs Jewell, Lisa
The Mystery of Mercy Close Keyes, Marian
Cleaning the Gold Slaughter, Karin
Too Good to Be True Cleeves, Ann
44 Scotland Street McCall-Smith, Alexander

Junior e-books – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
50 Ways to Beat Boredom with LEGO Bricks Dorling Kindersley
What Monster?: Tom Gates Series, Book 15 Pichon, Liz
Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories Palacio, R J
The Day I Started a Mega Robot Invasion: The Day Series McLaughlin, Tom
The Meltdown: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series, Book 13 Kinney, Jeff

Junior e-audiobooks – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Wrecking Ball (Book 14) Kinney, Jeff
Meg and Mog Audio Collection Nicoll, Helen
The Racehorse Who Learned to Dance Balding, Clare
The Bone Garden Kassner, Heather
How to Read a Book Alexander, Kwame

Young adult e-books – 5 most popular titles

Title Author / Creator
Bog Child Dowd, Siobhan
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas Boyne, John
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time: Vintage Children’s Classics Haddon, Mark
Nightshade: Alex Rider Series, Book 12 Horowitz, Anthony
One of Us Is Next McManus, Karen

Young adult e-audiobooks – 5 most popular titles

Title Creator
Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane: The Underland Chronicles, Book 2 Collins, Suzanne
The Secret Commonwealth: Book of Dust Series, Book 2 Pullman, Philip
Tilly and the Lost Fairytales: Pages & Co. Series, Book 2 James, Anna
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Series, Book 1 Han, Jenny
American Royals McGee, Katharine

E-magazines – 5 most popular titles

Title
HELLO! magazine
Radio Times
Woman & Home
BBC Good Food Magazine
New Scientist International Edition

Paisley Museum

Plans to completely transform Paisley Museum into a world-class visitor destination telling the town’s unique stories including that of the globally admired, Paisley pattern, have taken a major step forward as The National Lottery Heritage Fund today announced £3.83million support for the project.

Paisley Museum

The four buildings which make up Scotland’s first municipal museum, including the country’s first public observatory, will be ambitiously re-designed and extended by an award-winning international team, including  the architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam, to create an exciting new experience for visitors.

Paisley Museum

The new, contemporary galleries and exhibitions will double the number of objects on display and be fully accessible so that visitors can explore the town’s rich heritage and its part in the story of the famous teardrop Paisley pattern textile, from the shawls of Kashmir to the haute couture of rock stars. Inspiring learning zones, improved social spaces, a new cafe, shop and cloakroom facilities will add to the Museum’s appeal, as will a new, welcoming entrance surrounded by a courtyard and gardens.

Paisley Museum

The revamped museum is forecast to attract 125,000 visits a year, almost four times the current numbers, and create a £79m economic boost over 30 years. It is the cornerstone of Renfrewshire Council’s vision to bring new life to the town through investment in heritage and culture. This has included the opening of the UK’s first publicly accessible high street museum store, Paisley: The Secret Collection,  and the conservation and repair of key buildings which make up the town’s historic core through a scheme funded with £2m from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Caroline Clark, Director Scotland of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said:

“This project has been driven by the passion of the Paisley community to put their unique heritage on an international stage. With the help of National Lottery funding, new life will be breathed into these heritage buildings giving Paisley’s wonderful textiles and other treasures the prominence they deserve, while also bringing a new confidence to the town.”

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, said: “We want to thank everyone connected to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their fantastic support.

“It will help us deliver a world-class museum which will take the town’s unique and fascinating stories to new audiences, showcase Paisley’s internationally-significant collections, and bring new life and footfall to the wider area.

“It will create a new accessible hub at the heart of life in the town for the local community – local groups are already co-producing the incredible stories which will populate the reopened museum, and we look forward to continuing to work with The National Lottery Heritage Fund and others over the years ahead to deliver on that.”

The new museum is expected to open in 2022.

ferguslie reading

SCHOOL pupils in Ferguslie have been praised for their enthusiasm for reading books.

A special celebration was held for the young people from St Fergus and Glencoats Primary schools to mark the big increase in pupils completing this year’s Summer Reading Challenge.

ferguslie reading

This year, a total of 113 pupils signed up to take part and 25 completed the challenge to read six books during the school holidays compared to 34 children taking part and nine reading the required six books in 2018.

This was an increase of 232 per cent for participation and a 178 per cent increase in pupils completing the challenge.

ferguslie reading

And last week they were invited to Ferguslie Library to enjoy games and activities, along with a bite of lunch as a reward for their reading efforts.

Morag Macpherson, Renfrewshire Leisure’s head of cultural services said: “Well done to the pupils of St Fergus and Glencoats who participated in the challenge. The numbers of pupils involved are impressive, and we hope that they really enjoyed discovering some new books and authors with us this summer.

“Thanks also to their parents and carers, teachers and the staff at Ferguslie Library for supporting them in their love of reading.”

The event was supported by the School Libraries Attainment team as part of the Renfrewshire Attainment Challenge.

shawl

PAISLEY’S Shawl Collection has been given high praise by the national body that helps develop Scotland’s museums.

Museums Galleries Scotland made the comments as they unanimously renewed the Recognised Status of the shawl collection held by Renfrewshire Museums.

shawl

Chair of the Recognition Committee, Dr Katie Stevenson also said that the review submitted by Renfrewshire Leisure, who operates museums locally, was of such a high quality, it may be sent to other museums as a model for them to follow.

Dr Stevenson said: “The committee felt that throughout the report there was a strong cultural voice, a clear curatorial succession plan and that digitisation of the collection was impressive.

shawl

“Committee members noted that the importance of curatorial and research expertise was very strong in the work of the Paisley Shawl Collection and highly commended the approach to supporting the collection.”

Feedback to Renfrewshire Leisure from Museums Galleries Scotland also said that the approach to Recognised Status was commendable; the enhanced collection knowledge and international visits and links were impressive, as was the curatorial expertise and the committee welcomed the strong entrepreneurial approach.

The Recognition Scheme is run by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government to celebrate, promote and invest in Nationally Significant Collections.

Susan Jeffrey, Research and Collections Co-Ordinator for Renfrewshire Leisure said: “This is an important recognition of what an amazing collection we have.

“It’s fantastic that our Paisley Shawl Collection continues to merit Recognised Status.”

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes added:

“Our staff work extremely hard to share their knowledge of the collections with visitors both at home and from all over the world, by carrying out research, giving talks and providing learning activities.

“We’re delighted to see their work to promote and preserve the Paisley Shawls collection being recognised.”

The Paisley Shawl Collection is a central part of the Paisley Museum Reimagined Project and the public will have the chance to see enhanced displays of the collection, as well as other collections, when the museum reopens in 2022.

People can see examples of Paisley Shawls together with looms and other weaving equipment by booking a tour of Paisley: The Secret Collection museum store, at 9 High Street Paisley by emailing tours@renfrewshireleisure.com or by phoning 0141 618 5129.

Entrance_Exterior

The £42m project to turn Paisley Museum into a world-class destination expected to bring huge volumes of new life and footfall to the town have taken a step forward – after planning permission was granted.

The Category A-listed Victorian building is being transformed into a leading European museum telling the unique stories of a town known around the world for the Pattern which carries its name.

Members of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Board today gave the green light to planning permission for an extension and external alterations plus listed building consent – meaning work can start next year.

The reimagined museum is expected to draw audiences of 125,000 people a year – almost four times current numbers – from Scotland, the UK and abroad when it reopens in 2022.

Entrance_Exterior

The designs produced by international architects AL_A – led by Stirling Prize winner Amanda Levete – include:

– a fully-accessible entrance courtyard and dramatic red glazed entrance hall, creating a dynamic and inviting presence on the High Street and a contemporary face for the museum;

– a new wing to the west of the existing building providing step-free access through the museum to the Coats Observatory (the oldest public observatory in Scotland);

PMR_Sketch Model_Aerial View

– an attractive outdoor garden, creating a new public space for the town, and opening up previously-hidden views of the observatory while reconnecting it and the museum to the town’s High Street;

– internal renovations to improve accessibility and circulation and extend the museum into the space formerly occupied by Paisley Central Library, allowing the museum to more than double the number of objects on display to 1,200;

– an interactive weaving studio keeping alive the town’s traditional textile skills;

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In their response to the consultation, Historic Environment Scotland welcomed the proposal, which they described as ‘very positive, well justified’, and said the plans ‘sensitively respond to the building and the requirement to provide step-free access’.

The Paisley Museum Reimagined scheme is the flagship project within Renfrewshire Council’s £100m investment in cultural venues and outdoor spaces – designed to use the town’s internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to change its future.

Interior

Cllr Marie McGurk, convener of Renfrewshire Council’s Communities, Housing and Planning Board, said: “The Paisley Museum Reimagined project is at the heart of our bold plans to transform Paisley town centre in the years ahead – we are delighted it was able to pass this important milestone today.

“The designs which have been produced blend the old and the new – they will create a 21st-century visitor experience while preserving a key part of our fantastic architectural legacy, and ensure this much-loved building can stay at the heart of life in the area for generations to come.

“Paisley’s name is already known around the world – and when the museum reopens in 2022 it will allow us to invite the world to come back to Paisley, providing new opportunities, life and footfall for the town centre and wider Renfrewshire area.”

The project is expected to create a £79m boost for the local economy over 30 years, with 138 jobs supported during construction, and 48.5 jobs per year through revenue and visitor spending.

It already includes Round One funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with funding confirmed from the Scottish Government, and their Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd has been set up as a new fundraising company to oversee the project’s fundraising strategy and capital appeal.

The project is being co-designed in partnership with the community – the project team have already worked with hundreds of local people and groups to capture and help tell their stories.

Paisley Museum was opened in 1871, designed by renowned Glasgow architect Sir John Honeyman. The building was gifted to the town by Sir Peter Coats of the Coats family, whose Paisley-based thread-making empire stretched around the world.

Renfrewshire’s collections are among the best in Scotland and include the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls and pattern books, artwork from the world-renowned Glasgow Boys, one of Scotland’s best collections of studio ceramics, and a unique offering of mediaeval manuscripts dating back to before the Reformation.

Paisley’s collections remain available to the public while the work is happening – at Paisley: The Secret Collection, the only publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.

The museum transformation is the flagship project within Renfrewshire Council’s £100m investment in venues and outdoor spaces aimed at using Paisley’s unique and internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to transform the area’s future.

Other current investments in Paisley include turning the town’s Victorian Town Hall into a landmark entertainment venue to preserve its place at the heart of life in the town, a new learning and cultural hub offering library services in a formerly-vacant retail unit on the town’s High St, and an extension and upgrade to the town’s Arts Centre, for which designs have just been released.

paisley museum

The first images showing how Paisley Museum will become a world-class destination telling the town’s globally-significant stories and bringing huge volumes of new footfall to the town centre are today revealed.

The museum is undergoing a £42m transformation into a leading European museum telling the stories of Paisley’s people and Pattern, and home to its internationally-significant collections.

paisley museum

When it reopens in 2022, the reimagined museum is expected to draw audiences from Scotland, the UK and abroad – almost quadrupling visitor numbers to 125,000 a year.

And today sees the first reveal of images, showing how international architects AL_A – led by Stirling Prize winner Amanda Levete – plan to restore and reinvigorate the museum, including:

– fully accessible entrance courtyard and a dramatic red glazed entrance hall, creating a dynamic and inviting presence on the High Street and a contemporary face for the museum;

– a new wing to the west of the existing building providing step-free access through the museum up to the Coats Observatory (the oldest public observatory in Scotland), containing learning spaces and with views onto the new museum garden;

– an attractive outdoor garden, creating a new public space for the town, and opening up previously-hidden views of the observatory while reconnecting it and the museum to the town’s High Street;

– internal renovations will improve accessibility and circulation, deliver international environmental standards for gallery spaces, and allow the museum to more than double the number of objects on display to 1,200;

– an interactive weaving studio keeping alive the town’s traditional textile skills;

paisley museum

The renovated museum and library buildings will be in conversation with the new. Together they create a cohesive museum campus and a visitor experience of international quality.

The project is expected to create a £79m boost for the local economy over 30 years, with 138 jobs supported during construction, and 48.5 jobs per year through revenue and visitor spending.

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The transformation of Paisley Museum will create a world-class destination right here in the heart of the town, delivering huge volumes of new footfall to our High Street, and boosting local traders.

paisley museum

“The work is part of a wider investment by the council in Paisley’s venues to transform the town centre, and take the work already making us a key destination within Scotland for culture and events to a new level.

“Paisley is a town whose people and pattern influenced the world – the revamped museum will use our unique – and in some cases untold – stories to put Paisley back on the map.

“The project team have already worked with hundreds of local people and groups to capture their stories. And we will be working closely with neighbours and surrounding businesses to make sure they are involved throughout construction and ready to benefit from the massive boost this will bring.”

paisley museum

Amanda Levete, principal of AL_A, said: “The brief for Paisley Museum is one of the most radical I’ve encountered. Paisley has a proud industrial past and a history of innovation and radical thinking. We have embedded this into our design to create an extraordinary place for the community of Paisley.”

Professor John Hume OBE, former Chair of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments Scotland, said: “I am thoroughly impressed by the thoughtful and sensitive approach of the architects to a remarkable group of buildings in a critical location for this unique place.

“At a time when there is a real risk of erosion of cultural experience, such interventions are of the utmost importance, and it is fitting Paisley should be at the forefront of what will be not just regeneration but also in the best sense, renaissance.”

The Paisley Museum Reimagined project includes Round One funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Paisley Museum was opened in 1871, designed by renowned Glasgow architect Sir John Honeyman. The building was gifted to the town by Sir Peter Coats of the Coats family, whose Paisley-based thread-making empire stretched around the world.

Renfrewshire’s collections are among the best in Scotland and include the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls and pattern books, artwork from the world-renowned Glasgow Boys, one of Scotland’s best collections of studio ceramics, and a unique offering of mediaeval manuscripts dating back to before the Reformation.

The project is being co-designed in partnership with the community – the project team have already worked with hundreds of local people and groups to capture and help tell their stories.

The museum transformation is the flagship project within Renfrewshire Council’s £100m investment in venues and outdoor spaces aimed at using Paisley’s unique and internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to transform the area’s future.

The programme includes turning Paisley Town Hall into a landmark entertainment venue to preserve its place at the heart of life in the town, and finding new cultural uses for former retail units – including a new learning and cultural hub offering library services at the heart of the town’s High St.

Paisley’s collections remain available to the public while the work is happening – at Paisley: The Secret Collection, the only publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.