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.

paisley haloween parade 2020
Renfrewshire community groups are being invited to take centre stage at Paisley’s Halloween Festival…by joining the spooktacular parade.

paisley haloween parade 2020

The award-winning festival – the biggest of its kind in Scotland and one of the UK’s must-see Halloween events – will take over Paisley town centre on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 October.

The event – run by Renfrewshire Council – is being supported by EventScotland as part of their National Programme funding, which will allow an extended programme of outdoor performances.

Last year’s festival was the biggest yet – with 34,000 visitors to Paisley and worth more than £1.9m to the local economy.

paisley haloween parade 2020

This year’s event will have a theme of ‘dark circus’ – with the parade co-ordinated by internationally-acclaimed performance specialists Cirque Bijou, who want school and community groups to work with them in the run-up to the event and take part in the parade on the day.

They are looking for people to take part in carnival workshops and street theatre, dance and musical performances. Any interested groups should contact events@renfrewshire.gov.uk

Julian Bracey, artistic director of Cirque Bijou, said: “We are really excited to be part of this year’s celebrations. We have some amazing workshop leaders and are looking for local schools, groups and individuals to work with to make this years festival the spookiest yet.”

Louisa Mahon, Renfrewshire Council’s head of marketing, communications and events, said: “We are proud of how our Halloween Festival has grown to become the biggest of its kind in Scotland and an event with UK-wide profile.

“But we are also proud of the way it allows the many talented community and youth groups in Renfrewshire to work with and be inspired by artists of national standing. Our local groups will love working with the talented team at Cirque Bijou and help make this year’s parade as colourful and lively a spectacle as ever.”

The full programme for this year’s festival is currently being finalised and will be announced in August – along with changes to the event site for this year.

The Halloween Festival is one of the top dates within Renfrewshire’s major events programme, which brought 160,000 attendees and a £4.7m economic impact into the area in 2018 alone.

For more information on Halloween and all local events, see www.paisley.is

Derek Mckay at Paisley Museum 21.6.19-0650

Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work Derek Mackay was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the ongoing work to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination driving new visitors to the town.

The museum is currently undergoing a £42m revamp as the flagship project within wider work to transform Paisley’s future through its internationally-significant cultural and heritage story.

When it reopens in 2022, the museum is expected to almost quadruple previous visitor numbers to 125,000 a year, bringing new footfall into the town centre.

Derek Mckay at Paisley Museum 21.6.19-0650

And Mr Mackay and Scottish Government officials were joined by Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson and chief executive Sandra Black to see the work taking place for himself, on a tour led by members of the museum project team.

The museum transformation will create the following:

– a leading European museum telling the stories of how Paisley’s people and pattern helped change the world, drawing audiences from Scotland, the UK and abroad;

– an extension plus complete internal redesign and restoration of all museum buildings – including the Coats Observatory. The design team is headed by international architects AL_A, led by Stirling-Prize-winner Amanda Levete, who have worked on landmark projects across the world;

– doubled capacity for Paisley’s internationally-significant collections to go on show – with local communities helping shape how the collections are reinterpreted and displayed;

– a community resource and major educational institution at the heart of life in Paisley;

– an interactive weaving studio keeping alive Paisley’s traditional textile skills, a heritage centre to study local history, and attractive outdoor museum garden;

Advance works started on the site earlier this year, including the demolition of the 1970s block to the rear of the museum, and work to prepare outdoor spaces and the interior of the existing buildings for main construction starting next year.

Other projects within the current £100m investment in Paisley town centre include a transformation of Paisley Town Hall to turn it into a landmark entertainment venue and keep it at the heart of life in the town for future generations; a new learning and cultural hub housing library services at the heart of the High Street; and a transformation of the town’s key outdoor spaces.

Paisley’s museum collections are still available to view at Paisley: The Secret Collection – the only publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.

The museum project is being led by Renfrewshire Council, and the reopened museum will be operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd.

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work, Derek Mackay, said: “I enjoyed seeing the ongoing transformation of the museum and all the hard work taking place to develop it for Paisley and the wider area.

“The museum will help tell the story of Paisley and ensure its heritage is preserved.”

Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “I was delighted to welcome the cabinet secretary to the town to show him the life-changing impact this project will have for Paisley, Renfrewshire and Scotland.

“As the one-time centre of the global textile industry, the museum will help reconnect Paisley to the stories – and pattern – which once took its name around the world, and help bring visitors to Scotland from outwith these shores to hear those unique tales for themselves

“It will also be the centrepiece of a transformed town centre, building on the work already done to make the town one of Scotland’s key destinations, and create a thriving community resource for the people of Paisley, driving footfall up our High Street.”

For more information on what’s happening in Paisley, see www.paisley.is

reading

CHILDREN can rocket into space without leaving the ground if they take part in this year’s Space Chase Summer Reading Challenge.

Young book readers from aged four to 11 will be landing at libraries all over Renfrewshire to borrow books for free and take part in the challenge.

reading

And there will be out-of-this-world prizes for everyone who borrows and reads six books of their choice during the school summer holidays.

Local libraries will also be staging various events and activities based on this year’s Summer Reading Challenge theme of the Space Chase.

The initiative, from Renfrewshire Libraries, in association with The Reading Agency is aimed at encouraging young people to read more books. It runs from June 17 to August 17 and children are being encouraged to head for their local library to sign up for the challenge.

reading

As the children finish reading each book they are given a sticker for their Space Chase folder and as they completed their challenge they will receive a free badminton pass and swim pass for Renfrewshire Leisure sports centres and swimming pools.

And thanks to big-hearted local businessman, Paul McGrath, who is managing director of Consilium Contracting Services, one lucky winner from each library who completes the challenge will receive a pair of cinema tickets. Paul has sponsored the Summer Reading Challenge locally for the past three years.

The Summer Reading Challenge will be taking place in libraries throughout Renfrewshire, including the temporary library beside The Lagoon Leisure Centre, in Paisley, which offers a whole range of services such as Bookbug, after school children’s activities, digital skills support and public access to computers.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The Summer Reading Challenge is an exciting way to inspire children to have a love of books and to read more.

“We’ll do more than just encourage the children to read books as they’ll have lots of fun with the different space-themed activities in our libraries.

“And they’ll also be rewarded for reading books and completing the challenge with some stellar prizes.”

travelling gallery

IT’S a case of have gallery will travel as a touring art exhibition visits Paisley, next week.

The Travelling Gallery will visit local schools for pupils to see the many different kinds of artwork installed inside a brightly-coloured double-decker bus.

travelling gallery

The bus will also visit different parts of Paisley so the public can see the interesting art exhibits.

The exhibition of photography, printmaking, film and painting is entitled Displaced and explores how artists are responding to and represent in their work global migration and the refugee crisis.

On Monday, May 20 the Travelling Gallery will visit Williamsburgh Primary School; the public can see the exhibition when it visits the Tannahill Centre, in Ferguslie the following day at 3.30pm, then it’s the chance for Todholm Primary pupils to see the artwork, on Wednesday May 22.

lisa-marie hughes

On Thursday, May 23, between 11.30am and 1pm and 2.30pm and 4pm, the Travelling Gallery will be open to the public when it’s situated at Paisley Cross. The gallery will also be at Paisley Cross the following day between 10am and 4pm

Renfrewshire Leisure’s Secret Collection, at 9m High Street, Paisley is also running free drop-in guided tours on Friday, May 24 focusing on objects which reflect the Travelling Gallery’s current Exhibition ‘Displaced’.

The tours – at 11am, noon, 1pm and 2pm will last approximately 30 minutes – 45 minutes.

Renfrewshire Leisure’s chairperson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “The Travelling Gallery is an innovate way of bringing art to the people and I would encourage those who can to pay the gallery a visit when it’s in Paisley.

“It will be a thought-provoking experience and with on-going international conflicts and the continued displacement of human beings, artists are asking us to question how we view, understand, and represent refugees and migrants.”

library

Renfrewshire’s cultural scene is in line for a cash boost as groups benefit from the latest rounds of two cultural grants.

Councillors have approved the latest round of awards from the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund – created to support Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 and which has continued as part of a wider plan to use culture and heritage to transform the area’s future.

library

The fund aims to create more chances for people to get involved in cultural activity, help young people develop, boost the local economy, raise Renfrewshire’s profile, and show how creativity can boost education, social inclusion and quality of life.

The current round of funding is the tenth – and five projects have been awarded funding totalling £50,101, from a total funding ask of £96,774. Projects to be supported are:

  • £11,645 to Mandy McIntosh to run a sculptural project with Ferguslie Park Learning Centre including aspects of community art history, practical skill sharing and hands on making
  • £3,935 to musician Linzi Clark to develop a space for young women in Renfrewshire to express their creative identity and develop songwriting skills in a supportive environment
  • £14,890 to PACE Theatre Company to deliver a high-quality participatory theatre experience to young people who may not otherwise be able to experience or access such an activity
  • £14,000 to Loud n Proud for the development of Sma’ Shot the Musical
  • £5,631 to Starlight Youth Theatre to work with young adults who have challenges of autism and learning disabilities to explore and extend their personal and creative interests

This tenth round sees funds awarded through the CHE Fund reach the £1m mark, with 121 projects supported and a total of £1,045,868 spent since launching in 2016.

Successful completed projects to date include teenage animator Morgan Spence’s Lego stop-motion animation about Paisley, and a dance project bringing pupils in schools across Renfrewshire together to perform pieces inspired by Renfrewshire’s architecture at Johnstone Town Hall.

The CHE fund is part of a wider cultural regeneration plan for Paisley which also includes a £100m investment in town centre venues, including the £42m project to turn Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections.

Based on the success of the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, in 2018 Renfrewshire Council introduced the Cultural Organisations Development Fund and awards for this new cultural grant have also been approved by Councillors.

The Cultural Organisations Development Fund is a three-year fund with the purpose of strengthening and building the capacity of local cultural and creative organisations.

The fund can support a range of organisational development opportunities, such as board recruitment, creating new staff posts, developing programmes for internships or apprentices, and supporting new partnerships.

Five applications to the Cultural Organisations Development Fund have been approved totalling £302,318, from a total funding request of £539,312. These are:

  • £72,000 to Erskine Music and Media Studio over three years to develop the workforce within the organisation and to enable them to continue to support the development of cultural opportunities in Erskine
  • £8,500 to STAR Project to allow the organisation to work with external consultants with the aim of improving the reach and reputation of the organisation and allowing them to continue delivering services and positive social change in Renfrewshire
  • £70,000 to Outspoken Arts over two years to fund two new posts, allowing the organisation to grow and support multiple projects in the ongoing programme
  • £71,778 to CREATE Paisley over three years to address identified organisational challenges that currently limit the organisations ability to deliver its strategic goals and vision
  • £80,040 to PACE Theatre Company over three years to build fundraising capacity, allowing the company to pursue projects that are not viably supported by fees, ticket sales or other incomes.

Projects supported by both funds will benefit communities across Renfrewshire.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “Since the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund launched it has succeeded in increasing the number of people getting involved in creative activity across Renfrewshire and I am pleased to see the interest in the fund is still strong as we announce the groups benefiting in this tenth round.

“The new Cultural Organisations Development Fund is designed as an opportunity for organisations to further develop their capacity and progress with longer term planning, and I am pleased to see that some of our previous CHE Fund recipients have progressed to this stage of their development and will benefit greatly from these further opportunities for funding.”

Are you interested in applying for funding? You can find out more by visiting http://www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/culturalgrants

Mark Beaumont

Record-breaking cyclist, Mark Beaumont will ride into town to tell a sell-out audience about his adventures going around the world in 80 days.

The 36-year-old Scot is a well-known long-distance cyclist, documentary maker and author will talk about his adventures in the saddle as he cycled 18,000 miles in 79 days in an epic record-breaking bike journey around the world.

Mark Beaumont

Around the World in 80 Days – An Evening With Mark Beaumont is a free event organised by Renfrewshire Libraries and takes place in The Lagoon Leisure Centre, on Monday, March 11, at 7pm. Mark will also describe his other adventures that have seen him travel to 130 countries.

There will be complimentary refreshments for ticket holders in the new temporary Central Library next to The Lagoon at 6.30pm.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “Mark has become a household name through his documentaries about ultra-endurance and adventure.

“Having smashed the circumnavigation cycling World Record twice in his career, he now holds this 18,000 mile title in a time of 78 days and 14 hours, averaging 240 miles a day.

“His epic documentaries have taken viewers to over 100 countries including the Arctic and he also survived his boat capsizing in the mid-Atlantic.”

library

A new chapter in the story of Paisley’s library services has begun.

The temporary home for Paisley Central Library opened this week in a new building next to The Lagoon Leisure Centre.

library

The move has been made to allow the refurbishment and creation of a learning and cultural hub at Central Library, on Paisley’s High Street, when it re-opens in 2021.

library

The work is part of an investment in Paisley town centre venues by Renfrewshire Council to support a wider push to use the town’s unique cultural and heritage assets to transform the area’s future and bring new footfall to the town centre.

In the meantime, the usual services of book lending, free computer and internet access, Bookbug sessions and children’s activities are available at the library facility at The Lagoon.

Opening hours are 9am to 5pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and 9am to 8pm on Tuesday and Thursday.

Councillor Lisa Marie Hughes said: “There are exciting times ahead for Renfrewshire cultural scene in general and Paisley library service in particular.

“Once work has been completed at Central Library, the people of Renfrewshire will have a fantastic literary, cultural and social facility we can be proud of.

“And while that work is on-going we’ll have the same library services available at the Central Library’s temporary home, so no one misses out.”

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

Industry leaders have praised Paisley: The Secret Collection after it just missed out on the Cultural Project of the Year Award at the 2018 Architects’ Journal Architecture Awards

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

The project was ‘Highly Commended’ by the judges for the inventive nature of its aim to revitalise the high street by bringing the area’s historic collections to life.

Scooping the top prize was the third phase of works to remodel Liverpool’s Royal Court Theatre which saw the refurbishment of its basement into an open performance studio capable of hosting a range of events from comedy to jazz.

stella-shabti

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Convener of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The Secret Collection has been a fantastic addition to Paisley as we aim to transform our High Street and bring people into the area.

“The collection includes some of Paisley’s world-famous textiles, plus a mix of ceramics, world cultures, social history, art and sculpture, natural history and local archives – with many of those items unseen by the general public in decades or longer.

“It’s fantastic that everyone involved with this wonderful project has received industry recognition as it really is one of Renfrewshire’s hidden gems and I would encourage everyone to take the time to visit and see the outstanding exhibits.”

Paisley Secret Collection MFG

Paisley: The Secret Collection is the first publicly accessible museum store on a UK High Street and contains thousands of objects which reflect Renfrewshire’s amazing heritage and culture.

The state-of-the-art storage facility is a space where everyone can explore, learn, research and discover hidden treasures in the collection.

Brought to life by Collective Architecture, the project was a key highlight of the work they have carried out transforming buildings using modest budgets to achieve maximum impact.

Ewan Imrie, Project Architect, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this project has gained national recognition through the Architects’ Journal Awards.

“The judges recognised the vision and bravery of the client in placing this precious facility within a very difficult central site, so that it is both accessible and a catalyst for regeneration.

“They were also very impressed by the creative and collaborative working relationship that developed between ourselves and Renfrewshire Council which allowed a bleak former shop unit to be converted into a hidden jewel on the High Street.”

The Secret Collection was one of several successful projects which saw Collective take home the coveted prize of Architect of the Year at the Awards ceremony.

Councillor Hughes added: “Collective brought imagination and an inspired sense of style to what could have been a purely functional space.

“They also had an enormous commitment to getting every detail right in a complex state of the art facility and we’re delighted that their work on the project has been recognised in this way.”

The Secret Collection is open to the public and free guided tours should be booked in advance.

For more information on The Secret Collection, visit www.renfrewshireleisure.com/thesecretcollection

beach

THE chilly winds of winter might be blowing around Paisley, but youngsters can have some fun at an INDOOR BEACH that’s been created inside Paisley Museum.

beach

Making sandcastles and playing beach games is just one of the activities being organised for the Farewell Frenzy, at the Museum.

Now that the Museum, Central Library and Coats Observatory are closed for major redevelopment, staff at Renfrewshire Leisure decided to have a final farewell bash with free activities such as board games, roller disco, Laser Quest, pop-up cinema, indoor sports activities, gaming, family ceilidh and a kids messy play area, along with the indoor beach.

The Farewell Frenzy starts on Friday, November 23 and goes on until Sunday, November 25 with activities taking place both during the day and in the evening.

Two sold out music gigs are also being staged in Paisley Central Library with Brick Lane studios and Loud ‘n’ Proud presenting Dogtooth, Uncut, Vera, The Spyres and Ghostbaby on Friday, November 23 between 6pm and 10pm. The following evening, between 6pm and 10pm The Vegan Leather, plus guests will also perform at Central Library.

Log on to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/farewellfrenzy for full details of these events.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “It’s rather strange seeing Paisley Museum empty of all the fantastic exhibits and artefacts that have been there for many years.

“But before the work starts to refurbish the building, we thought we’d give kids and adults alike some fun by inviting them into the building for a whole host of different activities you wouldn’t normally find in a museum.”

The Farewell Frenzy is part of a bumper weekend of activities in Paisley town centre as it’s also the first weekend of the Paisley First’s Winterfest and the Paisley Winter Mela is being held in the Town Hall, on Sunday, November 25.

Paisley Central Library will move to a temporary home in early 2019 next to the Lagoon Leisure Centre before moving to the new learning and cultural hub being built on the High Street when it re-opens in 2021.

Public access PCs are available at the Paisley.Is offices at 5a High Street, Paisley. Library staff will be on-hand to assist visitors and the opening hours are Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 9am to 5pm and Tuesday and Thursday, 9am to 8pm.

To access the Paisley Museum collections, you can book a tour of The Secret Collection, 9 High Street, Paisley on www.renfrewshireleisure.com . The Heritage Centre has now moved to Mile End Mill, Abbey Mill Studios, Seedhill Road, Paisley. Opening hours are Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri and Sat 9am to 5pm, Thursday 9am to 8pm.

The redevelopment work is part of a £42 million investment in Paisley town centre venues by Renfrewshire Council to support a wider push to use the town’s unique cultural and heritage assets to transform the area’s future and bring new footfall to the town centre.

That programme includes the transformation of Paisley Museum, which will reopen in 2022, a revamp of Paisley Town Hall and Paisley Arts Centre and a new learning and cultural hub on the High Street.