A £60,000 grant has been secured to tell the story of Paisley’s world-renowned shawls in exciting displays to be created in the town’s transformed museum.

Dimensions – 76″ x 71″ ( 193cm x 181cm). Fibre – warp silk and wool twist, weft wool. Colours – red, yellow, light blue, white, green, and black. Fringe – 2.5″ (6cm) warp fringe both ends. General description – finely woven all over square pattern shawl, possibly French. Condition – good.

Museum Galleries Scotland (MSG) has awarded the money to Paisley Museum Reimagined in another major boost for the venue when it reopens in 2023 following a £42m overhaul.

It will allow the most extensive exhibition of shawls since the museum began collecting them in 1905, as well as creating new ways of sharing their international importance with audiences and strengthening the town’s links to its past.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of museum operator Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We know the important role cultural heritage plays in boosting wellbeing, confidence, and self-esteem. The Paisley shawl collection exemplifies this link with our past in an most enjoyable, colourful and illuminating way.

“We are delighted that Paisley Museum Reimagined has secured this grant from Museum Galleries Scotland and grateful to them for their support.

“The collection of around 1,200 shawls held by Renfrewshire Museum Service is of national significance. This funding will allow us to show the collection to its best.”

The funding, secured from MSG’s Museum Development Fund, will allow the museum team to create a series of visually exciting displays of the shawl collection – inextricably connected to the Paisley pattern – showcasing almost 70 of them each year.

With many of the shawls requiring conservation from textile specialists, much of the grant will be used to make them fit for display.

Kirsty Devine, Project Director of Paisley Museum Reimagined, said: “To know that we will be able to display the shawls in a way in which we never have before further enhances plans for our transformed museum. It really is exciting.

“They are an important part of our history and demonstrate the importance of shawl weaving in the town as well as the wider global connections. But they are now delicate and need to be carefully looked after to ensure they can be safely displayed and enjoyed by everyone. The support from Museum Galleries Scotland allows us to do that, creating another attraction.”

Some of the funding will also be used to involve community groups in telling the story of the shawls, including some previously untold tales. This will include the co-production of some new displays.

Sean Kelly, Collections and Conservation Manager at Paisley Museum Reimagined, said: “Our aim is for communities to view Renfrewshire Museum Service as relevant, responsive, accessible and, above all, open to collaboration. Through our work with the shawls, we will create vibrant displays for visitors, as well as opportunities to work with the community.”

The transformation of the museum, construction work on which began in July, will see the size of the campus grow by 20 per cent, allowing for Paisley’s internationally-significant collections to be reinterpreted and the number of objects on display to be more than doubled.

The museum project is part of a wider investment in Paisley’s historic venues by Renfrewshire Council, aimed at using its internationally-significant heritage and cultural story to bring new life and footfall to the town. That also includes a transformation of Paisley’s A-listed Victorian town hall into a landmark entertainment venue and a new home for library services in a formerly-empty unit on the town’s High Street.

ABOUT THE PAISLEY SHAWL COLLECTION

  • Paisley Museum’s shawl collection is the world’s largest collection of Paisley-style shawls. It is recognised by MGS to be of national significance – making it one of only 50 such collections of artworks or other treasures in Scotland.
  • The collection of over 1,200 shawls shows the great variety of patterns and styles that were created in the 18th and 19th centuries when Paisley enjoyed a global reputation for the quality of its woven textiles.
  • Shawl weaving was a significant industry in Paisley for more than 300 years. In the latter half of the 18th century, Paisley shawls became a symbol of wealth and status in Europe. In the late 18th century, there were more than 3,500 textile weaving looms in Paisley and the surrounding villages.
  • Among the highlights in the collection are the Kashmir Shawl – an important example of Indian design and craftsmanship – and the Chinese ‘Fairytale Shawl’ which exemplifies unrivalled perfection in textile design and production.
  • Many of the shawls’ patterns were inspired by fabrics from Asia. Researchers believe the intricate and beautiful hand-woven designs of the Kashmir shawl originated in India in the 15th century. The most popular and recognisable was the teardrop motif, which continues to be known as ‘Paisley pattern’.
  • The origin of the teardrop pattern has significance for South East Asian and Middle Eastern communities. The grant will enable the museum to continue working with community groups with links to these locations as the displays focusing on the shawl and the pattern are further developed.
AL_A Paisley Museum - External Design extension and garden

Paisley Museum’s £42million transformation is now underway as construction work starts on campus to redevelop the four buildings which make up the site.

Kier is delivering the main works phase on the campus which includes two grade A listed buildings, including Scotland’s first public Observatory. Construction is likely to be completed by late 2022, with the museum reopening to the public in 2023.

PMR Garden Gallery_Interior

This marks a significant step forward in the Paisley Museum Reimagined project – the signature project in Paisley’s radical regeneration which also includes the £22million refurbishment 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 project will see the overall museum campus grow by 20 per cent delivering a 27 per cent increase in public space and 26 per cent increase in gallery space, allowing for Paisley’s internationally-significant collections to be re-interpreted and the number of objects on display to be more than doubled.

Paisley Museum Groundbreaking_H78A9412

The Garden Gallery, which will be located in a new-build extension housing an accessible visitor reception and café, will deliver a true ‘wow’ moment for visitors with spectacular views and a unique social space connecting the Museum with the outdoor landscape. New images of the Museum’s Garden Gallery and exterior have been released to coincide with the start of construction.

PMR Cafe_Exterior.

As part of the redevelopment, there will be two dedicated learning spaces, a makers’ space and a revamped heritage centre which will introduce users to its key resources in an engaging way, encouraging interaction, research and participation. Other notable additions to the campus include new facilities such as a revitalised shop, multifaith prayer room, improved access with new lifts and a public courtyard. There will also be a museum café with capacity for 60 covers providing a social space for families, groups and individuals to enjoy. A picnic area will also be located close by.

The museum transformation project is an important part of Paisley’s economic recovery from lockdown, both in terms of the on-site activity that will take place during construction and the increased footfall that will follow when the museum reopens to the public. When Paisley Museum opens its doors, it is expected to attract 128,000 visitors each year from Scotland, the UK and overseas and provide a £79million economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

AL_A Paisley Museum - External Design extension and garden

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The beginning of work on site is a major step forward in our journey to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination, bringing in visitors from across Scotland, the UK and abroad.

“The project is part of a wider investment by the council in Paisley’s venues to transform the town centre and take the work already done to make the town a key cultural destination within Scotland to a new level.

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

Architects AL_A have radically reimagined the museum and its campus, reshaping it into a cultural hub of discovery, skills development, creativity and innovation. Working with an international team, including exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam, their design will allow the number of objects on display to be increased by 150%.

Matthew Wilkinson, Project Lead for AL_A, said: “The new museum will have a profound impact on Paisley’s future and it’s testament to the commitment and hard work of the whole community that we’ve reached this point. We’re extremely excited to be starting construction at Paisley Museum and to see our ambitious proposals coming to life.”

Kier have worked on a number of high-profile heritage construction projects throughout the UK and are currently helping to deliver the refurbishment of The Burrell Collection in Glasgow.

Phil McDowell, regional director for Kier Regional Building North & Scotland, states: “We know that Paisley museum is important to the local community as well as being a significant cultural destination in Scotland and we are delighted to start on site to expand and transform the building.

Over the duration of the project, we will work collaboratively with Renfrewshire Council and local supply chain partners to deliver this project. As part of our commitment to leaving lasting legacies in areas in which we build, we will also be providing job, training and apprenticeship opportunities.”

The project is being taken forward by Renfrewshire Council and led by a project team based within charitable arts and leisure trust, Renfrewshire Leisure. The project is being funded by Renfrewshire Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

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

Paisley Museum

Key themes to be discussed as part of work behind £42m transformation of 150-year-old attraction

Renfrewshire’s residents are having their say in shaping the future of Paisley Museum.

A series of “creative conversations” will be held to develop ways in which the 150-year-old venue and its team will best serve the region’s communities following its £42m transformation.

Paisley Museum

They will involve representatives from many of the near 70 local organisations which took part in earlier engagement events with service operator Renfrewshire Leisure to examine the issues they face in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kirsty Devine, Project Director of Paisley Museum Re-Imagined, said: “The transformed museum will not just be about celebrating our globally-important past, but being inspired by it to forge a stronger future.

“That’s a future that will undoubtedly be framed by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it has had on local lives.

“We want to make sure that our work meets the community’s priorities – addressing the challenges we face and creating new opportunities for our residents while supporting the region’s health, social, cultural and economic recovery. To create a programme which achieves that, we want to best understand the needs of our communities.”

Six priorities for the revitalised museum’s work emerged from the previous round of listening sessions carried out by operator Renfrewshire Leisure with organisations and other local stakeholders. They are:

  • Community health and wellbeing
  • Tackling social isolation
  • Employability and skills
  • Local history and heritage
  • Confidence / belonging / feeling of ownership
  • Play, literacy and creativity

The creative conversations to be carried out this summer will explore these themes in more detail, looking at how partnership working can develop events for museum audiences.

 

Kirsty Devine added: “The engagement we have had has already led to some of those we have spoken launching activities which are benefitting people now, and which will develop as the museum’s transformation continues.

 

“It’s rooted deeply in the fabric of the museum to have the community’s involvement. In the late 19th century the founding committee recognised the importance of community involvement, commenting that the museum ‘only needed to be put in the possession of the community to be appreciated and that the advantages would be of service to all’. That’s an ethos we are embracing as we look to the future.”

 

As well as its work with community organisations, the museum team is also working with colleagues in Renfrewshire Leisure’s libraries, sports and leisure teams, as well as across Renfrewshire Council and The Great Place Scheme.

 

Dates for the creative conversations will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

 

For more details, go to https://reimagined.paisleymuseum.org.

 

IN FOCUS: WORK SO FAR

 

JAMBO! RADIO

Jambo! Radio  is the only radio station for the people of African and Caribbean heritage in Scotland, serving Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Based in Renfrewshire it broadcasts programmes in multiple languages commonly spoken by people of African and Caribbean heritage in Scotland. 

 

As part of the initial listening exercise, the museum team interviewed station founder George Tah  who then invited Paisley Museum to partner in a funding bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.  Our Heritage will support four heritage trainees over 18 months.  They will visit Paisley: The Secret Collection museum store on the High Street, the local history  Heritage Centre at Abbeymill Business Centre, Seedhill and will find out more about the plans for Paisley Museum.  From this, they will produce a series of heritage-themed radio programmes for African and Caribbean communities and Jambo! Radio listeners.

 

This will be the start of a long-term relationship between Jambo! Radio, Paisley Museum and African and Caribbean communities.

paisley museum

The journey to transform Paisley Museum into a top cultural destination took a major step forward today (Wed 31 March) as Renfrewshire councillors approved the appointment of the contractor to deliver the £23million main works programme.

Members of the council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board authorised the appointment of Kier Construction Limited as the main works contractor that will transform the A-listed building. Final negotiations will now take place with a view to formally appointing Kier next month. This will result in work beginning on site in early summer with construction likely being completed by late 2022, reopening to the public in 2023.

paisley museum

This marks a significant milestone in the £42million redevelopment of the museum – 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 museum transformation project is an important part of Paisley’s economic recovery from lockdown both in terms of the on-site activity that will take place during the construction phase and in the increased footfall that will follow when the museum reopens to the public. When Paisley Museum opens its doors it is expected to attract 128,000 visitors each year from Scotland, the UK and overseas and provide a £79million economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

Paisley Museum Reimagined Project Director, Kirsty Devine, said: “The approval to appoint the main works contractor is an exciting step forward in realising our ambitions of radically transforming this prominent symbol of Paisley’s past for future generations.

paisley museum

“A great deal of work has taken place behind the scenes over the last year to help realise our vision for the museum and once the contractor is formally appointed and work begins on site in early summer the public will start to see that vision take shape.

“Paisley Museum was founded as a place of learning at the heart of the town and this redevelopment project will preserve that for years to come, while showcasing the town’s globally-significant story like never before.”

The project will not only deliver a cultural facility of significance for Scotland, it will also help transform Paisley’s perception of itself, develop a visitor economy, lead the regeneration of the town centre and once again give Paisley a confident, outward-facing profile to the world.

Senior Curator at the National Galleries of Scotland and Paisley Museum Reimagined Patron, Professor Frances Fowle, said: “It is wonderful that the museum will not only be restored to its former glory, but will be transformed into a world-class venue.  I am excited that Paisley is undergoing this period of cultural Renaissance and am proud to be a Patron of the Paisley Museum Reimagined project.”

paisley museum

Kier have worked on a number of high-profile heritage construction projects throughout the UK and are currently helping to deliver the refurbishment of The Burrell Collection in Glasgow.

Regional Director of Kier Regional Building North & Scotland, Phil McDowell, said: “The transformation of Paisley Museum is of significant local and national importance and we are looking forward to working with Renfrewshire Council on this project.

“We have extensive experience restoring and reimagining historic cultural buildings and we will work with our local supply chain partners and utilise the very latest digital technologies to transform the museum. We will also engage with the local Paisley community, providing job, training and apprenticeship opportunities as well as working with local organisations as we look to leave a lasting legacy in areas in which we build.”

A programme of community benefits were requested as part of the procurement process. Kier have agreed to offer a number of local employment opportunities, work experience placements, business advice and support to local SMEs, social enterprises and voluntary organisations. They have also made a commitment to ensure that supply chain opportunities are prioritised for Renfrewshire based businesses and pledged to support a local community project.

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 150%. The designs produced by AL_A radically reimagine the museum and its campus, reshaping it into a cultural hub of discovery, skills development, creativity and innovation. Improvement work will include a new entrance courtyard and entranceway, along with a new west wing, outdoor garden space and an interactive weaving studio.

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

paisley museum

Next week Renfrewshire councillors will be asked to approve the appointment of the main works contractor for Paisley Museum, marking the next step in transforming the venue into a major cultural destination.

The paper that will be presented to the council’s Finance, Resources and Customer Services Policy Board on 31 March will seek to authorise appointing the £23million main works contract to Kier Construction Limited.

paisley museum

If the paper is approved negotiations will move to the final stage with a view to formally appointing the contractor in the coming weeks. This would result in work beginning on site in early summer with construction likely to be completed by late 2022, reopening to the public in 2023.

A programme of community benefits were requested as part of the procurement process. If approved as the main contractor, Kier Construction Limited have agreed to offer a number of local employment opportunities, work experience placements, business advice and support to local SMEs, social enterprises and voluntary organisations and a commitment to ensure that supply chain opportunities are prioritised for Renfrewshire based businesses.

paisley museum

The £42million 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.

Paisley Museum Reimagined Project Director, Kirsty Devine, said: “If the proposed contractor is approved by councillors next week it will enable us to move ahead with plans to realise our ambitious vision for Paisley Museum.

“The redevelopment of the museum provides the perfect opportunity to showcase our internationally significant collections and we’re doing this in collaboration with Renfrewshire communities as well as with partners across the world. The redeveloped museum will be an amazing resource in the heart of Paisley and people should feel rightly proud of that heritage.”

paisley museum

The revamped museum is expected to attract around 128,000 visitors a year when it reopens – creating new footfall and trade for Paisley town centre and supporting new and existing businesses in the surrounding area.

Chair of Paisley First, Colette Cardosi, said: “We welcome what would be a major step forward in the museum redevelopment, a project we know will enhance the reputation of Paisley town centre as a must-visit destination.

“Like everyone who is passionate about the town, it will be great to see real progress at the site and we are looking forward to watching the transformation as the project develops.”

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 150%.

Jacobite Receipt to Paisley Town Magistrates (1745 Rebellion)

Jacobite Receipt to Paisley Town Magistrates (1745 Rebellion)On 29 December 1745, exactly 275 years ago to the day, the Jacobites led by Bonnie Prince Charlie issued a summons to the then Paisley Town Council to meet and account for raising a local militia against them.

This summons, along with a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary for a £500 fine paid just five days later by the people of Paisley, will go on display when Paisley Museum reopens following its £42m redevelopment.

Jacobite Propaganda Medal commissioned by Charles Edward Stuart

Unlike other towns, that were also fined by the Jacobites but later reimbursed, Paisley’s money has never been returned. Glasgow received £10,000 for its loss in 1749, and in 1750 Dumfries was indemnified with £2,800, however every application Paisley made was refused.

Archie Henderson, Social History Research Assistant for Paisley Museum said: “The history of the Jacobites is full of fascinating tales and having the opportunity to reinterpret the museum’s collection, tell new stories and retell old stories in a more engaging way is all part of the museum’s redevelopment. On 30th December this year Bonnie Prince Charlie will celebrate his 300th birthday, so what better time for us to remind people of this part of our town’s history.” 

Originally, Bonnie Prince Charlie fined Paisley £1,000 and took Bailie Matthew Kyle and former Bailie William Park hostage to ensure the fine was paid. However, this fine was later reduced to £500 providing it was paid in full by the following evening. When the time came, the town only managed to pay £300, and the payment window was extended by 12 hours. At the final hour the remaining payment was made to the Jacobites and a receipt from the Prince’s Secretary John Murray of Broughton was issued.

Henderson goes on to explain: “After the Jacobites were defeated at Culloden, and money started to be repaid to other towns, Paisley Council was advised that they should take John Murray to court, which they did in 1753 and the case dragged on for seven years without success. In 1760 an appeal was launched but again there is no record of any response or positive outcome, so the debt has remained outstanding.”

It is believed that £500 in today’s money would be worth more than £100,000.

The redevelopment of the museum will enable the number of objects on display to be increased by 100%. Significant items from the Jacobite collection that will go on display alongside the summons (dated 29 Dec 1745) and the receipt (dated 3 Jan 1746) include a Culloden sword passed down from the Carlile family; a Jacobite silver medal commissioned by Bonnie Prince Charlie; a painting by David Wilkie (1819) of The Veteran Highlander; and a headstone originally from the grounds of Paisley Abbey commemorating John Orr, one of eight Paisley volunteers killed at the Battle of Falkirk in 1746.

Paisley Museum is part of the town’s radical regeneration plan, and the redesign of the campus is led by an international team including architects AL_A and exhibition designers Opera Amsterdam. When it reopens it is expected to attract over 125,000 visits each year and provide a £79 million economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “Paisley’s collections are culturally significant and the museum’s refurbishment is a wonderful opportunity for the town to reinterpret our objects for public display in a way that is engaging and meaningful to visitors.

“It is also a real tribute to our curatorial teams past and present, that our objects are still in such good condition, and are able to illustrate the area’s rich culture and the people’s story.”

Paisley Museum Reimagined is supported by Renfrewshire Council, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund. The museum’s final phase of fundraising is now under way, with the museum website reimagined.paisleymuseum.org showcasing the project’s ambitious vision.

paisley museum

Paisley Museum has received a £200,000 capital funding pledge of support from The Hugh Fraser Foundation towards its transformation into a world-class cultural destination, payable once the project is underway.

The Hugh Fraser Foundation, which is based in Glasgow, has for over 50 years supported a broad range of charities throughout Scotland. Dr Kenneth Chrystie, a Trustee of The Hugh Fraser Foundation said:

“We are very aware of the sterling efforts being made to transform and enhance the art and cultural attractions of Paisley. In this context, the museum’s initiative is hugely significant and when completed it will ensure the museum’s rightful place as a centre of excellence and a national treasure and attraction for many years to come. The Foundation was delighted to be able to offer support.”

The £42million redevelopment of the museum is part of Paisley’s radical regeneration plan, and the redesign of the campus 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%.

When Paisley Museum reopens it is expected to attract 125,000 visits each year and provide a £79million economic boost to the area over the next 30 years.

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, rare 2nd century glass from Syria, 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.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd, said:

“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.

“We are delighted the Hugh Fraser Foundation has pledged its support towards the redevelopment of Paisley Museum. The museum has been beloved by generations of Renfrewshire people and this brings us a step closer to realising our ambitions of radically transforming this prominent symbol of Paisley’s past for future generations.”

Eric Grounds, Capital Appeal Director of Paisley Reimagined, said:

“The pledge from The Hugh Fraser Foundation is yet another vote of confidence in the Paisley Museum project and indeed the town itself.

“Paisley Museum is an important part of the area’s heritage and has been at the heart of the community since it was founded in 1871. The £42million project to transform this historic venue will ensure our world-class collections are safeguarded and that our museum continues to be a place of knowledge, enjoyment and pride for those living in or visiting Paisley.”

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

Renfrewshire Heritage Centre

Renfrewshire Leisure says safety is the priority with measures including appointment-only entry and use of face coverings to protect visitors and staff

Renfrewshire’s popular Heritage Centre is reopening amid a surge of interest among people keen to learn more about their family history and community’s past.

The restart of on-site services on Thursday, September 17th, marks another stage in recovery from the coronavirus lockdown by the Centre’s operator, leisure and cultural charity Renfrewshire Leisure.

All visitors will be strictly required to pre-book their attendance and wear face coverings as part of health and social distancing measures being put in place to protect them and members of staff. Bookings can be made from today (Thursday, September 10th).

The Heritage Centre, temporarily located at the Abbey Mill Business Centre on Seedhill Road in Paisley as the £42m transformation of Paisley Museum continues, boasts an impressive collection of items and information which charts the stories of the people and places of Renfrewshire, from the earliest of times to the present day.

Its staff have been putting their expertise to strong use digitally during lockdown, supporting people with online research into the likes of family history and stories of the past from across Renfrewshire and expect the carefully managed return of physical services to be busy.

Christine McLean, Heritage Manager at Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We’re looking forward to welcoming people back, albeit in a different way to that in which we’re used to, and helping them to use the great resources available at the centre, complementing the support we’ve been providing online and over the phone since March. Some of our team have 30 or 40 years’ experience so are a fantastic source of information themselves, as well as the fascinating resources we have.

“We’ve found that walks and the sights seen along the way during lockdown have inspired people to learn more about the history of the towns and villages in which they live – their built and social heritage. Lots of them have been getting in-touch to find out more information, as have those who have been using the time to explore their family history.”

To ensure that people can carry out their research in a safe and secure environment, coronavirus mitigation measures include:

  • An appointment-only entrance system. Bookings must be arranged in advance by emailing heritage@renfrewshire.gov.uk or by calling 0141 618 5375.
  • The discussion of research requirements ahead of arrival. Entrance will not be allowed without proof of pre-booking. 
  • Specific table allocation. Tables will be two metres apart. The resources required will be placed on these tables prior to arrival. No further items can be added during the visit.
  • Hand hygiene measures which protect both people and the items in the centre’s collection.
  • The quarantining of resources for 72 hours after every use.

For more details on arrangements at the Heritage Centre – or how all other Renfrewshire Leisure services are affected by Covid-19 and the protection measures in place at each venue – go to www.renfrewshireleisure.com/coronavirus

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%.

Interior 1

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.

1 paisley centre entrance

A first-of-its kind study with radical ideas for how Paisley town centre could look in a decade has been published – and aims to start a conversation about what might be possible in the town.

The ‘Vision for Paisley Town Centre 2030’ is the result of a unique link-up between Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Government and Scotland’s Town Partnership – and uses Paisley as a test case for a series of bold ideas imagining how empty retail space could be better used

1 paisley centre entrance

Aileen Campbell, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, will officially unveil the report at an event in the town centre today.

The study – produced by Glasgow-based Threesixty Architecture – is based on the idea changes to the way people shop have left towns like Paisley with far more retail space than they need

The authors lay out a series of radical ideas for how the town could be rebalanced to better meet community need – bringing with it new life and footfall. Their suggestions include:

1 paisley centre entrance

– introducing hundreds of new town centre residents, including repurposing the Paisley Centre shopping centre into a new residential quarter with ground-floor retail;

– new ‘attractors’ such as a High Street cinema, or European-style food hall housing independent food and drink businesses;

– bolstering remaining retail by concentrating it back on to the High Street and street-fronts;

– new public spaces for outdoor activity, and new lanes and streets creating new views and routes to ‘hidden’ parts of the town centre

1 paisley centre entrance

– how key vacant historic buildings such as the Liberal Club, YMCA building and TA Building could be brought back into use;

– other ideas such as shared office spaces or makers’ spaces, a new hotel, and relocating parts of university and college campuses into the heart of the town centre;

Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “This study represents another significant milestone in the regeneration of Paisley and is further evidence of the ambition and commitment of the local community and partners.

3 new Liberal Club (1)

“A huge opportunity now exists to use this collaborative vision to create more positive change in the town, as well as sharing learning which can benefit other town centres and communities across Scotland.

“The Scottish Government will continue to work in partnership with local government to support the regeneration of our towns and high streets.”

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “The way people shop has changed forever, and towns everywhere are seeing the same issues with empty retail space.

“We can’t turn the clock back but we can consider how we could change to attract new life and footfall in future – and that’s what Paisley is doing.

“It’s important to stress these are not concrete plans – they are a set of ideas designed to spark a conversation about what might be possible over the next decade.

6 YMCA cinema (1)

“Paisley town centre is already changing for the better – the number of new cafes and restaurants and new housing built in recent years shows it is recognised as a good place to live and invest.

“Current and future council investment will make Paisley even more attractive to the private sector, but change of the scale imagined by the Vision could not be achieved by the council alone – so we want to hear from developers who could make that next stage of the journey happen.”

The contents of the report build on work already happening to use Paisley’s unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future through the Future Paisley programme, which aims to build on the momentum created by the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

That includes a £100m investment in the town’s venues and outdoor spaces, including turning Paisley Museum into a world-class destination for the town’s internationally-significant collections, which last week saw £3.8m of funding confirmed from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Paisley is already finding new uses for vacant High Street spaces – construction will start soon to bring a formerly-empty retail unit back into use as a new learning and cultural hub housing library services, for which the first images have just been revealed.

That will build on the success of Paisley: The Secret Collection – the UK’s first publicly-accessible High Street museum store, which opened in 2017 – showing Paisley’s ambitions to put culture at the heart of its future high street are already being realised.

The Paisley Vision was produced after gathering feedback from key local partners – including community groups, businesses, educational establishments and private developers.

The idea for a High Street cinema is already being taken forward by a local group – the Paisley Community Trust – who, with support from the council, are developing their own plans to convert an existing building for that purpose.

Gary Kerr, chair of the Paisley Community Trust, said: ““It’s exciting to see such a transformational and radical vision for Paisley’s future revealed. Paisley Community Trust fully back this new vision for Paisley and we congratulate Threesixty Architecture on producing a superb piece of work.

“It’s particularly encouraging to see cinema at the forefront of the vision. This completely aligns with our current plans to bring cinema back to the heart of our town.

“We believe a cinema by and for our community is a vital first step in realising the wider vision for regeneration in the town centre. It’s Project One if you like.

“We’ve been working behind the scenes on it for a while now and will reveal more details very soon. We also look forward to seeing the other concepts from the vision being explored and developed into regeneration projects of their own in the years ahead.”

Colette Cardosi, chair of town centre business improvement district Paisley First, added: “In recent years, Paisley has found itself firmly back on the map with fantastic events for visitors and a growing number of independent businesses.

“However, like many towns throughout the country, we need to continuously adapt and evolve and Paisley First welcomes collaboration on any long-term strategy for the future which can help bring in new investment and new footfall to local businesses in Paisley town centre.”

Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, added: “Paisley has a rich tapestry of heritage and culture, is steeped in industry and tradition, and has many major assets.

“We hope this exciting blueprint can create a high street fit for 21st century citizens and Paisley can become an exemplar for other large towns across Scotland.”

Alan Anthony, managing director of Threesixty Architecture, who authored the Vision, said: “This study shows a people-first approach that reconnects the whole community to their town centre.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity to rebalance our High Street back to a place with a rich mix of uses. As a lifelong Paisley Buddy, it’s exciting to think Paisley could lead the way on town centre regeneration in Scotland.”

The council now hopes to hear from developers who are interested in investing in Paisley – with one firm which has already done so believing a template for success already exists.

Brian Clark, managing director of Park Lane Developments, said: “We believe  Park Lane’s partnership with Renfrewshire Council on the regeneration of the former Arnotts department store has already shown the way for how the public and private sector can work together to transform a town centre site.

“That project has already delivered 67 completed private and social rented housing along with the welcome addition of the Pendulum restaurant. The final phase is just about to go for planning and will bring an additional 70  new homes.

“The site was derelict for 10 years and is now back in beneficial use bringing new residents and activity back into the town centre – and shows the potential that exists in Paisley as a place to live and invest.”

Residents and businesses have the chance to see and give their views on the Paisley Vision plans for themselves at a public exhibition open in POP (the former Post Office) in the town’s Piazza shopping centre – on Friday 24 (1 to 4.30pm), Saturday 25 (9.30am to 4.30pm) and Monday 27 January (9.30am to 3pm).

The full report can also be viewed online at www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/paisleyvision, along with a Q&A which goes into more details on the ideas it contains and what happens next.

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.

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.