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.

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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

Eric Grounds

One of the UK’s most prolific fundraising directors has been appointed to lead Paisley Museum’s £5million Capital Appeal Campaign.

Eric Grounds will take up his role as Capital Appeal Director in the new year.

Eric Grounds

Eric has directed more than 90 successful Capital Appeals across the UK, including a £35million campaign for Marie Curie and a £350million appeal for the defence National Rehabilitation Centre in Warwickshire.

He has also directed a range of heritage and cultural appeals, including successful campaigns for the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, the Highland Clearances Project and the Roses Charitable Trust in Mull.

Mr Grounds, who is a fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, said: “I’m very excited to be leading the Capital Appeal for Paisley Museum.

“Paisley is a fantastic town and its people are its greatest asset. This project will transform Paisley Museum into an international attraction that celebrates the town’s unique culture and heritage. We want everyone to get behind this project so we can show the world what Paisley has to offer.”

Work is already underway to transform Paisley Museum, which closed its doors last month, into a world-class tourist destination.

Redesigned by world-renowned architects AL_A, the new museum will house Paisley’s internationally significant art, science and natural history collections and tell the story of the Paisley Pattern and the town’s time as a centre of global textile industry.

Paisley is known around the world thanks to the iconic pattern which bears its name and the revamped museum will gives visitors access to the world’s largest collection of Paisley shawls and pattern books. Part of the collection is currently on display at Dundee’s new V&A Museum.

The museum is expected to attract 125,000 visits a year when it reopens in 2022 and boost Paisley’s economy by £72million over 30 years.

The £42million museum transformation is part of a £100million investment in Paisley’s cultural venues and public realm, led by Renfrewshire Council, which is set to put the town firmly on the cultural tourism map. The Capital Appeal Campaign will raise £5million for the museum project, which has already secured funding from the Council, the Scottish Government Capital Grant Regeneration Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Renfrewshire Council is currently in the process of setting up Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd, a new fundraising company which will oversee the project’s fundraising strategy and Capital Appeal. An application to give the company charitable status has been submitted to the Office of Scottish Charity Regulator.

Council Leader Iain Nicolson, Chair of the Paisley City of Culture Partnership Board, said: “We are delighted to welcome Eric as our new Capital Appeals Director.

“Eric brings a wealth of experience in fundraising and tremendous enthusiasm and energy to the team, and with his leadership of our Capital Appeal Campaign we will deliver our vision for Paisley Museum.”

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.

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Paisley’s heritage collection has found a new home in one of the most iconic buildings in the town.

heritage

With Paisley’s Central Library and adjacent Museum closing as part of a multi-million refurbishment, the Heritage Centre has now opened in new premises – in the Abbey Mill Business Centre, housed in the former Mile End Mill, in Seedhill Road.

There’s a treasure trove of books, maps, archive newspapers and other resources to help research your family history and the local history of the area inside the bright and spacious area of Unit 907 on the ground floor of the business centre.

 

Opening hours are 9am to 5pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; 9am to 8pm on a Thursday and 9am to 5pm with an hour closed for lunch on a Saturday.

 

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Fiona Naylor, Acting Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Leisure said: “The Heritage Centre is a great facility and service for people who want to find out about the history and culture of their area.

“The excellent staff at the Heritage Centre have also transferred to the new facility, at the former Mile End Mill, so it’s business as usual.”

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.

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.

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

Paisley_Museum_Exterior_2

A Dutch based company has been awarded the £1m contract to redesign the exhibitions for the Paisley Museum Reimagined project.

Paisley_Museum_Exterior_2
OPERA Amsterdam will create the interior displays housing the museum’s internationally renowned collections as part of a major refurbishment and extension.

The museum is the signature project of Paisley’s heritage led regeneration strategy and is part of an £100m investment by Renfrewshire Council to transform town centre venues and cultural infrastructure over the next four years.

Opera
Award winning firm AL_A have already been appointed as architects for the ambitious £42m plans to transform it into an international-class destination.  Work at the A-listed building due to start in early winter this year, with an estimated completion date of late autumn 2022.

OPERA’S co-director Jo Pike says that the firm, which has worked with prestigious venues across the globe, including Kensington Palace and the British Museum in London, is excited about the ‘radical’ brief.

OPERA & Studio Louter
It will work in close cooperation with another Dutch based company, Studio Louter, and Jo, who heads OPERA with co-director Jeroen Luttikhuis, said: “There is so much here that really excited us, including the town’s rich history and heritage. The Museum Team have asked us to be bold, radical and ambitious in our approach to achieve something different.

“We are excited to work with the collection as it is very eclectic, from archaeology to textiles, to scientific instruments.”

More than double the number of objects previously displayed will go on show in 2022 with the opportunity to display parts of the collection never seen before.

The museum has the largest known global collection of Paisley shawls and also has art works by the Glasgow Boys, Scottish Colourists, John Byrne and other key 20th century artists.

Jo says that her first visit to the town and museum was inspiring and says the community will also be involved in the project.

She said: “Paisley Museum Reimagined is about co-production, it’s a museum of the community and we are going to be working with them and hearing their stories and ideas because who better an expert than the people who’ve lived and worked here and have donated objects?

“That will inform a lot of how we approach the project and help formulate our ideas and designs.”
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, which operates the museum, said: “We are delighted to welcome on board an exhibition collection design team of such calibre as OPERA.

“Renfrewshire’s heritage and collections are globally significant and we want Paisley Museum to reflect the town’s bold and radical past as well as inspire future generations and be a valuable educational resource for our young people.

“It is the centrepiece of the work to transform the area’s fortunes by harnessing our unique cultural heritage to make us a destination and help quadruple museum visitor numbers to 125,000 annually.”
The £100m investment in Paisley town centre also includes projects to transform the interiors of Paisley Town Hall and Arts Centre into 21st-century venues, a new learning and cultural hub on the High Street, new sporting facilities and events space at St James Playing Fields, and major investment in outdoor spaces and the town’s transport links.

The museum project is also being funded by The National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

It is one of the most infamous witch trials in history which saw Paisley the last town in western Europe to conduct a mass execution in 1697.

Four women and three men were sentenced to death after series of events which started when the  11-year-old daughter of a local laird mysteriously fell ill.

Christian Shaw suffered fits, similar to demonic possession, and accused several people of bewitching her.  Witchcraft was against the law in Scotland and seven people were tried as witches and executed at Gallow Green.

But as Paisley gears up to stage its annual Halloween Festival inspired by Renfrewshire’s dark witch history, retired academic Hugh McLachlan says history has treated Christian Shaw unfairly.

Hugh, who researched the 1697 trials extensively and is editor of ‘The Kirk, Satan and Salem: A History of the Witches of Renfrewshire’, says that far from being a malicious accuser, she was unfairly maligned.

Hugh, who first became aware of the case as a young research assistant at Glasgow University, said: “Christian Shaw has had a very bad press with the notion that she was a particularly bad, evil child who was able to fool the courts and local dignitaries for malicious purposes.

“This seemed to me be not very plausible and grossly unfair so my interest was aroused at the potential injustice.

“The alternative view point that she was suffering from a hysterical malady or mental illness seemed to me to be even less likely, so I researched the case.”

Hugh says the case was different from other witchcraft trials in that a child was the main accuser.

He also believes the story was influenced by what happened in Salem in Massachusetts just a few years later.

He added: “The actual evidence didn’t suggest that Christian Shaw was either mentally ill or malicious, but rather she was actually peripheral to the case.

“If you look at the accusations against the people who were charged with witchcraft, if you removed what they were said to have done to Christian Shaw, they would still have been executed.

“It wasn’t crucial to the case and it’s not clear if she even gave evidence at the trial.”

He says that he believes the story was influenced by a book later written on the case by local minsters.

He said: “When people consider her role in all of this, they weren’t considering her evidence at the trial but this book.

“It was written be local ministers who were very well aware of Salem witch trial and wanted to make a theological point. Witches renounced Christ and the fear of witchcraft centred on that and the Devil.

“But if the Devil existed, so did God, and they were trying to encourage atheists to repent.

“It was 1697 and they were looking to the turn of the century and it was a period of great turmoil.

“The local ministers thought the world was coming to an end.”

After the trial Christian Shaw’s story took another sensational twist when she became a prominent businesswoman who founded the Bargarran Thread Company along with her mother.

It transformed into the cotton company on which Paisley’s fame and wealth was founded.

Hugh added: “I think even today her role in the witchcraft trials is misinterpreted. I don’t think Christian Shaw was a malicious child and that she should instead be celebrated as a successful entrepreneur.

“Women often get a rough deal in history and are written out. This is only one interpretation, but the one that I believe. But I think the other stories should still be told, they live in contradiction and conflict with each other.”

Paisley’s annual Halloween Festival ‘Something Wicked this Way Comes’ returns on Saturday 27 October, with a Friday Fright Night on 26 October, and features an animated parade, sound and light installations and performances.

The festival, supported by the Year of Young People 2018 event fund managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, has been developed with the help of young people. It is celebrating their talents both as performers, as well as contributors to the management of the event behind the scenes.

Part of this is a new production starring a 50-strong cast of young people who will take part in a breathtaking aerial show.

For more information please go to www.paisley.is

The doors of Paisley Museum were locked for the last time yesterday (Thursday) before work starts on a £42 million revamp of the historic visitor attraction.

The refurbishment of Paisley Museum that will take four years to complete is the flagship project in a £100m investment in Paisley town centre over the next few years. The museum is being redesigned by award-winning international architects, AL_A.

A piper played as chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes and the organisation’s chief executive, Joyce McKellar locked the Museum’s giant doors and carried out the last few exhibits.

The adjacent Central Library also closed yesterday, as work is about to start on creating a new-look cultural hub in Paisley.

The new-look museum will showcase its outstanding art, science and natural history collections, along with telling the story of the Paisley pattern, the town’s famous weavers and being at the centre of the global thread-making industry.

The revamped museum is expected to attract 125,000 visits a year – almost four times current numbers – when it reopens in 2022. And it’s estimated that it will create huge amounts of visitors to Paisley town centre, as well as a £72m economic boost over 30 years.

The redevelopment will include a contemporary addition to the existing Victorian-era building, major revamps to all four museum buildings including the Coats Observatory, and a complete internal redesign reimagining the visitor experience and doubling the number of objects on display.

The museum collections will still be available to view at Paisley: The Secret Collection on the High Street, while a temporary Paisley Central Library will open over the winter while a new learning and cultural hub is constructed on the High St, to open in 2021

Library services will still be available at Renfrewshire’s other 11 libraries and online in the meantime, while public-access PCs will be available at the Paisley.is office at 5a High Street.

The public will have access to the library’s Heritage Centre when it moves to temporary premises at Mile End Mill, Paisley, in November. The library service will also move to premises at Paisley’s Lagoon Leisure Centre, in January and the popular Bookbug sessions will also be held in The Lagoon.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This may seem like the end of an era for Paisley’s wonderful Museum and Central Library.

“But it’s also the beginning of something fantastic that will put Paisley at the heart of the Scotland’s culture and heritage.

“When these doors open again in four years time we’ll have a visitor attraction that will bring people flocking to Paisley and it will also be something local people can feel rightly proud about.”

Joyce McKellar added: “Paisley Museum has a treasure trove of many different kinds of collections that will be of interest to people from all over the world.

“It will be well worth the wait to have a new museum that can do justice to these collections.”

The museum project is being funded by Renfrewshire Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

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.

That programme includes the transformation of Paisley Museum, a £22m revamp of Paisley Town Hall, a new learning and cultural hub on the High Street unit, a £2.5m revamp of Paisley Arts Centre, investment in sporting facilities and outdoor events space at St James Playing Fields, and investment to improve existing town centre outdoor spaces and transport links.

Ambitious plans to realise the vision behind Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 have been backed by senior figures from Scotland’s cultural scene – in the week the ongoing legacy work takes several big steps forward.

Today is the last chance to see inside Paisley Museum ahead of a four-year £42m transformation into an international-class destination telling the story of the town’s pattern, heritage and people.

And yesterday saw councillors approve a number of measures to bring new life to Paisley town centre and harness the power of culture to change lives for the better, including:

– formal approval for a new cultural organisational development fund of £360,000 over the next three years to support the area’s creative sector to grow their operations and reach;

– transforming key outdoor town centre sites in Abbey Close and County Square by expanding capacity for major events and creating spaces which encourage residents, visitors and students to spend time;

– improvements to major road junctions to improve road safety, allow traffic to flow better, and open up key gateways to the town centre;

And the new measures have been backed by senior figures within Scotland’s cultural scene.

Gary Cameron, Head of Place, Partnerships and Communities, Creative Scotland commented: “We are delighted Renfrewshire Council have established the Cultural Organisations Development Fund.

“Local authority support is essential for developing arts and culture across Scotland, and we believe this fund will build on Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture and bring a range of cultural, social and economic benefits to the region.”

Support has also arrived from Dundee – a city which has already shown the power of culture to transform fortunes, culminating in the opening of the V&A museum last week.

Dundee City Council leader Councillor John Alexander said: “The recent opening of V&A Dundee is the latest achievement in the long-term regeneration of the city where culture plays an integral part in this transformation.

“Our status as a UNESCO City of Design has been awarded because of the growth of the sector in the Dundee and the contribution this is making to our economy. Creativity is helping to create jobs and to attract tourists in ever great numbers.

“I am pleased to see how the legacy of the Paisley bid campaign is being used to focus on the future and tap into the power of the arts to bring about change for the good.”

The council’s leadership board also agreed to consider a report at their next meeting which would look at how the cultural legacy will reach towns and villages throughout Renfrewshire.

The investment in outdoor spaces and roads forms £10m of a £100m investment in Paisley town centre over the next few years – to create homes for the increased events, festivals and cultural activity the area is already attracting.

That includes the Paisley Museum redevelopment, expected to quadruple current visitor numbers when it reopens in 2022, plus £22m plans to preserve Paisley Town’s Hall’s place at the heart of life in the area and turn it into a landmark performance venue.

The various partners behind the UK City of Culture bid this year agreed to commit resource set aside to host had Paisley won to projects designed to deliver on the bid’s aims – and the report to councillors told how investment in culture is already delivering results for Renfrewshire including:

– a £1.25m economic boost and 70,000 attendees at major events so far this year alone, including the Paisley Food Festival, British Pipe Band Championships and Sma’ Shot Day/Weave;

– work to sell the area as a visitor destination through the paisley.is brand and website, pioneering work by the NHS to use cultural activity to tackle mental health issues, and a growth in creative business development across Renfrewshire;

Today will see bid partners taking to social media to celebrate the work achieved so far, using the hashtag #WhatPaisleyDidNext, and a number have already had their say.

Alan McNiven, chief executive of Engage Renfrewshire said: “We know Renfrewshire’s cultural activity programme is already providing fantastic opportunities for developing local aspirations, reducing isolation and re-connecting people with Paisley.

“The plans for refreshed, re-imagined outdoor areas in the centre of the town will positively benefit all our social aims by providing a fantastic backdrop for an even wider range of cultural activities – attracting more visitors and local people for many decades to come.”

Bob Grant, chief executive of Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce added: “We welcome this investment in the next stage of the journey to deliver the vision of the 2021 bid.

“Enhancing our key cultural assets and public realm will we believe drive visitor numbers and increase economic spend, presenting opportunity for businesses to capitalise on our growing profile on the national and international stage.

“Cultural development and the legacy fund will encourage creative organisations to upskill, build their operations and shine a spotlight on the reinvigorated vision for Paisley and Renfrewshire. “

Alan Clark, of the Creative Renfrewshire group – a network which shines the spotlight on creative and cultural activities across Renfrewshire, added: “I think the Creative Renfrewshire members would see real value in this investment in the local creative scene over the long-term.

“The new organisational development fund will allow organisations to build partnerships and create growth across the whole sector – we are all part of this together. It feels like this is the beginning of a long-term growth.”

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Plans to bring new life to Paisley town centre by transforming key outdoor areas have been revealed, as the ongoing £100m investment in the town’s venues and infrastructure moves forward.

Renfrewshire Council is leading the investment as part of wider plans to transform the area’s future using its internationally-significant cultural and heritage story.

Work to turn key venues including Paisley Museum and Town Hall into 21st-century facilities hosting hundreds of thousands of visitors a year is well under way – and will be complemented by a £10m investment to improve the outdoor streetscape and transport links.

The plans – aimed at driving new footfall and boosting the evening economy by growing the area’s already-successful events programme and creating more attractive spaces to keep visitors, students and workers in the town – include:

– unlocking the enormous potential of the area around Abbey Close by creating a larger and more flexible events and gathering space around the Abbey, town hall and river, including improvements to the Abbey Green;

– a new and improved town gateway in County Square – creating a decluttered town square to welcome visitors and expand events capacity, and create a more attractive space for pavement cafes and people to dwell;

Details have also been revealed for major improvements to the town’s transport infrastructure, with upgrades to key road junctions at Mill St/Glasgow Rd, Mill St/Lonend, Canal St/Causeyside St and Renfrew Rd/Mill St/Incle St.

The aim is to improve traffic flow and road safety, while linking the town centre to its surroundings by making it easier to walk or cycle into the heart of the town and creating a better sense of arrival for people visiting Paisley’s attractions.

The projects will go to public consultation next year, followed by a detailed design phase. There will also be a feasibility study to look at further-reaching longer-term changes to the town’s road system.

The council last year set aside £10m for the above public realm projects but wants to top that up by applying to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

Councillors on the leadership board will be asked to approve that application when they meet next Wednesday (19 Sept), where they will also be updated on other projects in the £100m investment.

That includes the £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into an international-class destination based around the town’s unique heritage and collections, and the £22m plans to preserve Paisley Town Hall’s place at the heart of life in the town by becoming a landmark performance venue.

The museum is planned to close later this month and reopen in 2022, and the town hall will close at the end of the year and reopen in 2021.

Other projects coming in the next few years include a new learning and cultural hub offering library services on the heart of the High St, and a refurbishment of Paisley Arts Centre.

Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Our £100m investment in Paisley town centre is the backbone of everything which will happen in the next stage of our regeneration journey, the benefits of which will be felt around the whole Renfrewshire area.

“Over the next few years, we will transform our unique and much-loved venues into 21st-century facilities to host the expansion of events, visitors and activity the area will be at the centre of – we are also this week revealing plans to grow the capacity of Renfrewshire’s independent creative sector through a new fund.

“We have already seen investment in culture deliver results – with visitor numbers and attendees at our already-successful major events programme on the up, and the UK City of Culture bid boosting the town’s profile, reputation and self-confidence.

“And put simply – it’s the way we have to go. Changes in the way people shop mean town centres everywhere have to reinvent themselves. We cannot turn the clock back but we can create a vibrant destination around our unique culture, heritage and events, and that is what we are doing.

“The public realm projects we are revealing details of today are key to that – they will create key outdoor spaces allowing our already-successful major events to be even bigger and better.

“At the same time, Paisley already has large populations of students and workers, and a growing number of visitors – this investment will support traders by creating more attractive spaces which encourage them to spend more time and money here.

“And the improvements to the transport infrastructure will make the town easier to get around and through, while we look at a longer-term masterplan to improve the road system further.”