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

CELEBRATED artist and playwright John Byrne came back to his roots for the opening of his annual drawing competition exhibition.

John, aged 79, was born in Paisley’s Ferguslie Park and went to school in the town’s St Mirin’s Academy.

john byrne

And on Wednesday (March 27) he returned to Ferguslie for the launch of the 2019 John Byrne Drawing Competition exhibition being held in The Tannahill Centre, in Blackstoun Road.

John – who found fame through his paintings, artwork for album record covers, along with creating and writing theatre and television shows – met two talented local school pupils who were runners-up in the competition.

The artwork of Marie McNicol, from Paisley Grammar School and Rachel Bryceland from Trinity High School, in Renfrew has been chosen to be shown in the free exhibition, which is open to the public until Monday, April 15.

The exhibition, organised by Education Scotland in partnership with Renfrewshire Leisure, showcases the highlights of the fifth annual John Byrne Drawing Competition, open to young people from Primary 4 to S3 from all over Scotland.

John joined pupils from St Fergus and Glencoats Primary Schools in a drawing workshop at The Tannahill Centre before the official launch of the exhibition.

Chairperson of Renfrewshire Leisure, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said: “This annual drawing competition is a great way to encourage young people to fulfil their artistic potential.

“John Byrne is one of Paisley’s famous sons and his paintings and plays are enjoyed by many generations.

“And for all we know, we might find a new John Byrne in our midst among the young artists whose work is on show at the exhibition.

“I’m particularly pleased to congratulate the two pupils from Renfrewshire whose work has been chosen to feature in the exhibition.”

Alan Armstrong, Strategic Director for Education Scotland said: “Art and design are important parts of the Scottish curriculum.

“For years, this competition has encouraged many thousands of children to use their artistic talents to create inspiring and unique drawings.

“Education Scotland is proud to support the competition and its ethos of keeping the art of drawing alive.”

Paisley museum

Renfrewshire’s future is bright, despite tough challenges facing all local economies, says Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson.

More than £100million is currently being invested in Paisley town centre cultural venues as part of plans to use the region’s rich heritage to drive its economic regeneration.

Paisley museum

And 2019 signals the start of construction of an advanced manufacturing innovation district next to Glasgow Airport which is set to bring thousands of highly skilled jobs to the region.

“Every high street in every town and in every city is facing tough challenges, but we have a bold vision and are already taking significant steps towards securing Renfrewshire’s long-term economic future,” said Councillor Nicolson.

“This year will see us take the next steps on this exciting journey, working together with the business community and skills agencies as every organisation has an important part to play in delivering a bright economic future for Renfrewshire.”

Glasgow Airport Investment Area manufacturing district

Celebrating the region’s rich traditions – from weaving the paisley pattern to the iconic Paisley Abbey – and establishing Renfrewshire as a key visitor destination are at the centre of the regeneration plans.

New figures show great progress, with visitor numbers more than doubling to 5.3million between 2015 and 2017, while hosting major events attracted record numbers and ploughed £3.5million into the local economy this winter.

Paisley town centre cultural venues are about to undergo a total transformation – including the flagship project turning Paisley Museum into an international-class destination anticipated to attract 125,000 visitors each year.

There’s also been the launch of destination brand Paisley Is showcasing all the area has to offer and new funds rolled out to help grow the cultural sector, encouraging the sustainable growth of local arts, music and other creative organisations.

Alongside this are major infrastructure projects funded through the Glasgow City Region City Deal, including the £39.1million Glasgow Airport Investment Area project, with construction starting in spring on new connections underpinning the site which has already been confirmed as home to two multi-million pound national innovation centres.

Councillor Nicolson added: “I’m immensely proud that Renfrewshire will once again be the beating heart of Scottish manufacturing, soon to be home to national innovation centres transforming the future of manufacturing and inspiring future generations.

“And as the town centre cultural venue work progresses, we are already seeing the positive impact of our focus on culture and tourism as visitor numbers have increased exponentially and events like Paisley’s Halloween Festival are proving immensely popular, drawing on our rich history and attracting large local, national and international audiences.”

Renfrewshire already boasts an employment rate outstripping its city region neighbours, while weekly earnings for Renfrewshire residents exceed the national average.

And the council has committed a further £4.5million until 2022 to provide business support and help people into employment.

Building on the success of business incubator InCube, 2019 will see the launch of Start-Up Street – providing low cost workspaces helping companies make the leap into their first commercial premises.

Councillor Nicolson added: “We’ve committed long-term funding for business development and to help people find and sustain employment. Our focus is on inclusive growth, ensuring we target support to the people and places most in need so that we can make the greatest difference and improve the opportunities for future generations of Renfrewshire residents.

“Renfrewshire has so much to offer and it is our priority to make it a place people want to visit, live, work and invest in. The next year will see more houses built and we will continue to listen to what our communities tell us they want and need, ensuring everyone benefits as the economy grows.”

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

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.

heritage 4

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.

 

heritage 4

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.