Renfrewshire Council

Paisley Museum balcony

Paisley Museum Reimagined

The name Paisley is known around the world thanks to the pattern which bears the town's name.

Now we want to bring the world back to Paisley to see and hear the inspirational and unique stories of the people and history of the town that created a global design icon brought to life.

Work is under way to transform Paisley Museum into an international-class attraction - the flagship project within a wider programme aimed at using the town's unique and internationally-significant cultural and heritage story to tranform its future and make the area one of Scotland's key destinations.

The museum is now closed to be transformed into a reimagined home for the area's outstanding art, science and natural history collections, and internationally-significant story as the one-time centre of a global industry, to reopen in 2022.

The revamped museum is expected to attract 125,000 visits a year - almost four times current numbers - creating huge footfall for Paisley's high street and town centre, as well as a £72m economic boost over 30 years.

The museum is being redesigned by world-renowned architects AL_A - who have worked on landmark projects across the globe, including the V&A museum in London.

The firm's founder - Stirling Prize winner Amanda Levete - desribed the Paisley Museum Reimagined project as "one of the most radical briefs I have read....this is not only about finding the way to best show the museum's collection, it's also about showing the world how an ambitious cultural project can have a profound impact on a community and its identity."

Co-produced with the local community, the Paisley Museum Reimagined project will completely reimagine how the collections are displayed - and more than double the number of objects on show. Paisley Museum telescope and kid

It will also see extensive building renovations across the site, including the Coats Observatory, the oldest public observatory in Scotland. The project will preserve the beautiful 19th-century architecture while creating a 21st-century facility.

The museum was opened in 1871 and was designed by renowned Glasgow architect Sir John Honeyman. The building was gifted to the town by Sir Peter Coats of the Coats family, whose Paisley-based threadmaking empire stretched around the world, and whose family's largesse built much of the historic town centre still around us today.

Renfrewshire's collections are among the best in Scotland and include:

- including the world's largest collection of Paisley shawls and pattern books

- artwork from the world-renowned Glasgow Boys

- one of Scotland's best collections of studio ceramics

- a unique offering of mediaeval manuscripts dating back to before the Reformation

- a full volume of The Birds of America by John James Audubon - one of the most desirable and spectacular books ever produced

Buddy the Lion - much-loved artefacts including Buddy - a stuffed lion and recognisable talking point for generations of visitors

The collections are still available to be seen at Paisley: The Secret Collection - the first publicly-accessible museum store on a UK high street.

The museum project is central to a £100m programme of investment in Paisley's cultural venues, led by Renfrewshire Council, as part of a wider plan to use our unique cultural and heritage assets and superb architectural legacy to bring visitors here and transform our future.

Paisley Museum Reimagined includes funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.

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