Renfrewshire Council

Sma' Shot Cottage, Paisley exterior

£4.5million regeneration boost for Paisley

The regeneration of Paisley town centre has been given a £4.5million funding boost. Renfrewshire Council is finalising plans for a five year programme of conservation works, building repairs, shopfront improvements, heritage education and community involvement focused on the west side of Paisley High Street, New Street and Shuttle Street.

External funding has now been confirmed from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£1,882,000) and Historic Environment Scotland (£998,554). That money will be backed by £1.2m investment by Renfrewshire Council and contributions from property owners to the cost of building repairs.

The programme will start in early 2017.

Councillor Roy Glen, Convener of Renfrewshire Council's Economy and Jobs Policy Board, said: "This funding news is a huge vote of confidence in the success of Paisley's heritage-led regeneration programme, and is also a massive boost for Paisley's bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.

"There is increasing recognition that Paisley's innovative heritage-led approach to town centre regeneration is helping to deliver tangible results in investment, employment, and attracting people back to live, work or visit the town.

"A £100million transformation of Paisley town centre is underway which includes the £5million restoration of the Russell Institute, and the creation of a £3.7m museum store on the High Street which will be a visitor attraction in its own right.

"The iconic Arnotts listed building is being revived with an £8m investment to develop town centre living alongside a large restaurant. We are also continuing to take forward plans to a £57m flagship project for Paisley Museum to tell the story of Paisley's textile and design heritage.

"Over the coming months, a major new tourism strategy is being finalised which will coordinate and showcase those positive changes and messages and generate further economic benefits.

"We are capitalising on Paisley's rich cultural and architectural heritage to drive forward economic renewal and restore the international reputation the town once enjoyed. That is the level of our ambition for Paisley."

"It is particularly encouraging that two major national funding organisations have clearly seen the success of a similar conservation programme in Paisley and have backed our efforts to build on that success with a further five year initiative."

The new Townscape Heritage and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme will build on the success of a similar seven year-long conservation scheme centred on Causeyside Street in Paisley.

One of the most famous heritage sites in Paisley - the Sma' Shot Cottages - has already been identified as one of the priorities for the restoration of its architectural detail.

Other buildings already identified for restoration work through the scheme are the former Liberal Club at 32 High Street, and buildings at 5 George Street, and at 44-46, 51 and 53 High Street.

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: "The regeneration of town centres is an obvious way in which we as an organisation can make an important contribution to improving the economy of an area. Investing National Lottery money to revitalise historic buildings at the heart of a community, not only makes a place more attractive to live, visit and invest in, it also provides jobs and training opportunities for local people.

"Building on the success of what has been achieved already, we are delighted to support Paisley and their ambition to preserve the town's rich heritage in a way in which is relevant to the needs of today."

Historic Environment Scotland's Head of Grants, Martin Fairley, said: "Paisley was first awarded grant funding through our Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme in 2009, since then this programme has played a significant role in supporting investment through heritage-led regeneration, at a local level.

"The revitalisation of its historic town centre is a great example of what can be achieved and has seen a number of Paisley's historic buildings brought back into use for the benefit of the local community. This latest funding award will help further contribute to the positive regeneration work that Paisley and its people are already benefiting from."