2021 CITY OF CULTURE BID UNSUCCESSFUL
December 2017: Despite Ladbrokes having Paisley as favourites at 5/4, Coventry won the title. The win would have seen the town benefit from an economic boost fuelled by greater tourism and increased confidence in local businesses. There would also have been a £3million Heritage Lottery Fund grant. Scottish First Minster Nicola Sturgeon Tweeted "You did Scotland proud @Paisley2021 - thank you for being awesome!" Since the town officially declared its title ambitions in 2015, the town has seen a marked increase of over 34,000 visitors per year.
COATS MEMORIAL CHURCH PLANS
October 2017: A conversion, to cost £3 million, plans to convert the church into a state-of-the-art entertainment hub. The plan is to include blueprints, including a huge stage, basement bar and box office. The level of construction work required to stop the church from falling into disrepair is beyond the current tenants. A recent survey found a range of structural problems, including cracked walls, asbestos in service ducts, flooding from loose roof slates, crumbling stairs, blocked drainpipes, eroded stonework and plaster damage. The boiler must also be replaced at a cost up to £500,000.
PAISLEY MUSEUM EXPANSION
September 2017: The story of the globally-recognised paisley pattern is to be told in a world-class visitor destination in the town which gave it its name. With the help of players from The National Lottery, Paisley Museum is to be transformed. All four of its buildings will be redesigned to allow 100% more items to be displayed in engaging, modern surroundings while a new café and shop will add to the visitor experience. The revamped museum is forecast to attract 125,000 visits a year, almost four times current numbers, and create a £72million economic boost over 30 years.
PLANS UNVEILED FOR NEW THEATRE AND CINEMA COMPLEX
September 2017: Paisley Community Trust (PCT) wants a "cultural and creative quarter" called Baker Street Paisley to be built on the site behind Arnotts on Gauze Street. The proposals include a three to five screen cinema and a 500 seat theatre. The charity developed the initial designs with Glasgow architects Stallan-Brand and it now hopes to raise funding for the project. If the successful, the complex would be due for completion in 2021.
PAISLEY MURAL AT GILMOUR STREET STATION
Local artist Caroline Gormley and co-artist Sandy Guy have completed a mural featuring iconic people, places and historic moments from the town’s past – everything from a mill girl, a burning witch and Gerry Rafferty, William Wallace and Fulton Mackay, the Russell Institute and the Hillman Imp car. Being inside the station, a valid ticket is required to see the mural. Click the above picture for a larger image.
ROYAL MOD BID 2021
Following its successful hosting of the Royal National Mòd in 2013, Paisley had lodged a bid to host the celebration of Gaelic culture in 2021. Royal National Mòd is Scotland’s premier festival celebrating Gaelic language and Gaelic music, dance, drama, arts and literature.
PRIDE OF PAISLEY
July 2016: During the summer of 2016, Paisley witnessed its first ever free, family friendly public art trail, Pride of Paisley, took to the streets. 25 creatively designed lion sculptures showcased Paisleys heritage trail infusing pride, colour, art and creativity into Paisley town centre. Click HERE for a video featuring the lions.
METHODIST CENTRAL HALL: Paisley's historic Methodist Central Hall will receive a GBP250,000 make-over, thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund. This will allow urgent repairs to be carried out on the building which opened in 1908. It has an auditorium on two levels, and can seat 750 people. There are other rooms within the building that are in use for various other church purposes. The new funding is part of a block of cash given to distinguished church buildings throughout Scotland.
GBP40,000 funding towards a Paisley shawl collection digitising project: The project will see the photography and digitisation of approximately 1,200 Paisley pattern shawls and 1,700 pages of pattern books to create a digital version of the collection, which visitors can explore via iPads. Digitisation of the shawl collection, deemed to be of national significance to Scotland, began in 2016.
Improved access at Paisley Museum: A GBP40,000 programme of access improvements has now been completed at Paisley Museum and Art Galleries, a Grade A listed building opened in 1871. The building is now fully accessible to wheelchair users or those who have restricted mobility. Councillor James Harte said “We recognise the contribution that our heritage can make to our future and we are proud to have improved access for all to such an important part of that heritage.”
GRAND FOUNTAIN AT FOUNTAIN GARDENS: The Category A listed Grand Fountain has been fully restored and is now in full working order. The Fountain, which was bequeathed to the townspeople by the Coats Family in 1868, is one of the world’s finest examples of cast iron sculpture. Its unique design is a Victorian extravaganza that includes walruses, cherubs, dolphins, herons and crocodiles and which measures 8.5 metres in height, has the same circumference and weighs 42 tonnes. The water runs until sunset.
RESTORATION OF VICTORIAN GALLERY
FREE WEEKEND CAR PARKING