Paisley Development Trust – New Members Evening
We’d like to invite you all to an informal meeting on Thursday, 1st October, 5.30pm-7pm at Hamishes Hoose, High Street. Come along at any time during that time slot. Everyone welcome, especially if you have an interest in joining the Trust.
We are very proud of our past achievements, not least the Russell Institute venture. We have good ideas for moving forward but would like to hear about what you would like to see here in this wonderful town we call home.
Please share this on your social media pages. Can’t wait to meet you and hear what you have to say.
Marie Connelly – Chairperson
The project to bring Paisley’s iconic Russell Institute back to life has taken another step forward, with the appointment of a contractor to lead the £4.5m restoration.
The A-listed former health centre has been vacant since 2011 and is in need of refurbishment, but Renfrewshire Council took ownership of the building from the NHS in February and is leading a project to turn it into offices.
Skills Development Scotland has signed up to become anchor tenant when the building opens as a training and employability hub in 2016, bringing around 80 jobs into the town centre.
Staff from the council’s Invest in Renfrewshire programme to tackle unemployment and boost business will also move in.
Work on the restoration of the building – notable for its distinctive external sculptures – will start this summer and be led by Scottish contractor CBC.
A programme of detailed specialist surveys to establish the condition of the building has already taken place, ahead of what is expected to be a year-long refurbishment.
The work is being funded by the council, the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Historic Scotland. The Paisley Development Trust helped kick the project off by commissioning the initial feasibility study into its use.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “The Russell Institute is one of the jewels in Paisley’s architectural crown and has been one of the most distinctive buildings in the town centre for the best part of a century.
“We are thrilled to have been able to pull together a deal to bring it back to life and are glad the project is moving forward as planned.
“Paisley town centre has the second-highest concentration of listed buildings of anywhere in Scotland and we are committed to keeping them alive for future generations.
“Our Townscape Heritage Initiative and Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme in the town’s Causeyside area has already made a massive difference to the streets and buildings around the Russell Institute over the past three years.
“And there was further good news last month when we received news that we have been earmarked for almost £2m of Heritage Lottery Fund money for another Townscape Heritage scheme in the area around Paisley’s High Street.
“That architectural heritage is at the heart of everything we are doing with our ambitious plans to use Paisley’s culture and heritage to drive Renfrewshire’s regeneration, including a bid for UK City of Culture 2021.”
Tony Lawler, treasurer of Paisley Development Trust said, “We are really pleased to see that the Russell Institute has been saved. The people of Paisley spoke out and we started a process that has saved this iconic building. The revamp of the Russell is crucial to regeneration of our town centre and Paisley as whole.”
CBC Managing Director James McAlpine added: “We are delighted to be continuing our excellent relationship with Renfrewshire Council on the Russell Institute project.
“Following on from the successful refurbishment of the Town Hall, we look forward to conserving another of Paisley’s iconic buildings for future generations.”
The Russell Institute was opened in 1927 and was gifted to Paisley Burgh by Miss Agnes Russell, who wanted it to be used as a child welfare clinic as a memorial to her two brothers.
A group of global economics advisors are visiting Paisley to study ambitious multi-million-pound proposals to use culture and heritage to transform the town’s future.
A team from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) flew in to Renfrewshire for a two-day study mission to examine how the plans will work.
The Paisley Town Centre Heritage Asset Strategy – agreed by Renfrewshire Council last year – aims to use the town’s internationally-significant heritage and cultural assets to drive regeneration, and includes a bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021.
As part of this process, the OECD visited Paisley to see for themselves the ambitious plans for the future of the town and to advise on how the implementation can impact on the wellbeing and prosperity of residents.
The OECD promotes policies that will improve the economic and social well being of people around the world and their engagement in Paisley confirms the significance of its regeneration plans.
Paisley is now part of OECD’s Local Economic and Employment Development programme, meaning the town can tap into expertise from five continents on the economic and social issues facing it.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said: “For us to be hosting the team from OECD is proof that the work we are doing here in Paisley is making people sit up and take notice at a high level.
“What we have set out to achieve is ambitious and we are confident that it will stand up and benefit from the scrutiny which OECD will bring.
“OECD will help us to make the most of what we have got and focus our energies on the projects and programmes that will make the biggest impact on the lives of people Paisley.
“We are home to the second-highest concentration of listed buildings in Scotland, plus our historic place at the heart of the global textile industry and our thriving events, arts and cultural scene make Paisley unique.
“We are using these assets as the engine to drive regeneration throughout Renfrewshire and the OECD will help us to maximise the impact of this work.”
The Paisley Town Centre Heritage Asset Strategy aims to transform the town into one of the key destinations on Scotland’s cultural and tourism map.
The proposals include the redevelopment of Paisley Museum into a national museum of textile and costume, the building of a Paisley Fashion and Design centre on the town’s High Street, a study into a new 300-seat theatre space and a bid for UK City of Culture status in 2021.
These signature projects sit alongside plans for an expansion of the area’s existing cultural and events programme. All of this has the potential to create 800 jobs, contribute an extra £45m a year to the local economy and improve the wellbeing of the community.
The OECD team will review the current platform for regeneration set by PTCHAS and assess how the economic and social benefits of the delivery programme can be optimised, including how complementary programmes run by community planning partners and national organisations can be aligned.
This is the first of three visits by the OECD taking place throughout 2015, culminating in the delivery of a final report and recommendations.
The Paisley Development Trust would like to thank everyone who turned up in the wet weather this morning to pay their respects to those who perished in the Glen Cinema Disaster 85 years ago.
We would like to extend a special thanks to three of the survivors who came to lay the wreath on behalf of the people of Paisley at the Cenotaph.
Thanks to: members of the public, survivors and their families, local Councillors, the Leader of Renfrewshire Council, Paisley’s MSP and MP from Paisley, who all attended today. Finally, the Paisley Development Trust would like to thank the staff for their hospitality at Hamishes Hoose.
The Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony in remembrance of the Glen Cinema tragedy and in support of the families of those who perished and survivors will be 10.30am at the Cenotaph on the morning of Hogmanay (31st December.)
There will be a welcome from Paisley Development Trust Treasurer, Tony Lawler, Paisley Poet, Fred McNeil will be reading his poem dedicated to the tragedy and Paisley born singer/songwriter, Carol Laula will be singing also.
Podcast from the Paisley War Memorial.
Poem from Fred McNeil.
Danny Kyle Song about the Glen Cinema
Paisley Development Trust Wishes You a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous New Year!
Photo by Brian McGuire
We are a group of volunteers with big ambitions. We meet once a month and share a common aim of assisting in the regeneration of our town.
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