Plans to turn Paisley Museum into a world-class destination showcasing the town’s globally-significant textile heritage and unique collections have been awarded £4m by the Scottish Government.
The funding was confirmed today by Scottish Government Minister Kevin Stewart on a visit to the museum to announce a £26 million investment in projects across Scotland.
The boost for the town comes just days after the launch of a new destination brand and website at paisley.is designed to sell Paisley and Renfrewshire as a great place to visit, live and invest.
The revamped museum is expected to bring 125,000 visits a year and build on the town’s fast-growing reputation as a key destination within Scotland.
The £42m project is central to a planned £100m-plus investment in Paisley town centre venues and infrastructure and part of a wider plan to transform the area’s future using Paisley’s cultural and heritage assets and build on the legacy of the town’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021.
Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: "We are delighted the Scottish Government has confirmed this contribution towards the £42m project to transform Paisley Museum
"Between now and 2022 we will work with the local community to create a world-class destination showcasing Paisley's outstanding art, science and natural history collections, and globally-significant textile heritage.
"The news has come at a great time - coming as we launch Paisley Is…a new destination brand and website dedicated to selling the area as a great place to visit, live and invest.
"Paisley's bid to be UK City of Culture 2021 raised awareness of our unique story to a worldwide audience, and the museum project is central to a wider set of plans to build on that momentum and make the town one of Scotland's key visitor destinations."
Paisley Museum – operated by Renfrewshire Leisure – is due to close this year and reopen in 2022.
The project will see an extension to the current Victorian-era building housing a cafe and shop, improvements to all four museum buildings including the Coats Observatory, changes to physical access, and an internal redesign which will double the number of objects on public display.
It is expected the new building will quadruple current visitor numbers, create a £72m economic boost, and support 138 jobs during the construction phase – and the equivalent of 42 new permanent jobs after that through increased visitor spend.
The plans build on the investment already made in the publicly-accessible museum store Paisley: The Secret Collection, opened last year on the town’s High Street.
Paisley Museum is one 24 projects to benefit from funding announced today through the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF), which supports projects that engage and involve local communities in disadvantaged areas, tackle inequality and support inclusive growth.
The joint Scottish Government and COSLA investment will help to support or create more than 1,400 jobs, refurbish or bring back into use 23 local buildings, support over 300 businesses and community enterprises as well as more than 84 community facilities and services.
Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart said: “I’m really pleased that 24 fantastic, locally-driven projects will benefit from this major injection of funding.
“Spanning the length and breadth of the country, they will help regenerate local areas, stimulate inclusive growth and create new jobs.
“The focus of the projects range from tackling social isolation, mitigating welfare cuts, providing training opportunities, creating business space and increasing tourism – to name but a few.
“They are an excellent example of how national and local government are working together on shared priorities that benefit local communities.”