Look inside the new £45million Paisley Museum first

The scope of the project is announced today with its main funder, Renfrewshire Council, detailing for the first time the scope and ambition in its attempt to create a world-class museum space.

Kirsty Devine, OneRen project manager for Paisley Museum Re-imagined, emphasized the importance of working with the local community in developing the project.

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Ms Devine said: “We are delivering Scotland’s largest heritage project and our aim is to create a world-class museum space.

“However, we cannot do this alone and over the last six years we have worked with a variety of communities – local and global – to rethink and redefine the museum and our collections.”

READ MORE: Exclusive first look inside the new Paisley Museum

Project managers have worked with around 70 local organizations and community groups to develop the plans for the building and its contents.

She added: “We are building a museum that engages with its communities in a way that will endure long after our doors reopen.

“This represents a real shift in practice for us that will build a real sense of ownership and pride as we move forward.


“It’s incredibly exciting for me.”

Paisley’s industrial past and its global relevance to textiles are explored in new gallery spaces, which will be enlarged by more than a quarter thanks to architectural and technical interventions designed in part by architects who have worked at the V&A in London.

Ms. Devine has led a team of experienced content producers and collections specialists who have taken what she describes as a “radical and dynamic approach” to Renfrewshire’s core collections.

Starting with the city’s Secret Collection – believed to be Britain’s only history located on a high street – the team have worked on more than 100 exhibits comprising 1290 objects.

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This will more than double the previous exhibition.

Featuring eight new public spaces, the new Paisley Museum will be filled with 60 digital displays and will house a new garden gallery, public courtyard, cafe and picnic areas.

The Thomas Coats Observatory – the oldest public observatory in Scotland – will be open to the public and accessible to learn about its history as a city timekeeper and 150 year old weather station.

One of the community groups working with the museum team is Kairos Women+, a community-run space for women and non-binary people.


The group has helped create a co-production that will tell stories of how the women of Paisley fought for radical change in the lives of working-class families, most notably through the Co-operative Women’s Guild.

Kairos’ Katy Wilson-Scott said: “We really tuned into this idea of ​​a collective group of women doing something together, the group caught on to that very quickly.

“We were able to move and change things, which helped us find our voice.”

The building’s redesign is by architects AL_A, whose previous work includes the MAAT Contemporary Museum in Lisbon and the Exhibition Road Quarter at the V&A in London.

Amanda Levete of AL_A said: “The commission for the Paisley Museum is one of the most radical I have come across.


“Paisley has a proud industrial past and a history of innovation and radical thinking.

“We embedded this into our design to create an exceptional place for the community of Paisley.”

Builders Kier Scotland are on site and moving forward with construction, with the red glass entrance building being one of the first design features to be seen by the public.

The Paisley Museum is designed to crown a major investment by Renfrewshire Council in revitalizing the town with new and refurbished cultural infrastructure.

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Ahead of the museum’s reopening in 2024, Paisley Town Hall will reopen to the public after a major refurbishment.


This will be followed by the opening of a new learning and cultural center featuring the Central Library in the heart of the High Street and the refurbished Paisley Arts Center which will once again welcome new and emerging talent to the public.

Councilor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Cultural Director at Renfrewshire Council and Chair of OneRen, which will run the cultural attractions, said: “The Paisley Museum is the jewel in our cultural crown.

“Together with the other cultural attractions that will be brought back to life, these assets will be something that the people of Paisley and Renfrewshire can be justifiably proud of, and one that will bring joy and inspiration to both locals and visitors alike.”


The main funder of the museum’s renovation is Renfrewshire Council, with additional funding from the Scottish Government, the National Lottery

Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland. It is further funded through a charitable fundraising campaign supported by a number of trusts and foundations and corporate donors.

https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/23426005.first-look-inside-new-45-million-paisley-museum/?ref=rss Look inside the new £45million Paisley Museum first

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