Scottish Government Funding Brings Paisley Town Centre Back to Life

Paisley’s MSP George Adam has hailed the Scottish Government’s latest investment in Paisley Town Centre as the iconic Russell Institute is returned to its former glory. £2m of government money has helped support the restoration currently in progress. The Russell Institute, was donated by to Paisley by Agnes Russell and built in memorial to her two brothers.IMG_2717

Commenting on the restoration, George said, “The Russell Institute is one of Paisley’s finest and most iconic buildings. It is very important that we do not lose buildings like this and that is why it was so important that the Scottish Government provided £2m in funding to help with the restoration. In fact, it was a good number of years ago that working in partnership with the Paisley Development Trust, we came up with plans for the future of the building and undertook a feasibility study, investigating how we could give this building a new lease of life.

“After the renovation, the Scottish Government agency Skills Development Scotland will be the anchor tenant. This has been a massive undertaking by everyone involved and a massive thanks must go to all, but especially the Paisley Development Trust for having the drive and foresight to not allow this building to become another historic building lying empty for years.

“At the same time as the restoration of the Russell Institute, we see another £1.83m of Scottish Government money being used to restore the Arrnots building, while Scottish Government money has been provided to build the new flats on the same site. And just announced today, all 32 of Scotland’s councils will share £406 million in grant subsidy in 2016/17 to deliver more affordable homes, over £100 million more than last years’ allocation. This can only bode well for the our town and I hope the local authority does it upmost to secure as mush funding as possible for Paisley.”

Paisley Development Trust Welcomes George

Paisley Development Trust (PDT) has welcomed George Adam to their new offices on the high Street in Paisley, within the YMCA facilities. Meeting Brian McGuire, one of the directors of PDT, George got to know a bit more about the voluntary organisation. Formed in 2004 to facilitate community renewal through arts and culture, the PDT has organised numerous events promoting the town, the first of which was an exhibition to commemorate the 71 lives that were lost in the Glen Cinema Disaster in 1929.

Speaking on the visit, George said:

‘The PDT is a tremendous organisation with the interest of the town at its heart, which benefits everyone from the town. They have organised many events since their inception and they are currently working on the Renfrewshire Witch Hunt 1697, researching and then creating an exhibition about the last mass execution of witches in Western Europe, which took place in Paisley.

‘This voluntary organisation is an example to all of us throughout Scotland with an interest in our local towns and cities, and how to ensure they remain vibrant parts of our community.’

PDT Website

George says ‘Let’s all be positive about Paisley’

George Adam, Paisley’s Member of the Scottish Parliament, has today commented on two recent articles in the Daily Record and Scotsman respectively.

George said, “Both of these articles have painted a very bleak picture of the Paisley High Street. Both included pictures of what the Scotsman called fake shops. While this is not a time to argue over who is right and who is wrong because we all want our High Street to thrive, I was disappointed by the negativity in both articles.

‘Not mentioned were the tireless efforts of the Renfrewshire Council, especially the Council leader Brian Lawson, who are constantly looking at ways to improve Paisley Town Centre. Groups like the Paisley Development Trust and day in, day out are trying to promote Paisley to attract all kinds of people.

‘While the Town Centre is clearly not as attractive to shoppers as it once was, events are happening to try and attract people into Paisley, who in turn maybe become aware of a shop they never knew was there. The massive success of the Christmas lights turn on, when 37,500 people were in the centre of Paisley may go some way to doing that.

‘To pick up on the so called ‘fake shops’, the use of these signs was a concerted and imaginative effort to try and attract shops to Paisley, and signs are that this may be working. If we look at the Piazza, this is a really success story, through good management and a varied mix of shops, Paisley Buddies seem to really enjoy using this once maligned resource.

‘Essentially, I challenge everyone in Paisley and beyond to be as positive about our town as possible, it may not be easy and there will always be some one trying to put Paisley down, but a positive approach and outlook to Paisley will hopefully change this town’s fortunes and encourage Buddies, shoppers and shops to come to our great and historic town.”

Link to the Scotsman Story

Link to the Daily Record Story