Historic fountain set to go with the flow again

A HISTORIC Paisley landmark is set to be returned to its former glory thanks to a £500,000 lottery cash boost.

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The money will go towards the restoration of the Grand Fountain – the centrepiece of Paisley's Fountain Gardens park.

The eight-metre-tall Category A-listed monument is considered to be one of Scotland's finest remaining public fountains.

The project to restore it is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund, which has awarded a grant of £527,100.

Councillor Terry Kelly, Convener of Renfrewshire Council's planning and economic development policy board, has welcomed the news

He said: "We are delighted to have secured this funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

"This money will go a long way towards ensuring this link with Paisley's rich industrial past will be kept alive for future generations to enjoy.

"The project will also provide a community benefit, in that local volunteers and tradespeople will be encouraged to learn more about the traditional skills needed to restore and maintain the fountain.

"The community have already been involved in the efforts to secure this funding and it is great to see their hard work rewarded."

The fountain dates to 1868, having been gifted to the people of Paisley by Thomas Coats of Ferguslie, joint-owner of the once-massive J&P Coats thread firm.

It still stands as a proud reminder of the town's rich industrial heritage but is currently fenced off for safety.

The work will restore the cast-iron fountain's surfaces and decorative detail as well its original colour scheme.

The council is still awaiting the outcome of an application for funding from Historic Scotland.

If successful, this will be added to the Heritage Lottery money and council funding to meet the full £660,000 cost of the project.

Fountain Gardens – recognised as Paisley's oldest public garden – were created in 1797 by John Love, a local textile manufacturer after whom the adjoining Love Street was named.

Thomas Coats bought the park in 1866 and redesigned the open space before gifting it to the townspeople two years later.

ewan.fergus@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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