New Paisley pattern will boost jobs and investment

AN ambitious multi- million pound masterplan aimed at transforming Paisley's future has won the backing of councillors.

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If it is implemented in full, it could boost the town's economy by £45 million a year, create 800 jobs and pave the way for a to be named City of Culture.

Councillors have called for a series of detailed business cases outlining how the plans can be brought to life.

Council leader Mark Macmillan hailed the decision as "the start of something great".

He said: "If these forward thinking and exciting ideas are carried through it would result in a total transformation of the town's tourist potential.

"This is just the first step, but it may be the start of something great and the first step towards a better future for all of Renfrewshire.

"The report makes clear just how much Paisley has to offer.

"I want the area to fulfil its potential.

"What we have just agreed is a clear vision of how - with the right investment - we can do just that."

The council report highlights Paisley's heritage - including more than 100 listed buildings, rare books and paintings and the finest Paisley shawl collection in the world - as being of international interest and significance.

The recommendations in the strategy include a multi-million pound revamp of Paisley Museum to create a nationally recognised Museum of Textile, Fashion, Costume and Design.

There will also be a study into a possible new theatre space and further developments at key tourist sites, including Paisley Town Hall and the Coats Observatory.

And a Paisley Fashion and Design Centre could be created along with improvements to the town centre.

Mr Macmillan said: "We are already carrying out a lot of good work in the area but the plan agreed today would see us take that work to the next level.

"It will also see an expanded programme of cultural activity around the town, meaning we can build on our existing and successful events strategy."

Council officers will now prepare detailed plans on how each of the strands of the strategy can be made to happen, including exploring funding for the estimated £90m investment. These will be brought back before the council at a later date.


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