A range of ideas – including a cinema and European-style food hall – reimagining how Paisley could look in a decade have been unveiled.
The blueprint, which has been designed to “spark a conversation”, aims to show how empty retail space could be better used and High Street decline reversed.
The Vision for Paisley Town Centre 2030 is the result of a link-up between Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Government and Scotland’s Town Partnership.
Aileen Campbell, cabinet secretary for communities and local government, unveiled the report at an event in the town centre.
She said: “This study represents another significant milestone in the regeneration of Paisley and is further evidence of the ambition and commitment of the local community and partners.
“A huge opportunity now exists to use this collaborative vision to create more positive change in the town, as well as sharing learning which can benefit other town centres and communities across Scotland.
“The Scottish Government will continue to work in partnership with local government to support the regeneration of our towns and high streets.”
The study – produced by Glasgow-based Threesixty Architecture – lays out a series of ideas for how the town could be rebalanced to better meet community need – bringing with it new life and footfall.
The proposals include:
- Introducing hundreds of new town centre residents, including repurposing the Paisley Centre shopping centre into a new residential quarter with ground-floor retail
- New ‘attractors’ such as a High Street cinema, or European-style food hall housing independent food and drink businesses;
- Bolstering remaining retail by concentrating it back on to the High Street and street-fronts
- New public spaces for outdoor activity, and new lanes and streets creating new views and routes to ‘hidden’ parts of the town centre
- Bringing vacant historic buildings such as the Liberal Club, YMCA building and TA Building back into use
- Shared office makers’ spaces, a new hotel, and relocating parts of university and college campuses into the heart of the town centre
Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “The way people shop has changed forever, and towns everywhere are seeing the same issues with empty retail space.
“We can’t turn the clock back but we can consider how we could change to attract new life and footfall in future – and that’s what Paisley is doing.
“It’s important to stress these are not concrete plans – they are a set of ideas designed to spark a conversation about what might be possible over the next decade.
“Paisley town centre is already changing for the better – the number of new cafes and restaurants and new housing built in recent years shows it is recognised as a good place to live and invest.
“Current and future council investment will make Paisley even more attractive to the private sector, but change of the scale imagined by the Vision could not be achieved by the council alone – so we want to hear from developers who could make that next stage of the journey happen.”
Alan Anthony, managing director of Threesixty Architecture, added: “This study shows a people-first approach that reconnects the whole community to their town centre.
“We have an unprecedented opportunity to rebalance our High Street back to a place with a rich mix of uses. As a lifelong Paisley Buddy, it’s exciting to think Paisley could lead the way on town centre regeneration in Scotland.”