The four buildings that make up Scotland’s first municipal museum, including the country’s first public observatory, will be redesigned and extended to a design by a team including the architect AL_A and exhibition designer Opera Amsterdam.
The new galleries and exhibitions will double the number of objects on display and be fully accessible so that visitors can explore the town’s heritage and its part in the story of the teardrop Paisley pattern textile. Learning zones, improved social spaces, a new cafe, shop and cloakroom facilities will be created, as well as a new entrance surrounded by a courtyard and gardens.
The revamped museum is forecast to attract 125,000 visits a year, almost four times the current numbers. It is the cornerstone of Renfrewshire Council’s vision to bring new life to the town through investment in heritage and culture.
Caroline Clark, director scotland of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “This project has been driven by the passion of the Paisley community to put their unique heritage on an international stage. With the help of National Lottery funding, new life will be breathed into these heritage buildings giving Paisley’s wonderful textiles and other treasures the prominence they deserve, while also bringing a new confidence to the town.”
Councillor Lisa-Marie Hugheschair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “We want to thank everyone connected to the National Lottery Heritage Fund for their fantastic support. It will help us deliver a world-class museum which will take the town’s unique and fascinating stories to new audiences, showcase Paisley’s internationally-significant collections, and bring new life and footfall to the wider area.
“It will create a new accessible hub at the heart of life in the town for the local community – local groups are already co-producing the incredible stories which will populate the reopened museum, and we look forward to continuing to work with The National Lottery Heritage Fund and others over the years ahead to deliver on that.”
The new museum is expected to open in 2022.