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First look at Paisley Town Hall after £22 million transformation

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The building has been transformed as part of a wider investment by Renfrewshire Council in Paisley’s historic cultural venues, aimed at driving new life and footfall to the area.

Key features of the transformation include a complete redesign – by leading Scottish architects Holmes Miller – to put audience experience and accessibility at the heart of the building and the preservation and restoration of the unique and ornate Victorian architectural features throughout the town hall.

READ MORE: The ‘unreal’ transformation of famous Scottish artwork after painstaking restoration

New rooms have been added in previously-unused spaces, such as a new bar and terrace overlooking Paisley’s iconic Abbey, a dance studio, and a screening room.

Meanwhile, state-of-the-art performance and back-of-house facilities such as new sound and lighting and retractable seating have also been added, and the capacity in the main hall has been expanded to more than 1,000.

Paisley Town Hall was opened in 1882, and stands as a monument to the town’s rich history as a centre of global textile production, having been gifted to the town by George Aitken Clark of the thread-mill-owning Clark family.

The building has been closed since the end of 2018. Main contractors Morrison Construction have been on site since summer 2021 but have now completed their work and staff are currently fitting it out ahead of opening. The building remains closed to the public while that work is finished.

The Herald: Exterior of Paisley Town HallExterior of Paisley Town Hall (Image: Renfrewshire Council)

Once reopen, the town hall will be operated by local charitable trust OneRen, who will soon be revealing a programme of town hall events to run throughout winter and beyond.

As well as being used for concerts and performances, it will also be available for weddings, conferences and other events.

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, Renfrewshire Council’s cultural spokesperson and chair of OneRen, said: “We are thrilled to now be on the final countdown to the reopening of the town hall and can’t wait to see how people will react once they get the chance to see inside it for themselves.

The Herald: The new bar areaThe new bar area (Image: Renfrewshire Council)

“We know generations of residents will all have their own special memories of the building – and the work done over the past few years will allow it to mean as much to future generations too.

“The building had become outdated and needed upgraded to stay in use – but the work done here has seamlessly integrated everything a 21st-century venue needs while preserving the classic 19th-century look that makes the town hall so special.

“At the same time. modern standards of accessibility are very different to those Victorian architects worked to. The town hall has been redesigned with audience experience and comfort in mind, and we’ve made extensive changes to the layout to create step-free access to most areas of the building.

“As an entertainment venue, the town hall will be Paisley and Renfrewshire’s big stage. Soon, it will be bringing new life and footfall into the town day and night, in line with our wider ambition to use the town’s unique cultural and heritage offer to change its future.”

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