By Anna Konovalenko
After being closed for years, Paisley Museum will return with enriched history to share its heritage with the world. Described as Scotland’s biggest current heritage project, the reopening is expected to cost £45 million. In the meantime, locals are excited about the occasion and looking forward to visiting it.
With Renfrewshire Council providing more than half of the amount and donations reaching £1 million, the headship has collected just under £40,2 million and now they are accelerating the pace of renovation, confidently moving towards opening it as soon as possible. The official date is planned to be in 2024. There are no expected delays so far and the museum’s fundraising team commented:
“We are currently undertaking a fundraising campaign to raise the funding shortfall. Should there be a gap of funding by the time the Museum re-opens its doors in 2024, the Council has committed to cover this cost. This was part of the agreement made to help secure initial statutory funding.”
James Lang, the chair of the trustees of Paisley Museum Reimagined, added:
“The museum was founded by the industrialists who helped make the town’s name, so those who have donated to the current campaign are ensuring the rich architectural, social and cultural legacy of this special facility is reimagined for the future”
The new plan consists of changes both inside and outside. The aim is to create a space for education and leisure for everyone. The museum will concentrate on telling the history of Paisley and its untold stories. The outdoor infrastructure is expected to combine the old building atmosphere and modern patterns. The project has a new wing with step-free access and a garden. The reimagined venue is to welcome 125,000 people annually. Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of local charitable trust OneRen, commented:
“By supporting this project, our donors are not only making possible a visitor attraction which will drive much-needed football and economic activity for the area but also helping create a community and educational facility where our young people can go learn and e inspired”
The project was designed by architecture studio AL_A, which is well-known for its designs not just in the UK but worldwide and has clients such as Le Louvre, New Look, BSkyB and Hilton Hotels & Resort.
According to the museum’s website, the company “have produced designs which radically reimagine the museum and its campus, reshaping it into a cultural hub of discovery, skills development, creativity and innovation”
The huge change intrigues local people. They expressed excitement as it will cherish Paisley’s history and attract more people to the town.
Joe Bislend explained: “The opening of the museum in two years will increase the footfall of tourists to the town. It’s already a beautiful town with beautiful buildings and this will make it a world classic attraction.”
Caroline commented: “I think it’s a good idea. I think people like that how Paisley was built. Hopefully. It’ll attract more people to visit it. I will go there when it opens.”
The museum leads an active Facebook page where they publish educational posts with pictures from historic Paisley. Locals can also contribute photos to the exhibition. Moreover, relevant information can be found there about general events that take place in the town.
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