New look for Paisley's Victorian museum revealed

The first images of a £42 million makeover to create a "contemporary face" for Paisley's Victorian-era museum have been revealed.

Paisley's new-look museum is due to be unveiled in 2022.

It is hoped that a four-year project, aimed at turning the building into a "world-class destination," will see visitor numbers quadruple to more than 125,000 per year.

The Paisley Museum revamp, which will celebrate the history of the "Paisley Pattern," will see the creation of a new red-glazed entrance hall and courtyard, a new west wing added onto the existing Victorian building, an outdoor garden and new gallery spaces by 2022.

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The new-look museum will double the space available to showcase the Renfrewshire town's outstanding art, science and natural history collections, along with telling the story of the Paisley pattern, its famous weavers and being at the centre of the global thread-making industry.

It is hoped more than 125,000 visitors - four times more than before the revamp - will flock to the new-look museum.

The revamp, which will see space created for around 1200 different objects, is being funded by Renfrewshire Council, the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Scottish Government, and masterminded by London-based architects AL_A.

The transformation of the museum, which was closed to the public last September, is expected to worth an estimated £72 million to the local economy over 30 years.

Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, which runs Paisley's cultural and sporting facilities on behalf of the council, said: "Few places of Paisley’s size can claim such global impact – the town created a global fashion icon, was once the centre of the world’s textile industry, and Paisley people have shaped the world for centuries with their creativity.

“The reopened museum will celebrate all of that and more, by using Paisley’s outstanding collections to retell the stories of those people, and give the world a reason to come back to Paisley.

More than 1200 objects will be on display in Paisley's museum when it reopens in 2022 - double the number previously showcased there.

“The museum is central to a wider investment in Paisley’s venues and outdoor spaces, embedding culture and events at the heart of how we are transforming our historic town centre and putting it back on the map as a destination.

“The beautiful images revealed today show how this wonderful historic building will at once be preserved and modernised, and ensure this proud symbol of Paisley’s past is at the heart of its future.”

Amanda Levete, principal of AL_A, said: “The brief for Paisley Museum is one of the most radical I’ve encountered.

"Paisley has a proud industrial past and a history of innovation and radical thinking. We have embedded this into our design to create an extraordinary place for the community of Paisley.”

The changes to Paisley Museum are predicted to create a "dynamic and living presence" on the town's High Street.