In Pictures: First look at Paisley Arts Centre transformation

New images have been released which reveal how Paisley Arts Centre will look after a £2.8 million transformation.

In Pictures: First look at Paisley Arts Centre transformation

External view of the arts centre showing the new public space

The 250-year-old former church building is being upgraded as part of a wider investment in Paisley’s venues and outdoor spaces.

And plans have been submitted for the work, with images revealed today showing:

  • a redesigned public space around the arts centre, removing railings and bringing the street to the building – creating a new outdoor area for events and for people to dwell;
  • how the building’s location at the junction of New Street and Shuttle Street means it is perfectly placed to add new vibrancy to the surrounding already-busy nightlife area;
  • a new-build extension to the existing entrance – creating more room to expand facilities inside – including an improved café-bar;
  • improved auditorium with retractable seating offering a capacity of 150 (seated) and 200 (standing) and creating the flexibility to offer more events, bringing more footfall to the town;
  • better audience and performance facilities – retaining the intimate atmosphere the building is known for but adding more comfortable seating with better legroom, improved sightlines, better sound and lighting, upgraded toilets, and better disabled access and facilities.

There will also be new back-of-house facilities including a new kitchen, improved dressing rooms, and workshop space for rehearsals and other events.

In Pictures: First look at Paisley Arts Centre transformation

The new extended entrance area with café-bar

The arts centre is due to close in summer 2020 to allow the transformation to take place, and is expected to reopen in summer 2021.

While the arts centre had a number of improvements to the outside of the building in 2012 the facilities inside had become outdated and needed more than a makeover to change that – but the planned work will create 21st century facilities inside the historic building.

The project is being taken forward by Renfrewshire Council and the venue will continue to be operated by Renfrewshire Leisure Ltd.

In Pictures: First look at Paisley Arts Centre transformation

View of the transformed auditorium

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: “The images revealed today show how Paisley Arts Centre will be transformed into a unique and intimate performance venue capable of hosting a greater range of events and performances than ever before.

“The council is investing in Paisley’s venues as part of a wider push to use the area’s unique heritage and thriving cultural and events offer to bring people into the town and create new life and footfall.

“The revamped arts centre will be more than a building – it will be a place where the town’s next generation of talent can learn, be inspired and have their first time on a stage.

“It will also complement other investments happening in Paisley’s venues around the town – both council and community-run – helping connect, build and support the growing creative community already active in the town.”

In Pictures: First look at Paisley Arts Centre transformation

The building as it looks just now

Other major investments happening in Paisley town centre at the moment include a £42m transformation of Paisley Museum into a world-class destination showcasing the town’s internationally-significant collections and story.

There’s also work to preserve Paisley Town Hall’s place at the heart of life in the town by turning it into a landmark entertainment venue and a new learning and cultural hub offering library services to be built in a modern facility at the heart of Paisley High Street.

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