Paisley cultural quarter proposal wins FutureTown Design Competition

Baker Street Paisley gardensA plan to transform waste ground in Paisley into a new cultural and arts quarter has been named as the winner of an urban renewal competition.

The ‘Paisley Baker Street’ entry, submitted by Paisley Community Trust, proposes a three to five screen cinema, 500 seat main theatre, 150 seat studio theatre, rehearsal rooms and offices as well as a bar and restaurant and outdoor area and gardens on the site behind Arnotts on Gauze Street.

The Stallan-Brand-designed project has been named Baker Street in reference to the classic 1970s hit by late Paisley-born songwriter Gerry Rafferty.

The plan won a public vote in the FutureTown Design Competition, which invites organisations and members of the public to submit sketches, photographs or short written descriptions of how urban spaces could be renewed.

After receiving applications, Scotland’s Towns Partnership shortlisted entries and held a public vote during Scotland’s Towns Week, 20 - 26 November 2017. Full results and shortlisted designs can be viewed here.

Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said: “The FutureTown Design Competition, now in it’s third year, is all about stimulating conversations and provoking ideas to highlight what a possible future town could look like.

“As our communities strive to meet the challenges of the 21st century, the competition asks: how can town centres stimulate low carbon and sustainable living; encourage digitally-driven tourism; promote culture, health and well-being; deliver connectivity and economic growth, and become places of opportunity and choice for all?

“I’d like to thank all of the shortlisted entries for sharing their innovative ideas in response to these challenges, and showing just how much local expertise, activism and collaboration is at work in our diverse towns.

“In particular, I’d like to congratulate Paisley Community Trust for their winning entry, which proved very popular with the voting public. Their proposal for a performing arts / film theatre and academy shows how culture can be harnessed to create the ‘future history’ of Scotland’s towns, and why Paisley’s creative effervescence makes it a perfect candidate for UK City of Culture 2021.”

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