Paisley’s new High Street library opens its doors

Paisley’s new High Street library opens its doors

The reception area of the new library

Paisley’s new £7 million home of library services has opened its doors this month bringing back into use a formerly-vacant unit at the heart of the town’s High Street.

The Paisley Learning and Cultural Hub is the new home for Paisley Central Library and has been designed as a modern digitally-connected place of learning for all.

It is the latest venue to open as part of a wider push by Renfrewshire Council to use culture and heritage to drive the town’s regeneration and give people new reasons to visit the town centre.

The project saw a former shop unit comprehensively refurbished over four floors, with a new modern High Street frontage added.

Paisley’s new High Street library opens its doors

One of the upper floors

The ground floor includes a reception area and children’s library and storytelling area with unique play structure featuring designs by renowned Scottish artist Claire Barclay.

Upper floors include an outdoor terrace, community rooms and a study area for young adults, as well as free wifi, PC access and spaces to plug in your own device throughout the building.

The venue will be operated by local culture and leisure trust OneRen and will host a programme of events – including Paisley’s annual book festival – designed to bring new footfall into the town.

Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes, Renfrewshire Council’s cultural spokesperson and chair of OneRen, added: “We are delighted the new facility is now open and the feedback we’ve had so far suggests it’s going to be really popular with residents and visitors alike.

Paisley’s new High Street library opens its doors

One of the public-access PC areas looking on to the High Street

“Paisley Central Library has been in the town for more than 150 years – and now has a modern 21st-century home, offering people of all ages a free and welcoming facility for them to go to learn and be inspired.

“We believe putting a library at the heart of a High Street is a bold statement of intent as part of our wider programme of work to use Paisley’s internationally-significant cultural and heritage offer to change its future.”

Ewan Imrie, director of project architects Collective Architecture, said: “Our design aims to make real Renfrewshire Council and OneRen’s aspirations for a truly welcoming, accessible, and inclusive library.

“We hope this will be a living room for Paisley, a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can dwell within the various spaces to be discovered across the four floors, and that the folded paper-themed facade will inspire curiosity and draw people into the building.

Paisley’s new High Street library opens its doors

The outside of the new library, with its new modern frontage

“We are very excited to see how children will use the unique mini-townscape play structure, co-designed with artist Claire Barclay, that even includes a climbing wall and a slide.”

The building was delivered in partnership with hub West Scotland, whose CEO Ian Marley said: “Hub West are absolutely delighted to have completed the redevelopment and handover of the Paisley Central Library to Renfrewshire Council.

“The new facility enhances the High Street and will be a tremendous resource for the community as well as a key part of the council’s Paisley town centre regeneration strategy.

“The end result and in particular the improvements to the listed façade and the transformation of the interior spaces make it all worthwhile. Everyone is thrilled with the results and we look forward to seeing people enjoy the new library.”

Paisley’s new High Street library opens its doors

The childtren's library, with wooden play structure

David Wylie, managing director of CCG (Scotland), said: “The Learning and Cultural Hub is a valuable addition to Paisley High Street and I am sure it will be a well-utilised community asset. Our site team did a remarkable job navigating through the complexities to create what is now a wonderful building.

“The legacy of the project will be felt for many years to come but it extends beyond the building itself – I am delighted to state that as a result of CCG’s involvement, we were able to deliver four jobs, four work placements and two trade apprenticeships for Paisley community members whilst a £3000 donation has supported locally-based initiatives. We are extremely proud to have led its delivery and look forward to visiting again very soon.”

The new facility is part of a much bigger programme of investment being delivered by the council, which also includes:

  • The recently-completed work to turn Paisley Town Hall into one of the finest entertainment venues in Scotland and keep it at the heart of local life for future generations
  • Transforming Paisley Museum into a world-class visitor attraction that will showcase Paisley and Renfrewshire’s internationally-significant stories
  • An upgrade of and extension to Paisley Arts Centre
  • Investment to support and grow the local cultural sector through our Future Paisley cultural regeneration programme.

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