Construction work to deliver the significant transformation of Paisley Museum begins

Breaking ground: Clive Watson, Matt Wilkinson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes and Kirsty Devine at the site
Breaking ground: Clive Watson, Matt Wilkinson, Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes and Kirsty Devine at the site

The building work starting has been hailed as a significant step forward in the Paisley Museum Reimagined project, which should be completed by late 2022 and reopened to the public in 2023.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, chair of Renfrewshire Leisure, said: ‘The beginning of work on site is a major step forward in our journey to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class destination, bringing in visitors from across Scotland, the UK and abroad.

‘The project is part of a wider investment by the council in Paisley’s venues to transform the town centre and take the work already done to make the town a key cultural destination within Scotland to a new level.

‘The project team have already worked with hundreds of local people and groups to capture their stories. And we will continue to work with neighbours and surrounding businesses to make sure they are involved throughout the project and are ready to benefit from the massive boost this will bring to the town.’

The project will see the overall museum campus grow by 20 per cent, allowing for Paisley’s internationally significant collections to be re-interpreted and the number of objects on display to be more than doubled.

The Garden Gallery, which will be located in a new-build extension housing an accessible visitor reception and café, aims to deliver a true ‘wow’ moment for visitors with spectacular views and a unique social space connecting the museum with the outdoor landscape.

The new Garden Gallery extension looking out to the garden and Observatory
A view from Inside the Garden Gallery extension which looks out to the Garden and Observatory.

Matthew Wilkinson, project lead for architects AL_A, said: ‘The new museum will have a profound impact on Paisley’s future and it’s testament to the commitment and hard work of the whole community that we’ve reached this point.

‘We’re extremely excited to be starting construction at Paisley Museum and to see our ambitious proposals coming to life.’


As part of the redevelopment, there will be two dedicated learning spaces, a makers’ space and a revamped heritage centre which will introduce users to its key resources in an engaging way, encouraging interaction, research and participation. Other notable additions to the campus include new facilities such as a revitalised shop, multi-faith prayer room, improved access with new lifts and a public courtyard.

There will also be a museum café with capacity for 60 covers providing a social space for families, groups and individuals to enjoy. A picnic area will also be located close by.

The museum Garden and Cafe.
The inaugural Garden and Café.

Phil McDowell, regional director for Kier regional building North and Scotland, said: ‘We know that Paisley Museum is important to the local community as well as being a significant cultural destination in Scotland and we are delighted to start on site to expand and transform the building.

‘Over the duration of the project, we will work collaboratively with Renfrewshire Council and local supply chain partners to deliver this project. ‘As part of our commitment to leaving lasting legacies in areas in which we build, we will also be providing job, training and apprenticeship opportunities.’

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