£60m to reverse town’s fortunes
An investment of up to £60m is needed over the next decade to revitalise Scotland’s largest town.
The claim was made in a report for the Paisley Vision Board which aims to ‘breathe life back into the area and create a bustling hub’ by 2016.
The study said retail in the town would ‘never return to what it was’ and warned it could continue to shrink.
It said private investment of £50m was needed with £10m from the public purse to revitalise the town centre.
The Paisley Vision Board is a public-private partnership involving the local council, enterprise company, university and chamber of commerce among others.
The report identified Paisley’s strengths as its large catchment, substantial business base, a thriving university, proximity to the airport and M8, handsome town-centre buildings and existing retail base.
It said it was crucial to provide high-quality housing, encourage more students to live in the town, to develop more business space and to nurture the creative community ‘in order to establish a stable and affluent future’.
Council leader Jim Harkins said: ‘This is an exciting proposition, and we welcome this report.
‘There is no one at fault here for the demise of the town centre.
‘What we need to do now is take responsibility together for changing the town’s fortunes.’
The principal consultant on the report John Lord, of Yellowbook, said: ‘Paisley will need to adapt to the powerful forces shaping our town centres.
‘The reasons – however complex they are – are much less important than the solutions.’
Source: BBC Scotland