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Major boost for learning at Scotland’s biggest cultural heritage project

Scotland’s biggest cultural heritage project has received a funding boost which will help tackle inequality through inspirational learning opportunities at the refurbished Paisley Museum.

The Clore Duffield Foundation has committed £200,000 towards the creation of a dedicated learning space for children and young people in the ‘new’ museum.

Paisley Museum is undergoing a £45 million refurbishment which will create a world-class attraction with the local community firmly at its core. The work is taking place as part of a wider investment by Renfrewshire Council aimed at using the town’s internationally-significant cultural and heritage offer to change its future.

Staff from OneRen, the local cultural charity behind the project, have been partnering with teachers and learning providers from across Renfrewshire to co-produce new learning experiences; to better understand the needs of learners and embed the museum in curriculum provision from an early age; and inspire the next generation to develop a passion for culture through Paisley’s incredible collection.

Kirsty Devine, Project Director at Paisley Museum Re-Imagined, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have this support from Clore Duffield which will further enhance our learning programme, inspiring a new generation through creativity and culture at the heart of our new museum space.

“The Clore Learning Room will be a place of joy and education, where we work to reduce the poverty-related attainment gap and challenge levels of child poverty through the huge potential that our cultural programme can offer.

“We’re already creating genuine, long-lasting relationships with learners, teachers and stakeholders, working with them to design a learning programme that will make a significant difference to our young people – and the endorsement from Clore Duffield is hugely appreciated.”

The Foundation was established by Sir Charles Clore in 1964 and is now chaired by his daughter, Dame Vivien Duffield. It is focused on creating opportunities for people through art, culture and heritage in the UK. A flagship programme is the creation of Clore Learning Spaces in cultural institutions across the UK to ensure children and young people have the chance to benefit from art, culture and heritage.

This is only the second time in its history that the Foundation has chosen to support a Clore Learning Space in Scotland, the other being the National Galleries of Scotland. Kate Bellamy, Director of the Clore Duffield Foundation, said: “We’re very pleased to support Paisley Museum and OneRen in their work to inspire children and young people through an engaging programme of cultural learning opportunities.

“The Clore Learning Room will be a place of excitement and opportunity, breaking down barriers to education and engagement at the heart of one of the UK’s most exciting new museum projects. We look forward to seeing the results.”

The museum refurbishment is funded by Renfrewshire Council, the Scottish Government, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic Environment Scotland and supported by a fundraising campaign led by a charitable trust, Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd.

James Lang, chair of Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd and director of Renfrewshire-based Scottish Leather Group, said: “We thank Clore Duffield for their generous support and are delighted to add them to the list of organisations who are supporting the transformation of Paisley Museum.

“Their support will help ensure the reopened museum will be a valuable educational facility at the heart of the town, will inspire and enrich the lives of young people for generations to come.”

The ambition behind the project is to create a new, world-class museum space, shaped and focussed by, and for, the people of the town, celebrating its history and impact on the world, while creating a new community space that’s open and accessible to all. At its core, the museum will bring history to life, connecting it to today’s town and people, creating a vibrant and colourful new cultural thread, weaving together past, present and future.

Caroline Clark, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Director for Scotland, said: “This investment – and endorsement from Clore Duffield – is testament to the quality of the work the Paisley Museum team are putting into understanding what local people need in their new museum space,  and will boost what already promises to be an incredible community programme when the museum re-opens.

“A key principle of Heritage 2033, our own 10-year strategy, is to increase access and participation in heritage and we congratulate Paisley Museum Re-imagined on securing this further investment in learning opportunities.”

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