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Paisley’s Learning and Cultural Hub wins national award

Paisley’s Learning and Cultural Hub wins national award

Paisley’s Learning and Cultural Hub has won a national award. The new home for Paisley Central Library won the physical category at the EDGE Awards. EDGE brings together national and international library practitioners at their conference in Edinburgh.

The new library facility opened in November 2023 following a £7 million investment from Renfrewshire Council and is part of an ongoing drive to regenerate Paisley and give people new reasons to visit the town centre.

Housed within a former High Street shop and spread over four floors, the new building includes a children's library and storytelling area - with a unique play structure including a climbing wall and slide also in place having been co-designed with renowned Scottish artist Claire Barclay.

The upper floors include an outdoor terrace, community rooms and a study area for young adults, as well as free Wi-Fi and PC access to support digital inclusivity.

The venue is operated by OneRen and already has an exciting programme of events scheduled, including the recently announced return of Paisley Book Festival, author visits, Bookbug sessions for families, and storytelling workshops.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Renfrewshire Council's cultural spokesperson and chair of OneRen, said: "We’re thrilled to have been recognised with this award and it is testament to the hard work of all of the teams involved in bringing our new library to life.

"Placing a library in the centre of the High Street is part of our ongoing drive to give people new reasons to visit the town centre as we believe culture should be at the heart of its future and this modern, welcoming hub aims to be inclusive and accessible for all.

"We look forward to seeing it become a staple of the town centre in Paisley, inspiring current and future generations to discover a love for reading and learning, and I want to congratulate all involved in the refurbishment project. From the Council and OneRen to all our partners, this recognition is fully deserved and a welcome boost to Paisley's ongoing regeneration."

The library edged out competition from Manchester Libraries and it comes just weeks after the library won a Scottish Property Award.

One of the judges on the EDGE panel said: “The hub sets the standard for public libraries in Scotland. The £7 million investment in Paisley’s Central library clearly demonstrates Renfrewshire Council And OneRens' ambition and vision for the cultural regeneration of Paisley. By placing the new library at the heart of the High Street it recognises the role of libraries as place-makers within their communities, a vital shared space for community engagement that will drive footfall to the high street and support economic growth and civic pride.”

In addition to the investment in the Learning and Cultural Hub, Paisley is undergoing a regeneration programme that includes £45million to transform Paisley Museum into a world-class visitor destination expected to bring more than 125,000 visitors every year, a £20million refurbishment of Paisley Town Hall to place it as one of Scotland's foremost entertainment venues, the £3million modernisation of Paisley Arts Centre, and an ongoing investment in culture and the arts as a means to transform the town for future generations.

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