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Paisley’s new £7 million Central Library opens to the public

The people of Paisley have been welcomed to their new Central Library, following a £7 million investment from Renfrewshire Council and partners, creating what has been described as ‘Scotland’ finest library facility’.

Staff at the library opened the doors to the new venue on Thursday, with children and families enjoying a special Gruffalo reading and activity event in the incredible ground floor children’s library. Officially known as the Paisley Learning and Cultural Hub, the building spans four floors of what was previously a vacant retail space.

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Chair of OneRen, the charity which operates the library, said: “Libraries change lives for the better and we are thrilled to welcome the world to what is one of Scotland’s finest library facilities. The investment made by Renfrewshire Council and partners is a real statement of intent, turning the page on a new, culture-led chapter which will help transform the fortunes of Paisley and Renfrewshire.

“Our libraries are places which provide a warm welcome for all, where you can laugh, play, read or seek some quiet time. I’ve no doubt it will be a huge hit for the people of Renfrewshire and beyond.”

The ground floor is home to the children’s library complete with a play structure designed by celebrated Scottish artist, Claire Barclay, including storytelling areas and reading nooks and crannies for little ones to enjoy a book. Upper floors include adult fiction and non-fiction spaces, with the top floor designed in conjunction with young adults to provide a space for study, reading and an area to relax. The venue also has space for events, community rooms with digital screens and innovative displays to assist communities such as those with dementia.

Across all four floors are digital spaces with public PC provision to keep people connected, as well as free WiFi and spaces for people to plug-in their own devices and watch the world go by.

The venue has comfortable seating and soft furnishings and visitors can also enjoy a coffee and, weather permitting, a new outdoor terrace. 

Fiona Gavin from Johnstone, was one of the first visitors to the new venue, with her 10-month-old twins, Charlotte and Rebecca . She said: “It’s smashing and the play area is amazing – and if that gets kids into reading, then it’s brilliant. It’s also so convenient; I haven’t been to Paisley High Street in ages and now it’s a reason to come here. What I really like is I have a double buggy and it fits in the front door

Julie Foy visited with her son Vincent, aged 4. Julie from Paisley, said: “I absolutely love it and I really love the fact that it’s in the town centre, which means I will use it a lot more. Vincent loves coming to the library anyway, and with the play area, he loves it even more.

Vincent added: “It’s great fun and I love the playpark area and books and stories.”

The opening of the library is part of a once-in-a-generation investment by Renfrewshire Council on cultural assets across Paisley town centre. In September, the iconic Paisley Town Hall re-opened following a full refurbishment and work continues on the refurbishment of Paisley Arts Centre and Paisley Museum.

The aim is for the cultural investment to help drive visits and visitors to the town, providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.

Paisley Central Library will play host to a number of events over the coming weeks, from BookBug and story-time sessions, to author events and will play a key role as the host location for next year’s Paisley Book Festival.

With Doctor Who back on our TV screens, the library is playing host to an exhibition inspired by the show, complete with a TARDIS, Daleks and original artworks.

More info is available here:

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