One of Paisley’s most iconic buildings has been all wrapped up in a gigantic show of support for the town’s UK City of Culture 2021 bid.

The scaffold erected for the refurbishment of the Russell Institute in Causeyside Street has been covered in a giant Paisley2021-branded banner measuring 600 sq m.

It features quotes of support from members of the public for the UK City of Culture bid taken from social media as part of the Paisley Daily Express-led #whyilovepaisley campaign.

The unique former health centre has been hidden behind the scaffolding in recent weeks due to a year-long £5m revamp being led by Renfrewshire Council to restore the building to its former glory.

The Russell Institute is due to reopen as a skills and employability hub, with the Scottish Government’s training arm Skills Development Scotland as the anchor tenants, bringing new jobs into the town centre.

The project is being funded by the Scottish Government through the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and Renfrewshire Council.

Staff from the council’s successful Invest in Renfrewshire scheme to tackle unemployment will also be based in the building.

And the new wrap features the words of local people expressing their love for the town and reasons for supporting the bid.
Some of the people whose words had been used on the wrap met with Renfrewshire’s Provost Anne Hall to help show it off.

Provost Hall said: “One of the key themes of Paisley’s UK City of Culture bid is in making the most of our unique cultural and built heritage – so it is nice to be able to spread the Paisley 2021 word across one of the town’s architectural gems while it is being worked on.

“The wrap itself is helping to showcase some of the things that make Paisley great to residents and visitors alike in the year before the bid is lodged with the UK Government.

“Causeyside Street is one of the town’s busiest streets anyway and there has been major investment in the street in recent years – so there are few better places to help spread that message than here.

Paisley 2021 Banner on Russell Institute Paisley L-R Robert Allan, Paula Cooper, Provost Anne Hall, Graeme Rogerson and Evelyn Lawrie Picture by Contracted Freelance Andrew Neil
Paisley 2021 Banner on Russell Institute Paisley
L-R Robert Allan, Paula Cooper, Provost Anne Hall, Graeme Rogerson and Evelyn Lawrie
Picture by Contracted Freelance Andrew Neil

“It was great to get to meet some of the people whose thoughts have been captured on the building and I am sure they will enjoy seeing their words emblazoned up there every time they drive by.”

Pamela Quigley, also known as @mrsQ102, said: “I don’t live in Paisley now – I haven’t done for many years in fact, but it’s where I was brought up and I love it to bits for all its faults. I wish Paisley all the luck in the world with the bid and I’m right behind you. I can’t wait to see the poster – it’s made my day”.

More information about Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021 is at www.paisley2021.co.uk