Arts and culture can play a key role in breathing new life into Scotland’s high streets, like Paisley, as we emerge from the pandemic, according to Ross Greer, who is running for re-election as the area’s Green MSP.

The Scottish Greens have proposed ‘Local Place Plans’ which would allow local communities a far greater say in what happens to their local high streets.

The Greens’ proposals include repurposing empty commercial properties such as shopping units and offices into spaces such as studios, event venues, cinemas, workshops and production facilities. This would be led by local artists and community groups.

Commenting Ross Greer, the Scottish Greens’ lead candidate for the West of Scotland said: “Even before the pandemic hit Scotland, many high streets like in Paisley had far too many empty units, as more and more shopping was done online.

“We need to rethink our town centres, so they become attractive places to be. Local artists can play a huge role in a green recovery. As COVID restrictions ease and we are able to get together again, there will be a huge appetite for rebuilding Paisley. Community groups can play a key role in leading this change, building on the brilliant work put into the City of Culture bid.”

“A green recovery means moving on from a broken economy that left whole communities behind. We can create jobs and breathe new life into town centres like Paisley. The community’s future depends on it.”