With its countless listed buildings standing as testament to the town’s industrial heritage and entrepreneurial spirit, Paisley is unlike any other town in Scotland.
At the heart of the town is a cultural community with a strong art, performing arts and live music scene.
Paisley Museum & Coats Observatory
Paisley Museum and Coats Observatory are now closed as part of a four-year long £42m transformation of the venue. The new-look museum will showcase its outstanding art, science and natural history collections, along with telling the story of the Paisley pattern, the town’s famous weavers and being at the centre of the global thread-making industry. The redevelopment will include a contemporary addition to the existing Victorian-era building, major revamps to all four museum buildings including Coats Observatory, and a complete internal redesign reimagining the visitor experience and doubling the number of objects on display.
Paisley: The Secret Collection
Paisley: The Secret Collection is the first publicly accessible museum store on a UK High Street, containing thousands of objects reflecting Renfrewshire’s amazing heritage and culture. The centre is a space where everyone can explore, learn, research and discover hidden treasures in the collection.
Free guided tours of Paisley: The Secret Collection will be available in 2019, and usually last approximately 45 mins – 1 hour. Because of the secure nature of the facility, you will be taken in a group.
Book online by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0141 618 5129
PACE Youth Theatre Company
PACE has run PACE Youth Theatre since 1988, based at Spires Drama Studios and other venues in Paisley, for young people aged 3-21. Membership of PACE includes free casting representation, family membership and discounts on school holiday events. Popular highlights include PACEfest every summer as well the annual panto at Paisley Arts Centre.
Workshops take place at various times every week during school term time (approximately 33-34 workshops per year) and are run by a full team of drama, technical and musical staff. Workshops follow PACE’s unique new youth theatre syllabus programme, devised to increase confidence, communication, self-expression and performance skills, as well as being a great way to meet new friends and have lots of fun! Past alumni include Paolo Nutini, David Tennant, Richard Madden and James McAvoy to name but a few.
Paisley Art Institute
With an annual exhibition in the town, the Paisley Art Institute was founded in 1876 for the “encouragement and promotion of art”.
In recent years the role of the Institute has expanded. The Institute awards PAI Diplomas to Artist Members meeting the rigorous criteria of the Credentials Committee for excellence. The letters PAI are granted in perpetuity and at any one time only 40 living artists hold this honour. In 1983 the Institute held the first Scottish Drawing Competition, this biennial event usually held in November, highlights the Institutes commitment to promoting and exhibiting this essential discipline.
During the Annual Exhibition, the Committee organise a Schools’ Art Competition. This is open to all schools in Renfrewshire and is well supported with prizes awarded and selected works exhibited.
Made in Paisley
Made in Paisley opened at the top of Paisley High Street towards in autumn 2018 to help bring art to the community. With well-known local artist Caroline Gormley and partner Sandy Guy at the helm, Made in Paisley is a vibrant artists’ studio and gallery offering a wide range of classes for children and adults alike with regular exhibitions
Made in Paisley – 69 High Street, Paisley
The Bungalow Bar, formerly on Paisley’s Renfrew Road, was once renowned for the fantastic, nightly billings, especially from the Punk Genres, in the late seventies and early eighties. The roster of acts included household names such as The Alarm, The Clash, The Jam, The Fall, The Skids, and The Tourists, Orange Juice, Roddy Frame, Alan McGee, The Buzzcocks, Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes and many more.
As well as being home to singer-songwriter Paolo Nutini, there are an array of venues within Paisley town centre which are well-known for their live music offerings. Check out our What’s On Guide for the latest live music listings at The Anchor Bar, The Bungalow Bar, The Cave, The Lane, The Old Swan and Callum’s Cavern.