Renfrewshire Chamber and Coats PLC are first corporate partners for Paisley Museum transformation

Date Posted: 20 Mar, 2023

Renfrewshire’s leading business networking organisation are throwing their support behind the transformation of Paisley’s Museum into an international-class visitor destination.

Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce have agreed to be one of the first two corporate partners of the museum, due to reopen next year after a radical £45m redesign and refurbishment.

They are joined by Coats – the world’s leading manufacturer in thread and structural components for apparel and footwear – more than 150 years after their founders gifted the building to the people of the town.

The museum was originally paid for by Sir Peter Coats of the Paisley-based global thread-making empire in 1871. Now, the modern Coats company are helping preserve that legacy for future generations through a gift to the Paisley Museum Reimagined fundraising campaign.

In doing so, both organisations are supporting Scotland’s biggest current capital heritage development, which – when reopen – will welcome 125,000 visitors a year, create 50 jobs, and boost the local economy by £79m over the next 30 years.

The museum has been redesigned by international architects AL_A, and construction work is well under way to create a new wing for the A-listed Victorian building, new entrance hall, terraced outdoor garden, and refurbishment of all four museum buildings, including the Coats Observatory.

The work will double the number of items which can go on display from the museum’s internationally-significant collections, with the local community having co-produced displays bringing to life the stories of Paisley’s people, Pattern and global influence.

Coats grew from humble beginnings in 18th-century Paisley to employ tens of thousands in sprawling thread mills in the town, as they became a global empire. Their founders were famed for their philanthropy, having funded many of the town’s landmark buildings.

Although they no longer have a presence in Paisley, the modern company is still headquartered in the UK and employs 17,000 employees in over 50 countries around the world.

Derek J McNab, President of Renfrewshire Chamber, said: “Growing up in Renfrewshire I have many happy memories of visiting Paisley Museum. The Chamber is proud to support the redevelopment to help secure that opportunity for future generations to come.”

Bob Grant, Chief Executive of Renfrewshire Chamber said: “We believe the museum transformation is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our generation to continue the long tradition of philanthropic support from the business community.

“The Chamber is delighted to commit this financial gift in recognition of the increased economic activity and visitor numbers to Paisley and the wider area. I’d encourage all other businesses to explore the opportunity the project represents.”

Christopher Dearing, Coats Group Sustainability Director said: “Having Scottish heritage and worked for Coats for the past 25 years, it is great to have Coats’ honouring their heritage in Paisley and providing financial support to what will be a world-class facility and welcome visitor attraction for the town.”

James Lang, chair of Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd and director of Renfrewshire-based Scottish Leather Group, said: “We are delighted to welcome our first two corporate partners and that both Coats PLC and Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce can see the benefits the project will deliver.

“This investment will safeguard a hugely-important part of Paisley and Scotland’s rich social and cultural heritage while generating exciting opportunities for local businesses and communities.”

It is the flagship project in Renfrewshire Council’s once-in-a-generation investment in Paisley’s cultural venues, including turning Paisley Town Hall into a landmark entertainment venue, a new home for library services on the town’s High Street, and upgrades to Paisley Arts Centre.

Each venue will be operated by OneRen, the local charitable trust in Renfrewshire providing culture, leisure and sporting opportunities to help people enjoy active and healthy lives.

The search is now on for other companies to sign up as corporate partners of Paisley Museum Reimagined. For a gift of £20,000, which can be made over three years, they will receive:

  • Permanent recognition on donor walls, plus PR and brand opportunities
  • Private access to the museum during construction and re-opening, exclusive stargazing experience at the Coats Observatory, and a VIP tour of Paisley: The Secret Collection, the first publicly-accessible museum store on a UK High Street
  • Chances to support Paisley Museum’s educational programme which will reach more than 9,000 children a year, plus bespoke volunteering/placement opportunities for your staff

For more information on how to get involved, or to discuss bespoke opportunities for your business, visit email

Image: Bob Grant (Renfrewshire Chamber Chief Executive), Marion White MBE (Trustee of Paisley Museum Reimagined Ltd) and Derek J McNab (President of Renfrewshire Chamber).