Paisley’s iconic Arnotts building has been transformed and new properties in the landmark structure are now on sale.

Renfrewshire Council say householders are already snapping up the apartments — dubbed Abbey View — which are being built on the upper three floors of the listed frontage of the former department store on Gauze Street, with four sold within hours of going on sale.

The same project — due for completion in November — will also see a commercial unit built on the ground floor, with tenants still to be announced.

That work is phase two of the plan to bring the historic site back into use, with Link Group’s now-completed development of 31 flats for affordable rent on the corner of Gauze Street and Lawn Street to receive their first residents this summer.

It’s the latest in a series of regeneration projects that are making good progress across the county according to Mary Crearie, Renfrewshire Council’s director of Development and Housing Services.

She delivered a report on The Paisley Heritage Asset Strategy and the multi-million pound City Deal at a meeting of the Renfrewshire Community Planning Partnership last week.

Plans include the refurbishment of Paisley Museum to become a national museum of textile and costume, the building of a Paisley fashion and design centre on the town’s High Street and a study into a new 300-seat theatre and cinema venue.

Members of the Jobs and Economy Thematic Board meeting gathered for the latest meeting at the Scottish Leather Group building.

Ms Crearie said: “There’s quite a lot happening so I will summarise some of the activities. Paisley Museum as you know is the signature project of the Paisley Heritage Asset Strategy.

“We’ve appointed museum designers who are working at the moment on developing the outline business case for that, so they’ll be working on that and should report back probably around October or November with the full outline business case which will be a key milestone for the project because within that it will have really developed the vision for what the museum project is going to be.

“It will tell us what’s going to be in there, the story it’s going to tell and will be an outline of what the design and costs are likely to be.” She also discussed the relocation of the council’s museum collections storage facility from Whitehaugh Barracks into the lower ground floor of the former Littlewoods store on Paisley High Street.

The move will mean residents can access the collections that are currently not on display and it is hoped this will encourage people into the town centre.

The report states: “A team of specialist consultants led by the internationally regarded museum designers Metaphor as well as Page and Park Architects has commences work to deliver the masterplan for the transformation of the museum.

“This will provide the robust Outline Business Case required to gain wider support and funding for project delivery. This stage of work will be complete later this year and will inform the detailed design stage and also the funding requirements for delivery of the project.” Other examples of regeneration projects which have progressed include the opening of InCube in Paisley’s High Street, a ‘Business Incubator’ where new firms can start or existing small businesses can grow.

Ms Crearie continued: “InCube is open and there’s a formal launch later this month, it’s good to see this up and running.

“We will also continue to work with the ‘Paisley 2021,’ a new community development trust as they develop their business case for the theatre and cinema venue.

“But this is still at the feasibility stage at the moment.” The infrastructure projects will take place alongside an expansion of the area’s existing cultural and events programme, which last year saw Paisley host the Royal National Mod for the first time.

Ms Crearie added that it was good to see a successful marketing campaign for the new Arnotts site and said heads of terms for the tenant of the ground floor commercial space are currently being concluded.

Finally, she discussed the approval of the City Deal investment for Renfrewshire and said the regeneration projects for Renfrewshire were “good progress all around.” The £78 million Clyde Waterfront and Renfrew Riverside project will build a new ‘opening’ bridge across the Clyde to create an important connection between the communities on either side of the river and stimulate the development of vacant land in the area.

It will also reduce traffic in Renfrew Town Centre and support the further development of Braehead’s shopping and leisure facilities.

This project will generate jobs and, by integrating Renfrewshire more closely into the regional transport network, open the area to new opportunities and a more prominent role in the regional economy.