Renfrewshire residents will be involved in “creative conversations” about the future of Paisley Museum. 

Series of conversations will be held, over the summer, to develop ways in which the 150-year-old venue will best serve the community following it’s £42m rejuvenation. 

These will involve representatives from many of the near 70 local organisations which took part in earlier engagement events with service operator Renfrewshire Leisure to examine the issues they face in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kirsty Devine, Project Director of Paisley Museum Re-Imagined, said: “The transformed museum will not just be about celebrating our globally-important past, but being inspired by it to forge a stronger future.

“We want to make sure that our work meets the community’s priorities - addressing the challenges we face and creating new opportunities for our residents while supporting the region’s health, social, cultural and economic recovery. To create a programme which achieves that, we want to best understand the needs of our communities.”

There were six priorities highlighted in previous listening sessions, carried out by Renfrewshire Leisure. These include, community health and wellbeing, tackling social isolation, skills and employability, local history and heritage, literacy and creativity and also feeling of belonging and ownership.

“It’s rooted deeply in the fabric of the museum to have the community’s involvement. In the late 19thcentury the founding committee recognised the importance of community involvement,” Kirsty Devine added. “Commenting that the museum ‘only needed to be put in the possession of the community to be appreciated and that the advantages would be of service to all’. That’s an ethos we are embracing as we look to the future.”

As part of a long-term relationship between Jambo! Radio, Paisley Museum and African and Caribbean communities, the museum team interviewed station founder George Tah. 

A partnership was made between Jambo! Radio and Paisley Museum to help four heritage trainees over 18 months, in a funding bid to the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The trainees will visit a number of places in Paisley and will find out more about the plans for the museum. From this, they will produce a series of heritage-themed radio programmes for African and Caribbean communities and Jambo! Radio listeners.

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