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Plans submitted to transform iconic Paisley building

The JR Group has submitted a detailed planning application to Renfrewshire Council to transform the former Territorial Army building on Paisley’s High Street.

The construction firm plans to turn it into student accommodation for the nearby University of the West of Scotland.

Despite being subject to vandals and firebugs in recent years, the group aims to retain the historic frontage of the Category ‘B’ Listed building, as well as constructing a further two buildings on the site.

Should planning be granted by the Council, the renovation and construction work is expected to kick off in early 2021 for completion within 18-24 months.

Andrew Dallas, project director for The JR Group, said: “It is great to be in a position to present our plans for this prominent site to Renfrewshire Council.

“From our discussions with the public and the University, it is clear everyone is keen to see it redeveloped and brought back to life.

“We are a Paisley-based firm so it means a little bit more to be able to bring forward our proposals that will transform what has been an eyesore for the city for more than 20 years.

“We will now work with Renfrewshire Council in efforts to take these plans forward and are confident, if plans were to be approved, of reinvigorating a key part of Paisley’s history and ensuring its future for many years to come.”

The adjacent Paisley Museum & Art Gallery and Coats Memorial Church are both subject to their own renovation plans.

There will be 196 high-specification rooms – 10 of which are wheelchair accessible – as well as break out areas, laundry facilities and ample amenity space.

The former TA drill hall was originally built in 1896 and was designed by famous Paisley architect Thomas Graham Abercrombie who was also responsible for Paisley Grammar School and the former YMCA building in the city’s New Street.

The JR Group employs around 170 staff and was founded in Paisley in 1995. It started as a scaffolding business and is now one of the largest building and construction firms in Scotland.