Firehouse makeover plan gets green light
Planning bosses approve theatre and bistro proposal
Paisley’s Victorian firehouse’s transformation into a theatre and bistro is a step closer after planners gave the green light to proposals.
Charity Outspoken Arts wants to bring the B-listed town centre station back into use.
The cause had submitted proposals to overhaul the Gordon Street block as part of the failed City of Culture bid.
Fraser Carlin, Renfrewshire Council’s head of planning and housing, signalled work should still go ahead in a report to councillors.
He said: “It is claimed that the design intent is to respect and expose as many elements of the existing building as practical, providing an interesting backdrop to the venue.
“The internal alterations to the groundfloor consist mainly of the insertion of a new WC block, the creation of a kitchen and servery and the conversion of existing spaces into office and ancillary accommodation.
“The original concrete and flagstone floor, forming the majority of the engine hall, would be retained.
“The only external area proposed as part of the application is the creation of a small office to the rear of the building.
“Overall, the proposals would secure the re-use of a prominent vacant building within Paisley, in a manner which respects the character and appearance of the conservation area and which has due regard to the setting of the listed building itself and those in the wider vicinity.
“Historic Environment Scotland welcome this proposals which it states will help bring this important landmark building back into use after more than two decades of dereliction.”
The local authority has approved a listed building application needed to make changes to the site.
Fereneze Developments builders moved in last spring to start improvements on the block, which will include office space on the upper levels.
Outspoken Arts, a Glasgow-based LGBT charity, wants to build a cafe with space for 104 diners, with a stage to the front of the building.
Ingram Architecture and Design has drawn up blueprints, with the project branded, “vintage with contemporary insertions”.
It stated: “The proposals would include the use of the venue as a daytime cafe and social enterprise, with evening uses as a performance venue for music, spoken word, screenings and exhibitions.”
The corner building was the town’s fire station, but was sold to developers in 1992.
Strathclyde Regional Council had put it up for sale after using is as a store.
A number of attempts to refurbish the building failed after rot set in.
It was put up for sale at auction through Auction House Scotland at a guide price of £50,000-plus five years ago.
Planners have yet to rule on a building application with a decision due in the coming weeks.
Progress The old firehouse building is set to be transformed