Housing to 2040 Report:Town Centre Regeneration at Arnott’s Backland, Paisley

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Download: Town Centre Regeneration Report – Paisley

During the summer of 2019 Architecture and Design Scotland hosted four workshops across Scotland exploring the future of housing in Scotland.

The workshop supported the Scottish Government’s forthcoming Housing to 2040 consultation, and invited a number of professionals and community members across the country to look to review a number of real-life projects from across Scotland to identify “what good looks like” and what skills and resources are needed to achieve this.

Town Centre Regeneration at Arnott’s Backland, Paisley

This workshop of the ‘Housing to 2040’ summer 2019 engagement series was held in July in Paisley, with a focus on town centre regeneration. Our aim was to take a snapshot of housing delivery and learn from it, by discussing the regeneration of the Arnott’s Backlands site in Paisley, which is currently under construction. A practitioner group who had been involved in delivery and community group were joined by representatives of the Scottish Government’s Planning and Architecture Division and the Housing to 2040 Team. We used the Place Standard tool to discuss the qualities of the planned housing. From here, we plan to draw wider lessons for housing growth in town centres.

As part of a wider masterplanning process for Paisley town centre, Arnott’s Backland is a joint venture between the Park Lane Group and Renfrewshire Council to bring a derelict town centre site and heritage assets into residential use.

Partnership Approach

Procurement of the housing was led by a joint venture and a public-private partnership approach committed to over an extended period of time. This long-term leadership approach has helped address long-term issues with economic decline and site dereliction.

We discussed the opportunities realised and issues faced by those responsible for delivery. We also tested the outcome of a masterplanned approach to urban regeneration and placemaking. We discussed how to ensure the new residents are served by the services and facilities required to repopulate a town centre.


This report has been prepared by Architecture and Design Scotland. It includes outputs from a series of workshops commissioned by the Scottish Government. The views expressed in this report reflect the output from the sessions. The views are not those of the Scottish Government or A&DS.


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