Student accommodation plans for iconic Paisley building



The former Territorial Army building on Paisley’s High Street could be transformed into student accommodation for the nearby University of the West of Scotland (UWS) under newly submitted plans.

The Paisley-based JR Group has submitted a detailed planning application to Renfrewshire Council which it said will bring state of the art accommodation to one of the city’s most iconic buildings.

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.

Many regard the renovation of this building as the last piece of the puzzle for Paisley’s High Street, with the adjacent Paisley Museum & Art Gallery and Coats Memorial Church both subject to their own renovation plans.

The JR Group’s plans bring to life the vision for the building – to restore the historic façade and existing accommodation building to its former glory and provide additional vital accommodation for foreign students attending the nearby University.

Each of the 196 high-specification rooms – 10 of which are wheelchair accessible – will boast state-of-the-art features and will provide break out areas, laundry facilities and ample amenity space.

Planning on the project has seen The JR Group work closely with a range of partners, including architect Carson & Partners, conservation architect John Gilbert Architects, engineers Cowal Design, planning consultants Iceni, fire engineer Astute, M&E consultant Hawthorne & Boyle, cost consultants NBM, and consultants M&M Management and City Heart.

Andrew Dallas, project director for The JR Group, who structured the deal to purchase the iconic building in late 2019 and led an exhibition and public consultation showcasing the company’s plans back in January, is delighted to be bringing forward the plans for the iconic building.

He 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 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.



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