Historic church has a new lease of life.
Byline: KENNETH SPEIRS
A historic Paisley church that was under threat of closure is open again - this time as an events venue.
The 19th-century Thomas Coat Memorial Church closed last year as a place of worship following a downturn in congregation numbers and the high cost of its upkeep.
A PS1.5 million appeal to save the building was set up by Paisley businessman Ian Henderson to turn it into a concerts and events venue.
More than PS300,000 has been raised so far.
And the venue is now taking bookings.
Mr Henderson, who is chairman of the Coats Memorial Preservation Trust, said: "This is a magnificent milestone and a credit to the public response to our campaign to save this fabulous building.
"A total of more than 2,600 donations, large and small, have been received from individuals, Renfrewshire Council and from the purchase of debenture seats, commemorative bricks and souvenir plaques, not only saving Coats but ensuring it thrives as a new, multipurpose events space for future generations to enjoy.
"We are now working towards a grand opening in good time for the Paisley Beer Festival next April.
"During the works to install the necessary electrics, heating and the facilities required, we are in a position to run events over the next few months which will be widely publicised as our fundraising efforts continue."
Enquiries for weddings, graduations, music concerts, exhibitions, family gatherings, corporate meetings, and community workshops are all being taken for what has been dubbed the 'Coats Venue'.
The trust describes it as a multifunctional entertainment hub that can accommodate any event and house up to 600 hundred guests for all types of celebrations and functions.
It said the recent sell-out Eddi Reader concert proved beyond doubt that Coats works as an entertainment venue that can attract a large audience and the recent filming of Outlander will be instrumental in establishing the venue as a great film location.
Anyone who would like to make a booking can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07522 200163
This is a credit to the public response to our campaign to save this fabulous building
Welcome Sales executive Margaret McGregor Oliver and Ian Henderson outside the historic venue