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The Russell Institute

By 20th January 2017Case Studies, Public Sector

© Keith Hunter Photography

The Russell Institute is one of Paisley’s most iconic buildings. Built in 1927, it is a Category A-listed building, famous for its ornate bronze and stone sculptures on the exterior and for its stunning Art Deco staircase and balcony inside.

Arthur McKay was delighted to have been appointed to complete the mechanical, electrical and IT networks fit-out installation for this key urban regeneration project.  The £5m regeneration project was part funded by the council, alongside grant funding from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.



It now operates as a training and employability hub, housing staff from Skills Development Scotland and Renfrewshire Council’s own Invest in Renfrewshire scheme, all focused on developing the local economy, through the creation of jobs, training opportunities and tackling unemployment.



All of our work was conducted under scrutiny of conservation consultants, who were overseeing the project on behalf of key stakeholder, Renfrewshire Council.




One of the key challenges was to transform the services from historic to modern, without damaging the internal fabric of this iconic building.  Essentially, this meant full electrical re-wiring and supply of new heating, ventilation and water services, bringing them all into line with current standards and local authority building regulations.  As part of our Contractor’s Design Portions, we installed a VESDA system (Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus), ensuring the Building Management System (BMS) activates safety controls and the fire alarm sounds at the earliest sign of a fire risk or condition.


“As a Skills and Employability Hub, the Russell Institute provides an excellent environment in a central location to help generate new jobs and opportunities for the people of Renfrewshire.  Arthur McKay should be proud of their efforts in helping Renfrewshire Council realise this ambition.  Their team are not only technically proficient but worked with the care and attention commanded by such a historic conservation and regeneration project.”

Alasdair Morrison, Renfrewshire Council


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