Designating the former Chivas Brothers Headquarters, Paisley

Closed 29 Jun 2022

Opened 8 Jun 2022

Feedback updated 27 Sep 2022

We asked

From 8 June to 29 July 2022, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) sought views on our proposal to designate the former Chivas Brothers Headquarters Building in Paisley as a category C listed building.  

The building was constructed in 1962-64 as the headquarters of the Chivas Brothers company, one of the world’s leading producers of high-quality blended Scotch whisky.

It was designed to look like an authentic old Scottish country house, and this reflected the brand image that the company marketed to the world. The historicist style and high-quality neo-classical detailing is rare for a building of this date, and the building has remained largely unchanged since it was constructed.

You said

We received 32 responses to the consultation, 28 of which were in favour of the listing. The vast majority of comments stated that they would like to see the building retained and incorporated into the design for the new Paisley Grammar School.

The four objections, which included one from Renfrewshire Council, were mainly concerned that the additional costs and consents that listing may incur, could jeopardise its future reuse. The Council queried the special interest of the building, with the exception of the main façade. There were also some concerns about maintenance costs, safety issues and the potential impact on the completion of the new school. One response noted they were against listing the building, as it would celebrate a company that abandoned the town.

We did

We considered the responses carefully and we have discussed the proposed designation further with Renfrewshire Council. After further consideration of the special interest of the building, we have excluded the interior from the listing.  

We have now listed the former Chivas Brothers Headquarters Building in Paisley as a category C listed building, excluding the interior. The listed building record is available on our Heritage Portal, where the final Report of Handling is also available.  

Our historic environment is always changing. Listing does not prevent change, but it does allow for a structure’s special character to be taken into account when changes are proposed.  

Overview

We are proposing to list the former Chivas Brothers Headquarters Building in Paisley – a very rare and unusual example of a modern building that was designed to look like a traditional Scottish country house. Built in 1962-64 to the designs of Lothian, Barclay, Jarvis, it formed the main frontage of a large bottling plant and warehouse site for the Scottish whisky magnate.

The former headquarters building has remained largely unchanged but much of the wider site has now been demolished by Renfrewshire Council, who are planning to build a new school for Paisley Grammar.

The grand, classical renaissance style of the former Headquarters Building is highly unusual for its post-war date and shows a high level of decorative detailing and the use of traditional materials. A historicist style of Scottish architecture was purposely chosen for the company’s headquarters, as it reflected their brand image of luxury, heritage, and prestige.

We have launched this public consultation to gather views on listing this historic building in recognition of its special architectural and historic interest. Find out more about listed buildings.

Why your views matter

Members of the public are encouraged to send in their views and comments. Email your comments about this case or contact us via the Heritage Portal

Find out what comments we consider and what happens next in our consultation guide or watch our designations video on YouTube.

For a version of this video in British Sign Language, please visit our Youtube channel.