In 1873 George A.Clark, a member of the famous thread family, left £20,000 in his will to build Paisley Town Hall to his native Paisley. A site was found next to the Abbey which was suitable under the terms of the will; the hall was to be in the New Town, east of the Cart, where George Clark had been born and where his family’s thread mills were. The George A. Clark Town Hall was officially opened in January 1882 among great celebrations. A procession made its way through the decorated streets, and at night there was a firework display from the High Church steeple.
The impressive building became a landmark in Paisley. The taller of the two towers, with its sculptured figures representing the four seasons, housed a clock and a chime of bells which could play a different tune for every day of the month. The many rooms of the Town Hall proved ideal for meetings and social events. By the 1980s, however, the chimes no longer worked and the halls and rooms were shabby and run-down. Plans for repair and modernization were drawn up. By 1988, in time for the celebration of Paisley 500, the chiming mechanism in the bell-tower was restored. In 1990 work began on renovating the interior of the building, and as this continues we can see the Town Hall, over a hundred years old, ready to plan its full part again in Paisley life.
It has been the home to Paisley Beer Festival since 1986 except for a couple of years where the festival went 'on tour' to Johnstone and Renfrew due to the refurbishment of Paisley Town Hall. The festival has steadily grown since the first one which boasted xx different beers on offer to the present festival which will have somewhere in the region of 250 different real ales available over the 4 days.