Of the £100m to be invested in Paisley, about £59m is coming from Renfrewshire Council, with the rest coming from various funds like the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and from the Scottish government.
Renfrewshire councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes said she wanted Paisley to “be the blueprint for how you change things”.
But a “one-size-fits-all” solution to town centre development cannot work, according to Prof White, a sentiment that Mr Anthony also agreed with.
“Councils need leadership and vision, someone who will stand up and stop the production of any more out-of-town retail parks,” Prof White said.
Both Prof White and Mr Anthony said there was no way to revitalise a town centre without engaging the local community – and local business owners agree.
“The council should come and speak to local businesses and find out what we need,” said Elaine Fulton.
“Local business is what makes this town, if department stores leave, local businesses will still be there,” she added.