Exchange Theatre Paisley enters new phase of development
Work on the next phase in the development of Exchange, Scotland’s first theatre for children, young people and families, commences this week in Paisley
Contractors Elmwood Projects have been appointed to deliver the next phase of development of the site, a vacant former nightclub opposite Paisley Gilmour Street Station.
This phase will begin the major internal works programme required to create a 80-100 seat flexible studio theatre and a family friendly performance café/bar.
Ongoing phases will see the realisation of a 300-seat main theatre plus other community and creative spaces. Once complete, Exchange will host in-house and touring theatre productions, and offer a wide programme of creative learning opportunities, as well as offering an mid-scale venue for Renfrewshire’s thriving cultural community.
The project received £1.084m from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF). Other investment totalling upwards of £500k has come from trusts including The Garfield Weston Foundation, one of the UK’s major supporters of the arts, the Clothworkers Foundation and The Robert Barr Charitable Trust, as well as crucial support from Renfrewshire Council.
Grant Mason, Chief Executive, PACE Theatre said: “This is a major step forward for the project; works completed so far have been largely focused on roof and rot repairs, so it will be exciting to see the internal features turning from a plan on piece of paper to a reality.
“We are extremely grateful to the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund for their investment in this project, which we believe will be transformative for young people, the local community, and for the regeneration of Paisley.
“The support of Renfrewshire Council throughout this process has been invaluable, with their vision for Exchange’s potential to create a vibrant cultural attraction and community hub for Paisley mirroring our own.”
- William Cummings – Paisley’s world-champion distance runner
- The Rollin Pig – Renfrewshire’s award-winning street food
- Shaun Moore – Tannahill Makar and spoken word artist
Renfrewshire Council leader Iain Nicolson said: “We are delighted to see the next phase of work get under way on PACE’s Exchange Theatre project, which will breathe new life into a prominent site in Paisley town centre.
“Renfrewshire has a thriving cultural scene, which PACE have been at the heart of for decades – Exchange will be a modern new facility that will encourage access and participation in the arts for current and future generations of young people, while also hosting performances and other activity that will drive new footfall into the town centre and local economy.
“The Exchange project perfectly complements our own investment in Renfrewshire’s historic cultural venues, with the transformation of Paisley Town Hall and the work to build a new library on the High Street both nearly finished, and with Paisley Museum set to reopen next year once its transformation into a word-class visitor destination is complete.”
It is expected that the current phase will be complete later this year, but PACE are appealing to businesses and individuals to support the project by donating to their Million Pound Wall campaign, or offering in-kind support, to reach the fundraising total required to help complete the project in an increasingly challenging financial climate.