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
family friendly design in all areas including a new cafe/bar and creative play space
Why are we doing this?
Why is this important?
Research has shown the importance of attending and participating in theatre to young people. It raises aspirations, improves academic performance, develops confidence, encourages team-work, cooperation and creative risk-taking, develops empathy and emotional intelligence and gives children the skills, curiosity and creativity they need to understand the complex world we live in. Theatre engagement amongst young people in the UK has decreased in recent years. We want to change that.
A theatre venue in Scotland, dedicated to producing, receiving and promoting better access to theatrical productions for young people and families as well as promoting participation by young people aged 0 to 25 in performance and creative learning activities in a professional environment.
300+ seat main house theatre
Flexible studio theatre space
Family friendly cafe/bar
Free community creative play space
A more creative society
The space will house a mid-scale traditional 350 seat main proscenium arch dedicated theatre, a small scale 80-100 seat flexible studio theatre / creative learning space and a community creative play and workshop space. The spaces will be complemented by a family friendly café/bar facility with informal performance area, dressing rooms, reading snug and exhibition space for young visual artists. The space will be fully accessible, autism friendly, and co-designed and developed at every stage with a group of ‘young architects’.
The project has an estimated cost of £2.4m and has already received £300k of support from Renfrewshire Council. Initial works will start in March 2020 with an aim to open by Christmas 2021.
I am a child of Paisley – my mother was an enthusiastic member of the amateur dramatic society in the 1930s – and I can’t think of any theatrical cause more vital, more worthy and more exciting than the building of a new theatre by PACE. Send money and wish it godspeed.
Sir David Hare
PLAYWRIGHT / DIRECTOR
Individuals. Businesses. Friends. We can't do this without you. #playyourpart
The fundraising campaign for Exchange, a new community theatre in Paisley for children,young people and families, has taken another significant step forward as PACE welcomes prominent Paisley businessman
Renfrewshire has the highest number of weekly participants in participatory youth theatre activities in Scotland [YTAS Sector Mapping Report, 2015]. We want to building on our successful level of participation with an increased programme of high quality performances for children and young people.
The site appears to be at approximately the same location as Paisley’s first purpose built theatre The Abercorn, built in 1882, detroyed by fire in 1889. The current building was contsructed in 1932 and has been used as a dance hall, templar hall, telephone exchange, and night club and has lain empty since 2004.
The building is directly across the road from Paisley Gilmour Street Station, a 10 minute train ride from Glasgow Central.
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We need help to let as many people as possible know about this project. Tell your friends and colleagues or share your support on social media. Write to your councillor, MSP or MP to pledge your support. Help us get the project in front of people who can help.
@exchangepaisley #futurepaisley #playyourpart exchangetheatre.org
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Their well-developed plans are a perfect fit for the terms of the Town Centre Regeneration Fund – which aims to encourage community groups to find new uses for vacant buildings – and we expect our contribution will help them attract the other funding they need."
So we are delighted to have been able to make available funding, which will help PACE bring a long-term vacant building back into use and bring new footfall and vibrancy to the town centre.”
We believe this will make a vital contribution to Renfrewshire’s reputation as a vibrant creative and cultural centre, as well as breathing new life into a currently disused building, and the council’s backing is a significant step closer to making our vision a reality.”
So I signed up and never looked back. It gave me the greatest start on my creative journey into the theatre world, which is still continuing today as I complete my Masters in Playwriting📝 This theatre will create a force that can empower young people to achieve their greatest goals. Please support if you can ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜
Spread the word far and wide. Donate if you can. If there’s one thing to shout about this year, it should 100% be this.
PACE is the UK's premier youth theatre with a roll of honour full of household names.*— Gavin Newlands MP 🎗 (@GavNewlandsSNP) September 11, 2019
I met with Grant and Jenni Mason of @pace_yt to hear their vision for a new community-led theatre venue in Paisley.
It's shaping up to be fantastic and I wish them all the very best with it. pic.twitter.com/acQGTz1m1v
So exciting! V fond of @pace_yt - Daniel loves their summer camps 😎 Fun memories of Mannequins in my younger days 😂🤪💃🏼 and fantastic to see a fellow @GryffeHighSch alumni flying the flag for Paisley 🥰 Well done Jenni and everyone involved #FuturePaisley https://t.co/YPQ7aaXMhx— Pauline Moss (@MiniMossP) January 24, 2020
Very excited to finally shout about this. We plan to breathe life back into this beautiful old building and transform it into a vibrant, creative theatre space for young people and their families. We need your help so get in touch or visit https://t.co/Pk9l30QE0m to get involved. https://t.co/Tq4HA1jIBI— Jenni Mason (@jenniamason) January 24, 2020
I was delighted to be part of the reveal of @pace_yt 's #EXCHANGEtheatre venue. The project is brilliant, it will bring a beautiful unused building back into use and allow even more of Renfrewshire's children to be part of PACE. https://t.co/Rxh4Kxb2Ps— Cllr Lisa-Marie Hughes SNP (@ThisGirl_is) January 24, 2020
This is so exciting - film and stage star and PACE Youth Theatre alumnus James McArdle is announced as patron for PACE Theatre Co, who are building Scotland's first ever dedicated theatre for children and young people in Paisley #FuturePaisley https://t.co/YKjvTqqdfW— Clare Edwards (@ClareTedwards) January 24, 2020
🎭 A new theatre planned for the heart of Paisley from the fabulous @pace_yt for and by children, young people and families. Another imaginative use of a historic building, supporting a cultural town centre for all 🎭 #EXCHANGEtheatre #FuturePaisley https://t.co/2BLYEbHC0i— Leonie Bell (@Leonie_S_Bell) January 24, 2020
We are the UK's largest youth theatre.
PACE Theatre Company is based in Paisley and was formed in 1988 and is a registered charity specialising in work with children and young people. It runs PACE Youth Theatre – the largest youth theatre of its kind in the UK, working with around 1,000 young people ages 3-21 every week. It also produces professional theatre productions including Paisley’s annual pantomime to audiences of over 17,000 every year, tours schools with educational performances, and hires out rehearsal studios, equipment and services from its Paisley base. We are passionate about the power of theatre and creativity to improve the lives of young people.
PACE is run by a core team of twelve permanent staff, employing over 40 freelance artists and technical staff, and 15 part-time front of house staff. We have a bursary and concessionary place scheme to help as many young people as possible gain access to life-changing arts skills and inspiring opportunities.
Former PACE Youth Theatre alumni include Richard Madden, James McAvoy, Paulo Nutini, James McArdle, Amy Conachan, Scott Reid, Shauna MacDonald and many more.