The last 12 months has seen theatre and youth arts sectors endure a period of extraordinary upheaval. With our Ignite21 project, PACE seeks to play a small part in helping those artists and young people affected, renew their connections to the sector in 2021.  

The first phase of the project has three seperate strands: 

Youth Arts Small Grants Fund

Through the Creative Scotland Youth Arts Small Grant Fund we will be distributing £15,000 directly to freelance artists to create bespoke, quality creative projects for young people (aged 3-21) from across Renfrewshire. Artists are asked to propose work with a focus on positive mental wellbeing that allows young people to explore and process what has happened in their lives over the last year as well as looking to the future of what their world may look in the years ahead.  

Artists are encouraged to submit proposals for projects that help young people – particularly those who have been negatively impacted by the crisis  to help find creative responses to these events and their consequences as we look to the future. This can be done using different art forms including drama, music, dance, film, creative writing and visual art and through a variety of in-person or digital sessions. The aim is to provide artistled projects within our community and inspiring creative spaces for young people, allowing them to connect, talk, process, reflect or understand what has happened in an age-appropriate, engaging, fun and meaningful way. The prompt should act as a catalyst, but the design and direction of the project should ultimately be led by the artist and the young people they work with.  

 At the end of the process, PACE will combine evidence of work created by the artists in an online gallery website to showcase the journey of these projects and to celebrate the work that is created, giving a unique insight into the experiences of young people across Renfrewshire at this monumental time of global change while creating a lasting resource that can document their experiences for other young people and for generations to come. 

PACE will also provide additional support sessions, training and networking events for funded artists.


Who can you work with?

The project is open for artists to work with schools, existing groups or groups that are formed for the purposes of the project. Renfrewshire has a rich creative scene with a number of youth arts organisations and community groups who work with young people across Paisley and Renfrewshire. We welcome proposals from artists with established relationships with groups who may wish to further develop the relationship through a new project. You may also wish to approach a group that you have a not previously worked with if you believe that your proposal is a good fit for them and the young people they work with. Finally if you have an idea for a project but are unclear about which young people may benefit from your project proposal then please contact us and we can talk through options that may work for you.


Who can apply and how much can you apply for?

This fund is open to freelance artists and creative practitioners living and working in Scotland looking to work directly with children and young people. All projects must benefit the young people of Renfrewshire.  Applications from artists based in Renfrewshire will be prioritised, followed by those from neighbouring local authorities. Priority will be given to artists with a successful history of delivering high quality arts projects to young people.

The fund is not open to applications from organisations, local authorities, groups or clubs. The overall budget for this fund is £15,000. Applicants can apply for between £750 – £3,000 to prepare and deliver projects and attend networking and training events. All projects must be completed by the end of February 2022.  

Please download and read the guidance document before you apply.

Application Deadline

Applications for this fund have now closed.

Small Grants Q&A Session

with Jenni Mason, PACE Artistic Director

Wednesday 17 February 2pm on Zoom

For more information about the fund or the application process, please e-mail  

Small Grants funded by Creative Scotland.

Free rehearsal space and support for artists

The youth arts sector has been badly hit by the pandemic and we are keen to help ignite its recovery by supporting the artists at its very core and giving space for developmentdiscussion and the creation of new workWe know that finding space has always been a challenge for freelance artists and COVID-19 has made that even more difficult. While the future of the arts remains uncertain, we want to provide COVID secure spaces for the recovery to start to happen, in whatever form that takes, when restrictions allow. Whether you need space for developing an idea, creating new work, re-connecting with other artists, filming, rehearsingdiscussing or recording a self-tape in peace, we can offer limited COVID secure rehearsal spaces at no cost at limited times throughout the week and depending on availability (not including evenings or weekends). Our priority is to aid the recovery of the youth arts sector and as such we will be offering the spaces to young artists (aged 18-30) or those working with or creating work specifically aimed at children and young people.  

We can offer free space:  

  • To artists aged 18-30 developing ideas.  
  • To actors or performers aged 18-30 who need space for development, self-tape recording. 
  • To any artists creating or developing work for children or young people.
  • To artists in the youth arts sector looking for space to come together to discuss, reflect, look forward, rebuild or connect.  

Projects should not yet have received significant funding.

Advice/mentoring for artists 

In addition to offering free space, we will be offering support to artists or recent graduates working in or interesting in working in youth arts who may want advice, are looking to develop an idea or who need practical support to help get their project or idea to the next stage. We have over 30 years experience working in the youth arts sector, working with young people (aged 3-21) in a youth theatre context, working in schools and community settings, working alongside partners and developing work with and for children and young people. We can offer one to one support digitally or in person sessions when restrictions allow. 

We can offer sessions: 

  • To artists aged 18-30 who are looking for advice or developing ideas 
  • To graduates or emerging artists interesting in working in the youth arts sector. 
  • To artists creating work for children or young people.  
  • To artists interested in working or collaborating with PACE.  

Space support is separate from our Small Grants programme – you do not need to receive a small grant to apply.  If making a small grant application then please get in touch if you are also looking to use our rehearsal spaces.

Please note days and times will be limited and dependent on availability. Current COVID-19 guidance must be adhered to when using any of our spaces and capacity restrictions for spaces will apply.  Artists should continue to follow any local or national guidance in place at time of use.

If you are interested in using one of our spaces and fit the above criteria or would like to arrange a chatthen please e-mail for more details.  

Partnering Opportunities

As the sector begins to recover and rebuild, we want to have conversations about the development of new and exciting work for children and young people and are looking for potential partnerships (artists or organisations) to work alongside to make this happen. We don’t know what this work will look like yet or what form it will take but we are keen to talk to like-minded individuals or organisations who are driven to find new ways to create and reach young audiences. Like most arts organisations in this current climate, our budgets are incredibly limited, but we have spaces, resources, experience and most importantly a passion and a desire to be innovative in the work that we create as well as to ensure that a generation of young people don’t miss out on the joy and many benefits of the arts.  If you are interested in having a conversation about a potential partnership with PACE or would like to discuss an idea in more detail, then please email  

Creative freelancers – we are still looking for some limited digital content including blog posts explaining your career journey that people may find helpful, or pre-recorded online skills videos.  Visit our Change of PACE page for more info or to note interest.