New phase of PACE Exchange Theatre begins

Tuesday 23rd May, 2023

Exciting times at PACE Youth Theatre with a new phase of work beginning at the Exchange Theatre. 

Exchange will be Scotland’s first theatre for children, young people and families.

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 include a 300-seat main theatre plus other community and creative spaces.

Once complete, Exchange will host in-house and touring theatre productions. There will be a wide programme of creative learning opportunities and a new mid-scale venue for Renfrewshire’s thriving cultural community.

Grant Mason, Chief Executive of PACE Theatre

“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.”

Iain Nicolson, Renfrewshire Council Leader

“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.