PACE Theatre Company – which runs the largest youth theatre of its kind in the UK – is set to transform a vacant town centre building into an exciting new community performance space for Paisley. The proposed model for the building model is inspired by young people focused buildings in England such as Unicorn Theatre, Polka Theatre, Chickenshed and Half Moon Theatre in London, Hullabaloo in Darlington, Contact in Manchester and Greenwich Young People’s Theatre.
The new theatre space will be dedicated to promoting and developing theatre for children, young people and families; as well as promoting participation by young people through performance and creative learning opportunities. When complete, it will be a fully accessible and child-friendly space. The building will provide a home venue for PACE’s own performances (almost 200 annually) as well as hosting a programme of professional touring productions, and offering an alternative venue for Renfrewshire’s thriving community performance scene. It’s planned flexible-use spaces will also allow for a host of creative learning opportunities, and for artist development.
Renfrewshire has the highest number of weekly participants in participatory drama and theatre activities in Scotland, more than Glasgow or Edinburgh, accounting for 10% of all youth theatre participation in Scotland (Source: YTAS Sector Mapping Report, 2015). This makes Renfrewshire the ideal location for a space designed especially with young people in mind.
Grant Mason, Chief Executive, PACE Theatre said:
“We want to make Paisley a major centre for theatre for children, young people & families and our ambition is to create a welcoming space where they can visit and begin to develop their creative lives. With the development of Exchange, we aim to ignite a passion for theatre and performance in the very young, right through to supporting and nurturing emerging artists at the start of their careers.”
The project is scheduled for completion by Dec 2021 and we are currently fundraising to help us achieve our targets.
Full details of the project can be found at http://www.exchangetheatre.org/