Exchange Theatre, a new community theatre space in Paisley town centre, has received a major boost to its capital campaign this week with the confirmation of two significant awards from charitable foundations. 

We are delighted to acknowledge a grant of £200,000 from The Garfield Weston Foundation, one of the UK’s major supporters of the arts, as well as an award of £50,000 from The Robert Barr Charitable Foundation.


The redevelopment of the vacant former nightclub as a much-needed mid-sized venue for Renfrewshire, establishing it across Scotland as a destination for children and young people’s theatre, is being spearheaded by PACE Theatre Company alongside their existing operations.

Once complete, it will host in-house and touring theatre productions, and offer a wide programme of creative learning opportunities, as well as offering an alternative venue to Renfrewshire’s thriving cultural community.

PACE Chief Executive Grant Mason said: “We are extremely grateful for these generous awards from the Garfield Weston Foundation and the Robert Barr Charitable Foundation in support of our vision to provide life-changing opportunities for young people and the local community. 

“These grants are a major boost to our plans for Exchange, which we believe has the potential to create a vibrant cultural landmark and community hub for Paisley.” 

As well as the main theatre, Exchange will also host a small-scale 80-100-seat flexible studio theatre and creative learning space, plus a community creative play and workshop space. There will also be a family-friendly café/bar 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’.

Sustainability is a key priority for the project, designed with the aim of creating a green, carbon neutral, theatre for the future that’s financially and environmentally sustainable with 100% LED theatre fixtures.

It is expected Phase II will be complete by December 2022, but PACE are calling on businesses and individuals to support the project by donating to their Million Pound Wall campaign, to reach the fundraising total required to complete the third and final phase of work. 


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