Open Day Artwork

PACE is re-developing a disused town centre building as a unique venue for children and young people, and aims to create a vibrant arts hub for use by all of the community. But we want to hear your ideas!

Open Day Artwork

Exchange-ing Ideas: A Community Open Day

Sat 9 Oct, 11am – 3pm
Exchange Theatre, Old Sneddon Street, Paisley

(formerly Mannequins)

Exchange will provide a low-cost venue for performances by community groups, a free interactive creative play area for younger children and their families, and a much needed mid-size venue for Renfrewshire.  It’s planned flexible-use spaces will also allow for a host of creative learning opportunities, increased community engagement and will support artist development locally. It’s anticipated that Exchange will also bring more people to Paisley and help promote the area as a cultural visitor destination, providing a boost for local restaurants and businesses, increasing employment and contributing to regeneration.

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– Come along to meet our team and see the space
– Find out about our plans and how they could benefit you
– Have your say about what you think a space like this can offer
Children/young people are welcome but please be aware that the building is still under construction. Access is currently via several stairs and there is uneven flooring.

Pop in anytime between 11am and 3pm.

PACE_Snow_Queen_1_Photo_Mihaela Bodlovic

“After careful consideration, we must reluctantly confirm that there will be no PACE Theatre Company panto for Christmas 2021.

PACE_Snow_Queen_1_Photo_Mihaela Bodlovic

“Regrettably, there are a number of factors that mean it is not viable for us to produce our annual panto this year. Paisley Arts Centre, our home venue for more than 30 years, is currently undergoing a £2.8m redevelopment and due to delays resulting from the pandemic, will not re-open for December 2021 as originally expected. Coupled with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the uncertainty about any future restrictions, we feel the risks are too great to commit to staging a production this year.

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“Neither do we have plans for an online panto alternative at this time. Last year’s “Lost in Pantoland” was made possible with support from an emergency arts relief fund and without this additional funding the model is not sustainable.”

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we understand that many people will be disappointed. Our annual pantomime is a highlight of the year for many people, as it is for us, but we’re looking forward to being able to come back bigger and better next year.

“As a registered charity, we are hugely dependent on ticket sales to subsidise the work we do with young people throughout the year. Over 95% of our income comes from ticket sales and fees, meaning that we have been especially hard hit during the pandemic, and the loss of panto from our schedule for a second year running will leave a massive hole in our funds.

“If you are a regular audience member, please consider making a donation here: https://www.pacetheatre.com/donate/. Or to donate £10, text PACE to 70191.”

Grant Mason
Chief Executive, PACE Theatre Company Ltd.


We have ambitious plans for a new theatre in Paisley for children, young people and families but we need your support. Find out how you can #PlayYourPart at exchangetheatre.org

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PACE Theatre Company Ltd is delighted to have been named as a recipient in the second round of Creative Scotland’s Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund, announced on 4 August 2021. The Paisley-based theatre company, which ran the largest youth theatre of its kind prior to the introduction of Covid restrictions, is due to receive an award of £52,000 to support the organisation’s work.

The £17 million fund is being delivered by Creative Scotland, on behalf of the Scottish Government, to support a broad range of 331 organisations and venues across Scotland, including comedy, festivals, music, nightclubs, performing arts, publishing, visual arts and cultural infrastructure. 

PACE was awarded £75,000 in the first round of the recovery fund in November 2020.

Grant Mason, Chief Executive, said of the announcement:

“We’ve been incredibly lucky to have the support of our members, alumni and local funders, during what have undoubtedly been challenging times. However, the impact of the restrictions we have faced over the last 18 months are still being keenly felt and this funding will go a long way to ensuring long-term stability for our organisation.

“We are incredibly grateful to have once again been selected by Creative Scotland to receive these funds, allowing us to continue to provide quality arts experiences for young people in Renfrewshire and beyond.”

Joan Parr, Interim Director of Arts and Engagement said:

“Our first priority continues to be supporting the recovery and renewal of Scotland’s art and creative sector as Covid-19 restrictions are eased and the sector can open up again more fully.

“Nevertheless, we remain acutely aware of the critical challenges faced by so many cultural organisations, and we know how vital this funding is in continuing to help protect jobs and support the sustainability of a sector that has felt the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic so significantly.”

A full list of awards can be found at: Further £17million emergency funding reaches Culture Organisations and Performing Arts Venues | Creative Scotland

PACE has revealed a summer programme of unique and varied in-person creative performance experiences for ages 3-21, performing both indoors and out.

The programme is brimming with exciting performance courses; from classic to contemporary texts, devising, physical theatre, comedy and musicals.  Make friends, take risks, learn new skills and make memories to last a lifetime.

Highlights include several site-specific outdoor productions including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Into the Woods and The Secret Garden; a strand of youth-led productions inspired by the climate crisis; devised and physical theatre performances; comedy and improv events; film-making and writing workshops; as well as musical theatre shows including Bugsy Malone and 13.

NB – photographs are from previous Fests prior to the introduction of social distancing or any other covid measures. 

We have been working hard to ensure young people can experience all of the social, educational and wellbeing benefits of our summer activities safely and in line with current covid guidance. PACE successfully re-introduced in person workshops for the Summer term, and has made a number of changes to capacities, introduced staggered start times, enhanced cleaning, ventilation and other procedures to minimise risk and all activities have been risk assessed in line with covid guidance for children’s activities, youth work and performance.

Jenni Mason, Artistic Director of PACE, said:
We can’t wait to have our building buzzing with energy and creativity again this summer. We’re incredibly proud of the way the team adapted last year to deliver an online programme, but we really missed being able to see everyone in person.

During Fest! we see the young people who join us grow in confidence, as well as creating amazing performances, and this year more than ever it’s important that they have this opportunity to express themselves and to mix with their peers.”

The full programme can be viewed and booked online at .www.pacetheatre.com/fest


Details of Bursary and concessionary places are available on application.

Big PACE Night In Flyer
Join us for an amazing evening of performances and chat from a huge selection of PACE alumni and friends, hosted LIVE from Exchange, Paisley.
Our Big PACE Night In promises music, laughter, memories, surprises, and talent by the bucket-load. Mark the ending of lockdown with an unforgettable big night in!
Big PACE Night In Flyer

Featuring performances and interviews from PACE alumni and others including: Darren Brownlie, Dani Heron, James McArdle, Mark Rowley, Martin Quinn, Scott Reid, Erin Hair, Daniel Cameron, Erin Armstrong, Erin Caldwell, Leigh Quinn, Declan McLeish, Laura Murray, Santino Smith, Scott Mackie, Ryan Hunter, Liam Farrelly, Aida Levantaki, Heather MacInnes, Kick the Door, Rebecca Lafferty, Amy Conachan, Alex Robertson and more.

Raising funds for a new theatre dedicated to children, young people and families.
Tickets: Donate-What-You-Can (Suggested donation £15)

www.pacetheatre.com/bignightin