Renfrewshire Council

PACE Theatre Company new stage

Town hall contractor's donation taking centre stage at PACE panto

The construction firm who delivered the transformation of Paisley Town Hall have helped put on a show - after donating a stage to the team behind PACE Theatre Company's much-loved annual panto.

Morrison Construction found themselves with an unused stage from another project they were working on - so asked Renfrewshire Council if there was a local group who could make use of it.

They were then put in touch with PACE - who were able to use the structure to form the seating bank for their Beauty and the Best panto, which is on now and until the end of December.

Paisley Town Hall recently reopened after being transformed into one of Scotland's finest entertainment venues as part of a wider push by the council to use the power of culture to change the area's future.

PACE's annual panto is a long-running festive family favourite and will run until 31 December in their pop-up theatre within the Art Department (the former Co-op store in the Paisley Centre). You can see show times and book tickets on their website.

What else was delivered?

The donation of the stage - worth around £40,000 - is part of a much bigger package of community benefits delivered by Morrison Construction as part of the Paisley Town Hall contract, including:

  • Six local people given jobs on the construction project by Morrison's sub-contractors
  • 10 work-experience placements and three graduate apprentices given the chance to work on the project
  • Two meet-the-buyer events where local companies were invited to bid for work on the project
  • A two-day event where more than 200 Renfrewshire school pupils got to tour the town hall construction site and learn various traditional building skills

Morrison Construction's community benefits work on the Paisley Town Hall contract was recently nominated for a Scotland-wide GO Award in the Social Value category, while they were named as a winner at Renfrewshire Chamber of Commerce's recent ROCCO awards in the Community Wealth-Building category.

What's been said about it?

Councillor Lisa-Marie Hughes, Renfrewshire Council's cultural spokesperson and chair of OneRen, who are operating the reopened venue, said:

"We want to thank Morrison Construction for their very kind donation of a stage to PACE, as part of a range of wider benefits they delivered through their contract.

"We want to work with our contractors to ensure major projects such as the town hall transformation directly help the local community and we are delighted this contract did so.

"Of course the reopened town hall will as a whole benefit the wider area. Not only will it keep this much-loved historic building at the heart of local life for future generations, but the programme of events it will host will bring new footfall into the town day and night, as we are already seeing."

Jenni Mason, Artistic Director of PACE, said:

"We're incredibly grateful to Morrison Construction for their generous in-kind donation of a modular stage system, which we have used to create a tiered seating bank in our pop-up theatre.

"This unique new space has played host to our own youth theatre performances, a range of community projects, the Royal National Mod, and of course our biggest event of the year - the PACE panto!

"Audiences so far have been loving this year's production of Beauty and the Beast, a re-telling of the classic tale which is jam-packed with laughs, music and dancing."

David Ewing, managing director Morrison Construction Scotland Central, said:

"Making a real impact on local communities is at the heart of what we do at Morrison Construction. We were delighted to work with PACE to donate a portable stage which enhances the experience for all the young people involved with the theatre group.

"As the principal contractor on the new Paisley Grammar School Community Campus, Morrison Construction will continue to work with all the stakeholders involved in Renfrewshire to ensure we build on the positive legacy we are creating for local people."

What else is happening?

The town hall was the first of several cultural venue investments currently being delivered by the council to open. That also includes:

  • A new modern home for library services in a formerly-empty unit at the heart of the High Street, which opened in November
  • Transforming Paisley Museum into a world-class visitor attraction that will showcase Renfrewshire's internationally-significant stories and Paisley's world-changing stories
  • An upgrade of and extension to Paisley Arts Centre

As well as being a striking venue for concerts and performances, the town hall will also be available for weddings, conferences and other events. More information on how to hire the venue is on thir website.