A ground-breaking project that transformed a former Perth primary school into a hub for artists and creative businesses has won a prestigious award.
Perth Creative Exchange was named Regeneration Project of the Year at the Scottish Property Awards 2021, having been one of eight projects shortlisted for the honour.
The £4.5 million project in Stormont Street, Perth, was launched by Perth and Kinross Council and Wasps Artists’ Studios and, as well as giving artists and businesses a place to work, it has been described as “an innovation space for start-ups”.
The former St John’s Primary RC has 26 studio spaces and 13 workspaces along with its own gallery and learning space, and has been populated with artists ranging from illustrators to jewellery makers.
The facility also supports creative and digital business innovation within the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre which was funded by a £500,000 donation from Edrington, makers of Famous Grouse whisky.
Perth and Kinross Council invested £3.5 million in the project, while further investment of £150,000 was received from the Gannochy Trust and £100,000 from the Community Investment Fund.
Perth and Kinross Council interim chief executive Barbara Renton said: “We are delighted Perth Creative Exchange has been recognised with this award.
“Not only has it brought a derelict building back into use, Perth Creative Exchange provides a real boost to our creative economy, providing affordable space for artists and makers from Perth and Kinross and across Scotland to work.”
St John’s had been founded in 1864 and had moved to the Stormont Street building by 1938.
Pupils moved to the North Inch Community Campus in late 2011, leaving the iconic city centre building vacant.
Wasps chief executive officer Audrey Carlin added: “This award is testament to the collaborative partnership approach to regeneration led by Perth and Kinross Council, working closely with Wasps, alongside a range of stakeholders and funders, to successfully deliver a creative, economic legacy in the heart of Perth City Centre.
“Perth Creative Exchange is already home to a community of artists and makers who, along with creative industries, a café, meeting space, an innovation space, workshops and events space, is breathing new life into a derelict former school building.”