A former Perth city centre church will be given a new lease of life when it reopens as an outdoor performance space next month.
Built in 1807, St Paul’s Church will officially reopen in June, more than three decades after it last closed its doors.
The B-listed building was bought by Perth and Kinross Council in January 2017 amid plans to restore it back into public use.
As part of the £2.2 million project, features including the crenelated wall head and bartizans have been restored.
Meanwhile, the building’s octagonal shape has been retained with the steeple and clock having been repaired.
The church’s roof has been removed to create a “distinctive” outdoor public arts and performance space.
This will play a huge part in our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”
Councillor Murray Lyle
Perth and Kinross Council leader Councillor Murray Lyle said: “This project will return St Paul’s Church to its rightful place as a Perth landmark.
“After the church was closed in 1986, it fell into a state of disrepair and several plans to convert it fell by the wayside.
“The council stepped in and our investment has not only restored the building but transformed an eyesore into a new civic space that all of Perth can be proud of.”
He added: “It not only ends decades of neglect, it will also complement the cultural and events spaces in Mill Street, Perth Theatre and, once completed, Perth City Hall.
“Perth is becoming an increasingly vibrant place to live and work and this will play a huge part in our recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.”
Available for public use
Despite repeated efforts over a number of years, no viable use for the building was found.
The church became increasingly dangerous, with council bosses saying it harmed the appearance of a “prime” High Street location as it deteriorated.
The open air venue will be available for public use and can host events during the day and evening.
Council bosses say the space will be suitable for events such as concerts, performances and markets.