A youth charity has unveiled ambitious plans to radically redesign a derelict Perth city centre church.
Striking new images released by YMCA Tayside that show how the 130-year-old St Andrew’s and St Stephen’s building will be transformed into a £3.7 million state-of-the-art headquarters.
Computer-generated models, designed by the charity’s Y Media team, show a vibrant multi-purpose space at the heart of the development.
The charity said its Y Centre building will become a flagship youth space for the city, designed by and for young people, while incorporating flexibility for social distancing.
Designs include space for retail, a workshop and media suite to enhance the charity’s social enterprise work.
The central space features a changeable area that can be used for personal development courses, employment training and drop-in sessions. The Y Centre will also have sections that can be used by the community, or private and third sector organisations for a range of conferences, meetings and events.
There will be a large kitchen for young people to learn valuable life skills, whilst gaining accreditation, and an outdoor courtyard with raised beds for herbs and vegetables.
Youth Voice, the YMCA’s youth ambassador group, has been involved in the initial design and is now researching interior design, colour schemes, lighting and furnishings.
Jill McGrath, Chief Executive of YMCA Tayside, said: “It’s crucial that we have young people involved at every stage of this development, we are great believers in doing things by and with young people and not to and for them.”
YMCA Tayside bought the C-listed church in December 2000, and had originally considered demolishing it. But its latest plans will instead convert the church into a base over three floors, with four residential flats to support young people moving from supported accommodation to independent living.
The project has received a £1.5 million award from the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, as well as £1 million from the Gannochy Trust, £250,000 from the Robertson Trust and another £250,000 from the Northwood Charitable Trust.
Ms McGrath said: “Since changing the direction of the project to retain the building and make full use of the space for YMCA Tayside we have been amazed at the enthusiasm and encouragement we have received.
“We are extremely grateful for the generous grants committed but also for the continuing support and guidance given to help bring this project to fruition.”
Joanna McCreadie, CEO of The Gannochy Trust added: “We are delighted to support YMCA Tayside in the creation of what will be a fantastic facility for young people in Perth.
“The new centre will provide new and exciting opportunities, as well as enhancing the health and wellbeing of our young people.”
YMCA Tayside, established in 1995, works with more than 300 young people each year, helping them with personal development and employment, amongst other goals.