Perth Creative Exchange has been named Regeneration Project of the Year at the Scottish Property Awards on Thursday 25th March 2021.
The Creative Exchange is a £4.5million partnership between Perth & Kinross Council and Wasps Studios and was one of eight projects shortlisted for the award.
Interim Chief Executive of Perth and Kinross Council, 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.”
The building was once St John’s School which lay unoccupied for a decade. It was transformed into the Creative Exchange and opened in 2020 by Dennis Melloy, Provost of Perth & Kinross.
It runs over three floors and provides 26 studio spaces for artists and designers as well as 13 workspaces for creative and cultural enterprises.
It also houses its own gallery, The Gannochy Project Space and The Forteviot Charitable Trust community workshop/learning space.
The facility also supports creative and digital business innovation within the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre supported by the contribution from Edrington, makers of the Famous Grouse whisky.
Liberal Democrat Perth City Centre councillor Peter Barrett said: “It is great that the Creative exchange won Regeneration Project of the Year and thoroughly deserved too.
“The old St John’s Primary had lain empty for almost 10 years and had been ransacked during that time to the point of dereliction.
“It has now been transformed to create an exciting mix of 26 WASPS studios and 13 workspaces.”
Perth SNP Perth City Centre councillor, Andrew Parrott said: “The Perth Creative Exchange project has given new life to an old primary school building and I was delighted to hear that it has won the Regeneration Project of the Year Award at the Scottish Property Awards.
“That was becoming an empty eyesore building in this corner of the city has been well and truly brought back to life with benefits both for its occupants and the surrounding community.
“It is a pity that the pandemic has had so much impact since the Creative Exchange opened but I am sure it will bounce back once the pandemic restrictions are eased.”
Elevator’s Business Gateway services, Culture Perth & Kinross and the University of the Highlands & Islands – Perth College are also partners in the success of the project.
Wasps Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Carlin said: “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.”
The Exchange holds a firm ethos of supporting the local community. Over 80% of their operatives are from the local area and awareness raised of careers in construction.
Additionally, donations have been made of football strips to a local team and tables and chairs to a local nursery.
The facility is able to support over sixty jobs and generate just under £1 million in wages into the local economy.