Creative Exchange granted planning permission

Planning permission has been granted of the internal works to allow the transformation of the former St John's Primary School into the Creative Exchange.

The building, which closed in 2011, will be completely transformed into a mix of office space and artist studio space where those working in the creative industries will be able to establish themselves with a base of operations and be able to grow their business.

The Creative Exchange will also be home to the Famous Grouse Ideas Centre which will be used as a hub of innovation and inspiration.

Once construction is complete, the centre will feature 26 studio spaces; 13 office spaces; a public cafe and exhibition and workshop space for the local community.  

Construction is due to begin in early 2018, with the Creative Exchange expected to be open for business in early 2019.  Once open the Creative Exchange will be managed on behalf of the Council by WASPS.

A second planning application looking at the external features of the former school building will be submitted to the Council for consideration in due course.  This application will include a new entrance, the approach from Stormont Street and external areas. 

Councillor Colin Stewart, Convener of the Council's Environment, Enterprise & Infrastructure Committee, said: "The Creative Exchange receiving planning permission for the first stage of the construction works is a big step forward in the delivery of this important project.  The work will transform the old school building into a facility that will be a unique prospect for those who work in the creative industries.  When it opens in 2019, it will be a centre piece of our ambition to enhance the reputation of Perth as a cultural hub for Scotland, along with the other developments that will make up our cultural quarter."

WASPS Chief Executive Officer, Audrey Carlin said: "Receiving planning permission is a significant milestone for Perth Creative Exchange and we are really excited about moving this project forward with Perth & Kinross Council.  We have identified a distinct need for creative office and workspace in Perth and are looking forward to bringing our service to the thriving creative community that is currently based within the City and wider region.

"In particular, Perth Creative Exchange will retain talent in the city and will provide new opportunities for the 650 students at University of the Highlands and Islands / Perth College who undertake creative courses each year, helping them to establish their careers in the City.

"This project will develop Perth's cultural offer and support community access to the arts and cultural learning."