A YOUTH theatre company has cancelled its annual panto for the second year in a row.

Rennovations at Paisley Arts Centre have been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic which means PACE Youth Theatre cannot have their Christmas show this year. The troupe has held the panto there for almost 30 years.

PACE is known for nurturing new talent and stars such as James McAvoy and Richard Madden have passed through their doors in recent years.

In a statement, the company's Chief Executive, Grant Mason said: "After careful consideration, we must reluctantly confirm that there will be no PACE Theatre Company panto for Christmas 2021.

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“Regrettably, there are a number of factors that mean it is not viable for us to produce our annual panto this year. Paisley Arts Centre, our home venue for more than 30 years, is currently undergoing a £2.8m redevelopment and due to delays resulting from the pandemic, will not re-open for December 2021 as originally expected. 

"Coupled with the ongoing impact of the pandemic and the uncertainty about any future restrictions, we feel the risks are too great to commit to staging a production this year."

Last Christmas PACE held an online show, but revealed this would not be feasible. They added: “Neither do we have plans for an online panto alternative at this time. Last year’s “Lost in Pantoland” was made possible with support from an emergency arts relief fund and without this additional funding the model is not sustainable.”

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and we understand that many people will be disappointed. Our annual pantomime is a highlight of the year for many people, as it is for us, but we’re looking forward to being able to come back bigger and better next year.

“As a registered charity, we are hugely dependent on ticket sales to subsidise the work we do with young people throughout the year. Over 95% of our income comes from ticket sales and fees, meaning that we have been especially hard hit during the pandemic, and the loss of panto from our schedule for a second year running will leave a massive hole in our funds."

They have now issued a plea for donations. Anyone wising to do so can visit here.