Closure threat to centres across Falkirk district

Hallglen Sports Centre is one of the centres under threat of closure. Picture: Michael Gillen

Hallglen Sports Centre is one of the centres under threat of closure. Picture: Michael Gillen

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Cost-cutting moves could see the closure of community sports and leisure facilities and the loss of up to 60 jobs.

Falkirk Community Trust has produced its budget proposal for 2016/17 which will now go to Falkirk Council for approval.

But facing a £1.2 million reduction in funding from the 
local authority – an even bigger cut than anticipated, officials and board members said they have been forced to look at trimming the service.

Proposals include:

•Closing Grangemouth Town Hall

•Closing Hallglen Sports Centre

•Closing Denny Football Centre

•Closing Woodlands Game Hall to all but Comely Park School

•Cutting opening hours at Callendar House

•Reducing opening hours at Grangemouth Sports 
Centre crèche

•Reducing football classes.

Trust chief executive Maureen Campbell said: “Until now, despite reductions in our funding, we have been able to maintain services because we have increased our income by 46 per cent. It’s not something we want to do but something we must do to meet our targets.

“We believe that despite these regrettable reductions, the Falkirk community will continue to have access to excellent culture and leisure activities across the whole district.”

Ian Scott, trust chairman, said: “The board and management have spent hours preparing a raft of different proposals. No-one wants to see closures but we must look at the services we offer that have the potential to grow income.”

Although no libraries will close, staff numbers will be reduced and the mobile library service will end. However, the homebound library service will continue.

Councillor Craig Martin, council leader, said his administration would be briefed next week on the proposal.

He said: “Unfortunately, we are now beginning to sow the seeds of the horrendous cuts imposed on the public sector and in particular, local government, since 2008.”

The SNP group has questioned why the proposed cuts were revealed by The Falkirk Herald online earlier this week.

Hallglen councillor Colin Chalmers said: “It was most disconcerting to learn of this from the local press rather than from council officials.”

Falkirk Community Trust was set up four years ago to run cultural, sporting and leisure services on behalf of the 
council.