Facelift project in Falkirk moving ahead

Upper Newmarket Street is the latest target for the THI teams
Upper Newmarket Street is the latest target for the THI teams

The £5.5 million investment programme to repair and protect Falkirk Town Centre’s oldest buildings is continuing.

Last month a £750,000 spend to give the famous Steeple a face-lift was completed.

Now work on four other major projects is underway with another five due to start before the end of the year.

The ambitious Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) being backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Environment Scotland, Falkirk Council and Falkirk BID aims to regenerate the area by investing in its unique heritage.

In 2013 funding was announced to:

* Repair and restore historic buildings;

* Return shopfronts to their traditional design;

* Bring historic floorspace back into use;

* Provide training and job opportunities linked to conservation of traditional buildings.

The most obvious spend so far has probably been on The Steeple in the High Street, but an army of workmen are now busy tackling upgrades on other properties, notably at Upper Newmarket Street and Kirk Wynd.

Peter Reid, manager of Falkirk Council’s growth and investment unit which is co-ordinating the THI programme, said: “Significant works to key buildings are being undertaken. Three priority projects have been completed so far, four are underway and another five about to commence.

“This is in addition to the completion of 15 small to medium projects already, the 14 more pending and the schedule of improvements to roads and pavements also anticipated to start this year.

“Our heritage engagement officer has been working with local community groups, organising exhibitions on the history of Falkirk’s built heritage, working with Falkirk Local History Society to publish educational literature for our schools and raising awareness of best conservation practicv and planning legislation requirements by running workshops and training sessions for homeowners, contractors and professionals.”