Falkirk businesswoman gifts church to arts group

FDACC's Robert Tait and Amanda Louise Clark at Erskine Church which will become a new arts hub. Picture: Craig Halkett

FDACC's Robert Tait and Amanda Louise Clark at Erskine Church which will become a new arts hub. Picture: Craig Halkett

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A benevolent businesswoman has gifted a historic Falkirk building to an arts group to ensure it’s used for the benefit of the community.

The amazing gift was given to Falkirk and District Arts and Civic Council (FDACC) as long as they run the former Erskine Church as a centre to help arts and drama groups and the wider community of Falkirk.

The group has long dreamed of running its own arts centre that could be used by members for rehearsals, exhibitions and workshops.

Officials were stunned by the call offering them the church.

The mystery buyer wishes to stay anonymous.

The building became surplus to requirements when the Erskine congregation joined Falkirk Old and St Modan’s Parish Church to become Falkirk Trinity earlier this year.

It’s not known how much was paid for the church but formalities for the lease to be signed over to FDACC are currently being processed and the group is busy making plans for an exciting future for Falkirk’s arts scene.

Chairperson Agnes Mullen said: “The owner of the building wants to stay anonymous at this point but for her to do this shows a big heart, it’s an amazing thing for us and the Falkirk community.

“The owner’s family has a connection with the church which is why she wanted it to continue to be used by the community and for the community, which is exactly what we want. She actually called us with the offer. We are very excited about it.”

In order to meet running costs, the group will also lease out the venue for charity events and functions organised by groups or individuals.

CHURCH HISTORY

Erskine Church’s congregation dates back to 1733 when Rev. Ebeneezer Erskine of Stirling and a group of like-minded Ministers led a breakaway from the established Church of Scotland

In 1866 the name Erskine was added in honour of the founder

Sunday congregations in the mid-1800s were said to exceed 1200

In 1905 the old building was replaced by the one in Hodge Street (Source: Ian Scott)