An expert is to be brought in to continue the work of regenerating town centres throughout the district.
Falkirk Council’s strategy has already attracted £34 million of investments and grants. But the work of the independent consultant will strengthen efforts to maximise business opportunities.
Members of the council’s executive heard the work will help boost retail spending and enhance the roles of Falkirk, Grangemouth, Denny, Stenhousemuir and Bo’ness town centre.
A need to update the council’s regeneration strategy has been identified. It will take account of the change in economic conditions, national policy, local circumstances and the success of work to date.
Rhona Geisler, director of development services, admitted that efforts to regenerate Grangemouth had been “a bit more challenging” as the council had so far been unable to take forward any options. Work in Denny was progressing with construction still planned to begin this year. Regeneration of Stenhousemuir has effectively been completed, with the remaining empty units continuing to be marketed.
The executive heard the council is “committed to improving the strength and viability of Falkirk town centre”.
‘Think Falkirk’, a group involving the local authority, retailers and businesses and set up to improve the town centre trading environment, has started work and one of its suggestions, to offer free parking during certain periods, has already been adopted.
Councillor Dennis Goldie, economic development spokesperson, said: “We have achieved a number of notable successes to date and we are continuing to progress our plans in other locations.
“Denny town centre remains the council’s first priority and we also have concerns about Grangemouth, but we are trying to alleviate that.”