More information sought before Arnotdale decision

The future of Arnotdale House is still to be settled
The future of Arnotdale House is still to be settled
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Councillors want more information before they decide on the long-term future of a historic house that was gifted to the people of Falkirk.

Arnotdale House, situated within Dollar Park, is currently being marketed by Falkirk Council.

The local authority has already spent around £675,000 upgrading the B-listed building and ensuring it was wind and watertight.

Last week, members of Falkirk Council discussed in private a proposal from a business keen to locate to the property. However, a recently-formed group has already put forward a proposal to turn it into a business and cultural centre promoting Robert Dollar, the philanthropist who gifted the house and the 11 acres surrounding it to the people of Falkirk.

A spokesperson for the Robert Dollar Commemorative 
Association said it was keen to discover how the local authority came to be the custodian for Arnotdale.

They said: “Many people were outraged by the closure of Arnotdale House.

“Many also wanted to know about those who had fiduciary trust to maintain the property and why, beginning at some time after the 1960s, they 
allowed it to fall into such a disgraceful state of ruin.”

The last group to use the house was Age Concern Falkirk but when the building no longer met health and safety standards, members were forced to relocate.

Douglas Duff, the council’s head of economic development, said: “We have marketed this property for some considerable period of time.

“A business has approached us indicating an interest and has put forward a proposal. Councillors have now asked for more details and officers will report back to them in due course.”

Arnotdale House was built in 1832 and at one time was home to Robert Barr of the Irn-Bru company before being acquired by Robert Dollar.