Plans to convert Erskine Church into Falkirk arts centre dropped

The former church has recently been renamed Erskine Community Halls''Picture: Michael Gillen
The former church has recently been renamed Erskine Community Halls''Picture: Michael Gillen
0
Have your say

Disappointed members of community art groups have been forced to turn down the offer of a new centre.

The former Erskine Church was to be a base for organisations affiliated to Falkirk Arts and Civic Council.

It had been purchased by a mystery benefactor in November last year after a union between the congregation and Falkirk Old and St Modan’s, leading to the formation of Trinity Church.

The woman, whose family had links with Erskine Church, had offered the building to the arts group for a “nominal” fee.

However, it is understood the rent and upkeep costs of the century-old property were prohibitive.

Now a question mark hangs over the future of the town centre building.

Agnes Mullen, chairperson of the arts and civic council, said: “Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford the rent being asked and have had to withdraw from negotiations.

“Members are very disappointed by this development which occurred a couple of months ago. However, we are still actively looking for alternative premises.”

She added the organisation was looking for premises to use for rehearsals, performances and meetings.

The mystery buyer of the former church has always wanted to stay anonymous but is understood to live abroad.

In recent weeks, a sign has appeared outside the building in Hodge Street saying ‘Erskine Community Hall’.

Councillor John Patrick, who until last year was an elder in Erskine Church, said: “The building could be a great community asset. However, there is no getting away from the fact that the upkeep is onerous.”