Its arrival may have been greeted with reservations in some quarters, but one year on those heading Falkirk Community Trust believe it is on track to deliver.
Formed in July 2011 to take responsibility for management and running a range of former Falkirk Council services, including libraries, sport, recreation, arts and heritage, the charitable body and not-for-profit organisation believes it has cleared the initial hurdle.
In its first annual report, trust chairman Ian Scott reflects on a “busy and fulfilling year” which saw:
Nearly one million admissions to sports centres and swimming pools.
Over one million issues from libraries.
Nearly 700,000 young people taking part in programmes, classes and workshops.
Sport development classes 20 per cent above estimates.
An 11 per cent increase in activities such as drama and dance.
Nine per cent above target for Grangemouth Stadium visits and five per cent above for Kinneil Museum in Bo’ness.
He said: “This has been a terrific first year performance by everyone concerned and we are very encouraged by the feedback we’ve received from users and the public in general about how we are approaching the development of our services.
“We firmly believe our success has been due to the efforts of all our staff, our ongoing strong relationship with Falkirk Council, as well as other partners that allow us to deliver our services.”
The trust was set up to initially generate saving of around £1 million annually on non-domestic rates and VAT, as well as accessing forms of funding not open to the council.
It employs around 500 staff in over 80 locations and has an annual turnover of £17 million. The council provides over £9.35 million in funding, while around £3 million is generated from income.
All the properties run by the trust are still owned by the council, including Callendar House, Falkirk Town Hall, Bo’ness Hippodrome and Grangemouth Stadium.
Trust chief executive Maureen Campbell, formerly the council’s director of community services, highlighted the importance of partnerships in the coming years. She said: “Working in collaboration and partnership with the council and other stakeholders is crucial to achieving our aims and objectives and to tackle the many challenges that lie ahead.”
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