A new name but Falkirk ambitions aren’t limited

The team receive the accreditation
The team receive the accreditation

A new name but the aim is the same – to promote Falkirk and its surrounding towns.

Business people joined with district officials to mark the end of Falkirk and District Town Centre Management and the launch of Falkirk Towns Limited.

The event at Callendar House on Tuesday highlighted the work carried out by the town centre team, which also manages Falkirk’s Business Improvement District (BID).

After 22 years, it will now operate under the Falkirk Delivers banner.

Paying tribute as he prepared to step down from the town centre management board after 15 years, cycle shop owner Linton Smith said: “The new company is extremely fit for purpose and there is a great deal of experience in its pedigree. Many of the BID management group will be transferring to the new board.

“This is business people giving up their own time to the benefit of our home town.”

The new board members are: Elliot Jardine, McDonalds; Brian Flynn, Behind the Wall; Brian Peat, First Scotland East; Richard Johnston, Johnston Butchers; Suzanne Arkinson, Howgate; Euan Walker, Asda; Bill McDonald, Denny Engraving; Colin Hume, The Falkirk Herald; Rhona Geisler, Falkirk Council; and Councillor Allyson Black, Falkirk Council.

Mr Smith added: “Everyone is aware of the troubles town centres are having and the challenges we face. The reality is town centres have to evolve and that has to happen fairly quickly.

“It’s not just all about retail: there has to be more business use, more recreational, more residential and more tourism. There also has to be a more joined up approach between the public and private sector, as well as politicians, acknowledging how important town centres are to communities.”

Alastair Mitchell, town centre manager, then highlighted the work carried out to promote the area and make it a more vibrant place for people to work and spend their recreational time.

Falkirk was one of Scotland’s first Business Improvement District areas in 2008, and the first in the country to receive backing from the business community for another five years of paying a levy to take forward projects to enhance the town centre.

Initiatives carried out by the BID include everything from the hiring of taxi marshalls and street ambassadors to supplying hanging baskets and bins for chewing gum.

Mr Mitchell said: “We will receive around £200,000 annually for five years and are also very grateful for all the support we get from Falkirk Council.”

New initiatives planned for 2013 include working in partnership with Business Advisory to try to reduce power costs for members, a Stenhousemuir charities day, a Denny garden project and a week-long arts project.

Falkirk BID also received its accreditation from BID Scotland to mark all the work it has done.