Arnotdale set to bloom again

Arnotdale House will be returned to community use thanks to a �1.12 million windfall which will fund further upgrading work
Arnotdale House will be returned to community use thanks to a �1.12 million windfall which will fund further upgrading work

A Falkirk landmark is to be returned to community use thanks to a £1.12 million windfall.

Historic Arnotdale House in Dollar Park has been lying empty for several years.

However, last week the Scottish Government announced Falkirk Council will receive £1,125,547 from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund which supports projects in disadvantaged areas that engage and involve local communities.

Arnotdale House is one of 29 projects across Scotland benefiting from the £25 million funding package.

It was last used as a base for Age Concern locally, but the B-listed building needed over £675,000 of upgrading.

The local authority carried out the repairs, but were unable to find a tenant willing to take on the project.

But now it is to provide accommodation for the Cyrenians charity which works locally and will create a social enterprise with a new café, toilets and sports changing facilities.

Councillor Craig Martin, Falkirk Council leader, said: “We have been awarded £1.12m towards the project, with £450,000 to come from the council’s capital programme and will be working jointly with Cyrenians on the refurbishment of Arnotdale House.

“It’s a very positive step forward for the re-use of the building and complements the work that has been undertaken to restore the Walled Garden and re-open the tennis courts in the park and ensures the building will be in use for years to come.”

Provost Pat Reid said: “This is another good example of partnership working between the council officers and local councillors, the Cyrenians and the Friends of Dollar Park, all taking into account the views of the public.

“Arnotdale and Dollar Park are viewed with great affection by people of all ages who will be delighted by another step in the revival of the facilities.”

Ewan Aitken, Cynerians chief executive: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with Falkirk Council on the Arnotdale Community Hub project, refurbishing this prominent listed building to bring it back into use for the community, while delivering positive social and economic outcomes. This project will create jobs, provide work experience and training opportunities, as well as an expanded base for Cyrenians to deliver services in the Falkirk area.“

The cafe will be on the ground floor, along with meetings space, public toilets and changing facilities, while there will be training space upstairs for the Cynerians.