Closure of Grangemouth Golf Club on trust ‘hit’ list

Grangemouth Golf Course is under threat of closure by Falkirk Community Trust
Grangemouth Golf Course is under threat of closure by Falkirk Community Trust

Grangemouth Golf Course could be closed as part of dramatic moves by Falkirk Community Trust to save money next year.

It is one of six facilities identified in chief executive Maureen Campbell’s latest business plan as being surplus to requirements.

The ‘hit list’ being considered by Falkirk Council also includes the Polmonthill Snowsports Centre next to the clubhouse, Hallglen Sports Centre, Denny Football Centre and two of the district’s eight libraries.

If the closures are agreed, the trust, which is facing a £1.8 million cut in its budget next year, will save £700.000 a year in service costs.

The chief executive says it has been drawn up “reluctantly” and admitted: “We recognise that any loss of service will be unpalatable not only for members but for communities who use and value the services currently available. It is clear that the scale and scope of what we currently provide directly has to be reduced or a new way found to pay for or deliver services.

“The proposal for Grangemouth Golf Course would affect the operations of the golf course and the pavilion, leased by Grangemouth Golf Club. If the trust withdraws from the course the club may need to consider its capacity to sustain activities. Options involving commercial operators or community transfer should be examined.”

Her report says Hallglen Sports Centre is no longer “fit for purpose” and needs £300,000 spent to bring it back to an operational state. Denny Football Centre is not in the best location and another facility that could be offered to the community to run.

The trust has not said which two libraries should close, but suggesting co-location with other trust or council services might be the way forward.

All the proposed closures will be considered in the context of the council’s on-going strategic property review which includes assessing local requirements and maximising the potential for sharing accommodation.

The proposals will be part of the working groups review expected to be put to the council in February and no decision will be taken until then.

The trust report was one part of a wider update to the council on options from officers on the next steps that have to be taken to find £25 million savings next year and £16.4 million in 2019-20.

Yesterday (Wednesday) council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “The all-party working group has continued to work on the budget and the general concensus based on the reaction to the officers proposals contained in the report to full council is encouraging.

“The Westminster austerity policies are biting deep, but we are working very hard to mitigate the effects of the Tory cuts. The proposals put forward by senior officers contains proposals that are totally unacceptable to the administration and every effort is being made to find alternatives.

“Our priority remains to protect the most vulnerable within the community and make investing in people our objective.”