Decision on HQ and arts centre location on hold until Spring

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No decision on the location of Falkirk Council’s new office headquarters and arts centre will be made until next Spring at the earliest.

A market testing exercise produced five possible options for the council to consider, including redeveloping the Grahamston, Melville Street and Meeks Road area, putting a six storey block on a gap site in Bank Street or building at the East End and regenerating Callendar Square.

Councillors have been told any project has to be part of a broader strategy to regenerate the town centre and be built in partnership. Moving forward on a ‘spend to save basis’ - the previous Labour-led administration’s plan - would make that difficult.

Director of development services Rhona Geisler told the council’s executive the new office and a 500-seat arts centre could cost £30 million, but warned continuing with the “status quo” position is unsustainable.

She said: “The deferred office HQ project is not deliverable as previously proposed. The current revenue budget position and the revisions to building standards reflecting the Scottish Government’s commitment to zero-carbon emissions in public buildings have impacted on the cost of the building and funding package available.”