Falkirk’s Arnotdale House to have new use

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After lying empty for seven years, a plan to breathe new life into Arnotdale House in Falkirk’s Dollar Park, has been approved.

Cyrenians, a charity based in Bathgate, will transform the B-listed building back into a centrepiece of the community, creating a café, events and meeting space as well as office accommodation to generate income.

Work experience and volunteering opportunities will also be on offer at the house which was last used as a base for Age Concern.

The proposals were discussed at Falkirk Council’s executive meeting on Tuesday.

Rhona Geisler, director of development services, said: “Arnotdale House has been vacant for some time and has fallen into disrepair.

“Restoration works have already taken place at the walled garden in Dollar Park. I hope you will agree this is a very worthwhile endeavour.”

The council will lease the building to the Cyrenians, a charity with more than 50 years experience, for £10,000 per year.

They support people excluded from family, home, work or the community.

Council leader, Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, said: “It is good to get an updated report. I am really pleased to see how the project is progressing.

“Work already completed at Dollar Park is bringing value to the area. Had it not been for Cyrenians we would have struggled to find a practical use for this building.

“It gives us the opportunity to bring the building back to life. It demonstrates partnership within the third sector.”

It is hoped the project will reconnect the community with Arnotdale House, the walled garden and promote Dollar Park as a central focal point.

As well as providing work experience and job opportunities to those living in deprived areas, Cyrenians want to help individuals on a community payback order back to work.

Residents and tourists will be able to enjoy public space through the restoration of the building and the walled garden.