Falkirk’s Trust is watching the numbers

Fiona Strickland's exhibition helped increase the Park Gallery admissions
Fiona Strickland's exhibition helped increase the Park Gallery admissions

Attracting sport and art lovers back to Falkirk Community Trust’s facilities is a key challenge in the year ahead.

While attendance at some events and facilities has increased, more areas under- performed, according to a report given to Falkirk Council’s scrutiny committee.

Figures show that from October to December there were eight below-target performances, compared to four in the previous quarter. These included: admissions to the Mariner Centre in Camelon, the Park Gallery in Callendar House, the Bo’ness Hippodrome and Bo’ness Circuit Club.

There were also fewer people booking sport development courses – despite a national upturn in people taking part in sporting activities following last summer’s Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

The report also noted: “Year-to-date performance at the end of the third quarter of 2014-15 is less positive than previous years.”

However, the picture wasn’t all gloom: admissions to Grangemouth Stadium were up 17.8 per cent on the same period in the previous year, despite the running track being closed for replacement works for part of the quarter.

Falkirk Town Hall admissions increased by 18.7 per cent which involved both show/event attendances and conference and meeting use.

Active Schools continued its increase in participant sessions with an 18.5 per cent increase.

Park Gallery admissions remain red flagged for the year but show a 57.1 per cent rise in admissions. This is attributed to the popularity of the ‘Strictly Botanical’ exhibition by Larbert artist Fiona Strickland which ran from November to January.

It also generated income for the Callendar House shop with the licensing of her artwork for use on mugs, notebooks and other merchandise.

One area which has performed even better than anticipated is the Helix with 120,000 visits from October to December and 8000 taking part in the Kelpie Tours.

Falkirk Community Trust operates the sport, leisure and heritage facilities on behalf of the local authority.

Scrutiny committee members agreed to approve the report and acknowledge the progress made by the Trust in delivering its core commitments to the council.