Falkirk Steeple getting facelift

Restoration work will start on the Steeple this month and will last for 39 weeks. Picture: Michael Gillen
Restoration work will start on the Steeple this month and will last for 39 weeks. Picture: Michael Gillen

Specialist restoration work on Falkirk’s historic Steeple costing £748,000 will begin this month and will last for the best part of a year.

Situated in the heart of High Street, the iconic landmark which stands at around 140-feet has dominated the town’s skyline since the 16th century – the current one being the third one built 200 years ago.

The work is part of Falkirk’s town centre’s £5.6 million Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) that aims to help regeneration by restoring, repairing and preserving the town’s heritage features and historic buildings to create a more attractive streetscape, boost business and encourage more visitors, residents, services and retailers to the area.

The work will include repairs to stonework, renovation work to clock faces, mechanisms and bells, refurbishment and replacement of timber sash and case windows, louvers, screens and doors, repair and decoration of timber components panels and weather vane.

The two original cells located in the building will also benefit from restorative work with £443,000 of the funding for the project coming from the Heritage lottery Fund’s THI.

Pete Reid, Falkirk Council’s growth and investment manager, said: “The Falkirk Steeple is a real local treasure and this project symbolises what we want to achieve in the regeneration of Falkirk – the preservation of the town’s remarkable history, placing heritage at the centre of everyday living, while providing a major economic boost for the town.”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “The Steeple is part of Falkirk’s roots and a prominent historic landmark in the town. Thanks to the THI programme, it will now have a new lease of life. This is an exciting step forward in the area’s on-going transformation.”

Surrounding commercial premises and shops will be trading as usual during the critical restoration works. The council say that while disturbance is inevitable, every possible measure will be taken to lessen the impact of the project to everyday movement around the site and access to the shops.

The Steeple box office has now re-located to The Falkirk Stadium ahead of the restoration works and will not re-open at the site. Tickets for shows can be purchased in person, by calling (01324) 506850 or at www.falkirkcommunitytrust.org.