Opinion: Give us a venue in Falkirk fit for purpose that we can all make use of

It was a strange but welcome return to watching live theatre this week. For the first time in over two years I found myself sitting in a crowded auditorium ready to be entertained.

Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 7:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th February 2022, 8:02 pm

As we waited for the curtain to go up I realised how much life had changed in 24 months.

Where a trip to the theatre, albeit on this occasion Falkirk Town Hall, the cinema or another indoor venue had been something I’d previously taken for granted, it was now something to be considered.

Whoever said that leaving the house the mental checklist was now “purse, keys, mask” was correct.

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The performance was excellent and all involved should be applauded for all their efforts. However, what it did reinforce was the need for a better arts venue in Falkirk.

Falkirk Town Hall has had very little love since it was first built over 50 years ago.

There’s been upgraded seating installed but the facilities in and around the stage appear to have changed little in recent decades.

Indeed, my only minor criticism of Tuesday night’s performance was that on occasions the band was too loud, drowning out the voices of the young performers.

Now whether that had anything to do with the town hall acoustics or the PA system I’m not sure but I would hazard a guess that the current set-up didn’t help things.

Over the years Falkirk has attracted some big names to the town hall but that’s not happening now and we’re told it’s all to do with the lack of facilities within the building.

Years ago, a perfectly good theatre was knocked down along with Callendar Park teacher training college and in more recent times, the district missed an opportunity for an arts centre in the new Forth Valley College campus in Falkirk.

An arts centre is not just for so-called luvvies, it’s a venue where people of all ages can go to be entertained and to take part in activities that will give them enjoyment and even help their mental health and wellbeing.

We need to look closely at opportunities offered and grasp them if we can.

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