It is also looking at increasing the hours the booking line operates for to cope with the demand after scores of disappointed customers have been trying in vain to get through to the Glasgow Road facility via phone and online.
One frustrated customer stated: “It’s without any word of exaggeration when I say that the Mariner Centre phone lines are making me want to greet. All of them are either ringing out or telling me that the booking line is closed – which it shouldn’t be.
"I’ve literally been trying all day.”
Another said: “I can’t get through to the Mariner Centre to book online. I need one table for two kids, both members. I’m paying out membership but not able to get any slots.”
A FCT spokesperson said: “We can confirm the Mariner Centre has been receiving an increased number of calls from customers trying to book activities. Unfortunately our telephone system has come under increased pressure with the volume of people trying to get through, and as a result this can cause customers to be disconnected occasionally, or hear a message stating the line is closed at peak times.
"We have reported this fault to BT to investigate. We apologise for any inconvenience this is causing our customers, and we are appreciative of their patience while we work towards a solution.
“In the interim period and to cope with the increased demand, we have created a dedicated bookings line at the Mariner Centre that is staffed with a team ready to book in customers for activities.
"To further address these concerns we will be looking to extend the opening hours of the bookings line to give customers a longer period to make reservations each day with telephone bookings now being taken at the Mariner Centre from 9am today.
“We wish to thank our customers for their support and look forward to welcoming even more of the community back to our facilities as restrictions relax and building capacities are able to increase.”
It was a different story at the start of June when the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions paved the way for youngsters’ leisure activities and the Mariner Centre’s Great Mariner Reef soft play was one of the most popular places to go after the move into level one.
The centre itself will not be under FCT control for much longer.
At a meeting of Falkirk Council last month, members agreed a new structure which will see the FCT’s functions split into three of the council's directorates.
Culture, arts, museums and parks will move to the newly formed Place division, while libraries will move under the umbrella of Housing and Communities and responsibility for sport and leisure – including the Mariner Centre – will be handed over to Children’s Services.
It is expected that work to transfer all services will be completed by April 1, 2022.