A DWP spokesperson said: “We have seen, and anticipate further, increases in demand for DWP’s services due to the COVID-19 pandemic and need to be able to serve more customers to provide them with the support they need.
“We can confirm a new temporary site at the former BHS store in Callendar Square Shopping Centre has been identified as suitable space to open a temporary Jobcentre and accommodate experienced and newly recruited Fixed Term Appointment (FTA) Work Coaches to deliver services to our customers approximately three to four months from now.”
The planning application to change the use of the site – which has lying empty since BHS closed down four years ago – was lodged with Falkirk Council on December 16 last year and was granted under delegated powers on February 25.
The store closed its doors for good back in summer 2016 – one of the 30 branches of the stricken high street brand which shut down throughout the UK – with 20 members of staff in Falkirk losing their jobs after administrators failed to find a buyer for the entire business.
Last year there were discussions about turning the BHS store into an “artisan food hub”, with Callendar Square Shopping Centre owners Cygnet Properties and Leisure PLC stating several parties had shown an interest in the possibility.