DWP confirms temporary job centre in Falkirk's former BHS store opens in summer
In only a matter of weeks people will be able to take advantage of the services and support provided by a new – albeit temporary – job centre in Falkirk’s High Street.
The town’s existing job centre in Wellside Place will be joined by a new facility in the former BHS store in Callendar Square shopping centre over the summer.
A DWP spokesperson said: “We are setting up temporary job centres during 2021 to deal with increased demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The new job centres will provide services across the country where they are needed.
"They will increase capacity to provide tailored face-to-face support in a COVID-secure environment and help support more people back into work and progress into new roles.
“The new temporary site in Falkirk will be opened in summer.”
The planning application to change the use of the site – which had been 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.
At the time the DWP stated: “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 job centre and accommodate experienced and newly recruited Fixed Term Appointment (FTA) Work Coaches to deliver services to our customers.”
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.