New plans for Falkirk's former BHS store

A planning application has been lodged to change the use of the massive former British Home Stores premises in Falkirk’s Callendar Square.

By James Trimble
Monday, 28th December 2020, 10:37 am
Updated Monday, 28th December 2020, 10:45 am

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) is looking to convert the site – which has been vacant since BHS closed down four years ago – from a shop into offices. They

lodged the change of use application with Falkirk Council on December 16 and it is now awaiting decision.

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.

BHS closed its doors for good back in summer 2016 and now the DWP plans to turn the site into offices

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.

The downfall of BHS came to a head when Sir Philip Green, who purchased the chain for £200 million in 2000, sold the already struggling business to bankrupt Dominic Chappell in March in 2015 for £1 and it collapsed shortly afterwards.

Earlier this year businesses in Callendar Square were told the shopping centre was on the brink of shutting and they would be offered help to find new premises by Cygnet Properties and Leisure.

However, it was stated Karim Virani, director of Cygnet Properties and Leisure, talks were ongoing with someone looking to take over the cente which could mean certain firms will be able to keep their doors open.

Callendar Square Car Park was taken over by a new property group in September.

Number plate recognition technology has now been removed, following a previous “unfair” system, while weekly and monthly passes will cost £10 and £30 respectively.

Attendants were also introduced to patrol the car park.

Earlier this year John Jamieson, Callendar Square business development manager, said: “People were getting fines through an unfair car park system which wasn’t fit for purpose.

“It’s now impossible to get a fine because there’s no number plate recognition technology.”