Bainsford community hall once set for demolition plans charity shop

A community hall that was once destined for demolition now has big plans to become a thriving centre at the heart of its community.

By Kirsty Paterson, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 8:51 am

Plans submitted to Falkirk Council show that Bainsford Hall Community Group want to turn one of the hall’s large meeting rooms into a charity shop, whose rent will help make the hall financially sustainable.

They are aware that the building, at the top of David’s Loan, is currently very shabby and so also have plans to give the exterior a fresh, new look.

The long-term aim is that Bainsford Hall – formerly Bainsford Community Centre – will become a valuable asset for the people of Bainsford, Langlees and New Carron and remove the threat of closure that hung over it for so long.

Inside the hall with plans – Joanne Fox, Harry Johnston, Joan Sutherland

The five trustees – who signed a ‘soft lease’ on June 1 – hope that by January they will be in a position to sign a long-term lease for the building.

For now their task is to make the hall financially viable, so they are trying to spread the word that the hall is available to hire for events such as birthday parties.

They are pleased to see that already bookings are starting to fill up. As well as parties, the hall is also used by other local groups and charities to host bingo nights, dance classes and wellbeing groups.

Secretary Joanne Fox said: “The community is getting to know the hall is available again and they are rallying round.”

Pictured outside the hall: Harry Johnston (chair), Joanne Fox (secretary) and Joan Sutherland (treasurer).

The hope is that once financially viable, they will be able to host lots more free events to add to those that are currently being organised by the Corra Foundation.

The charity shop, Hidden Treasures – which was previously on Bainsford’s Main Street – will be run separately to the hall and will provide an income through the rent it pays.

Although the shop was set up by Falkirk Baptist Church it is run independently and most of its profits have always gone to local good causes. They stress that the committee is non-religious and non-political, although they welcome the partnership with Hidden Treasures.

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As well as selling second-hand goods, the charity shop also welcomed people looking for a cup of tea or just somewhere to go and the committee want this to continue.

Chair Harry Johnston said: “We are planning to have a ‘pop-up cafe’ here so people can come along for a cup of tea – and if they can’t afford to make a donation, that’s fine.

“We are also getting tables and chairs for outside so people can sit and watch the world go by.”

The lease will see them take over running the building from Falkirk Council.

They got £190,000 from the council’s Community Choices fund.

Their successful bid means they can redesign the exterior and re-do the kitchen, incorporating the charity shop.

In the future they say the hall needs new, energy efficient heating. That will require grant funding although in the long-term it will reduce the running costs significantly.

Joanne said: “Most of the people who come in have a story to tell – they remember going to discos or majorette classes and so on. There’s a lot of heritage here so we want to keep that going and revitalise it.”

To book the hall, email [email protected]