Decision day as Falkirk councillors study list of buildings set to close

A long-awaited report looking at the future for all council-owned property in Falkirk will be the beginning of the end for several buildings in the district.

The Strategic Property Review will come before councillors tomorrow (Tuesday), after consultation with several community groups.

The council report is taking stock of all council properties with the aim of getting rid of those that are old, and too expensive to run and maintain.

The aim is to have fewer buildings in better condition - which will also help the council meet its climate targets - and to make more use of facilities in schools in particular.

Hallglen Sports Centre (Pic: Michael Gillen)

Several closures have already been agreed as part of plans to build a replacement town hall and council headquarters and refurbish council-owned offices in Larbert and at Falkirk Stadium.

That will mean the closure of the Municipal Buildings, Abbotsford House, the social work office in Camelon, Sealock House in Grangemouth, Denny Town House and The Forum in Callendar Park.

Hallglen Sports Centre, which closed controversially when its heating failed, is also on the list.

Others that are being considered - but not yet approved - include Queen Street Nursery, Victoria Buildings and the Outdoor Education Base, Stewart Road; and the former Sign Factory, all in Falkirk.

Falkirk Council Municipal Buildings (Pic: Michael Gillen)

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Grangemouth buildings include the Museum Workshop, the Finance Store and Zetland bothy.

Several buildings will not close, but they will be transferred to communities themselves to run for a more "cost-effective" delivery model.

While this has happened successfully in some community halls, concerns have been raised at how this would work for large buildings such as Bo'ness and Grangemouth town halls.

People consulted highlighted how important community halls have been during the Covid-19 pandemic and also raised fears that many of the buildings are in poor condition and will need a lot of work to maintain

The report stresses that many of the actions that are being put forward will need wider and more detailed consultation on individual properties.

Councillors will discuss the report at a full meeting of Falkirk Council tomorrow.

It is being held online and livestreamed on YouTube.

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