Falkirk Council: Councillors agree to £1 lease of ground for footballing charity

A footballing charity that intends to build a new changing hub on land behind Falkirk Stadium will be able to lease the land for £1 a year.
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Members of Falkirk Council’s executive agreed that the 25-year lease would help the work of Falkirk Foundation – a charity that works in partnership with Falkirk Football Club.

The footballing charity, which also operates Woodlands Community Sports Hall, aims to help children and adults to live “happier, healthier lives” through its community football programmes which have a particular focus on improving mental health and well-being.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Foundation’s current facilities include a 4G pitch at the rear of the stadium which has toilets but no changing or shower facilities.

Falkirk Council has agreed to rent out unused land at the rear of Falkirk Stadium for £1 per year. Pic: SubmittedFalkirk Council has agreed to rent out unused land at the rear of Falkirk Stadium for £1 per year. Pic: Submitted
Falkirk Council has agreed to rent out unused land at the rear of Falkirk Stadium for £1 per year. Pic: Submitted

Members heard that the lack of appropriate changing facilities mean that the pitch is not being used to its full potential and in particular is restricting the development of women’s football locally.

The new hub, which will be in a modular building, will have two classrooms, office space, changing facilities and showers.

Once in place, it will be open seven days a week from 8am to 10pm.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillors were told that granting the lease would enable the Foundation to unlock £720,000 from the Scottish FA’s Department of Culture, Media, Sport Levelling Up Fund allocation, EB Scotland, and sportscotland.

The report also stated that the 787.50m2 piece of land, which is owned by Falkirk Council, is currently unused and there has been no other interest in the area.

If the land was to be let commercially, the income to Falkirk Council is estimated at £1,950 but members heard that the community benefit was felt to outweigh any commercial value.

Members agreed to go ahead with the 25-year Community Benefit Lease of the land on a full repairing and insuring basis to help the Foundation put its plans in place.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

SNP councillor Paul Garner, spokesperson for economic development, said this was a good example of partnership that makes the best use of Falkirk Council’s assets.

He said he was confident it would deliver many benefits to the community, including “physical health, mental health, inclusive access to sport for all ages, gender and ability”.

He added: “The effects are immeasurable on individuals, families and the whole community; getting kids off the street, giving them some structure and stability, building community spirit and pride.”

Labour councillor Euan Stainbank also supported using the land for such a positive proposal and he too praised the work of the Foundation.

He said: “I think the community benefit is as clear as the gap Falkirk currently have at the top of the League 1 table.”