Gateway project bringing hotel, retail, leisure and homes to Falkirk moves step closer
Ambitious plans to develop an area of vacant land between Falkirk and Grangemouth continue to move forward.
The Falkirk Gateway project has been more than a decade in the planning and it now appears that a major announcement on the next step is likely early in 2022.
It will see a hotel, pub and restaurant, large retail units and housing built on vacant land surrounded by the Helix Park, Falkirk Stadium, Forth Valley College and Falkirk Fire Station.
Last month’s £20 million funding package from the UK government for the Westfield Crossing is understood to have helped take the initiative forward.
However, until all the legal details are finalised, the local authority is staying tight-lipped about the development.
Details are understood to have been agreed by councillors at a closed doors meeting in October.
A Falkirk Council spokesperson would only say: “Council Executive have approved that a development agreement be entered into and officers are now finalising legal and contractual aspects. Development of sites will follow the Council delivering infrastructure works including the Westfield Crossing and road improvements.”
In February 2019 the local authority agreed to the appointment of Hargreaves Property Ventures Ltd – a partnership between Hargreaves Services plc and Fintry Estates Ltd – as the preferred developer for the Gateway.
Initial plans put forward highlighted large scale retail units, office space, leisure space, a hotel site, a drive through and a pub/restaurant.
At the time, Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “The creation of an ‘urban quarter’ at the Westfield/Middlefield site will transform the vacant area between Falkirk and Grangemouth and bring the 30 acre site into a location that will help promote economic growth.”
The council said it would commission a report on the impact the proposals would have on Falkirk and Grangemouth town centres because of the amount of retail development involved.
In its primary masterplan Hargreaves allocated a total of 113,340 square feet of land to six retail developments compared to 76,460 square feet for office space, 64,702 square feet for a hotel and 20,000 square feet for a leisure unit.
Given scale of the retail element, Councillor David Alexander put forward an additional recommendation any capital receipts from developers be ring fenced for town centre regeneration.
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