The urgent need to revitalise Falkirk Town Centre is being addressed in a number of ways – not just by the council’s decision to site its new HQ there.
At Tuesday’s executive, Councillor David Alexander responded to his leader Cecil Meiklejohn’s statement about online shopping having “killed” the town centre.
He said: “I don’t think it’s quite killed it – but it’s the walking wounded and we have to make it attractive to visit. There’s certainly a buzz around Falkirk, like there’s something about to happen.
“We have the new college coming, the Gateway development and people will see the regeneration of Falkirk town centre take place over time. It’s important we send out the right message to the market because jobs depend on it.
“This is something that will be a benefit for the whole of Falkirk and if we don’t keep the town centre viable it impacts right across the district. We want to encourage people to come to Falkirk to live, work and play.”
Attractions like the Kelpies, pictured above, the Falkirk Wheel and the Helix may have put Falkirk on the world map, but their popularity will mean little to the town centre unless it is in a better position to cash in.
To this end Falkirk Council’s executive agreed the council take part in a new partnership with Scottish Futures Trust, Falkirk BID, Healthy High Streets and other bodies to help to deliver an action plan to reinvigorate retail provision, create new opportunities for residential housing and establish new ‘hubs’ to attract more footfall to the town centre.
Alongside this new partnership, a Town Centre Forum will connect with retailers, property owners and residents as a sounding board for the partnership as the action plan progresses.
The work on the delivery of a new Council HQ and Arts Centre will be progressed alongside the partnership.
Mrs Meiklejohn said: “The recent announcement of £2 million of town centre funding from the Scottish Government is an important boost to this work.”