A controversial plan to turn Stenhousemuir Sports Centre into a gymnastics facility has been given the go ahead.
Critics have claimed there has been a lack of meaningful dialogue from Falkirk Community Trust (FCT) over the move, which they say will disadvantage current users in favour of a venture that won’t benefit the entire community.
However, the trust has now completed its consultation process and confirmed the centre will be rebranded in December.
In May, bosses revealed their intention to change the facility’s use to address falling attendances. FCT has continually insisted that creating the specialist gym, which will cater for local clubs and schools and provide recreational classes and mini-gym sessions, will ensure long-term financial health.
With the consultation results now in, FCT says it is confident the new plan represents the best way forward.
A trust spokeswoman said: “We are continuing with implementing the necessary upgrading to the sports centre and it will open as a gymnastics centre later this year.
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“Our current regular customers have either been re-located to other trust venues or have found alternatives themselves. Casual bookings are still being taken on a week-to-week basis until the timetable for the changeover has been confirmed.”
Larbert, Stenhousemuir and Torwood Community Council was involved in the conversations. A statement said it had been told the facility would open by December.
It added: “FCT have confirmed that all 24 regular bookings have been contacted directly and been offered alternative locations.”
The decision to change the centre’s use has been met with mixed reaction on Facebook.
Phil Trevis wrote: “If Forth Valley Gymnastics Club did move to Stenhousemuir Sports Centre, where are all the other gymnastics clubs going to go?”
Tom Curry added: “What a farce!”
Others were in favour.
Calum Renton said: “I’d rather see money getting invested into a single central, specialised centre, than spread across 24-plus halls in three localities.”
Emma Pemberton simply wrote: “Excellent news!”