Council close to purchase of sites for new Falkirk Town Hall
Council close to purchase of sites for new Falkirk Town HallThe latest update report going to a meeting of Falkirk Council on 6 December said the purchase of the Callendar Square shopping centre and the Antonine Hotel will be completed in January 2024.The new Falkirk Town Hall which will bring a theatre, library and civic space to help regenerate the town centre.The report also details progress on the now soon-to-be-completed demolition of the former Falkirk Town Hall and Municipal Buildings site in preparation for its sale for potential development generating revenue to help fund the replacement venue.Timescales for the new Town Hall are also included in the report with demolition expected to start in February 2024, planning application submitted by March 2025 and construction starting in summer 2025 if progress is made according to plan.Members will hear that financing the project continues to be challenging. Current plans involve using funds from the Scottish and UK Government Growth Deal, the sale of surplus Council sites and the existing capital budget, but close monitoring will continue to take place.The report also explains that until a final business case is prepared with details on all aspects of the project, only an estimated cost can be offered at this time. The Council will continue to be updated as the project progresses.Malcolm Bennie, director of place services, said: “We hope Elected Members will be pleased to hear the purchase of the Callendar Square and Antonine Hotel sites is so close to completion and that this major transformation project is progressing at pace.“It is also encouraging to see the former Municipal Buildings site almost cleared and that it will be available for sale in 2024 with the money raised going towards the cost of the new Falkirk Town Hall.“Together these projects represent a major regeneration of the Falkirk Town Centre and will have positive benefits for the entire Falkirk area. We hope elected members will welcome the progress being made and look forward to answering other questions on the project in general.”Meanwhile, the Newmarket Street and Lint Riggs public realm improvement works are now complete making Falkirk’s historic town centre a safer and more accessible space for local people and visitors to the town.With extensive engagement undertaken before the work began, the 30-week project blended three separate projects – roads maintenance, bus stop relocation and public realm upgrade works – addressing long-standing community concerns around pedestrian safety, anti-social behaviour and improve accessibility for all.Now complete, a range of improvements have been made to this busy retail and transport hub including bus stop relocations, lower kerbs, high-quality stonework, new seating areas and trees.While the bus stop improvement works were being carried out McGill’s redirected buses, however all buses reverted back to the original routes on Monday 20 November 2023.Falkirk Council leader Cecil Meiklejohn said: “We are delighted that the project has been delivered on time and within the agreed budget as this represents a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to creating a safer and more accessible town centre.“We understand the inconvenience caused by this period of work, especially around the necessary and unavoidable diversions, and want to thank everyone for their patience and hope that the improvements will enhance this important area of the town and will improve the safety and accessibility for everyone.”
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