Falkirk approves council HQ and arts centre project
Plans for a new council headquarters building containing an arts centre, central ‘hub’ and library were approved at a meeting of Falkirk Council yesterday.
The new building in Falkirk’s town centre will provide 130 workstations plus touchdown space, elected members accommodation, 550 seat theatre and associated studio space and will accommodate Falkirk Library, the Central Advice Hub and shared cafeteria.
It has a potential entry date of 2023.
In addition, two other spaces will be upgraded to provide office accommodation at Block 4, Central Business Park, Larbert (the former Thomas Cook building). This will contain 280 workspaces plus touchdown space as well as accommodate an IT data centre, a resilience and out-of-hours hub and training facilities.
The expected entry date is 2021.
It has also been agreed to use the West Stand/First floor, Falkirk Community Stadium offering around 210 workspaces plus touchdown space with expected entry date 2022/23.
The total cost of the project will be an estimated £43.5 million within the agreed limit of £45m.
Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council, said: “This is about an opportunity to revitalise, rejuvenate and repurpose Falkirk’s town centre. It will allow us to transform and enhance the town and boost our local economy across the area.
“The new building will provide a central location for arts and community activities as well as some of our frontline services. In addition, we would relocate the library to this venue and provide a modern and sustainable location that will boost numbers in the town centre.
“The current HQ is at the end of its life and is entirely uneconomic to repair, with annual running costs measured in hundreds of thousands of pounds.
“Creating modern office space in Central Business Park and the Falkirk Stadium will be relatively easy, with both locations providing employees with space to collaborate and work in new ways while they find a balance between home and office working that meets their needs and those of their role, once restrictions ease.
“We are transforming how we do things as a council and by closing inefficient large buildings, we can make vast savings through relocation.
“Our next priority is to work with developers and local land owners to see what can be achieved in partnership that will benefit the town centre the most.”