As part of the on-going restoration works to the Steeple, the weather cockerel has returned to the building after recently being removed for repair and re-gilding by AL Sillars of Glasgow.
Following re-installation of the cockerel and completion of works at the top of the Steeple, the scaffolding will start to be removed in stages from the top down. Essential repairs to the clock faces and mechanisms are on-going and the contractor, Land Engineering, is making good progress with stone repairs and re-pointing.
The work is part of Falkirk town centre's £5.6m Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) that aims to help regeneration by restoring, repairing and preserving the town’s heritage features and historic buildings, in a bid to create a more attractive streetscape, boost business and encourage more visitors, residents, services and retailers to the area.
£443k funding for the project will be received from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland as key funders of the restoration works.
Situated in the High Street of the town, the current landmark stands approximately 140 feet high and has dominated the town’s skyline for 200 years.
Councillor Dennis Goldie, spokesperson for Economic Development said: "The Falkirk Steeple is a real local treasure for many people. This project along with other THI restoration projects is helping to invest and conserve the town centre's rich heritage at a time when our high streets continue to face difficult trading conditions. I am conscious that this project is being delivered in the middle of a busy high street and the Council apologises for ongoing disturbance to shoppers and businesses, we are doing all we can to minimise this."
Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “We launched our THI grant programme nearly 15 years ago as we found that for regeneration to really work, it has to have roots. Roots make a place unique, connect people with their history and give a place its identity. The Steeple is part of Falkirk’s roots and a prominent historic landmark in the town. Thanks to the THI programme, it will now have a new lease of life. This is an exciting step forward in the area’s on-going transformation.”
Martin Fairley, Head of Grants at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “A total of £1.6 million in grant funding has been awarded towards the Falkirk Townscape Heritage Initiative through our Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme, with over £290,000 of this funding going towards the total cost of works for the Steeple repair and conservation project. These important restoration works will allow for the safeguarding of one of the town’s oldest and most iconic landmarks and is an important milestone within the wider regeneration programme for Falkirk, and its heritage.”
Surrounding commercial premises and shops will be trading as usual during the critical restoration works and whilst disturbance is inevitable, every possible measure will be taken to lessen the impact of the project to everyday movement around the site and access to the shops.
The Falkirk Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI) – a £5.6 million key economic and heritage regeneration project is intended to restore to heritage standards of prominent derelict buildings in the core of the Conservation Area of the town centre with the help of grants to the owners, reversing key negative economic constraints of this important historic town and restoring both community pride and economic confidence for the future all key objectives of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Townscape Heritage Initiative awards in Scotland.
Find out more about Falkirk THI projects