A new town centre working group has pledged to work as a catalyst to tackle the long term regeneration of Falkirk’s town centre this week..

The group (comprised of a cross party group of elected members from Falkirk Council, Falkirk BID, town centre retailers, First Bus and property owners) met to discuss and agree approaches to regenerate Falkirk’s town centre that has suffered recently as a result of commercial decisions to close a number of well known retail stores.

The group will examine the regeneration potential across the town centre and work to attract investment to enable development which is ambitious and potentially radically different to what exists at present.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council and chair of the working group said:  “There is a clear agreement from all parties concerned with Falkirk’s town centre that we cannot stand by and watch the sustained impact of market pressures threatening jobs, the fabric of our High Street and its role at the heart of our community.

“Recent closure announcements by M&S and Poundworld demand that we take a radical, longer term approach to re-shaping, sustaining and growing Falkirk’s town centre.

“We were alarmed by the sudden announcement today of the closure of M&S in the High Street, having expected a longer period for consideration of the decision.  However we recognise that this is perhaps a tipping point for many other retailers locally, so we are saying all bets are off and we must move ahead quickly with new proposals.”

“We pledged to work with all parties - potential developers, existing retailers and others to come up with new ideas that compliment what we have in the town centre.  We want to build on its heritage while thinking radically about new activity we can attract that helps protect jobs, sustain the investment made by the Council and others and attract footfall to the centre.  We’ll be meeting again as a group very soon in order to get action underway quickly.”