Progress towards providing a new Falkirk Council HQ and Arts Centre to boost town centre prospects is being made according to a new report outlined to elected members this week.

Work has started on a business case for the project with the longer term aim of finding a development partner and will help establish the location for the new building needed as a replacement for the Municipal Buildings.  It will have a projected 300 workstations but options for larger buildings will be considered.

Discussions have also taken place with NHS Forth Valley and other community planning partners over the potential for a ‘co-location’ site.

Work will also start on a specific business case for the new arts facility (accommodating around a 500 seater venue) with Falkirk Community Trust.

The Town Centre Working Group set up earlier this year has also recently held a workshop with stakeholders including local businesses sharing ideas and opinions on future ideas.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council said: “Good progress has been made in taking this important project forward and partners are working well together.

“We recognise the importance of doing all we can to protect and improve our town centre and this project will offer great opportunities to ensure it is reinvigorated.  We still have a long way to go but the work that has already taken place is very encouraging.

Initial figures suggest based on current working patterns that the new building would be a three or four storey property with an approximate floor area of 5200 sq metres.  This would include open office space with an estimate six desks available to every ten employees to take advantage of the Council’s mobile and flexible working approach; civic spaces available to the public; high environmental credentials to ensure a ‘healthy’ working environment.