Service Overview

Falkirk Council delivers the following services through an Arms Length External Organisation (ALEO) – Falkirk Community Trust - which was established by the Council in 2011. The Trust is responsible for delivering the following areas of service:

  • Sport & Fitness including Active Schools
  • Recreation
  • Arts
  • Heritage
  • Libraries
  • Strategic Parks

A Culture & Sport Strategy for the area "Inspiring Active Lives" provides the strategic direction for these services with priority themes of Participation / Motivation / Venues / Partnership. Link:

The Culture & Sport Strategy was developed by the Trust on behalf of Falkirk Council and recognises the national plans and policies of the following:

  • Creative Scotland
  • sportscotland
  • Scottish Library and Information Council
  • Museums Galleries Scotland

The Trust manages over 80 sites across the Falkirk Council area and offers services of interest and value to all Falkirk Council area residents throughout their lives from pre-school to retirement. Particularly through heritage, arts and strategic parks, the Trust also contributes to attracting visitors to the area and supports the Council's Tourism Strategy. The area has a high proportion of families and young people and a number of programmes are aimed at this audience. Some communities suffer from multiple deprivations and healthy lifestyle programmes are aimed at those most in need. Discounted and free access to facilities and programmes is available for those most in need.

Many of the major venues were built in the 1960s and their condition is one of the main factors affecting performance. Several buildings face investment requirements to address structural, mechanical and electrical issues and, whilst existing customers are supportive, there is a need to ensure sufficient quality to attract customers. The area is well served by facilities in communities such as libraries, sports venues, parks and playing fields, to the extent that some such as neighbourhood sports centres are underutilised at off peak times.

In September 2013 the Trust took over operation of the Helix, a major new park developed by the Council and Scottish Canals with Big Lottery and other funding. This £40m plus project has transformed the landscape between Falkirk and Grangemouth and is a significant visitor attraction. The addition of this asset has contributed to indicator C&L4.


Trust Performance

Highlights:

  • C&L3 cost of Museums per visit – increase in visitor numbers combined with operating efficiencies contributed to achievement of higher ranking
  • C&L5A % adults satisfied with Libraries – top quartile position maintained and satisfaction rates confirmed by locally undertaken survey of customers
  • C&L5C % adults satisfied with museums and galleries – continuous improvement welcomed and confirmed through securing and maintaining high level of VisitScotland accreditation
  • C&LD % of adults satisfied with leisure facilities – top quartile position welcomed and is a significant improvement; locally confirmed by positive feedback from existing customer base

Areas for improvement:

  • C&L1 cost per attendance at Sports facilities – despite improvement over the last 2 years, this remains in the bottom quartile. The cost of maintaining a large number ageing buildings is a significant factor
  • C&L2 cost per library visit – lower ranking largely due to continuing decline in library visits
  • C&L 4 cost of parks & open spaces per 1,000 – lower ranking affected by addition of major new site -The Helix
    (this indicator is shared across all parks in the Falkirk Council area)

What the Trust is doing to improve services?

Significant improvements have been made at Grangemouth Sports Stadium, and a further phase is to be implemented in 2016. A new gym opened at Stenhousemuir in September 2015 and the refurbishment of the Mariner Centre Wave Machine earlier in 2015, has resulted in a significant increase in admissions to this venue. Works to improve the flumes and changing facilities at Grangemouth Sports Complex are planned for 2016.

The Trust has a comprehensive programme to develop Plans that will help forward development of key sites and improve services. The implementation of the Library Development Plan will be aided by the opening of a replacement library in Denny in 2016. Currently in development, an Arts Delivery Plan for the area will consider how all in the arts sector can plan and work together more efficiently to continue to meet needs and grow audiences.


How can the public get involved?

Consultation

Consultation on the development of Plans is routinely promoted through relevant venues and the Trust’s website.

Get involved

Members of the public can feedback comments in most of our venues, get involved through our volunteering opportunities or become a member of one of our 'Friends of Parks’ groups and we can be contacted on hello@falkirkcommunitytrust.org.

Citizens panel

The Citizens Panel helps us listen and respond to your views. We are always looking for more people to join the Citizens Panel, so that we can be sure that the survey responses are representative of the whole population. If you want to make your voice heard, join the Citizens Panel today. You have the option to complete surveys online or on paper.

01324 506032

You can also give us your feedback on services:

01324 506070