Header image for article 7679

Image: Banknock Community Centre - already at advanced stage of Community Asset Transfer

One of Scotland’s largest transfers of property to the community has been approved at a meeting of Falkirk Council today (1 February). 

A total of 32 properties have been recommended for Community Asset Transfer where community representatives take over the running of the property. 

As part of the SPR process, £3m has been made available to improve the facilities for things such as new boilers, upgraded roofs and solar panels to help the community operate the buildings more efficiently in the future. 

Interest has been submitted for properties including the Polmont Ski Centre, as well as 17 Community Centres such as Bowhouse Community Hall, Limerigg Community Hall, and Banknock Community Centre. Falkirk Council is keen to support our Communities to progress with Community Asset Transfer and we urge groups interested to come forward now.  

Grangemouth Sports Stadium is recommended for an Alternative Delivery Model and there is interest from regional sports body. A separate marketing exercise will also be undertaken to identify any commercial operator interests. 

In addition, groups have stepped forward to look at pavilions such as Inchyra Road, while the Muiravonside Country Park Cafe, and the Callendar Park Kiosk and WC now have commercial operators. 

Members heard that the Stenhousemuir Gym is being given an extra year to evidence it can develop a strong business case for retention.  

In a similar vein, the Carron Gymnastics Centre has seen improved financial performance and there is interest from a local group in taking the property on under an Alternative Delivery Model.  

As a result, it is recommended this property is given further time to maximise the opportunity for it being retained in the longer-term.  

A total of 58 properties have not seen any sustained interest and are recommended for closure. This will deliver savings of nearly £1m in 2024/25. In addition, the SPR will reduce the Council’s carbon footprint by approximately 2316 tonnes - approximately 15% of all Council property carbon emissions.  

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, leader of Falkirk Council said: “It is a positive sign that so many community groups came forward to take on these assets. 

“Financial support is accessible to aid these groups, and officers from various Council services are ready to assist them in navigating applications and developing business cases. 

“While the closure of some identified buildings is regrettable, the stark reality is that the Council lacks the funds required for essential repairs.  

“Many of these structures are no longer conducive to modern standards and are operationally inefficient. Significantly, their closure aligns with our commitment to achieving a carbon-zero position for the Council. 

“Streamlining the Council's property portfolio will not only allow for more focused investments but will also prioritise a smaller number of buildings, thereby enhancing their quality and sustainability.”