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Falkirk Council has taken a significant step forward in its plans to build a new town hall with the appointment of a local contractor to demolish the former Callendar Square Shopping Centre and Antonine Hotel.

David Morton Demolition Ltd, based in Falkirk, secured the highly sought-after contract earlier this month (April), signalling the start of a significant period of transformation for the High Street.

The demolition process is expected to span 12 months, with the first major task being the removal of the link bridge connecting the shopping centre to the multi-storey car park. This work is due to begin next month (May) and conclude by mid-July. The car park will remain operational throughout that period and a footpath diversion will be put in place.

Map showing the footpath diversion in red and blue area highlighting the footpath and road closure which are being put in place while the bridge connecting the shopping centre with the car park is demolished.

Following the removal of the bridge, attention will turn to the comprehensive demolition of the former shopping centre, starting at the Kerse Lane/Manor Street end of the building. Demolition will progress along Callendar Riggs and onto the High Street before concluding at the Antonine Hotel.

Image highlighting the direction of travel for the demolition of the shopping centre, starting at the Kerse Lane/Manor Street end of the building and working towards the High Street.

To ensure public safety, Falkirk Council will implement footpath diversions and regularly communicate with local businesses and residents throughout the duration of the project.

Map highlighting the footpath diversion in blue that will be in place throughout the 12 month demolition project.

Councillor Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, said the appointment of a contractor to demolish the buildings "was an exciting and pivotal moment" not just for the new town hall project but also the future of the High Street.

She said:

“People have questioned whether we would ever get to this point, and credit must go to the Invest Division for making it happen. Their expertise, hard work and dedication have moved us quickly from the council's decision to buy Callendar Square to the appointment of a contractor to demolish it. David Morton’s has a good reputation for delivery, with the company having already showcased its expertise and professionalism by safely and systematically demolishing the Municipal Buildings and former town hall.”

Wilma Morton, Managing Director of David Morton Demolition Ltd said:

“As a local business, we understand the significance of the new town hall project and the work we are about to undertake. Using the skills and expertise we have built up over many years, we will complete the demolition safely, efficiently and in line with the council’s requirements. Its great being local to contribute to the regeneration of the town centre and the delivery of a project that will benefit future generations.”

Malcolm Bennie, Director of Place Services said:

“The demolition of Callendar Square and the Antonine Hotel marks a significant step forward in our plans to create a high-quality arts and culture venue right at the heart of Central Scotland. It also showcases the council’s commitment and determination to revitalise the town centre. As an anchor project in our town centre masterplan, the new Falkirk Town Hall will not only provide essential civic amenities and support our regeneration and placemaking ambitions but also serve as a catalyst for inward investment that will benefit the whole area.”

The new town hall project - currently programmed for completion in November 2027 - is expected to breathe new life into Falkirk’s High Street, offering exceptional facilities including a 550-seat auditorium, flexible accommodation for commercial and community use and key council services, all within a modern civic space.

Work on the design stage of the new town hall is ongoing. Engagement with stakeholders and the community will take place as the plans develop.

Throughout the demolition project, monthly drop-in sessions will be held in Falkirk Delivers' High Street office. These sessions aim to keep local businesses, residents and anyone interested in the new town hall project up to speed with progress. Session dates and times will be added to the council's website shortly. 

Information on the project will also be available at Falkirk Library and online.

Credit: Aerial image of Callendar Square Shopping Centre courtesy of Scotdrone.