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Falkirk Council will close the Bo’ness Recreation Centre this week after the successful transfer of nearly all user groups to alternative venues.

Council agreed to close the Centre in January after hearing the building needed at least £4m spent on it to bring it up to an acceptable standard, and that this investment would not improve the experience for visitors in any way. The Centre also cost around £1m to operate per year and this could no longer be justified at a time when Falkirk Council has the biggest budget deficit in Scotland.

Since the Council decision officers have been working with sports clubs based at the Rec and have managed to relocate nearly all groups to alternative venues, with the majority transferred directly to Bo’ness Academy. Active Forth classes will now take place at Bo’ness Town Hall, the Rugby Club will change at Bo’ness Academy and the Sub-Aqua Club have moved to Mariner Centre.  The closure does however have an impact on public swimming and gym provision which is unfortunately unavoidable due to the closure.

On a more positive news front the Council has committed to build an expanded community sports facility at Bo’ness Academy and designs for an extension comprising a new larger gym, changing rooms, multi-purpose studio and dedicated entrance are currently being developed and will be shared with the public as soon as possible. If agreed by Councillors work could commence at Bo’ness as soon as August 2025 and be complete by Autumn 2026.

Officers are also working with local community groups on extending the hours for the existing sports facilities including the pool and improving facilities at the Academy in advance of the main extension works. This is likely to include the provision of a new Rugby Pitch to support the Bo’ness Rugby Club expand its school of rugby capacity and enhance school sports provision.

Councillor Paul Garner, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Sport and Leisure, said: “We know how difficult the closure of the Bo’ness Rec has been for the local community and we are sorry for the disruption that has been caused.

“Given that context I am really pleased to see that we have successfully found new alternative venues for the vast majority of groups. We would like to thank all those groups involved for their understanding and flexibility during this process and look forward to working with them as we bring forward the exciting investment proposed at Bo’ness Academy to create a new dedicated community sport and leisure wing”.