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Pictured: Artist's impression of the potential new fitness suite at Bo'ness Academy.

Councillors have approved a new strategy that proposes significant improvements to sports and leisure facilities across the Falkirk Council area, including the creation of a £35 million centrally located leisure and wellbeing centre.

The decision, made on 11 June, aims to address the deteriorating condition of existing venues and ensure continued service delivery to the community.

Councillors agreed that many of the current facilities are in poor condition due to years of underinvestment and that substantial upgrades were needed.

To tackle this issue, members of the Executive endorsed a 'Hub and Spoke' model for sport and leisure which would include:

  • Central Hub: A major new facility located centrally to serve as the primary venue for the Falkirk Council area;
  • Supporting spokes: Quality centres in Grangemouth, Stenhousemuir, Bo'ness, Braes, and Denny to ensure accessibility and cater to diverse community needs.

It was agreed that every effort would be made to keep both the Mariner and Grangemouth Sports Complexes open until new facilities are built.

Proposed facilities

In the report presented to councillors, the new Sport, Health, and Wellbeing Centre would be designed to maintain current participation levels while improving financial performance.

Councillors also asked officers to prepare options for a major new sports facility for Grangemouth – which could include a competition-sized pool and facilities for spectators. This and the central Falkirk facility will be explored and presented in future reports.

Meanwhile, Elected Members also gave the green light to officers to further develop new community leisure facilities in Bo’ness, Braes, and Denny worth £10.5m. Options for these will be shared with the local community during 24/25 and then brought back to Executive for a final decision. Councillors also asked for further work to be done to see how the Bo’ness Academy swimming pool could be made more accessible to the community during school hours.

Malcolm Bennie, Director of Place Services, said:

"These exciting proposals represent a significant investment in the future of sports and leisure in our area. By adopting the 'Hub and Spoke’ model, we can deliver high-quality facilities that are accessible to our community and promote health and wellbeing for years to come. The new facilities at Bo’ness, Braes, and Denny will provide quality facilities to the public and ensure that there is a wider and more accessible provision of sport and leisure across the Falkirk Council area than was previously the case."

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