Pictured in the new office suite (left to right): Demi Collie, Project Coordinator, Council Leader Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn, Cllr James Kerr, Cllr Ian Sinclair, Cllr David Balfour, Cllr Alan Nimmo, Cllr Anne Hannah, Cllr Brian McCabe, Cllr Cllr Paul Garner – spokesperson for Economic Development, and Dawn West, Assistant Project Manager.
Falkirk Council has invested £1.6m to transform an empty shell under the main stand of The Falkirk Stadium into modern offices that will enable it to close at least three outdated properties.
The Falkirk Stadium was built as a joint venture project between Falkirk Football Club and Falkirk Council in 2003, and the stadium is now operated and managed by the Council working in partnership with the club.
Half of the first floor under the main stand – measuring 1500 square meters - was never fitted out and sat empty, while the other half was a traditional office space unsuitable for modern working.
For the past year contractors have been building open-plan offices, providing a bright and modern working environment that better meets the needs of employees who can now work across the Falkirk area.
Approximately £1.6 million from the Council's Capital Programme has been invested in transforming the office space which will now serve as the base for Children's Services, Falkirk Health and Social Care Partnership, and Place Services.
The move means the Council can now close and sell Sealock House in Grangemouth, Denny Town House and Abbotsford House in Langlees. These aging buildings were costly to operate, far bigger than what was required given flexible working, and needed substantial investment to bring them up to an acceptable standard. The money from the sale of the sites will go back to the Council to offset the Council's investments.
The project is part of the Council’s Strategic Property Review office modernisation workstream, which aims to rationalise the number of buildings the Council owns so it has more funds to make those remaining buildings more efficient and appropriate for both current and future needs.
Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn, Leader of Falkirk Council, said: "Falkirk Council has too many buildings and many of them are not fit for purpose and cost too much money to operate. What is great about this project is that it takes a fantastic asset like The Falkirk Stadium and makes it even better, while also allowing the Council to dispose of the poor-quality buildings we no longer need.
“This move generates a saving to the Council, reduces our carbon footprint and gives our staff and the public who visit them there a modern office space fit for the future. “
Cllr Paul Garner, spokesperson for Economic Development, added: “We learnt a lot from creating The Foundry office in Larbert and from other organisations. That experience informed much of what we’ve done to transform the stadium. Now we have two modern offices that are not only fit for purpose but also designed in such a way as to encourage collaboration across teams and with partners, which will only bring benefit to the Council as a whole.
“I’d like to say a huge thank you to the team who delivered the office project. They’ve worked tirelessly to get us to this point and their hard work will benefit the organisation for decades to come. Not only does this work help us deliver on our promise to become more modern and efficient but also reflects our commitment to optimising resources and creating an environment that fosters collaboration and productivity."