15 July 2020
Phase 3 Announcement
The First Minister confirmed on 9 July 2020 the move into Phase 3 of the Scottish Government COVID-19 Routemap, which includes the announcement that museums, galleries and libraries can reopen.
All eight of our libraries along with the museum at Kinneil House, Callendar House and the Hippodrome Cinema fall into this section of the Routemap, having been closed since the 23rd of March in line with government guidance.
We are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that as we carefully and gradually reopen, our sites are fully prepared to provide a safe environment for staff and customers alike, as soon as we are in a position to announce dates to reopen we will do this via our social media channels and website, so would urge you to keep up to date this way. With this in mind, our plans are all subject to Scottish Government guidance and further stringent safety and hygiene tests carried out by Falkirk Council.
Details of our approach to date and in the future can be found below, and whilst we are gradually reopening some of our sites, we continue to ask our customers to adhere to any guidance we have published as well as the guidance issued by the Scottish Government. Due to the open nature of our sites, we are unable to staff public places. We are therefore advising our customers not only to follow the guidance given but to also make a personal judgement if a site is busy at the time of arrival to perhaps return at another time.
Our reopened sites to date
The Parks at Callendar Park, Kinneil Estate, Muiravonside Country Park and the Helix remain open.
Grangemouth golf course opened on 29 May 2020 with support from Grangemouth Golf Club. The new operating procedures are working well and feedback from customers is positive.
The tennis courts at Dollar Park and Zetland Park opened on the 12 June 2020 and are operating well and we continue to urge users to follow the guidance we have set which can be found on our website here.
Play parks at the Helix Park, Kinneil Estate, Callendar Park and Muiravonside opened on the 29 June 2020. We are awaiting results of local testing in order to safely open the Plaza Café, whilst the Kiosk at Callendar Park will remain closed for the time being. Following changes to guidance around opening of public toilets we are also working closely with Falkirk Council to ensure they are safely reopened for public use in the near future.
Although our plan is to prioritise the reopening of a small number of sites this is dependent on the completion of safety and hygiene tests by Falkirk Council to allow us to open safely.
Only when we have been advised that it is safe to do so, will we then be in a position to ask staff to return to work. Please also bear in mind that when we do reopen, in order to adhere to guidelines, the services available will be modified with changes being communicated to customers in advance. As our sites are unique, visits to many of our venues are likely to require advance booking, details will be provided prior to opening via our website and social channels.
We will be opening the Newpark Farm at Muiravonside Country Park on Thursday 16 July and are asking visitors to read the guidance in advance of their visit.
Our plan is to open all libraries for a limited time for a click and collect service which is bookable online or over the phone and the Home Library Service will restart again following relevant protocols. We are also planning to reopen Callendar House, which in the first instance will be without catering and no archives which we hope to reintroduce in due course.
Our beloved cinema, The Hippodrome has also remained closed since March, which meant postponing our Hippfest event to 2021. Due to the size and nature of the seating it does not lend itself well to social distancing so we are unable to put a date for opening at this time.
With reference to our sport and fitness venues, we are awaiting government guidance on what we can open and when.
As soon as we are in a position to announce dates to reopen we will do this via our social media channels and website, and so we would urge you to keep up to date this way.
We know that you are missing us, and we are missing you. Thank you for your understanding and patience whilst we implement our reopening plans in the coming weeks.