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Statements and Updates

14 October 2020

Update on the Re-opening of Falkirk Community Trust Buildings

This note provides an update regarding when Falkirk Community Trust facilities are scheduled to re-open and the processes involved in moving towards this.

Development Services teams have been collaborating with the programme of reopening for Falkirk Council and Falkirk Community Trust premises.  This acknowledges that the priority to date has been given to checking the school estate. 

As resources have permitted, a range of building system checks on facilities operated by the Trust (and those of the wider Council estate), have been carried out in preparation for re-opening. 

As the buildings have all been dormant for several months, these checks have included:

  • Cleaning, disinfecting and testing of water systems.
  • Checking and servicing building systems (e.g. fire alarm systems, emergency lighting, electrical and heating systems).
  • Periodic electrical installation tests, a number of which were due during the lockdown period but were unable to be completed as a result of restrictions in place at that time.
  • Assessment of ventilation systems in sports buildings to ensure adequate capacity to comply with guidance for virus spread control, potentially restricting the scope for the premises to be re-opened or utilised to their full capacity.

This process of building systems checks is ongoing, with buildings approved for re-opening as soon as satisfactory test results are obtained.  This enables subsequent risk assessments to be completed and arrangements for re-opening to be put in place in accordance with Scottish Government regulations.

The following facilities have either re-opened or are planned for a return to occupation:

Libraries

The Trust’s eight libraries are now open with a new ‘Click & Collect’ service alongside the return of the Home Library Service.  The libraries will re-open to offer a fuller service, which will still be accessed by appointment, Falkirk Library reopened on 12 October.

Town Halls

The three Town Halls (Falkirk, Grangemouth and Bo’ness) are now open and Falkirk Community Trust is working with NHS Forth Valley for venues to be used as immunisation centres for the provision of flu vaccinations.

Cultural Facilities

Callendar House is now open.  Visitor numbers are reduced and, in order to comply with Test and Protect, all visits are pre-booked.  The Tearoom will reopen on Wednesday 14 October with an additional Take Away menu also due to be introduced.

Park Facilities

The Helix Park Plaza Café and toilets, Helix Park carpark toilets, Visitor Centre retail outlet and toilets, Callendar Park toilets, Muiravonside Farm and toilets are all now open.  The Helix Visitor Centre Café is currently scheduled to reopen on 02 November.

The Callendar Park Kiosk along with the Café and Visitor Centre at Muiravonside Country Park will not be reopening this year.

Sports Facilities

The Mariner Centre Gym and Swimming Pool are now open. Soft Play reopening has been deferred following advice from the Scottish Government. 

Stenhousemuir Gym is also open with members able to pre book gym sessions online. 

Grangemouth Stadium’s outdoor and indoor track is open.

 

The following facilities are subject to ongoing checks:

Cultural Facilities

Kinneil Museum is awaiting water test results, with an anticipated opening date set for early November.

The Hippodrome Cinema has checks programmed for an anticipated 4 December re-opening.

Park Facilities

Zetland Park Kiosk has yet to have an electrical installation check completed (the anticipated date for completion of this check will be determined this week).

Callendar Park par 3 Golf Pavilion and Dollar Park Pavilion have yet to have building checks undertaken (anticipated date for completion of these checks will be determined this week).

There are no plans to reopen these facilities till next spring as they are normally closed in the winter months.  

Sports Facilities

Polmont Snowsports Centre is yet to have water and electrical checks (water test results expected w/c 19 October), with new lighting works completed on 9 October.

The gym in Grangemouth Sports Complex will be relocated to Sports Hall One, a much larger and spacious area within the building, which will allow for a socially distanced workout, alleviating any customer concerns.

Once a reopening date is confirmed, it is hoped the relocation will provide customers with a greater sense of safety in being able to visit the Grangemouth Sports Complex gym.

Sports Pavilions

Falkirk Community Trust will be liaising directly with clubs regarding access and use of sports pavilions and will confirm when facilities are available to re-occupy.

Ventilation Capacities

In response to national guidance, further assessment of the ventilation systems of indoor sports buildings is being undertaken to establish how systems can be augmented to reduce the risk of virus spread within these facilities.  A ventilation specialist has been appointed to review and advise the Council and Trust and the anticipated programme to complete these reviews will be determined this week.

The capacity of the ventilation systems is being reviewed against the guidance for virus spread control, however the following facilities have now had building system checks completed:

  • Grangemouth Stadium
  • The Mariner Centre
  • Stenhousemuir Gym
  • Grangemouth Sports Complex
  • Carron Gymnastics Centre

The capacity of the ventilation systems is being reviewed for the following buildings, and additional building checks are scheduled as follows:

  • Bo’ness Recreation Centre – the electrical system installation test is to be carried out w/c 12
  • Polmont Sports Centre – electrical remedial work commenced 13 October and due to be completed on 14 October.
  • Denny Sports Centre – electrical remedial work expected to be complete by 20 October.
  • Bankier Sports Centre – water and electrical checks yet to be carried out (anticipated date for completion of these checks will be determined this week).
  • Denny Football Centre – water check yet to be carried out (anticipated date for completion of these checks will be determined this week).

Falkirk Community Trust knows from feedback received that its loyal customers have been missing those venues which are still to open, however, the careful and measured approach to opening these facilities has, at its core, the health and safety of customers, and we thank everyone for their patience. 

Falkirk Community Trust and Falkirk Council staff are working carefully to ensure safe re-opening, and establishing how to provide access to services in new ways where that may not be possible.  For example, a new mobile app is in development, for release in the near future, which will enable online streaming of fitness classes and also facilitate online booking.

We hope to update you again when new re-opening dates are confirmed or when Government restrictions change that alter these timelines.

 

Maureen Campbell, Chief Executive, Falkirk Community Trust

Douglas Duff, Acting Director of Development Services, Falkirk Council

14 October 2020

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