Statements and Updates

04 September 2020

We are getting ready

We very much welcome the dates the Scottish Government has provided the culture, sport and leisure sector, which has given us the clarity needed to continue planning the phased reopening of our venues. As lockdown measures ease, we are receiving many enquiries about when our services and facilities will be reopening. The following information aims to provide a guide, as far as we are able at the current time, to the reopening of our facilities.

As we all adapt to the new ways of living and working, our aim is to ensure that our facilities are safe for our customers and staff. This will mean that services at some facilities may reopen in a phased manner, which will be directed by government guidance or circumstances affecting specific buildings and services.

We know and understand that the services we provide are highly valued by our local community and have been missed during the enforced closures. However, we need to balance that expectation against the complex planning which has been required before we reopen with the safety of customers and our staff being of paramount importance.

Before we can reopen, we have a programme of work to complete in conjunction with Falkirk Council, as the buildings have been closed for so long. We are required to undertake a number of regulatory safety tests (including water quality, electricity, fire alarms, etc.) and arrange for the necessary remedial work to be undertaken where any problems are detected.

Confirmed and target dates are as follows for the following Culture, Libraries, Sport & Leisure, Tourism and Heritage venues:

Saturday 5 September

Plaza Café at the Helix Park: We will be reopening the Plaza Café on weekends only from 9.30am-4.30pm with a reduced menu.

The Plaza Café toilets will reopen daily from 9am to 4pm.

Callendar Park public toilets will also reopen this weekend for weekends only at this stage.

Monday 7 September

Grangemouth Stadium will reopen with the outdoor track and indoor track for throws & jumps available on a bookable basis (Monday and Wednesday 5pm to 9pm & Sunday from 10am to 3pm) and designated club access on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6pm to 9pm. There will be no access to changing rooms, and the café and gym will remain closed at this time.

Thursday 10 September

Libraries: We will be introducing a new ‘Click & Collect’ service for libraries, with reduced operating hours during the initial opening period, alongside the return of our well-loved and much-missed Home Library Service. We will be launching this service from Falkirk, Larbert and Bo’ness Libraries first on 10 September; followed by Grangemouth, Bonnybridge, Denny and Slamannan on 17 September. Unfortunately, due to recent storm damage to Meadowbank Library its targeted opening is now 24 September.

Callendar House: Visitors will book their visit online, in advance from 8 September for visiting from 10 September. We will also have times available where visitor numbers are reduced, allowing for a more relaxed environment for those with additional support needs to enjoy their visit. In addition to the permanent exhibitions, visitors will be able to view our temporary exhibitions: ‘Uprooted’ in the Park Gallery and ‘The Waters of Life’ in the Second Floor Galleries. These will run until 27 September and 31 October, respectively. Our opening hours will be: 10am – 5pm, Wednesday to Monday. The Tearoom will remain closed initially.

Monday 14 September

New Outdoor fitness classes launch at Grangemouth Stadium and the Helix Park. Keep an eye out for the timetable.

The Mariner Centre reopens with access to the swimming pool, squash courts, soft play, and health & fitness facilities. The café and sauna will remain closed until further notice.

Stenhousemuir Gym – fitness classes and gym will reopen with limited capacity levels.
Keep your eyes peeled for detail on our new online live fitness programme with our very own instructors that you know and love coming in September too. The launch date is to be confirmed.

Once Falkirk Council is in a position to confirm satisfactory completion of the statutory building checks, then the reopening dates for our other health, fitness, sports and other venues can be announced in the near future.

Health & Fitness Memberships
All Health & Fitness memberships will be unfrozen when we reopen on 14 September. However, as facilities closed mid-March, direct debit payments will not re-start until 1 November 2020. All members will receive complimentary access to Health & Fitness facilities for 7 weeks before the first payment is taken from their accounts on Monday 2 November. Current members will be able to book from 8 September when online bookings will be available. There may be some customers who may not feel ready to return to health and fitness facilities and, if this is the case, they will have the option to freeze their membership for up to a maximum of 12 months and instead could take advantage of our new outdoor fitness classes or online programme.

All our venues will comply with the Scottish Government’s Test and Protect scheme. As a result, all fitness classes, gym, swim, and soft play sessions as well as venue visits must be booked online. If you are unable to access or use online booking services, our team will do their utmost to assist you over the phone. Please just get in touch by calling the venue directly.

All of our services will have been adapted to incorporate the necessary social distancing measures and hygiene requirements. They will, therefore, look different as we continue to live and operate alongside COVID-19. Again, we will advise you of these changes in advance.

As you can imagine, there are a number of factors that require careful consideration and planning prior to being able to reopen our facilities. However, we will keep you up to date as much as possible, as new information arises and plans are confirmed. Please be mindful that our plans may need to be altered, sometimes at short notice, due to changes at national and/or local level. As mentioned previously, all proposed reopening dates are subject to the required safety tests being completed satisfactorily in conjunction with Falkirk Council.

We are excited to welcome you all back to our venues as we’ve missed you. We hope that you feel the same and are looking forward to coming back to see how well we have adapted our services to make your visits as safe and enjoyable as possible. We care about your health and wellbeing and we are here to help as much as we can.

Over the next couple of weeks we will get lots of information to you regarding FAQs, safety precautions, highlighting what areas may have changed and booking systems, so please keep an eye on our social media channels, our website and your email. In the meantime, if you have any reason to get in touch, please don’t hesitate to drop us an email: hello@falkirkcommunitytrust.org

We thank you again for your support and patience during this time.

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