Demolition of Bo'ness rec to go ahead as community group drops bid to take it on

Fencing at Bo'ness Recreation Centre
-Credit: (Image: LDRS)

The demolition of the Bo'ness Recreation Centre is set to go ahead after campaigners who were hoping to save the building dropped their bid to take it over.

Falkirk Council's Head of Invest, Paul Kettrick, had warned councillors last month that any prospect of a takeover would mean there could be no progress on plans for its replacement.

Members of Save the Bo'ness Reccy group, which is continuing to meet to campaign for better facilities for the town, had been seriously considering a Community Asset Transfer, which would have meant them becoming responsible for running the centre.

Read more: Recreation Centre demolition can go ahead as community drops bid to take over

But they reluctantly agreed to bow out after meeting with Mr Kettrick, who made it clear that plans to spend £3.5 million extending and improving the facilities at Bo'ness Academy would not go ahead while there was any uncertainty over ownership.

One campaigner said the tight timescale to put a bid together made it impossible to continue building a business case.

An application for demolition has now been made by Falkirk Council and an asbestos survey will be the first stage in the process.

In addition to the school extension, the council has also pledged to improve the rugby facilities beside the school.

Plans for the new fitness suite that will be in the community wing of Bo'ness Academy
Plans for the new fitness suite that will be in the community wing of Bo'ness Academy -Credit:Falkirk Council

But there is still huge anger among campaigners at the fact that the centre has been closed and will be demolished at least two years before any new facilities are ready.

While Falkirk Council recently announced proposals that would mean replacing Camelon's Mariner Centre and Grangemouth Sports Complex with a new £35 million facility, the council has pledged to keep both open until it is ready.

The Bo'ness proposals suggest that residents will have access to some of the facilities during the day, including the new fitness suite, which the council promises will be more than double the size of the gym at the former Recreation Centre.

The facilities shared with the school - including the 20m pool - will be open at times still to be finalised and the work will include improvements to the changing facilities.

The council has now pledged to consult with the local community on plans for the new facilities.

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