|ONE of the most treasured
buildings in Bo'ness - the Hippodrome Cinema - was handed over to
Falkirk Council today (February 14) to complete the final stage of
Councillor Mahoney giving acceptance speech
after official hand over from Scottish Historic Buildings
The pre-art deco building is owned by the Scottish
Historic Buildings Trust (SHBT) who formally presented the keys
of the Hippodrome to Bo'ness Councillor Adrian Mahoney, the Convener
of the Council's Environment and Heritage Committee.
First cutom built cinema in Scotland
The Hippodrome, opened in 1911, is being brought
back to life in a £1.8 million project and will be re-opened
by the Council later this year as a cinema with heritage and community
It was built by Bo'ness cinematography pioneer
Louis Dickson and designed by renowned local architect Matthew Steele.
main construction phase has been completed by SHBT and work will
now begin on installing modern projection equipment, and the remainder
of new, 21st century seating. Modern catering faciltiies will also
Consulation will follow to decide on future use
There will also be further consultation with local
people on the programme of activities in the restored building.
Councillor Mahoney, who accepted the keys at a
formal handover ceremony in the Hippodrome, said: "Falkirk
Council will complete the final part of the fit-out of the Hippodrome
over the next few months, in time for a public opening later in
the year. The architects have painstakingly recreated the
striking colour scheme used when the building was remodelled in
Going inside this building is like going back
in time. The restoration is fantastic."
Councillor Mahoney said: "Local people will
be involved in shaping the final programme for the Hippodrome and
we want to hear people's ideas to finalise plans for the building.
There's already been a huge public interest in the restoration of
the Hippodrome. I hope it can become a real hub for the local community
- and a Mecca for film fans."
George McNeill, Chair of Scottish Historic Buildings
Trust, said: "SHBT is absolutely delighted today to be handing
over the Hippodrome over to Falkirk Council.
have owned this wonderful and unique building for 10 years and to
finally see it restored to its former glory is tremendous!
The successful completion of this phase of the
project is the result of a great team effort by all: design team,
contractors, funding partners. We would like to wish Falkirk Council
success in the next phase of the project and look forward to grand
re-opening of the Hippodrome later this year. "
The Hippodrome is the jewel in the crown of the
£5 million Bo'ness Townscape Heritage Initiative which provides
grants towards the cost of restoration to heritage standards for
historic properties in the core of the town centre's Outstanding
The building has been restored in a multi-agency
project with funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland,
Falkirk Council, BP, Scottish Enterprise
Forth Valley, Falkirk Environment Trust, the Architectural Heritage
Fund and the Manifold Trust.
The main contractors, Watson Construction, have
been working to restore the building since 2006 including removing
and replacing flooring, repairing and replacing windows and providing
high-specification cabling for the digital projection and audio-visual
Everything that can be preserved and restored
has been, including the Art Deco signs for the toilets, oak panelling
from the foyer and the original cast iron radiators which have been
re-finished at the Ballantine Foundry in Bo'ness.
Release - Falkirk Council (14/02/2008)