NEW plans for the Hippodrome Cinema have every
chance of success according to Falkirk Council.
The SNP-led administration says it has conjured up a solution
to what should be done with the B-listed, Matt Steele designed cinema
which has lain closed
for 15 years.
With the Hippodrome thought essential to the Heritage Lottery
Fund's acceptance of Falkirk Council's Townscape Heritage Initiative
(THI) proposals, it was
vital a role was found for the building, owned by the Scottish Historic
Two attempts to secure an end-user have failed but now Falkirk
Council has agreed to take on the cinema's day-to-day running
after a £1.3 million
The Hope Street building will be used as a community arts facility
able to present films, concerts and dramatic events. There will
and it could
host conferences and seminars.
Councillor John Constable, depute leader of Falkirk Council, said:
"These exciting and innovative proposals again demonstrate
this administration's commitment to the regeneration of Bo'ness.
"Having a credible end use for this prestigious listed building
is essential to securing the future of both the Hippodrome and the
Heritage Initiative so important to the redevelopment of the town."
Council and our partner agencies have worked hard to produce a robust
business plan for the Hippdrome that has every chance of satisfying
the Heritage Lottery Fund which has been supportive of our plans
for Bo'ness thus
He added: "We don't see any conflict with existing facilities."
Running costs are estimated at £130,000 a year and the building
is likely to employ a staff of four people working for the
A report to be presented to the policy and resources committee
on Tuesday reveals the refurbishment will include new seating
new dressing rooms
and a cafeteria plus new toilets.
The downstairs seating will be re-upholstered and work done
to improve the stage area as well as the installation of new
The THI was expected to cost £3.6 million of which £1.3m
would be provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund with the balance
made up by Falkirk
and Scottish Enterprise Forth Valley.
Now the THI could draw in up to £5.8 million which will
be used to revitalise buildings in and around the town centre.
Falkirk Council expects to take over the running of the Hippodrome
in financial year 2006-7 although work could start as early
as this summer.
A spokesman said: "It is crucial to the success of the THI
bid that a suitable end use is found for the Hippodrome. Without
this the overall
likely to be approved and an opportunity for significant investment
would be lost.
" The proposals in this report afford this opportunity and will allow the
building to again be a focal point within the community."