Changes to opening hours in Bo’ness in bid to save cash

Bo'ness Recreation Centre could have its opening hours changed
Bo'ness Recreation Centre could have its opening hours changed

Cost-cutting moves could see the closure of community sports and leisure facilities and the loss of up to 60 jobs.

Falkirk Community Trust has produced its budget proposal for 2016/17 which will now go to Falkirk Council for approval.

The trust board is proposing a revision of opening hours at Bo’ness Recreation Centre as part of its package.

It wants to open the facility earlier in the morning – currently people cannot get in before 9am while at all other centres run by the trust the opening time is 6.30am from Monday to Friday.

However, if given the go-ahead, it will close the Bo’ness sports complex earlier on Saturday and Sunday evenings. It currently shuts at 9pm at weekends and 10.30pm during the week.

Maureen Campbell, trust chief executive, said: “This is a customer service improvement and will increase accessibility for users. The centre is not well used on weekend evenings but this will allow people to access facilities earlier in the day.”

The trust is also proposing to axe the mobile library service, which includes Bo’ness and Blackness on its current timetable. However, the homebound library services will continue for anyone who has mobility problems.

In the next year, the trust faces a £1.2 million reduction in its funding allocation from the local authority.

Ms Campbell added: “Until now, despite reductions in our funding, we have been able to maintain services because we have increased our income by 46 per cent. Cuts are not something we want to do but must do to meet our targets.”

Other money-saving proposals include closing both Grangemouth Town Hall and Hallglen Sports Centre, as well as reducing the opening hours at Callendar House.

Staff were informed earlier this week that there was a need to cut numbers although they will be offered voluntary severance before any redundancies.

Falkirk Community Trust was set up four years ago to run cultural, sporting and leisure services on behalf of the council.