Bo'ness Library refurbishment plans submitted

Plans for a major refurbishment of Bo’ness Library have now been submitted for approval – but people in the town say more investment is still needed.

Thursday, 1st April 2021, 8:04 am
Councillor David Alexander, Falkirk Council

The historic building was allocated cash from a town centre regeneration fund to help make town centres more vibrant, enterprising, and accessible.

The library – formerly listed as ‘Old West Pier Tavern’ – is thought to date back to the 17th century. Alterations were made during the early 19th century and then in 1978, when the building was extended into the ground floor of the warehouse at Nos 37-49 Scotland’s Close.

The building is on several different levels, which makes accessibility tricky, so a new platform lift and a single stair lift are now being fitted.

The work will include remodelling the plant room and replacing aging boilers, which in turn will mean a new external wall on Scotland Close side.

At a recent Falkirk Council meeting, as the council was criticised for not spending enough on Bo’ness, Councillor David Alexander said that the work being done would make the town’s library the best in the district.

But the convener of Bo’ness Community Council, Madelene Hunt, says there is still more that could be done to improve it.

“It still works well as a library and people love the building – it could be made to look more presentable with a very small amount of money,” she said.

She has suggested new wooden flooring would be an improvement and the Community Council has now noted interest in the Community Choices programme in a bid to get funding.

Friends of Kinneil have also called for major investment in another of the town’s historic treasures.

They want Falkirk Council to engage with Historic Environment Scotland to upgrade Kinneil House and give new impetus to the masterplan for the estate.

In a letter to the Bo’ness Journal, the group’s chairman, Ian Shearer, called for the council to make tranformational investment in the estate to help it realise its full potential as a visitor attraction. “Such a commitment would lift everyone’s spirits, and be seen as a major boost to the area’s tourism and economic recovery from the pandemic,” said Mr Shearer.