The people are new owners at Newtown Park

Provost Pat Reid hands over title deeds to Newtown Park Association chairman Robert Snedden.
Provost Pat Reid hands over title deeds to Newtown Park Association chairman Robert Snedden.

The ‘keys’ to Newtown Park in Bo’ness were handed back this to week to the local community by Falkirk Council.

The council has been trustee of Bo’ness United’s stadium since local government re-organisation back in 1975.

A community-led trust, the Newtown Park Association, has been in talks with the local authority for a number of years with the aim to take over the ground and turn it into a facility for the local community.

While Bo’ness United will still have first dibs on the facility, plans for a 3G pitch to be installed will open up the stadium to the local community, seven days a week.

There are also plans to create a community hub for both young and old alike.

The history of Newtown Park dates back to the 1880s when miners, living close by laid a pitch.

Soon after, Bo’ness FC was formed and gained admission to the SFA and Scottish League.

In the 1940s, the park was purchased by a trust on behalf of the Bo’ness community. After the war, the club joined the Scottish Junior FA and changed its name to Bo’ness United FC

In the 1960s Bo’ness Town Council provided assistance before Falkirk District Council took over in 1975.

On Monday it turned full circle when Falkirk Provost Pat Reid handed over the title deeds to Newtown Park Association’s chairman Robert Snedden. The Provost said: “It has been a lengthy undertaking but we are now in a position to hand back the stadium to the community.

“I believe the facility will flourish under community ownership.”

Robert Snedden added: “We will consult with the community as to what they want at Newtown Park. But our priority is a 3G surface.”

Falkirk East and Linlithgow MP Michael Connarty, a Newtown Park Association trustee, said: “This is a new era for Bo’ness United and the local community.”