04 September 2020
For any queries please view our FAQ page or email firstname.lastname@example.org
A summary of the Scottish Government’s routemap for phases 2-3 is available here. These dates are indicative and Falkirk Community Trust’s plan to reopen takes into account the needs of our community along with restrictions on the number of customers and staff we can accommodate safely. People are at the heart of everything we do and we will only reopen facilities when it is safe to do so.
With this in mind, although we have provisionally set dates for reopening of some of our sites, these dates are all subject to Scottish Government guidance, the R number value and further safety tests carried out locally.
31 / 07 / 2020 - Our Health, Fitness and Sports Reopening Plans
Following the First Minister’s announcement on Thursday 30th July, we remain in phase three of the Scottish Government’s routemap. An indicative date for the reopening of gyms and swimming pools was provided as Monday 14th September, however, this date could be accelerated to the end of August if it is deemed safe to do so.
We will continue to plan and take a careful and measured approach to our reopening schedule, and will communicate via our website and social media channels as and when opening dates of venues are confirmed.
Our sports and leisure venues are unique in terms of their facilities, layout and capacity and as such we have been considering each location individually to follow not only the COVID-19 guidance, but also the required technical processes to make our buildings safe for public and staff use.
Over the past few weeks we have worked with suppliers to carry out these modifications as well as sourcing the relevant PPE. We are delighted that our staff are also working on attaining the We’re Good to Go accreditation supported by Visit Scotland to provide confidence for our customers in our readiness for reopening.
Thank you for your understanding and patience whilst we implement our reopening plans in the coming weeks.
We can’t wait to welcome you back.
15 / 07 /2020 - Phase 3 Announcement
The First Minister confirmed on 9 July 2020 the move into Phase 3 of the Scottish Government COVID-19 Routemap, which includes the announcement that museums, galleries and libraries can reopen.
All eight of our libraries along with the museum at Kinneil House, Callendar House and the Hippodrome Cinema fall into this section of the Routemap, having been closed since the 23rd of March in line with government guidance.
We are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that as we carefully and gradually reopen, our sites are fully prepared to provide a safe environment for staff and customers alike, as soon as we are in a position to announce dates to reopen we will do this via our social media channels and website, so would urge you to keep up to date this way. With this in mind, our plans are all subject to Scottish Government guidance and further stringent safety and hygiene tests carried out by Falkirk Council.
Details of our approach to date and in the future can be found below, and whilst we are gradually reopening some of our sites, we continue to ask our customers to adhere to any guidance we have published as well as the guidance issued by the Scottish Government. Due to the open nature of our sites, we are unable to staff public places. We are therefore advising our customers not only to follow the guidance given but to also make a personal judgement if a site is busy at the time of arrival to perhaps return at another time.
Our reopened sites to date
The Parks at Callendar Park, Kinneil Estate, Muiravonside Country Park and the Helix remain open.
Grangemouth golf course opened on 29 May 2020 with support from Grangemouth Golf Club. The new operating procedures are working well and feedback from customers is positive.
The tennis courts at Dollar Park and Zetland Park opened on the 12 June 2020 and are operating well and we continue to urge users to follow the guidance we have set which can be found on our website.
Play parks at the Helix Park, Kinneil Estate, Callendar Park and Muiravonside opened on the 29 June 2020. We are awaiting results of local testing in order to safely open the Plaza Café, whilst the Kiosk at Callendar Park will remain closed for the time being. Following changes to guidance around opening of public toilets we are also working closely with Falkirk Council to ensure they are safely reopened for public use in the near future.
Although our plan is to prioritise the reopening of a small number of sites this is dependent on the completion of safety and hygiene tests by Falkirk Council to allow us to open safely.
Only when we have been advised that it is safe to do so, will we then be in a position to ask staff to return to work. Please also bear in mind that when we do reopen, in order to adhere to guidelines, the services available will be modified with changes being communicated to customers in advance. As our sites are unique, visits to many of our venues are likely to require advance booking, details will be provided prior to opening via our website and social channels.
We will be opening the Newpark Farm at Muiravonside Country Park on Thursday 16 July and are asking visitors to read the guidance in advance of their visit.
Our plan is to open all libraries for a limited time for a click and collect service which is bookable online or over the phone and the Home Library Service will restart again following relevant protocols. We are also planning to reopen Callendar House, which in the first instance will be without catering and no archives which we hope to reintroduce in due course.
Our beloved cinema, The Hippodrome has also remained closed since March, which meant postponing our Hippfest event to 2021. Due to the size and nature of the seating it does not lend itself well to social distancing so we are unable to put a date for opening at this time.
With reference to our sport and fitness venues, we are awaiting government guidance on what we can open and when.
As soon as we are in a position to announce dates to reopen we will do this via our social media channels and website, and so we would urge you to keep up to date this way.
We know that you are missing us, and we are missing you. Thank you for your understanding and patience whilst we implement our reopening plans in the coming weeks.
09 / 07 / 2020 - Newparks Farm at Muiravonside Country Park Announcement
In line with Phase 2 of the Scottish Government COVID-19 Routemap, we are pleased to announce that Newparks Farm at Muiravonside Country Park will reopen to the public on the 16 July with new safety restrictions in place.
Falkirk Community Trust has been very busy behind the scenes, and we are working on a careful and managed approach to reopening our sites safely. Phase 2 continues to ask the public to still stay at home as much as possible and that zoos and garden attractions of which Newparks Farm falls into could open from 29 June for local access.
In order to safely re-open the farm, we ask all visitors to:
- Supervise your child or children closely.
- Follow the one way system which has been put in place.
- Observe social distancing – groups staying 2m apart at all times.
- Use the hand sanitiser provided at the start and end of your visit.
- Please do not touch anything during your visit, especially the animals!
- Please do not bring food into the farm, either for yourself or the animals.
Please also note that:
- Our new opening times are 10.30am to 3pm with last entry at 2.30pm.
- If eating at the nearby picnic area before or after your visit, we ask you to please bin your rubbish or take it home with you.
- Due to local hygiene testing, toilets will NOT be available on site.
- The barns and other buildings remain closed.
- You must follow any requests from our Stock keepers.
- Please bring hand sanitiser to use after touching shared equipment if visiting the nearby play park.
24 / 06/ 2020 - Pantomime 2020 Postponement Announcement
After careful consideration and in light of the most recent guidelines issued by the Scottish Government, it is with enormous regret that we have made the difficult decision to postpone the 2020 pantomime, Beauty and the Beast. However we are not saying goodbye completely, oh no we’re not! The pantomime will be back for our Christmas season in 2021.
We have made this decision after carefully assessing the options open to us in relation to social distancing within our venue as well as the financial risk for us and our producers, but most importantly we believe that you need to experience a pantomime in a packed auditorium with a large audience full of families who can interact with the actors on stage, as that is the beauty and tradition of pantomime. If we are unable to achieve that this year then we would not be doing the artform justice. Therefore, postponing until next year feels like the most sensible, fair and safe option.
“It was with a heavy heart that we have had to take the difficult decision to postpone this year’s pantomime. We understand the impact this will have; however, the safety of our customers along with that of the cast and our staff is our main priority. Please be assured this decision was not taken lightly and we are currently researching any and all opportunities to provide another form of festive entertainment.” Lesley O’Hare, Culture and Libraries Manager
We are in the process of finalising the schedule for next year and our Box Office team will then be contacting everyone who has booked tickets for Beauty and the Beast as soon as possible with options to transfer your booking to 2021; you may wish to review your booking and other options including refunds and credit towards tickets for other shows will be also be available. In the meantime please bear with us and thank you for your support and patience.
18 / 06 / 2020 - Reopening Plans
As you know, the majority of Falkirk Community Trust properties have been closed since March due to the coronavirus emergency. We are working hard behind the scenes to ensure that as we gradually reopen, in line with government advice, our sites are fully prepared to provide a safe environment for staff and customers alike.
As lockdown begins to ease across Scotland, the Trust is preparing plans for a phased reopening of venues, in line with the Scottish Government’s ‘Routemap’. Our plan to reopen takes into account the needs of our community along with restrictions on the number of customers and staff we can accommodate safely due to government guidelines. We understand from research we’ve undertaken that we need to keep our staff and customers informed of our plans and that many are nervous about returning to public buildings. People are at the heart of everything we do and we will only reopen facilities when it is safe to do so.
Current Phase – Phase 1 (Effective since 29 May 2020)
The Parks at Callendar Park, Kinneil Estate, Muiravonside Country Park and the Helix remain open.
Grangemouth golf course opened on 29 May with support from Grangemouth Golf Club. The new safety guidance procedures in place are working well and feedback from customers has been very positive. You can find out more about what we’ve done by viewing our short film here.
The Tennis courts at Dollar Park and Zetland Park are also open and operating well with new safety and hygiene guidance in place also.
Phase 2 - anticipate 29 June 2020
Play parks at the Helix Park, Callendar Park and Muiravonside will open on 29 June. We are looking at the feasibility of opening the Plaza Café and Callendar Park Kiosk to coincide with the play parks reopening. It should be noted that the toilets will remain closed in line with government guidelines and we are asking our customers to follow guidance for safe use of the play parks, please see below update from 18 June.
Phase 3 anticipate 9 July 2020 at earliest
Our plan is to prioritise the reopening of a small number of sites, bearing in mind that the services available will be adapted and limited to fit in with the guidance available. We will let our customers know of these changes in advance eg, access and visits will likely require advance booking - full details will be provided prior to opening.
We also plan to open all libraries for a limited time for a collection service bookable online and the Home Library Service will restart again following relevant protocols, again detail on this will follow. Thank you for your patience and understanding at this time.
18 / 06 / 2020 - Playparks at the Helix, Callendar Park and Muiravonside to open on the 29 June
Phase 2 continues to ask the public to still stay at home as much as possible and also includes use of play parks at a later date. The play parks at the Helix Park, Callendar Park and Muiravonside Country Park have been closed since the 23rd of March and we are pleased to confirm that they will reopen on Monday 29th June.
In order to safely reopen we ask all park users to:
- Supervise your child closely
- Observe social distancing
- Please bring hand sanitiser to use after touching shared equipment in parks
Please also note that:
- Toilets remain closed in line with Scottish Government guidance
- We ask you to please bin your rubbish or take it home with you
29/05/2020 - Zetland Park and Dollar Park Tennis Courts Now Open
Further to guidance announced by the Scottish Government on 28 May 2020, Falkirk Community Trust are pleased to confirm that the tennis courts at Zetland Park and Dollar Park have been reopened for public use. The initial focus during this phase is on recreational and social play, and allowing players to spend time practicing and playing as part of daily exercise.
The safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers is a priority and in order to re-open safely, industry guidance and national regulations have all been taken on board to make the necessary changes for a safe re-opening.
The following guidance is necessary to help things go smoothly during the recovery period and to ensure we can help to keep everyone safe and our courts open for play. We therefore urge you to follow the changes which have been made across the courts and to adhere to the rules outlined below.
Preparing to play:
- Court gates will be left open
- Where possible bring hand sanitizers or wipes
- As it is advised to avoid use of communal rackets or tennis ball, players should bring their own equipment, keeping it to a minimum
- Bring your own tennis balls that are clearly marked (e.g. with your initials)
- Please do not share equipment such as grips, hats or towels
- Please arrive changed and ready to play
- Players must be from the same or one other household, there is a limit of two players per court
- Be aware that onsite toilet facilities will not be open until further notice
At the courts:
- Allow others to leave before you enter the court - if you need to wait then do so away from the courts and clear of the gates
- Adhere to the social distancing guidelines at all times (staying at least 2m away from others and no physical contact)
- Avoid touchpoint surfaces (gates, door handles, handrails and so on)
- Spectating is actively discouraged
- Players should avoid adjusting nets
- Stay on your side of court and avoid changing ends, or agree to change ends at opposite sides of the net
- Avoid chasing the ball down to another court if other players are using it
- Avoid using your hands to pick up tennis balls that aren’t yours - use your racquet/foot to hit/kick them to your opponent or return them to another court
- Use your own clearly marked tennis balls
- If using a towel it must be safely stored in a bag and must avoid touching any other surface.
- Avoid touching your face, reminder to cough or sneeze into bent elbow to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
Leaving the court:
- Ensure you take all your belongings with you at the end of the session and do not leave anything on court
- Do not congregate after playing. No extra-curricular or social activity should take place in the courts after play
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon returning home or use an alcohol gel if washing hands is not possible
- Clean and wipe down your equipment, including racquets and water bottles before and after use
Please note, guidance can change and restrictions may be reintroduced - ensure you have checked the latest version of the guidelines for tennis players in Scotland on the LTA website and with Tennis Scotland.
Thank you for helping to keep everyone safe and our courts open for play.
28/05/2020 - Grangemouth Golf Course to Re-open!
Message from Maureen Campbell OBE, Chief Executive, Falkirk Community Trust
Today the First Minister confirmed that evidence shows transmission of COVID-19 is at a controllable level and that we will move into Phase 1 of the Scottish Government COVID-19 Routemap. The first step of a four-phased approach to easing lockdown while still suppressing coronavirus (COVID-19).
Phase 1 continues to ask the public to still stay at home and also includes relaxation of non-contact activities in your local area such as golf. Grangemouth Golf Course has been closed since the 23rd of March in line with government restrictions aimed at helping manage our national response to the pandemic and we are pleased to confirm that the course will re-open tomorrow, 29 May 2020.
Golf is a fantastic form of exercise, keeping the whole body fit and the social aspect is really important to many local people, especially members of the friendly Grangemouth Golf Club based at the course.
Falkirk Community Trust who run the course have been working closely with the club committee during the closure, making sure essential maintenance is carried out and preparations were in place for a safe phased return to golf.
The safety and wellbeing of our staff and customers is a priority and in order to open safely, industry guidance and national regulations have all been taken on board to make the necessary changes for a safe re-opening. Guidance is available both online and at the course to help things go smoothly during the recovery period. New season ticket applications are welcomed and can be purchased at the pro shop on site with a credit or debit card.
Falkirk Community Trust would like to thank all of our loyal customers who have stayed at home and helped keep everyone safe during the initial pandemic response. We are looking forward to welcoming you back under our new phased reopening plan so that you can get back to the sport you love and we urge you to follow the changes which have been made across the course, clubhouse and shop to ensure a safe return.
26/05/2020 - Message from Maureen Campbell OBE, Chief Executive, Falkirk Community Trust
I hope that you and your family are keeping well and just like myself and my colleagues at the Trust you have adjusted to new ways of living, working, communicating with colleagues, friends and family and of course that you are managing to stay active.
As we enter our second full month since we closed down our venues, we continue to look to the future as we start to build our plan for reopening and what recovery will look like for the Trust.
On 21 May the First Minister announced guidance regarding the Scottish Government COVID-19 Routemap. Setting out a four-phased approach to easing lockdown while still suppressing coronavirus (COVID-19).
Whilst the current guidance urges the public to continue to stay at home, the routemap provides information on how we might ease out of lockdown. The first phase although not in place at time of writing, includes an outdoor focus which continues to permit unrestricted outdoor exercise adhering to distancing measures. Additionally it also includes non-contact activities in your local area such as golf, hiking and fishing.
Falkirk Community Trust looks after Callendar Park, The Helix Park, Kinneil Estate and Muiravonside Country Park and our staff continue to maintain these spaces so they are safe for everyone to visit as part of their daily exercise.
The weather has been glorious and the community have been out daily taking exercise in line with the guidance from the Scottish government. We know that access to parks is good for our physical and mental wellbeing, as well as being fantastic spaces for wildlife.
Falkirk Community Trust had anticipated the additional measure around non-contact outdoor activities and as such have been working in close partnership with Grangemouth Golf Club planning a safe return to golf. Grangemouth Golf Course has been closed since the 23rd of March in line with government restrictions aimed at helping manage our national response to the pandemic.
Keeping customers and staff healthy is our priority so we’ll be implementing some changes to keep you all safe. These have been based on guidance from the PGA, SGU and BIGGA as well as government restrictions. As these change the proposed work and operating plans will also change so we can ensure we follow best practice.
The Scottish Government will confirm the introduction of the Phase 1 changes on Thursday 28 May along with additional details on the routemap. At this time we will make an additional statement regards to our plans to reopen Grangemouth Golf Course.
Although we cannot see our customers in person at this time, it’s been great to hear from you as we continue to safely stay in touch across our social media channels. Many of you have been in contact to thank us for our support during these times, for the free fitness classes, online library services, for providing a routine and for sharing images to evoke wonderful memories of time spent with us.
In turn I would like to take this opportunity thank our staff, customers and our partners for their support, patience, generosity and kind words of support. We miss you too and the sense of community which we have felt has been quite overwhelming and has confirmed just how vital the Trust is in the local community and beyond.
As we turn our thoughts to reopening, people and our communities remain at the heart of everything we do, therefore protecting our organisation during our venue closures is our sole objective, so that we will be able to open safely for the community when the time comes.
Until such time, please stay safe and continue to keep up to date with our latest news on our social media channels and visit our new health & wellbeing at home section of our website here which is full of useful tips and links to help you at this time.
30/03/2020 - Car Park Closure
Falkirk Community Trust are very proud of all of our parks and under normal circumstances we encourage visitors to enjoy them. We know that you also love our parks as some of you are still enjoying the surroundings whilst taking your daily exercise as per the government guidelines.
So far throughout the period of the pandemic we have continued to allow access to our parks and have opened and closed the gates that allow access to vehicles. However, recent Police Scotland advice has led us to now close the car parks at Callendar Park and The Helix. This is to encourage the general population to take their daily exercise close to their home and to discourage people from driving to a local beauty spot, such as our parks.
We support this measure to avoid large number of visitors within our parks, especially when the weather is good. So to support our nation’s battle against Covid 19, there will no longer be access to the car parks at Callendar Park and The Helix. The access gates to Muiravonside Country Park will continue to be opened and closed at the regular times, however this is to support our staff who need access to look after the welfare of the farm animals and is not for general use.
We support the government advice to stop the spread of this virus, so please do not travel, exercise locally and stick to the social distancing guidelines. Thank you.
27/03/2020 - Parks
It has been a busy week for us here at Falkirk Community Trust, ensuring a safe closure of many of our facilities and services. The Trust is a large organisation with over 80 venues including museums, parks, golf courses, sports facilities & swimming pools , libraries, theatre, cinema and visitor sites to run. People are at the heart of everything we do and we of course value the health and wellbeing of our customers and our staff, so many of them are working remotely from home during this time. Furthermore, the Trust has offered its support to Falkirk Council as they focus on meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in the community as the situation develops. So as a result, we have a much-reduced workforce on the ground to ensure that all of our buildings and parks are maintained during the closure, and we have to prioritise the tasks that are undertaken.
Callendar Park, Muiravonside Country Park, The Helix and Kinneil Estate will remain open for now so local people/residents can exercise, and we know that many of you will be keen to use them for your health and wellbeing. Our play areas and toilets are closed, as are some car parks - please check our website for details. As our workforce is reduced, you can help us by taking your litter away with you and remembering to follow the guidance on social distancing, stay local and do not travel.
Thank you for your continued support.
25/03/2020 - Hearing aid battery collection
Until libraries reopen, hearing aid batteries can be obtained by calling Forth Valley Audiology, who will post out the batteries to you.
The telephone number appears on the back of your Hearing Aid booklet. Further contact information is available on NHS Forth Valley's website. (https://nhsforthvalley.com/health-services/az-of-services/audiology-services/).
(24.03.20) – Grangemouth Golf Course and outdoor play areas at The Helix Park, Muiravonside Country Park, Callendar Park and Kinneil Estate
In line with UK and Scottish Government advice announced on 23 March 2020 and in the best interest of the health and wellbeing of staff, customers and the community, Falkirk Community Trust has taken the decision to close all outdoor play areas including those located at The Helix Park, Muiravonside Country Park, Callendar Park and Kinneil Estate. Whilst the parks themselves will remain open for the time being, we urge you to exercise caution and adhere to the most up to date advice which can be found here. Grangemouth Golf Course is now closed and please note the decision to keep our parks open is subject to change.
In addition all the Helix car parks are now closed as the main Etna road entrance is closed, at the time of writing the car park at Falkirk Football Stadium remain open.
Whilst we appreciate the benefits of fresh air and exercise, we urge people not to travel, to stay local and observe social distancing. We look forward to welcoming you again in the future, once it’s safe for everyone. Please ensure you check our website and social media channels for updates on this situation.
(21/3/2020) - Grangemouth Golf Course and The Helix Park, Muiravonside Country Park, Callendar Park and Kinneil Estate.
Falkirk Community Trust (FCT) decided to suspend all of its services from 18 March 2020 after advice from the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland to help support their aims of reducing social contact designed to limit the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). We now have an update on how this impacts access to Grangemouth Golf Course and our Parks. While we understand the benefits of being out in the fresh air, the W.H.O and national Government have advised against non-essential contact involving a sizeable and flowing crowd, to minimise social contact. They have also stated that playing sports in the open air with family and a few known friends should be done, but with caution. The health of our community is vital, so if you choose to visit Grangemouth Golf Course or any of our Parks (see above) during this time, we would ask that you be mindful of the current guidelines relating to social distancing and hand washing.
Grangemouth Golf Course: We have taken steps to reduce infection opportunities wherever possible to avoid having to touch items of equipment, flags, bunker rakes on your game of golf, as your health and well-being is considered more important to us. Similarly, we are unable to open the associated changing areas and toilets. We also ask that you adhere to the recent guidelines from the Scottish Golf Union about social distancing aspects
The Helix Park, Muiravonside Country Park, Callendar Park, Kinneil Estate: We have taken steps to reduce infection opportunities wherever possible to avoid having to touch items of equipment as your health and well-being is considered more important to us. We will continue to empty the bins and monitor the parks' usage and will lock access gates during the evenings and whenever we feel it necessary to do so. We are uncertain, however, how long we will be in a position to do so as the health and well-being of our staff is vital. Please note the Etna road roundabout main entrance to the Park is now closed, however, The Falkirk Stadium carparks remain open.
We will continue to monitor Government advice and respond as necessary and post regular updates here. Please enjoy the fresh air and opportunity to take some exercise however please help your local community by acting responsibly at this particular time. Thank you.
(18/03/2020) - It is with regret that Falkirk Community Trust has decided to suspend all services from Wednesday 18th March until further notice in keeping with the Scottish Government’s advice on reducing social contact and maintaining the safety of all of our customers and staff.
This includes all sports and leisure facilities including Outdoors Activities and Polmonthill Snowsports Centre and all culture facilities including Callendar House, Libraries in addition to the FTH Theatre and Hippodrome which have already closed. Our café facilities at The Helix, Callendar House and Muiravonside will also close, and tours of the Kelpies will be suspended.
Our thoughts are with everyone across our community at this challenging time. The decision to close our services was done following advice from the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland and aligns us with the UK’s efforts to delay the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). We look forward to re-opening our doors as soon as we receive the appropriate advice. We would like to thank all of our customers for their patience and understanding in these uncertain times.
Membership fees (including golf and fitness) will be frozen automatically throughout the closure, and so service users do not need to take action on this. Anyone who has paid for classes or other services that cannot be delivered will be contacted to arrange a refund.
Falkirk Community Trust provides a range of online resources for the community to use, and we will endeavour to extend these and promote through our online channels as soon as we can.
We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause and would advise everyone to continue to check our website for updates as they become available along with referring to our FAQs document in the first instance with any queries.
If you feel unwell please refer to NHS guidance here
(17/03/2020) - Falkirk Community Trust Update - Cancellations
Following advice from the Scottish Government relating to social distancing measures to reduce the transmission of the virus (COVID-19), Falkirk Community Trust has taken the decision to close or cancel the following services/venues:
Denny Sports Centre
ALL children’s sports lessons (including swimming lessons and gymnastics) and the Easter Holiday Activity Programme
We understand that our customers will be disappointed and we appreciate your patience and support at this time.
Falkirk Community Trust has committed to offer a full refund for all events/activities and so please email our bookings team on email@example.com with key detail including your name, activity & date and venue to facilitate this.
We apologise for any inconvenience caused, however our responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our staff and customers is a priority.
Please keep an eye out for further updates on our website, direct mailings and social media.
(17/03/2020) - Denny Sports Centre Closure
Falkirk Community Trust has taken the decision to close Denny Sports Centre. We apologise for any inconvenience caused and can confirm that all other FCT venues remain open at this time. We would urge our customers to keep checking our website and social media channels for updates.
(13/03/2020) - The SFA released an update which affects professional and amatuer football under their jurisdiction. Visit their website for more information.