Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

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Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby bud1876 » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 05:03:32 AM

Just seen the Navy Blue newsletter and was very encouraged by the article on the South Stand. It's excellent that this will be built and that fans will have the chance to say something about it.

But this leaves me with a real nag: what the hell is the Council, and most importantly, the head of the planning committee, Craig Martin, doing to help complete the stadium?

That's the club paying (or at least, bringing in the investment for) the North and South Stands. We paid half of the rest of the development too, and help make it a success with our payment of rent. Okay, the Council has helped, what with facilitating loans, and the land, but that will all be paid back, and it owns its fair share of the company.

I was at the meeting in the Park Hotel years ago when now ex-Councillor Denis Goldie said that all 70 acres would go to the development. Is that happening? I thought the whole garden centre thing would bring in a lot of cash, and it now seems that the council will trouser the money it makes and not reinvest it in the Stadium. Does anyone know anything about this?

Now, I know that the Council has loads of other priorities. But surely the whole stadium movement has been a good thing? How much has the Council made out of its share of Brockville, dead land that it agreed to transfer along with Brockville to the new community stadium?

I'm no expert on Council finances, but they must be making a fair amount from Morrisons and the stadium, directly from business rates and indirectly from several hundred more employed people paying council tax.

Come on Craig, the Bairns have done their bit to make this partnership a success. You finish the job.

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby grahamston » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 09:07:23 AM

I agree with that.

Falkirk FC has been a cash cow for the Council. If the Council takes money out of the stadium and leaves it incomplete, it'll be a scandal.

The stadium has to be a success, otherwise what message would that send to other potential investors in the area? That the Council let's its landmark projects swing in the wind?
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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby Bairn_O_Falkirk » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 10:22:09 AM

I heard a rumour not that long ago that the company behind the stadium were in financial trouble. Not sure what that would mean should they collapse, it might be bad but...

Say the company did fold, could Falkirk buy it from them at market rate and we'll just have to be yet another SPL club which has its share of debt?
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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby Brian Scrimegour » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 10:28:46 AM

Got to agree that its time the council started meeting us at least half way again. Time they took the initiative and pulled out all the stops to get the east stand up and running. A completed stadium will be a fantastic landmark for all concerned and a testament to how relationships between councils and local teams can work. However, its time they stopped relying on FFC to get things moving.

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby The Real Super Sam » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 10:56:38 AM

bud1876 wrote:
But this leaves me with a real nag: what the hell is the Council, and most importantly, the head of the planning committee, Craig Martin, doing to help complete the stadium?

I was at the meeting in the Park Hotel years ago when now ex-Councillor Denis Goldie said that all 70 acres would go to the development. Is that happening? I thought the whole garden centre thing would bring in a lot of cash, and it now seems that the council will trouser the money it makes and not reinvest it in the Stadium. Does anyone know anything about this?

Come on Craig, the Bairns have done their bit to make this partnership a success. You finish the job.


Every time there was a vote on the stadium Craig Martin always had an excuse for not being there when the vote was taken. In terms of the food chain I dont think Craig Martin is particularly high up in Labour politics.

It is the 70 acres that the new Labour / Tory coalition are back tracking on according to the coucil agenda and minutes from its meeting last June. The SNP claimed that there is a report approved in their time that says the stadium company has an option on the other 35 acres along the lines of what Dennis Goldie said at the Park Hotel and that I believe is one of the main stumbling blocks on concluding the Terrace Hill proposals.

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby grahamston » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 10:59:18 AM

In the last round of decision-making last year, the FCSL's loans were deferred for a couple of years to help it bed down better.

Some positive decisions were taken, but the garden centre one was knocked back. This was crucial as some of the planning gain would have been transferred to help complete the stadium.

And the spectre of opposition from one party remains. One councillor, the brother of a prominent former councillor, called for the loans to be called-in and the Stadium to go into council control!

I'd hate for us to have to go back to the bad old days of fans campaigning to remove a council administration because of its opposition to our club.

Bairn_O_Falkirk wrote:I heard a rumour not that long ago that the company behind the stadium were in financial trouble. Not sure what that would mean should they collapse, it might be bad but...

Say the company did fold, could Falkirk buy it from them at market rate and we'll just have to be yet another SPL club which has its share of debt?
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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby bairn4life » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 11:57:10 AM

The Falkirk Stadium is supposed to be one of the Icons of regeneration of the Falkirk Gateway but at the moment it's being left to the club to generate income and private enterprise for the completion of the stadium. The stadium should be a shining example of how local government and private enterprise can bond together in a community exercise to benefit all parties.

I had hoped that in it's small way the co-operation and willingness of the district councillors in paving the way for the Falkirk Stadium being built would result in a new era for Falkirk District where party politics were laid aside and forward thinking multiparty decisions for the benefit of the district were the norm.

For as long as I've lived in this district we've been second best to our historic rivals Stirling, we've seen them using forward thinking initiatives where all parties have worked together to give their area projects decades in front of us and we are always at the coos tail.

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby The Real Super Sam » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 01:55:59 PM

bairn4life wrote:The Falkirk Stadium is supposed to be one of the Icons of regeneration of the Falkirk Gateway but at the moment it's being left to the club to generate income and private enterprise for the completion of the stadium. The stadium should be a shining example of how local government and private enterprise can bond together in a community exercise to benefit all parties.

I had hoped that in it's small way the co-operation and willingness of the district councillors in paving the way for the Falkirk Stadium being built would result in a new era for Falkirk District where party politics were laid aside and forward thinking multiparty decisions for the benefit of the district were the norm.

For as long as I've lived in this district we've been second best to our historic rivals Stirling, we've seen them using forward thinking initiatives where all parties have worked together to give their area projects decades in front of us and we are always at the coos tail.

Ane for a'


Good post with some quality points.

Having followed the who issue from day one it looks as though it was only the intervention of party politics that got the stadium of the planning stage in the first place. It was clear that we were going nowhere until there was a change of administration within the council and new ideas came forward on regeneration. The stadium, Stenhousemuir town centre, Helix and the likes all cam through at that time and did become iconic.

Why Labour chose to oppose the stadium project was a bizarre decision and merely seemed to be the result of the SNP are proposing it so we must be against it. Labour are now in control of Falkirk Council and other than Goldie's outburst in June it sems that they are doing nothing rather than working in the opposite direction although maybe Fashion Icon can provide more information. The June meeting also saw the opposition SNP say that they want to work with the new administration to complete the stadium so there is a real opportunity for the first time to have an administration and opposition on the same side thus making bairn4life's vision of unity a real possibility.

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby Falkirk Till I Die » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 02:17:49 PM

Its important for the council to step up and keep to their part of the deal. It's hard to believe after all the time that has past since the selling of Brockville, that stumbling blocks still appear to be put in our way by those in authority.

A completed Falkirk Stadium would show the aspirations of the council towards their community, and enhance the overall imagage of Falkirk and its surrounding areas.
A half finished stadium will reflect poorly on those who promised so much, but delivered so little.
Its time for more action, less talk.
I for one hope that Falkirk Council put their petty arguments aside, and drive this project forward.
We should be proud to live in Falkirk, but sometimes it seems the council go out their way to make it difficult for us to appreciate their roles within the comminuty.
The fact it takes a Falkirk fan to put up his own money just to take this project to the next stage, shows up the Council, FFC and all those involved at a higher level, in a poor light.

Lets get it sorted.

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby Pete » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 03:31:26 PM

Whats actually holding up the finalisation of the stadium (4th stand and corner pods) and surrounding area?

Is it purely down to money or are there planning problems as well?

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby grahamston » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 03:35:53 PM

I think the plans are pretty much in place for the pods, which are effectively 3-storey blocks in each corner, and wrapping behind the stands. Not just that, there are other bits of the site that can be developed.

The problem is, income from this would probably be insufficient to pay off the existing debt AND build the East Stand because of the "promised land" that the Council owns and is refusing to recycle into the greater development, as was previously promised.

So, this appears to be where Cllr Martin comes in...
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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby The Real Super Sam » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 03:41:02 PM

Pete wrote:Whats actually holding up the finalisation of the stadium (4th stand and corner pods) and surrounding area?

Is it purely down to money or are there planning problems as well?


Acording to what is in the public domain at the moment Terrace Hill want to develop the full 70acre site but Falkirk Council are saying that the stadium company can only have the 35 acres they have at the moment. As the Garden Centre was outwith the original 35 acres the development profit will go to the council rather than the stadium company.

The report that went to the council in June said that the previous administration had given the stadium comany first option of the full site back around 2002/03 and Dennis Goldie certainly said the council had offered 70 acres at the Park Hotel meeting but it seems that tyhey are now backtracking.

A compromise deal was offered in terms of the council getting land earmarked for the football centre and that being located elsewhere but they only see greenbacks and the thought of a garden centre paying millions to the stadium company rather than the council seems like a step too far for them.

All they have to do is honour the commitment given by not only the previous council administration but also that given by D Goldie when he was provost and all shades of the council will be on the same side and we can get the stadium completed.

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby Back Post Mrs » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 03:55:33 PM

grahamston wrote:I agree with that.

Falkirk FC has been a cash cow for the Council. If the Council takes money out of the stadium and leaves it incomplete, it'll be a scandal.

The stadium has to be a success, otherwise what message would that send to other potential investors in the area? That the Council let's its landmark projects swing in the wind?


On what basis is FFC a cash cow for the council? The money they got from the sale of brockville was ploughed into the one stand.

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby grahamston » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 03:57:41 PM

The land at Brockville was redundant. Had they not agreed to the transfer, the deal wouldn't have gone ahead.

FFC brought millions of pounds and hundreds of jobs to Falkirk town centre with Morrisons. The council would've reaped the benefits from this, and will continue to do so.

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grahamston wrote:I agree with that.

Falkirk FC has been a cash cow for the Council. If the Council takes money out of the stadium and leaves it incomplete, it'll be a scandal.

The stadium has to be a success, otherwise what message would that send to other potential investors in the area? That the Council let's its landmark projects swing in the wind?


On what basis is FFC a cash cow for the council? The money they got from the sale of brockville was ploughed into the one stand.
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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby geeo41 » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 04:11:12 PM

grahamston wrote:The land at Brockville was redundant. Had they not agreed to the transfer, the deal wouldn't have gone ahead.

FFC brought millions of pounds and hundreds of jobs to Falkirk town centre with Morrisons. The council would've reaped the benefits from this, and will continue to do so.

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grahamston wrote:I agree with that.

Falkirk FC has been a cash cow for the Council. If the Council takes money out of the stadium and leaves it incomplete, it'll be a scandal.

The stadium has to be a success, otherwise what message would that send to other potential investors in the area? That the Council let's its landmark projects swing in the wind?


On what basis is FFC a cash cow for the council? The money they got from the sale of brockville was ploughed into the one stand.


Lets not forget it was a certain board member who put his own cash up (£65000) if memory serves,to pay an appeal for planning permission to sell to a supermarket.
This move was opposed by the council and the B.O.D. at the time.
As grahamston says the council have done well out of ffc considering they seem to hate us.

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby bairnsaloud » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 04:35:21 PM

who's going to sit on the seats?

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby grahamston » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 04:43:18 PM

Local supporters as the club grows. Young fans being given the chance to support SPL football on the doorstep. Away fans, when the need arises. People watching other major events that a full stadium would have the chance of hosting.

bairnsaloud wrote:who's going to sit on the seats?
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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby geeo41 » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 09:27:13 PM

bairnsaloud wrote:who's going to sit on the seats?


lots of fat people ? :lol:

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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby GunnerBairn » Friday 15th 2008f February 2008 09:32:54 PM

we are so close to having the finished article (corner pods aside). what we need is something to bring all parties together for a concerted effort to finish the job. a common goal which everyone should aim for. pity william wallace is dead cos he wouldve made a cracking project manager.
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Re: Finishing the Stadium: the Council's role

Postby bud1876 » Saturday 16th 2008f February 2008 12:12:22 AM

The thing that really bugs me is that this was promised. If the Council is now refusing to allow this garden centre development finance the the stadium's completion, then questions must really be asked. The Main Stand and first phase of the development cost a fortune. If we knew that the Council would move the goalposts, and reduce its commitment to the partnership, then we might've gone for lower spec to begin with.

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