Councillors remain confident the ambitious Denny town centre regeneration project can be delivered - in full.
The scheme took a hit last month when retailers B&M opted not to move ahead with their reported interest in being the main store operator in phase two.
But at a meeting of Falkirk Council’s executive committee on Tuesday it was agreed to see the completion of phase one of the build and put phase two back on the market after that.
Councillor Dennis Goldie said: “The first part of the development is coming in on time and on budget and while it is disappointing phase two can’t be developed in tandem as hoped, phase one will be something well worth having and make a massive diffence to the shoppers in Denny and surrounding area.
“I remain extremely confident that after the first part of this project is open for business, potential retailers will see the benefits of being part of the regeneration and we will secure the major name we are looking for.”
Discount kings B&M were revealed as candidates for Denny in February.
On Tuesday, Rhona Geisler, the council’s director of development services, told the committee: “The good news is that work on phase one is well under way, the bad news is that since February B&M’s national strategy has changed to focus on larger store formats with connection to garden centre provision located within larger town centres.
“On the basis of this new strategy they no longer have an interest in locating to Denny. It’s very unfortunate and really disappointing, but reflects difficult marketing conditions up and down the country.”
The director recommended that “on balance” the best way forward was to put the re-marketing of phase two on hold until phase one is completed and occupied by November.
She said: “By doing that the phase one building will be fully tenanted, the town square will be in place and the car park fully utilised. While this loses the opportunity to tie in with phase one delivery, it will be a more attractive and active environment to promote.
“The marketing process has highlighted a lack of interest in phase two at this moment in time, but that can change with the completion and establishment of phase one. There is merit in delaying marketing phase two until then.”
Source: Falkirk Herald