The spectacular ceiling of the Hippodrome Cinema in Bo’ness
Living in the Falkirk Area
The Falkirk area offers an excellent quality of life with competitively priced housing, fantastic transport connections, good schools and a host of opportunities for your leisure and social life.
Situated mid way between Edinburgh and Glasgow, Falkirk is right in the heart of Scotland. With a population growing faster than average for Scotland, it has over 150,000 people living here and a working population of over 59,000. The main towns are Falkirk itself, Bo'ness, Denny, Grangemouth and Stenhousemuir - you can see these on our map of the area.
House Prices and Types
New housing continues to be built in the area, in spite of the economic downturn, and house prices are very competitive compared to surrounding areas. Traditional villas and canal-side developments are attracting people to come and live in the area.
The average house price in Falkirk in 2011 was £126,548. This compares very favourably to the average Scottish and UK prices for 2011 of £140,005 and £172,400 respectively.
However, average prices for new properties are higher and in 2011 averaged £205,500. This reflects the type of house currently being built in the area.
The strength of the local housing market can be seen in the fact that Falkirk experienced the biggest increase in house prices in 2011 in Scotland (according to the Bank of Scotland) and the second highest increase in the UK at 12%.
Right in the heart of Scotland, Falkirk has easy motorway access to Stirling, Edinburgh and Glasgow and south to Carlisle and the north of England. There are excellent rail links with Edinburgh and Glasgow both being only 25 minutes away and served by a good frequency of trains per hour. Train services will be even better in future due to plans for electrification of the railways which will speed up journey times and increase the frequency of trains. Finally, airports at Edinburgh and Glasgow ensure there are great international connections. Edinburgh airport is only a 25 minute drive from the centre of Falkirk.
Falkirk was the first local authority in Scotland to rebuild all eight of its secondary schools, nine including a secondary special school. The last rebuild was completed in 2009 as part of the community schools project to enhance the role which the schools play in their community. A range of facilities and services, such as public swimming sessions are available to the wider community.
More recently,a replacement Maddiston Primary School and the new Kinnaird Primary School in Larbert have been built. Plans are underway for a new denominational school - St Bernadette’s RC Primary School in Stenhousemuir – which is due to open in August 2012.
You can read more about schools in the Falkirk area on our learning page.
The opening of the state of the art £300 million Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert in August 2010 marked the start of a new and exciting era of healthcare for those who live in the Falkirk and Stirling areas.
It is one of the most modern hospitals in Europe, equipped with the very latest technology, including the use of robots in underground tunnels to deliver laundry, food, and pharmacy orders to the wards. It is the first hospital in the UK to use robots and is the largest ever NHS construction project in Scotland.
Leisure Facilities and Social Life
The Falkirk area boasts 7 golf courses, an indoor and outdoor athletic stadium at Grangemouth, a multi-use Falkirk Community Stadium, public and private sector gyms, swimming pools at leisure centres and community schools, and a canal network with lots of paths and cycle paths. Outdoor leisure opportunities are set to expand even further in future with the creation of the Helix - a huge outdoor green space which is due to be completed by 2013.
Besides sport and leisure there are lots of other community groups and clubs providing a multitude of opportunities to get involved with your local community. Local papers the Falkirk Herald and Bo'ness Journal have impressive listings of community activities to participate in. You can also visit the What's On page of Falkirk Community Trust's website for a round up of activities in the area.
Falkirk has a huge multiplex cinema and Bo'ness offers a rare treat with its recently re-opened pre-art deco cinema, the Hippodrome. Originally built in 1912, the cinema has been lovingly restored and now screens a mixture of the latest releases alongside classics and golden oldies.
Falkirk Town Hall (FTH) is a multi-use facility offering an excellent programme of entertainment, ranging from dance to drama, comedians to music and family orientated events. It also houses the FTH cinema which screens mainstream, art house and classic films.
There are also a good range of pubs, restaurants and cafes both in Falkirk itself and dotted throughout the area, plus an excellent choice of shopping in Falkirk town centre with a good range in the smaller towns too. You can read more about shopping on our Falkirk page.
Falkirk has a lower crime rate than other parts of Scotland with only 619 crimes recorded per 10,000 population in 2008/09. This compares to a Scottish average of 730. Recorded crime in the Falkirk area has been declining since 2006/07 and the clear up rate is well above the Scottish average with 57% of all crimes being cleared up, while only 49% of crimes in Scotland were solved.
A Happy Place
If you're still not convinced of the fantastic quality of life in Falkirk, why not listen to the views of the people who live here? A recent survey found 91% of people in the Falkirk area think their neighbourhood is a good place to live. In 2008, Falkirk was rated in the top 10 happiest places in the UK in research conducted by the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester. Furthermore, 95% of people in Falkirk never experience any serious disputes with their neighbours. A report by reallymoving.com in July 2010 found that Falkirk is the most popular area in the UK with its residents, as 66.1% of people who moved house stayed within the Falkirk area rather than moving out of the area.
Want all the facts and figures on Falkirk? Read our Falkirk as a Location (PDF, 166KB) document.