Classification and Statistics

Settlement Type: town
Population (2011): 35398    
(2001): 32379
(1991): 35610
(1981): 36881
(1971): 37579
(1961): 38044
(1951): 37535
(1901): 20503
(Parliamentary Burgh)
(1881): 13170
(1871): 9547
(1861): 9030
(1851): 8752
(1841): 8209
(1821): 11536

Tourist Rating: Two Stars
Text of Entry Updated: 31-MAR-2022

Latitude: 55.999°N Longitude: 3.7877°W
National Grid Reference: NS 886 799
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Falkirk has been a centre of industry from the time of the Industrial Revolution, well-connected by a transport network of roads, canals and railways. Historical industries local iron foundries, chemical works, brick works and distilling, with coal mining in the surrounding area. The town is also associated with publishing; the Johnston Press began here in 1767, acquired the Falkirk Herald in 1846 and remained headquartered here until the 1980s when it was floated on the stock market. Now based in London, the group owns more than two hundred local newspapers across the UK (still including the Falkirk Herald) and has annual revenues of £275 million (2014).

Camelon, a western extension of the Falkirk conurbation, is home to Alexander Dennis, Britain's largest bus manufacturer, which had its roots in the bus operator and coachbuilder W. Alexander & Sons Ltd. that was founded here in 1913. The company now operates globally and has an annual turnover of £480 million (2013).

An aluminium rolling mill was opened at David's Loan by the government in the 1940s, manufacturing sheet aluminium used to make the fuselage and wings of aircraft for the Royal Air Force. It was acquired by British Aluminium Ltd in 1946 and the plant employed 2000 people at its peak, produced 60,000 tons of aluminium annually. Later taken over by Alcan, it closed in 2004.

References and Further Reading
Gifford, John and Frank Arneil Walker (2002) The Buildings of Scotland: Stirling and Central Scotland. Yale University Press, New Haven and London
Jaques, Richard (2001) Falkirk and District: An Illustrated Architectural Guide. The Rutland Press, Edinburgh

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