Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson has welcomed the announcement that leisure and cultural venues run by council arm’s- length bodies such as Falkirk Community Trust will continue to receive charity relief from non-domestic rates.

The Scottish Government confirmed this week that it will not accept a recommendation made by the Barclay Review to end this benefit.

Mr Matheson said: “It’s excellent news for our sports, arts and community centres across Falkirk district that they will keep getting charity relief.

“This benefit helps venues to keep down their running costs, which means they can offer activities that are affordable to a wide range of users.

“These centres help to promote health, well-being and community cohesion, so I welcome this continued support from the Scottish Government for facilities that play such an important role in our towns and villages.”

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay added: “The Scottish Government is committed to an active and healthy Scotland with a vibrant cultural life and we will continue to support local authorities in providing affordable ways for their communities to take part in culture and leisure activities.”