Falkirk Community Trust

Improving Lives in the Falkirk Community

Through a wide range of Culture, Sport and Recreation services and experiences, Falkirk Community Trust (the Trust) inspires healthier, happier and more creative lives.

A key responsibility is the delivery of Culture and Sports related strategies on behalf of Falkirk Council to enrich people's lives and to make communities in the Falkirk area as creative and active as they can be.

Beyond the smooth running and management of various venues, a central goal for the trust is community outreach and engagement; ensuring every member of the community has equal opportunity and access.

From town halls, cinemas and theatres to parks, museums and leisure centres, the Trust offers something for everyone.

Falkirk Community Trust's homepage mixes personalised recommendations and promotes local events

Brand Discovery

All our client relationships begin with a series of Discovery sessions to allow our Team to grasp our clients’ brand values, market position, target user-groups and goals – and the Trust was no different.

Only after this deep dive, can we consider ourselves qualified to represent a client’s brand online. Beyond Discovery, we then start Strategic Planning - with Information Architecture (IA) an early outcome of this stage.

We restructured the site to better match audience expectations, streamlining their user journeys, and making all content more easily discoverable by search engines.

IA encompasses the entire structure of a site; from the domain strategy and site navigation to user journeys and quantifiable outcomes – with natural search ranking and usability best practice driving our recommendations.

The Trust approached us with essentially three entities: the Trust itself (and all its venues), Bo'ness’ Art Deco Cinema, the Hippodrome and the Helix Park, home of the world-famous Kelpies.

Through our research, we were able to advise that the chances of online success would be increased through splitting the sites as opposed to folding together. These sites are the basis for the Trust’s digital transformation journey; to raise targeted awareness, engage the Falkirk community and drive online revenues.

Design Sprint Methodology

The Trust serves a diverse audience across a wide range of information, making this an ideal project to implement design sprint methodologies, centring on stakeholder collaboration.

We needed to ensure the project was cohesive across all departments and venues so we advised involving as many stakeholders as possible. Encompassing venue employees and the Trust’s internal management team, this approach made it easier to design user journeys or stories that reflected real end-user challenges and motivations.

User frustrations around pool usage and availability rose to the fore during our design sprints, necessitating their importance as a key user journey

Rapid Design Prototyping

With design sprints and user-stories established, we were able to progress to rapid prototyping – and using our preferred platform InVision. Through InVision, we can create interactive prototypes; illustrating user journeys which can be shared with all stakeholders for contextual and centralised feedback. This ensures no value is lost through the all-important feedback and also streamlines the prototyping process.

Once refined, prototypes were then loaded onto a third-party user testing platform for anonymous user testing. This insight unearths potential issues or oversights from the perspective of someone who has no experience of the site to date. Using feedback from stakeholders and ‘real’ users, we were then able to create a high-fidelity prototype with UX enhancements.

InVision provided the perfect collaborative platform from user-testing rapid prototypes, through to applying finishing touches to the visual identity

A friendly and easy experience for visitors

Of central importance to the Trust’s revised site was the tailoring of the content to the wide range of identified user groups. Due to the wide offering of events and classes, there are potentially endless user journeys. To simplify the process, we developed a dynamic filtering system on key pages.

For users, logged-in to ‘My Falkirk’, their homepage view is dynamically based on their behaviour within the site. For example, if a particular user is favouriting and booking children’s swimming lessons, then the filtering system will assume that they will be interested in family events and adapt the homepage accordingly. This level of personalisation adds to user engagement, allowing users to easily find events and information within their interests.

We aimed to make My FCT as appealing as possible, by highlighting benefits and stremlining the sign-up process

The visual design focuses on white space with strong yet controlled use of colour to highlight categories of information and events. This use of categorised colour adds to the overall user experience and ensure that the site is simple and engaging to navigate at work, home or on the move.

Due to the rage of demographics and motivations for visiting Falkirk Community Trust, we created key pages to have design flexibility across devices. Depending on how a user is viewing the site, elements such as page structure and heading will adapt accordingly for the best user experience.

Custom Integrations

Falkirk Community Trust doesn’t just serve as an information hub, with users being able to directly book activities, classes and sports facilities via third party platforms. The Umbraco CMS, on which the entire online presence is based is ideal for third party integrations due to its flexibility and stability.

Our Umbraco Developers designed a custom integration process with the booking system Delta; offering a seamless journey for users across leisure class browsing and booking. In addition, this central process unifies booking across the Trust’s extensive range of leisure facilities, making for easier ongoing management.

Changing, custom event variables were pulled dynamically from 3rd-party booking engines

Our Developers also designed and implemented a custom integration with Spektrix, a leading ticketing platform for the Arts. Spektrix offers a cohesive user experience across all Arts booking venues, simple booking management for Admin and complete flexibility from a design and functionality perspective.

Digital Marketing

Following launch and embracing our fully integrated approach, we rolled out the following three Digital Marketing tactics:

  • SEO – to build the Trust’s general brand authority and targeted natural ranking – also acting as a base for all other subsequent tactics
  • Google paid search – complimenting natural rankings; an instant and highly targeted marketing method
  • Google AdWords Remarketing – showing visually engaging ads to users who have visited but not converted as they continue to browse the web

Our focus across all three tactics was the Trust’s swimming and gymnastics offerings before switching to Christmas events, with gymnastics continuing given the demand-related opportunity.

Rolling out multiple tactics concurrently (as opposed to one) boosts the chances of success and within a shorter period. As with all Digital Marketing, monthly performance-monitoring reports with ongoing recommendations are included. These detail our work and its impact against the KPIs and goals we set with you.

A selection of key remarketing avenues for FCT


In three months following launch:

  • 163,000 web sessions
  • £105,000 booking revenue
  • 660 Sports enquiries

The rich events platform we built for Falkirk Community Trust extends to child sites for their key venues

Continued Development

As well as developing the flagship site for the Trust site, we were also tasked with creating platforms for two of the Trusts key venues: The Helix Park, home of the world-famous Kelpies, and The Hippodrome, Scotland’s oldest purpose-built cinema.

These sites, centrally managed on the Umbraco open-source CMS, provides an expandable digital platform which can grow with the Trust and meet its ongoing objectives.