Coat of arms of Stirling
Official logo of Stirling
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Lieutenancy areaStirling and Falkirk
Admin HQStirling
 • BodyStirling Council
 • ControlLab minority (council NOC)
 • MPs
 • MSPs
 • Total844 sq mi (2,186 km2)
 • RankRanked 9th
 • Total92,530
 • RankRanked 25th
 • Density110/sq mi (42/km2)
ONS codeS12000030
ISO 3166 codeGB-STG

The Stirling council area (Scots: Stirlin; Scottish Gaelic: Sruighlea) is one of the 32 council areas of Scotland, and has a population of about 92,530 (2022 estimate).[1] It was created in 1975 as a lower-tier district within the Central region. The district covered parts of the historic counties of Stirlingshire and Perthshire, which were abolished for local government purposes. In 1996 the Central region was abolished and Stirling Council took over all local government functions within the area.

The administrative centre of the area is the city of Stirling, with the headquarters at Old Viewforth.

The area borders the council areas of Clackmannanshire (to the east), North Lanarkshire (to the south), Falkirk (to the south east), Perth and Kinross (to the north and north east), Argyll and Bute (to the north and north west), and both East and West Dunbartonshire to Stirling's southwest.

The majority of the population of the area is located in its southeast corner, in the city of Stirling and in the surrounding lowland communities: Bridge of Allan and Dunblane to the north, Bannockburn to the immediate south, and the three former coal mining communities of Cowie, Fallin, and Plean, known collectively as the "Eastern Villages".

The rest of the council area's population is sparsely distributed across the rural, mainly highland, expanse in the north and west of the area. The southern half of this rural area comprises the flat western floodplain of the River Forth, bounded on the south by the Touch Hills and the Campsie Fells. North of the glen lie the Trossachs mountains, and the northern half of the council area is generally mountainous in character.


Stirling district was created in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, which abolished Scotland's counties, burghs and landward districts and replaced them with upper-tier regions and lower-tier districts. Stirling was one of three districts within the Central region. As created in 1975 the Stirling district covered five districts from Stirlingshire and four districts from Perthshire, which were all abolished at the same time:[2]

From Perthshire:

From Stirlingshire:

The new district and its neighbour Falkirk were together made a new Stirling and Falkirk lieutenancy area. The last Lord Lieutenant of Stirlingshire became the first Lord Lieutenant of Stirling and Falkirk.[3]

Local government was reformed again in 1996 under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994, which abolished the regions and districts which had been created in 1975, replacing them with unitary council areas. Central Region was abolished and each of the area's three districts, including Stirling, became council areas. Stirling District Council was therefore replaced by the current Stirling Council.[4]


Coat of arms or logo
Douglas Dodds,
since 19 May 2022
Chris Kane,
since 19 May 2022[5]
Carol Beattie
since 2018[6]
Seats23 councillors
Political groups
Administration (8)
  Conservative (8)
Other parties (15)
  SNP (7)
  Labour (5)
  Independents (2)
  Greens (1)
Single transferable vote
Last election
6 May 2022
Next election
6 May 2027
Meeting place
Old Viewforth, Pitt Terrace, Stirling, FK8 2ET

Political control

The first election to Stirling District Council was held in 1974, initially operating as a shadow authority alongside the outgoing authorities until the new system came into force on 16 May 1975. A shadow authority was again elected in 1995 ahead of the change to council areas which came into force on 1 April 1996. Political control since 1975 has been as follows:[7]

Stirling District Council

Party in control Years
No overall control 1975–1984
Labour 1984–1988
No overall control 1988–1996

Stirling Council

Party in control Years
Labour 1996–1999
No overall control 1999–2003
Labour 2003–2007
No overall control 2007–present


The first leader of the council, Corrie McChord, had been the last leader of the Central Regional Council.[8] The leaders since 1996 have been:[9]

Councillor Party From To
Corrie McChord Labour 1 Apr 1996 24 May 2007
Corrie McChord Labour 31 May 2007 12 Mar 2008
Graham Houston SNP 12 Mar 2008 17 May 2012
Corrie McChord Labour 17 May 2012 28 Feb 2013
Johanna Boyd Labour 28 Feb 2013 4 May 2017
Scott Farmer SNP 24 May 2017 19 May 2022
Chris Kane Labour 19 May 2022


Old Viewforth: The 1937 wing behind the original house

The council is based at Old Viewforth on Pitt Terrace in Stirling. The oldest part of the building is a converted house called Viewforth, which had been built in 1855.[10] The house was bought by Stirlingshire County Council in 1931 for £5,250 and converted to become its headquarters.[11] A large art deco extension was added to the rear of the house, opening in 1937.[12] A new building called New Viewforth was built alongside the older premises in 1972, shortly before Stirlingshire County Council was abolished.[13]

Between 1975 and 1996 the premises at Viewforth served as the headquarters of Central Regional Council, whilst Stirling District Council was based at the Municipal Buildings at 8–10 Corn Exchange Road in Stirling, which had been completed in 1918 for the old Stirling Town Council.[14][15] On local government reorganisation in 1996 Stirling Council took over Viewforth. The 1972 building known as New Viewforth was demolished in 2014.[16]


Since 2007 elections have been held every five years under the single transferable vote system, introduced by the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004. Election results since 1995 have been as follows:[7]

Year Seats SNP Conservative Labour Green Liberal Democrats Independent / Other Notes
1995 22 2 7 13 0 0 0
1999 22 2 9 11 0 0 0 New ward boundaries.[17]
2003 22 0 10 12 0 0 0
2007 22 7 4 8 0 3 0 New ward boundaries.[18]
2012 22 9 4 8 0 0 1
2017 23 9 9 4 1 0 0 New ward boundaries.[19]
2022 23 8 7 6 1 0 1 Labour minority administration with Conservative support.

Current composition

Following one change of allegiance since the 2022 election, the current composition of the council is:

Party Councillors
Conservative 8
Labour 5
Independent 2
Green 1


Map of the area's wards (2017 configuration)

The wards are:[19]

Ward Name Location Seats
1 Trossachs and Teith 3
2 Forth and Endrick 3
3 Dunblane and Bridge of Allan 4
4 Stirling North 4
5 Stirling West 3
6 Stirling East 3
7 Bannockburn 3


The area is divided into 42 community council areas, all of which have community councils as at 2023.[20]


Topographic map of Stirling and East and West Dunbartonshire

As well as the city of Stirling itself, there are many towns, villages and hamlets spread across the council area, as well as dispersed settlements.

Largest settlements by population:

Settlement Population (2020)[21]






Bridge of Allan

















Dispersed settlements

Places of interest


  1. ^ "Mid-Year Population Estimates, UK, June 2022". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2024. Retrieved 3 May 2024.
  2. ^ "Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973",, The National Archives, 1973 c. 65, retrieved 16 April 2023
  3. ^ "The Lord-Lieutenants Order 1975",, The National Archives, SI 1975/428, retrieved 16 April 2023
  4. ^ "Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994",, The National Archives, 1994 c. 39, retrieved 16 April 2023
  5. ^ "Council minutes, 19 May 2022" (PDF). Stirling Council. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  6. ^ "Carol Beattie to remain as Chief Executive of Stirling Council". Stirling Council. 30 January 2023. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Compositions calculator". The Elections Centre. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  8. ^ "Council dashes hopes of nursery petition parents". Stirling Observer. 10 November 1995. p. 17. Retrieved 20 April 2023.
  9. ^ "Council minutes". Stirling Council. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  10. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Pitt Terrace, Viewforth (Stirling Council Offices), including entrance gateways and boundary wall to the west (Category B Listed Building) (LB48323)". Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  11. ^ "New County Buildings". Falkirk Herald. 17 January 1931. p. 7. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  12. ^ "New County Buildings opened". Falkirk Herald. 8 May 1937. p. 4. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  13. ^ "Viewforth - Council Buildings Old and New". Stirling Archives. 4 May 2016. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  14. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Municipal Buildings, 8-10 Corn Exchange Road, Stirling (LB41105)". Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  15. ^ "No. 23961". The Edinburgh Gazette. 29 March 1996. p. 798.
  16. ^ "Former Stirling Council building will vanish within weeks". The Courier. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2023.
  17. ^ "The Stirling (Electoral Arrangements) Order 1998",, The National Archives, SI 1998/3253, retrieved 16 April 2023
  18. ^ Scottish Parliament. The Stirling (Electoral Arrangements) Order 2006 as made, from
  19. ^ a b Scottish Parliament. The Stirling (Electoral Arrangements) Order 2016 as made, from
  20. ^ "About Community Councils". Stirling Council. Retrieved 12 April 2023.
  21. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.

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