Cumbernauld town centre facing brutal end
One of Scotland’s notorious examples of brutalist architecture – Cumbernauld town centre – is to be demolished and replaced in an ambitious regeneration project.
North Lanarkshire Council has agreed a deal in principle to purchase The Centre for an undisclosed sum from its privater owner and replace it with new retail, schools, leisure facilities, a health centre and office spaces.
The Labour authority admitted that redevelopment will not start for a few years and the project will take about a decade to be completed.
However, it sees the new town hub as part of its “The Place, the Vision” programme to improve the urban environment and attract investment.
Other council-owned facilities such as the Tryst, library and offices in the town centre will also be replaced and transferred to the hub.
The Centre was built during a period of experimental design and a vision for a new style of urban living. But it quickly gained a reputation as one of the UK’s biggest eyesores. It was awarded Scotland’s Carbuncle title and handed the unwanted “plook on the plinth” award in 2001 and 2005.
Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The acquisition of The Centre Cumbernauld is an extremely significant part of the town vision for Cumbernauld and would represent a huge step forward in the regeneration of the town.
“While the building represented the future in the 1960s, it is clear that it does not fit with residents’ vision of what they need from a modern town centre.
“We are absolutely committed to ensuring that Cumbernauld – and all the towns in North Lanarkshire – is a vibrant, living town and our overall investment in town centres, hundreds of millions of pounds, is about ensuring a sustainable future.”
The Centre Cumbernauld will remain open for business while plans are further developed and tenant businesses will be part of an in-depth engagement programme over the coming years to ensure a smooth transition.
The council will embark on a consultation programme with businesses, local communities and stakeholders.
Councillor Logue added: “While these plans will have a significant positive impact on Cumbernauld, they will take a number of years to realise.”