Picture is copyright of Urban Realm magazine, 2013.
CUMBERNAULD will not be in the running for this year’s Carbuncle Award apparently, after the competitions organisers told the Cumbernauld News that voting patterns had changed Cumbernauld’s fortunes.
Urban Realm magazine runs the Carbuncle Awards each year; asking people to submit areas in a declining state to the competition.
Cumbernauld, specially the area’s Town Centre, has taken home the embarrassing prize twice, since the Awards started, in 2004.
According to local tabloid, Cumbernauld News, the Award’s organisers have claimed that Cumbernauld will not make the shortlist to win this year’s shaming award.
John Glenday, Editor of the Urban Realm magazine that organises the contest told the newspaper that local community had played a big part in helping the town to sidestep the shortlist, but accepted that issues still exist.
He said: “Cumbernauld town centre may still not be beautiful - and there remains much that is wrong, but there is hope. For that reason alone it could not be named a Carbuncle town in 2013.’’
Mr Glenday’s comments come after locals united to hold a special architectural seminar, organised by the town’s Environmental Society.
At the Cumbernauld College meeting, in January, locals joined forces with the main aim of driving forward positive change in Cumbernauld Town Centre and contribute to the ongoing North Lanarkshire Council Town Centre Action Plan.
Chaired by local Rotarian Professor Frank Clark, the meeting brought together a number of key stakeholders who could play an integral part in any Town Centre improvement works; including the managers of Cumbernauld Shopping Centre and the Antonine Shopping Centre, and representatives of North Lanarkshire Council, including senior planning officials and Councillors Chadha, Graham, Goldie, Irvine, Johnston, and Muir; as well as Cumbernauld and Kilsyth MSP Jamie Hepburn, and local MP Gregg McClymont.
Attendees were shown presentations by Eric Hislop, Head of Regeneration and Infrastructure at North Lanarkshire Council; Professor Gordon Murray, Head of School for Architecture and Design at Strathclyde University ; and Councillor Tom Kerr, Provost of West Lothian Council, who was instrumental in the redevelopment of Livingston Town Centre. At the seminar, the three presentations showed what work was taking place at the moment, what could potentially be done with the existing Town Centre structure, and what could possibly be done to create a great Town Centre.
Commenting on the comments made by Urban Realm’s magazine, Cumbernauld Environmental Society Chair, Bobby Johnstone greeted the news with adulation.
He said: “It’s fantastic news. I’m delighted - but no one group can take credit for this. It really marked an effort by the whole community.’’
However despite early adulation Cumbernauld has still been nominated by two of the three sections of the Carbuncle Award.
The town has been nominated for the ‘Plook on the Plinth Award’, whilst the Cumbernauld Vehicular Approach Improvement Programme, known as the ‘Neon Waves’, colloquially has been nominated for the magazine’s Pock Mark Award.
Other nominations received so far include Newmilns (Ayrshire), Leslie (Fife) and Broxburn (Edinburgh), places which harbour a variety of ills ranging from the collapse of the lace industry, an open cast quarry and ‘dreary’ shops, according to nominations.
Urban Realm editor John Glenday said: “Our towns are under greater pressure than ever before, suffering continued dissipation of resources and fragmentation of once close knit communities. From flagging retail, to an exodus of the young and a planning and legal system that often seems perversely designed to throttle rather than nurture.
“The Carbuncle Awards are an antidote to this insidious decline which has hit our towns since the onset of recession in 2008 acting as a doorstop for decay and a springboard for future prosperity.”
The 2012-13 award winners will be revealed in March.
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