2014 in review: Cumbernauld Media's most popular stories

Written by Scott Campbell.
Published at 17:39 on 19 December 2014.
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2015 is drawing closer.
A NEW YEAR is fast approaching; ASDA are flogging the booze cheap, the shortbread is flying off the shelves, and no doubt the BBC are preparing to dust off an old episode of Still Game to broadcast in what promises to be the usual disappointing New Years’ Eve telly. 

For Cumbernauld Media, the New Year offers great potential and exciting opportunities. In the last year, our readership has continually jumped; and, with a new professional article template, the website’s news content has become popular and respected. And, replicating Sky News, we have become known as ‘First for breaking news’ – in a Cumbernauld context that is. 

Over the past twelve months, we’ve broke stories such as Morrisons wanting to come to Cumbernauld; Abronhill High School’s demolition; proposals to see Cumbernauld Theatre moved inside Cumbernauld Academy; Aldi hoping to open a new branch in the town; and, Vue looking to open a new cinema in Cumbernauld.

All of this has meant that the weekly readership of Cumbernauld Media now stretches to 16,808, while the number of Facebook engagements in the average week equates to an additional 45,000 people viewing our content. Combined, that means an average readership of 61,808 people.

Not all of them click through the website, so the average number of weekly Cumbernauld-Media.com readers is closer to the 17,000 mark – an astonishing figure for a website that once rejoiced when we hit 100 likes on Facebook. 

We hope that this success continues into next year; and, with a General Election on the horizon we don’t doubt for a second that our success will continue, as we prepare to bring you live coverage of the campaigns, as we move forward.

But, before we get to 2015, and we launch into General Election mode, we’ve decided to have a look back on 2014. So, we’ve put together the top twenty stories, published in 2014, on Cumbernauld Media. 

1. ‘Police confirm discovery of second body in Abronhill’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 16:18 on 17 December 2014. 

THE BODY of a man was discovered in the Abronhill area of Cumbernauld earlier today (17 December) – just 15 days after a suspected suicide in the same area.

Police Scotland has confirmed that the body of a male was discovered on Forrest Road, in the Abronhill area of Cumbernauld.

Reports on social media suggest that the body was found close to the Medlar Road underpass – while Police could only confirm the body was found near Forrest Road – the same stretch of road where the body of another male was discovered earlier this month.

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2. ‘From America with love; U.S. restaurant to open “within weeks”’.  Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 20:16 on 17 May 2014. 

THE transformation of the former Shimla Pinks restaurant into an authentic American diner appears to be nearly complete as Buddy’s confirms that they will open a brand new restaurant in Cumbernauld “within weeks”.

As we reported last Sunday (11th May), Buddy’s Barbeque and Burgers has all but confirmed that they are planning to open a brand new restaurant on Condorrat’s Main Road, with the firm now appealing for interested locals to apply for positions at the soon-to-be restaurant. 

At the beginning of this week, however, only about 15 of the some 50 staff positions available remained unfilled, as the chain looks towards opening their fourth branch – in Condorrat.

No planning application or building warrant has been submitted to, or released yet, by North Lanarkshire Council, although the restaurant chain are awaiting the result of a request to transfer over the licenses from the former proprietors, Shimla Pinks.

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3. ‘Friday night car crash at Cumbernauld nursery’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 16:06 on 17 May 2014.

A CAR crash at a Cumbernauld nursery has brought carnage direct to the doors of some residents of Carrickstone.

Step by Step Nursery, in Carrickstone, say they are stunned with “shock” after a car careened into their garden, and bowled into 3 gardens of neighbouring properties. 

The private nursery – which is located on Gailes Road, in the Carrickstone area of Cumbernauld- have described the incident as “devastating” but say that they will “pull together”.

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4. ‘Cumbernauld in five to ten years; major changes on the way for the former ‘Carbuncle’ town’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 19:55 on 22 January 2014.

CUMBERNAULD could see major aesthetic changes in this year of culture, history, referendum and sport, with a number of planning applications finally visualising proposals for new developments across Cumbernauld, including new housing schemes and supermarkets.

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5. ‘Vue-ing up Cumbernauld; cinema chain may give town its first cinema in 30 years’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 18:33 on 6 May 2014.

CUMBERNAULD is in for major changes in the next decade, with the Sanctuary High Rise project set to get well under way this summer; new homes set to be built across Cumbernauld; two new high schools buildings; the creation of a new community hub in Seafar; the potential for a new Morrisons in Westfield and major aesthetic improvements to the original phase of Cumbernauld town centre.

Now, however, it appears that a cinema chain is looking to call it ‘lights, camera, action’ on opening a brand new cinema in Cumbernauld’s much maligned shopping mall. 

Vue Entertainment are said to have their sights set on opening a new state-of-the-art screen in Cumbernauld, after the closure of the County, in the early 1980s left local residents to fight a 30 year campaign for a new multiplex.  

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6. ‘Cash machine robbery in Cumbernauld Village’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 20:06 on 10 December 2014.

RESIDENTS in Cumbernauld Village were awoken by a loud explosion, earlier this morning, as a masked gang attempted a smash and grab of Cumbernauld Village’s local pharmacy, sub-post office and external cash machine. 

Police Scotland has issued an appeal for information following the incident, which seen a gang of thugs attempt to blow the ATM out of the wall. In the process of the incident, thieves managed to grab a five-figure sum, before making a swift getaway.

Cumbernauld Village Main Street was left in lockdown after the incident, which took place at 1:05am, in the early hours of this morning (10 December).

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7. ‘Aldi confirms Cumbernauld store ambitions’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 22:49 on 3 December 2014.

ON THE same day that Tesco has confirmed they are proceeding with their proposals to set-up shop in the Condorrat area of Cumbernauld, Aldi has confirmed to Cumbernauld Media that they too are planning a new store in Cumbernauld.

Cumbernauld Media has learned that, for some time, Aldi has been looking for potential premises in Cumbernauld; and, after finding that the former ice rink, on St. Mungo’s Road wasn’t big enough to meet their needs, the chain has set their sights firmly on Westway Retail Park.

“We have an ambitious UK investment and development programme, which means that we are always looking for sites with a catchment population in excess of 10,000 and ideally situated on principal roads with prominent road frontage,” a spokesperson for the company explained.

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8. ‘Abronhill high staff morale "shockingly low" as pupils pack for move’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 22:33 on 17 June 2014.

ONE member of staff at the soon-to-be demolished Abronhill high school has told Cumbernauld Media that staff morale is at a "shocking low", due to the upcoming merger with Cumbernauld high school.

Speaking to Cumbernauld Media, a teacher at Abronhill high school, who we are not naming for their protection, said staff morale was at a record low.

"A year ago you could enter the staff room and see the room as being very crowded, with a lively and friendly atmosphere," the teacher told us.

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9. ‘New bus route announced for Cumbernauld’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 16:32 on 24 August 2014. 

TRANSPORT operators Stagecoach have unveiled that local residents in Seafar will once again have a direct to Glasgow bus service, since First Glasgow scrapped their popular X4 Seafar to Glasgow via Condorrat route.

Stagecoach, who presently operate two services through Cumbernauld - the x25 and the X25A - have confirmed that they will start serving Seafar from tomorrow morning.

Residents will be able to hop between Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station and Seafar, via the M80, every day of the week - with the new x28 service due to run every thirty minutes, starting tomorrow morning (25th August 2014).

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10. ‘Cumbernauld Theatre to be closed as council confirm £4m replacement at Cumbernauld Academy’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 20:02 on 4 February 2014.

PROPOSALS for Cumbernauld Theatre’s final encore became firm ambitions today, after North Lanarkshire Councillors voted to bring the curtain down on Cumbernauld Theatre’s forty-two year history.

Members of the council’s Learning and Leisure Services committee were asked at a meeting today (4th December) to close the town’s much-loved Theatre, and move the facility to Cumbernauld high school, when the promised ‘Cumbernauld Academy’ campus is built in the coming years.

At a meeting this afternoon, councillors on the committee backed council proposals to bring down the curtain on Cumbernauld Theatre’s existing building off of Woodland Way, in Kildrum.

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11. ‘Cumbernauld Morrisons store plans backed’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 13:30 on 19 May 2014.

COUNCILLORS have today (19th May) backed a new Morrisons store for Cumbernauld, in principle - despite planners recommending that the firm's application be rejected.

A special planning hearing meeting was called this morning, which will be followed by a meeting of the full council later today, where the decision of the planning hearing committee will merely be ratified by all elected members of the authority.

The approval now paves the way for a brand new Morrisons to open in the Westfield area of Cumbernauld, adjacent to St. Maurice’s High School, in years to come – although a full planning application will have to be lodged and backed for the plans to go ahead.

Morrisons confirmed on August 16th, 2012, that they wanted to open a brand new store in Cumbernauld, and announced two consultation events at Broadwood Stadium - one on 18 September and a second on 19 September, 2012.

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12. ‘Post mortem to take place on Abronhill body’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 22:32 on 18 December 2014.

THE death of a man in the Abronhill area of Cumbernauld earlier this week is being treated as “unexplained”, as Police detectives start an investigation. 

At 11:40am yesterday morning (17 December) the body of a man was discovered near Forrest Road, in the Abronhill area of Cumbernauld. Police confirmed the discovery later in the afternoon, with officers remaining on scene well into the evening.

This evening (18 December) Police Scotland has confirmed that the death is being treated as “unexplained”, with a spokeswoman for the force confirming that a post-mortem will take place shortly.

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13. ‘Tony Macaroni to open in Cumbernauld by 2015’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 16:52 on 30 January 2014.

PLANS for a brand new restaurant on Cumbernauld’s Central Way are due to come to fruition later this year, as a prominent Italian restaurant chain prepares to expand.

Scottish firm Tony Macaroni are preparing to serve up a new franchise for Cumbernauld, on the grounds of the town’s former Esso gas station, on Central Way.

The group had lodged a planning application which North Lanarkshire Council last year, with sought permission from the authority to construct a brand new class three restaurant alongside an ancillary take away, car parking and landscaping.

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14. ‘£1.2m of Cannabis found in Cumbernauld industrial estate’.  Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 17:53 on 6 February 2014.

A COMMERCIAL premises in Cumbernauld has been found to be the cultivation grounds of drugs worth over £1million.

Officers at Police Scotland confirmed today (6th February) that they had searched a commercial business premises in Mid Road, in Cumbernauld, only to find drugs worth approximately £1.2million.

Police Scotland confirmed that the £1.2million find of cannabis came after an intelligence-led operation on Tuesday 4th February 2014.

Around 1730 hours on Tuesday evening, Police officers searched the commercial premises in Mid Road, under warrant. Officers recovered over two thousand cannabis plants from the premises, which the police say was likely cultivated and distributed from the premises.

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15. ‘Police identify body found in Abronhill’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 14:02 on 19 December 2014.

POLICE Scotland has confirmed the identity of a body discovered near Forrest Road, in the Abronhill area of Cumbernauld, earlier this week.

Yesterday (18 December), Police said that the death was being treated as “unexplained”, as Police detectives launched an investigation into the discovery.

The announcement came after the discovery of a man’s body at 11:40am on Wednesday morning (17 December), in a field near Forrest Road, in the Abronhill area of Cumbernauld.

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16. ‘Gregory’s Girl star backs ‘Yes’ vote in #IndyRef’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 18:30 on 19 May 2014.

SCOTTISH actor John Gordon Sinclair, who played the title character, Gregory, in Bill Forsyth’s cult classic, Gregory’s Girl, has revealed he is backing a ‘Yes’ vote in September’s Scottish independence referendum. 

Sinclair, who starred in the popular 1981 film Gregory’s Girl – which was filmed across Cumbernauld – declared his support for Scottish independence via his profile on micro-blogging website Twitter.

Posting to his Twitter profile at 4:26pm today (19th May), the star – who’s known for World War Z (2013), Gregory's Girl (1981) and The Many Lives of Albert Walker (2002), wrote: “My dad's Scottish & his dad before him. I was born in Scotland & when I'm dead I'll be buried there. Can't vote but do have an opinion. YES!”

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17. ‘Tesco confirms Cumbernauld hat-trick plan will go forward’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 15:25 on 3 December 2014.

TESCO has confirmed to Cumbernauld Media that their new proposed store in Cumbernauld is being taken forward – despite public criticism of the project.

A new store in the Condorrat area of Cumbernauld was mooted earlier this year – but the plans came up against stiff public opposition, at a meeting in April.

On April 3rd, Condorrat’s Pollok Hall was packed out to capacity, as eager local residents turned out to hear more about the proposals for the store – which would take over part of Condorrat Social Club.

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18. ‘Body found in Abronhill area of Cumbernauld’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 17:44 on 2 December 2014.

A BODY was found in the Abronhill area of Cumbernauld, earlier today (2 December), Police Scotland has confirmed to Cumbernauld Media.

Suggestions posted on social media throughout the day had stirred up rumours that the incident had been a murder, but Police Scotland has confirmed those suggestions to be inaccurate.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland told Cumbernauld Media that a body had indeed been discovered in the Blackthorn Road area of Abronhill, Cumbernauld, earlier today (2 December).

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19. ‘Morrisons welcome council backing on Cumbernauld store proposals’. Written by Scott Campbell. Published at 17:51 on 19 May 2014.

BRITISH supermarket chain, Morrisons, has welcomed the backing of North Lanarkshire Council after councillors today (19th May) backed the firm’s proposals for a new Cumbernauld store, in principle - despite planners recommending that the firm's application be rejected.

A special planning hearing meeting was called this morning, which was followed by a meeting of the full council this evening, where the decision of the planning hearing committee was simply ratified by all councillors.

The approval now paves the way for a brand new Morrisons to open in the Westfield area on Cumbernauld, adjacent to St. Maurice’s High School, in years to come – although a full planning application will have to be lodged and backed for the plans to go ahead.

Read the full story, just click here

20. ‘Attica Rage and DJ Tom Russell Launch New Rock Club in Cumbernauld’. Written by Jock Barnson and Jonny Parr.  Published at 21:58 on 25 April 2014.

SCOTLAND’s favourite rock DJ TOM RUSSELL and heavy rock band ATTICA RAGE will be joining forces at the official launch party of ‘THE BASEMENT ROCKS’ - a brand new rock club-night in Cumbernauld - on Friday 2 May, 2014.  

Held in The Basement at Paps Nightclub, 2 St Mungos Walk in Cumbernauld town centre every Friday night, the club is hosted by legendary DJ Tom Russell and will feature live bands followed by Tom’s ‘Friday Night Rock Show’ club-night, running into the wee hours.  For the launch party, Attica Rage will be performing a set of their own songs and a special classic covers set.  

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Cumbernauld headlines

Headline
First refugees in North Lanarkshire expected next week 
Power cut in parts of Airdrie and Cumbernauld 
Carbrain kids organise Christmas foodbank collection 
PCS call Cumbernauld Tax Office campaign meeting 
Tax office closure confirmed 
RISE rejects council’s proposed savings 
Town’s shopping centre ‘for sale’ 
Tax Office fate will be known tomorrow 
Bus stance improvements nearing 
Cumbernauld Town Centre value increases 
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