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Cumbernauld


North Lanarkshire

One of Scotland's five New Towns and the only New Town designated in Britain in the 1950s, Cumbernauld developed from an industrial village into an original and award-winning community said by some to include some of the best examples of modernist architecture in the UK though derided by others. Situated 13 miles (21 km) northeast of Glasgow and 5 miles (8 km) south of Kilsyth, it lies north of the Luggie Water, south of the Forth and Clyde Canal and the River Kelvin, and east of Broadwood Loch. From its origins as a handloom weaving village in the 19th Century it later developed in association with other industries such as the extraction of fire-clay, coal mining and quarrying. It was designated a New Town on 9th December 1955. The Cumbernauld Development Corporation (CDC) was established as a non-departmental public body to develop, manage and promote the town, with plans to house between 50,000 and 80,000 people, primarily relocated from Glasgow. Despite a marketing campaign by the CDC in the 1980s which encouraged businesses and people to move to the town with the slogan 'What's it called? Cumbernauld!', this target was not reached until the construction of new private housing estates after 2001, when the population still numbered just 49,664. The CDC was wound up in 1996 and its functions passed to North Lanarkshire Council.

Cumbernauld Town Centre represented the world's first multi-level civic centre, with shops, community facilities and municipal offices all in one large complex. The surrounding neighbourhoods include Abronhill, Balloch, Blackwood, Broadwood, Carbrain, Carrickstone, Condorrat, Craigmarloch, Dalshannon, Eastfield, Greenfaulds, Kildrum, Ravenswood, Seafar, Smithstone, Westerwood, Westfield and Whitelees, with Cumbernauld Village remaining a mile (1.5 km) northeast of the centre. Industrial areas include Blairlinn, Carbrain, Lenziemill, Orchardton Woods, Wardpark and Westfield. The town's economy is centred on retail and high-tech industries, with other notable employers including soft drink manufacturer A.G. Barr Plc - known for 'Irn Bru' - whose headquarters is now located at Westfield, along with a substantial production plant. The OKI UK headquarters is to be found at Wardpark, a call centre for Scottish and Southern Energy is to be found at Orchardton Woods and there is also a large tax-processing centre for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in the Town Centre. Cumbernauld is also known for producing Mackintosh rain coats ('macs'), still using the process developed by Charles Macintosh in 1823.

Notable places include Cumbernauld House and Palacerigg Country Park, with its adjacent golf course. Established in 1978, Cumbernauld College became part of New College Lanarkshire in 2013. Secondary schools include Cumbernauld Academy, Greenfaulds High School, Our Lady's High School and St. Maurice's High School. Abronhill High School (opened 1978) was noted as the backdrop for Bill Forsyth's romantic comedy Gregory's Girl (1981) but closed in 2014 and was demolished. Born in Cumbernauld were actress and screen-writer Lynn Ferguson (1965) and Neil Primrose (1972) of the band Travis.

The M80 motorway divides the town and there is a small airport. A railway line to the southeast of the Town Centre links Cumbernauld to Glasgow Queen Street and has stops at Greenfaulds Railway Station and Cumbernauld Railway Station, while the Glasgow-Edinburgh mainline to the northwest has a station in the village of Croy. Other nearby villages include Annathill, Castlecary, Luggiebank, Mollinsburn and Twechar.

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