Cumbernauld town centre revamp plans are still on course

North Lanarkshire Council has revealed more about its plans to transform Cumbernauld’s much-derided town centre.Newly-published plans elaborate on the council’s £3.5 billion, ten-year town transformation programme, which includes a new town centre replacing the original part of the centre and Fleming House.

The local authority says the proposals remain on course despite the pandemic,

In documentation published on its website, the council states:  “Town Centres are facing a range of opportunities and challenges as community needs and the way we use our centres change.

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“Cumbernauld needs to adapt and strengthen its future role based on quality of place, low carbon living and re-investment as a regional hub.”

Key elements of the plans include a pilot for low-carbon living, a new, smaller town centre geared more towards mixed use with learning, health and leisure facilities, a new layout of streets, paths, cyclesways and squares, improved connection to new and existing housing and a new town square.

The plans also include refurbishment of the New College Lanarkshire campus, Central Health Centre and a new bus station.

These plans are just part of a grander vision to overhaul all town centres within North Lanarkshire, promising a £1 billion boost to the local economy and the creation of 12,000 jobs.

Commenting on the plans, Council leader Jim Logue said: “Before coronavirus, we had one of the fastest growing economies in Scotland and a new independent report shows that we’re one of the best-placed councils to withstand the economic impact of coronavirus.

“Coronavirus has been hard for us all. It’s changed the way we all live, learn, work, invest and visit, but our ambitions haven’t been reduced at all.”

North Lanarkshire is Scotland’s fourth largest local authority area and is home to around 340,000 people.

Mr Logue added: “We will invest £3.5bn over the next decade, which, along with private sector inward investment will create around 12,000 jobs and generate an additional £1bn for the local economy.

“That’s important because more employment means less poverty and better health across North Lanarkshire.

“We already have one of the most ambitious council housebuilding programmes in the country, with 5000 new homes to be built by 2035. Many of these homes will be built in town centres and, with other investment, this will help to make our towns vibrant, sustainable places.

“Our plans to build new schools will only provide outstanding places to learn, but they’ll become town and community hubs, places that host health, council, police and voluntary sector services.

“There will be business space too, and culture and leisure facilities. These hubs will be at the very heart of the community.

“And all these places will be connected by better active travel networks, meaning better access and massive investment in our country parks and open spaces. That means easier access, more renewable energy and reduced carbon emissions.

“These are exciting times for North Lanarkshire but we can’t do all this alone.

“We need to work in collaboration with our residents who will play a crucial role in making the real decisions that affect them and their communities.

“Over the next few weeks and months we’ll provide people with more information on all of these developments.

“I’d encourage everyone to become involved in the process in order that they can fully appreciate the benefits our plans will bring to so many families across our area.”

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