Budding entrepreneurs are heading for Kirkintilloch

Scotland’s brightest sparks will converge on Kirkintilloch as part of an initiative which could mean a bumper boost for the local economy.

Kirkintilloch is the only location in the West of Scotland chosen to take part this year in TestTown, a UK-wide scheme to inspire young entrepreneurs and innovators to create businesses and jobs.

The town was unveiled as one of the seven 2014 hosts in Manchester on Thursday - after the Kirkintilloch Masterplan Champions Group approached organisers.

The ideas competition - driven by the Carnegie UK Trust - invites people aged 16-30 to dream up enterprising uses for shops, offices, stalls and other vacant spaces in Kirkintilloch. It is open to individuals and teams of up to four people.

All applications received before the closing date - on April 16 - will be judged and the best six or seven ideas chosen.

The entrepreneurs will be invited to trade in Kirkintilloch during a ‘pop-up’ TestTown Festival - held at the start of July - with support given in advance on how to set up, sell products, develop services and marketing.

Each finalist will net £250, with the winner securing £500 start-up funding - plus another £500 in match-funding from East Dunbartonshire Council or other sponsor.

The Kirkintilloch champion will then be invited to a UK final in autumn 2014.