Kilsyth in line for package of street improvements

KILSYTH is in line for a substantial facelift thanks to a major council improvement programme worth nearly a quarter of a million pounds.

Two members of North Lanarkshire Council’s planning and development department attended last week’s meeting of Kilsyth Community Council to present the proposed improvements.

They include an upgrade of the King Street car park, renewed and improved signage to designate the town centre area and information boards carrying historical information and walking routes.

Further improvement projects were also outlined, which will be carried out if a large enough portion of the £245,000 ear-marked for the work is left over.

Michael Kordas, planning assistant at NLC, said: “This programme is for town improvements and environmental improvements.

“I must stress that at the moment they are aspirational of what we would like to do and there could be restrictions with the budget and so on. Nothing is set in stone at this point, it is merely consultation.

“We are proposing a refurbishment of the King Street car park where we would like to create more spaces. We would also like to develop a brand for the town centre. There have been signage issues that have been raised with us, car park signage is looking a bit tired and the town centre not being visible enough.”

He added: “We have five major ideas to improve the signage situation. We would like to install signs welcoming people to the town centre and letting them know that they are entering the area of the town.

“Signs pointing out the facilities around the town – obviously car parking is one of the most important things.

“At the Innsbridge Rest we would also like to put up signs maybe giving a bit of history about the area and designating some nearby walking routes because Kilsyth is obviously a Walkers are Welcome town.”

Images were passed around the meeting of three ‘signage families’, dubbed ‘Traditional’, ‘Modern’ and ‘Mixed’. Those completing community consultation questionnaires will be asked to vote for their favourite designs.

Andrew Furness, landscape architect at NLC, said: “Providing that there is some money left we would like to undertake a number of other improvements such as the widening of certain footpaths.

“We’ve got £245,000 which is a significant amount of cash to improve the town and we don’t really want to be waiting around to start.

“We plan to move pretty quickly, we would like to get the work on the car park started during August if possible. .”

Other improvements that the council hope to make to the town if enough of the budget remains include landscaping and creation of a ‘development opportunity’ at the former King Street public toilet, the upgrading of crests in Market Place and Market Chambers and the improvement of ‘bridge decoration’ at Burngreen.

Mr Kordas added that an idea has been mooted to improve the look of the gapsite next to the Co-op on Main Street.

He said: “In Ardrossan they had a similar situation and they got school children to paint a number of seaside scenes and used them to improve the look.

“We’re hoping we might be able to do something similar here to improve that space.”