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Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
The man from Carbuncle
Councillor Gerry McElroy
Cllr McElroy says Cumbernauld has a lot of which it can be proud
Cumbernauld town centre is set to be named one of Scotland's most treasured places in a new poll.

In the past the Lanarkshire town been labelled the most dismal place in the country.

Councillor Gerry McElroy chairs the local regeneration group and has lived in Cumbernauld for 33 years.

He told the BBC Scotland news website that Cumbernauld is on the up, and eager to shake off its Carbuncle tag.

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Cumbernauld is doing so well in the RCAHMS's poll of Scotland's most treasured places.

I can see why people would vote for the image. It shows a vision for the new town in the 1960s and seems to capture the reason why people moved out to Cumbernauld at that time.

People had never seen anything like the old town centre before and I think there's still maybe a bit of sentimental attachment to it.

But the fact Cumbernauld is doing well in the poll is a sign things are changing.

People were disgruntled. They moaned and groaned about the slow development of the town

All the talk of carbuncles came at a time when people in Cumbernauld were frustrated.

The new part of the town centre in Cumbernauld was in a development phase for far too long. The old part was exposed for all to see and it hadn't weathered very well.

The south part of the town lay demolished while the new town centre was being developed and that created a great deal of dissatisfaction

People were disgruntled. They moaned and groaned about the slow development of the town.

These days, however, Cumbernauld is a big success story.

People want really want to live here and are moving in to Cumbernauld from other places.

Almost every builder in Scotland is building somewhere in the town. We've got excellent transport links. There are new housing developments, new schools and new recreational facilities.

Cumbernauld offers the best of both worlds. It's an urban town in a rural setting. There's development but also there's also open spaces and I think that's what makes it appealing.

Cumbernauld (Pic:Crown Copyright RCAHMS)
This image of Cumbernauld is expected to be in the top 10

There are also great shopping opportunities. Lots of high street chains have opened branches in the town so they obviously think it's a worthwhile investment.

The opening of the new 40m Antonine Shopping Centre has boosted people's confidence and pride in the town.

There is soon to be a new sports centre built and we have an academy of sporting excellence attached to one of the high schools.

The local college has also undergone a major expansion.

I think people in Cumbernauld can see they are living in a place where major investment is taking place and they're cheered up by that. They are happy to see they are not being forgotten.

You will always get the moans and groans but I think when you take a good look at Cumbernauld you will see there is a lot going on.

Top 'treasured places' revealed
26 Oct 07 |  Scotland
Milestone for town's renaissance
06 Jun 07 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Rebirth for 'dismal' town centre
11 Apr 06 |  Scotland

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