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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 October 2007, 13:11 GMT 14:11 UK
Coatbridge up for Carbuncle award
Coatbridge town centre
Coatbridge is the third Lanarkshire town to be nominated
Coatbridge could soon become the third town in Lanarkshire to receive a Carbuncle award for Scotland's most dismal place.

The former mining town has been nominated by readers of the architecture magazine Prospect.

Nearby Cumbernauld has won the infamous "Plook on the Plinth" prize twice. Neighbouring Airdrie has also been honoured in the past.

New Cummnock in Ayrshire and Paisley are among this year's other nominees.

The Carbuncles were set up in 2000 by Prospect magazine and are held every two years.

Publisher Gordon Young said he believed previous winners had put more emphasis on improving their town centres because of the controversy created by the awards.

He said: "The Carbuncles serve as an antidote to self-congratulatory architectural award schemes - such as the Stirling Prize.

"Whilst it is legitimate to celebrate what is going right, it is also important to examine when things have gone wrong."

I'm a Coatbridge resident and would have to say that the vast majority of people here are very proud of their town
Cllr Thomas Maginnis

Categories for the awards include the "Plook on the Plinth" for the most dismal town, the "Pock Mark" award for the worst planning decision and the "Zit Building" award for the worst building.

The public can nominate and vote for towns, buildings and projects online.

In Coatbridge locals, council officials and politicians jumped to the town's defence.

Joe O'Hagan, 80, has lived there all his life.

He told the BBC news website that the Carbuncle nomination was "utter nonsense".

He said: "Maybe they could have labelled it a dismal place when I was boy but it's certainly improved since then.

"I'd like to see where the people who give out these awards live.

"Coatbridge has good transport links, excellent shops and the people are really friendly."

'Ivory tower'

Elaine Smith, MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, described the awards as a "cheap publicity shot".

She said: "Over the past decade Coatbridge has worked hard to shake off its 'dirty old town' image, a view based on the heavy industry and furnaces of years gone by.

"Coatbridge is a vibrant town which has benefited from investment in its town centre, the environment, schools and leisure facilities.

"The Prospect people should get out of their ivory tower, have a look at the real Coatbridge."

Councillor Thomas Maginnis, convener of the North Lanarkshire economic regeneration committee, added: "This is absolutely nonsensical.

"It's obvious that those responsible for these so-called awards know nothing about Coatbridge or the levels of investment that have been committed to the town.

"I'm a Coatbridge resident myself, and would have to say that the vast majority of people here are very proud of their town."

SEE ALSO
Rebirth for 'dismal' town centre
11 Apr 06 |  Scotland
Officials condemn 'Carbuncle' tag
21 Oct 05 |  Scotland
'Plook' award shortlist announced
06 Oct 05 |  Scotland
Cumbernauld wins carbuncle award
21 Nov 01 |  Scotland

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