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New art work for 'carbuncle' town

1 July 09 15:30 GMT

A steel sculpture costing £250,000 has been commissioned in a bid to promote one of Scotland's most maligned towns - Cumbernauld in North Lanarkshire.

Campsies Centre Cumbernauld Ltd (CCCL) hopes the work will be "a further step in the rebirth of the town".

The sculpture will be created by well-known public artist, Andy Scott.

He hopes to have the 10-metre-high female form ready for installation overlooking the A80 by Cumbernauld for next year.

Mr Scott has completed more than 60 public commissions in Scotland and abroad, including the giant water Kelpies at the Falkirk Wheel and the Heavy Horse on the M8 motorway.

The artist unveiled his design for the Cumbernauld commission on Tuesday.

The sculpture will be "of a female form, incorporating two large swooping arcs".

These have been inspired by the original name for Cumbernauld, "cumer nan alt", which means "coming together of waters" in Gaelic.

The preferred site for the work has been chosen overlooking the A80 northbound to the north of Auchenkilns junction.

Mr Scott said: "Cumbernauld has always had its detractors and much like Dundee 20 years ago, it is fashionable to decry the town.

'Outdated perception'

"However, I believe Cumbernauld has a lot to offer. Things have changed for the better over the past few years and I hope the sculpture will represent the aspiration of Cumbernauld as intended by the original planners and architects.

"I intend the sculpture to be a personification of yesteryear's modernity, a paean to the confidence of the town and a reminder that Cumbernauld was once celebrated as an ideal of modern urban development."

CCCL, which commissioned the work, is a company established by North Lanarkshire Council to facilitate the redevelopment of Cumbernauld.

Its chair, councillor Gerry McElroy, said: "As a company we have worked hard to successfully bring new amenities and jobs to Cumbernauld over the past few years but many people still have an outdated perception of the town.

"The aim of this project is to go some way to changing this perception and we are very excited about working with Andy to create an iconic artwork for Cumbernauld - a further step in the rebirth of this town."

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