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Bid to transform depressed Cumbernauld gets under way - images

Keppie Design's £40m shopping complex for Cumbernauld - one of Scotland's worst architectural eyesores - is now under way.

The 250,000 sq ft Antonine shopping centre, set to open in May 2007, will host 42 retail units and 3,000 parking spaces and will be linked to the existing town centre via lifts, escalators and walkways.

It is being developed by London and Regional Properties and forms part of a phased development of Cumbernauld town centre, led by Campsies Centre Cumbernauld.

January 2004 saw the completion of the first phase - a £20 million Tesco store covering 100,000 sq ft.

Inspired by Le Corbusier, Cumbernauld was designed by Geoffrey Coputt as part of the New Town building programme of the 1950s and '60s.

In 2002 Icomos - the UN's architectural heritage advisory body - cited the town as one of the best examples of 20th century British architecture. It argued the town is 'an exemplar of high-quality design worthy of respect and preservation'.

But councillor Barry McCulloch, chairman of Campsies Centre Cumbernauld, said there was a need for a fresh start in the town.

'This new development signals the rebirth of Cumbernauld town centre and will increase the variety and quality of shops available for the people of the town,' he said.

by Clive Walker

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