Statue set to boost Cumbernauld vision

A £250,000 statue described as a catalyst for Cumbernauld's regeneration has won planning permission from North Lanarkshire Council.

It is hoped that the 10m-high sculpture depicting a female form and two large sweeping arcs can match the restorative impact of the Angel of the North sculpture on Gateshead. It will overlook the A80 near Auchenkilns junction and could be in place by next summer.

Devised by artist Andy Scott, the work is inspired by the Gaelic name for Cumbernauld, Comar nan Allt, which means coming together of waters. Scott's previous commissions include the Thanksgiving Square Beacon in Belfast.

The application was submitted by Campsies Centre Cumbernauld (CCC), a special purpose company set up by the council to spearhead the renewal of the town. Cumbernauld is a former winner of the Carbuncle award for the most dismal place to live in Scotland.

"The aim of this project is to change the perception of Cumbernauld," said CCC chairman Gerry McElroy. "The board will continue to work with Scott to turn his design into a reality and create a landmark."

However, the choice of location has been controversial and provoked the resignation of two CCC councillors, including Alan O'Brien, who would prefer the statue to stand in the town centre.

"I believe that the CCC board has given up any attempts at redevelopment," he asserted. "Instead, it has focused solely on diverting attention away from the neglected condition of the town centre."

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