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The Carbuncle Awards 2013


Click on a links below to view the nominations of The Carbuncle Awards 2013

Plook on the Plinth Award

The Pock Mark Award

The Zit Building Award

With previous Carbuncle winners Denny and Linwood benefitting from some much needed cosmetic surgery the Carbuncles team ( have been busy scouring the land for a new holder of the ‘most dismal town in Scotland’ title. Hundreds of Urban Realm readers got in touch to point the finger at dozens of the nation’s grottiest nooks and crannies but ultimately there can be only one ‘winner’. It gives us absolutely no pleasure in announcing therefore that New Cumnock, Ayrshire, has been awarded this year’s trophy.

No stranger to The Carbuncle Award New Cumnock was last nominated back in 2009, when it narrowly missed out to Glenrothes. Since then the town has taken one step forward and two steps back with the completion of an impressive new primary school overshadowed by the threatened closure of its town hall and sell-off of the Arthur Memorial church - on its 100th anniversary no less.

These losses have been compounded by the continued haemorrhaging of shops on the High Street and a general absence of maintenance on derelict properties, raising the very real risk that a tipping point’ into irreversible decline could be reached soon if action isn’t taken now.

New Cumnock is also facing headwinds from the Prince Charles backed Knockroon development which threatens to suck the remaining life from the town. It also needs to reassess a policy of managed decline which is in danger of becoming a self-sustaining prophecy and seek a new role in the wider Ayrshire economy, be that as a tourism destination or commuter town courtesy of its excellent rail connections.

Local resident and historian Geoff Crolley, who accepted the award on behalf of the local community, said: "Towns like New Cumnock have given so much to businesses and what do we have to show for it? If we count up what monies have been taken from our parish by WORF & Co (windfarms, opencasts, reservoir, forestry & Co-op) in the last decade and look at our main street. We need help to regenerate the town but can't do it all by ourselves and thankfully some companies are offering help and advice. 2013 is our turning point!"

Urban Realm editor John Glenday added: “The coal may have been exhausted long ago but the energy of locals is as strong as ever, this more than anything saw our judges warm to their plight.

“We have been following New Cumnock and the challenges they face for four years now, giving us a real sense of perspective on the challenges faced. As the Carbuncles Award has matured however so too has our approach and we believe that with the help of this award we can dig New Cumnock out from the back of the proverbial couch and put it to the fore of regional and national policy.

“More than an escape valve for pent up frustrations the Carbuncles are a springboard to tangible improvements. There are no quick fixes however and I make no pretensions to the contrary, it's taken years for New Cumnock to get to this point and it will take years to put right but the sooner these issues are tackled the sooner they can be resolved.“

Runners up in this year’s Awards were Fort William, Kirkintilloch, Motherwell, Newmilns and Paisley.

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The Carbuncle Awards
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