Ayr Town Centre should be awarderd the Car Bungle of the year award after the pedestrianisation robbed Ayr High Street of its heart.
The pedestrianisation scheme should take traffic down the High Street and up the Sandgate, giving life to the town centre, not depriving it of the oxygen of a living town centre. Ayr High Street is a shadow of its former self and a prime example of total civic incompetence
Reason for nomination: Dreary, dirty, boarded up shop fronts. Dead or dying.
Nominated by: Dave
Reason for nomination: Rundown, delapidated, boarded up mess. High Street shopping hopeless. Not worth a visit.
Nominated by: Jennifer
Reason for nomination: More shops shut than open. Drunks and drugs for all. Miserable.
Nominated by: Mia Lou
Reason for nomination: The place is dead but does not realise it.
Nominated by: Andy d.
Reason for nomination: Name says it all - A carbuncle on the face of humanity.
More boarded up shops than those open. Dead.
Nominated by: Julia
Lived in Baillieston for 25 years and nothing has changed, developed or improved. Dismal high street with no soul, character or personality. No sports, leisure or cultural centres despite a population ( including Garrowhill and Springhill) of over 10000.
Nominated by: Ross McIntyre
The once grand town of Beith is a shadow of it's former glory. The furniture, thread and brick factories have long-since closed, along with both train stations, leaving an isolated pocket of despair on the highest point in North Ayrshire.
Nominated by: Craig Wallace
Blantyre (South Lanarkshire)
My home town, home to a desolate shopping centre that's been that way for over 20 years, a once popular park 'redeveloped' by the council and now a no go area and years of potted roads and little investment.
Nominated by: Andrew Leitch
Broxburn (West Lothian)
Full of dreary shops. Gordon
Once supposedly Scotland's largest village, Cambuslang is now home to vast areas of characterless suburban sprawl - large "community growth" areas at Greenlees, Newton Farm and Drumsagard have been thrown up with absolutely no regard to place-making or facilities.
Endless car-dependant cul-de-sacs with generic street names that could be absolutely anywhere in the UK, it didn't even occur to the council that these houses would require more schools, hence several are hurriedly being thrown up to catch up with demand - one of these is in a local park, but being both the applicant and the planning authority, SLC have ignored their own local plan by refusing to provide alternative green space to replace it.
The 1960s town centre was replaced about ten years ago with an equally dreadful development whose shop units remain largely unused, and South Lanarkshire Council killed any hope of restoring life to the Main Street (and that of neighbouring Rutherglen) when they agreed to two huge retail/leisure developments at J2 of the M74 and on the former Hoover site - although the recession has, at least, put both on hold for now. Looking for culture or museums? Forget it, there isn't even a decent coffee shop.
Nominated by: Lifelong Resident
Campbeltown (Argyll & Bute)
Reason for nomination: Just a generally horrible place. Very little infrastructure for social activities, dismal town, dismal location, dismal people.
Nominated by: Scott
Coupar Angus (Perth & Kinross)
I made the mistake of visiting it thinking it would be a nice market town. Sure enough there were nice houses on it's outskirts but once the area around George Square was reached there were a large number of derelict properties.
There was little to do, few shops open and no reason to return. Yet the name almost sounds romantic. I long for it to be restored to it's former glory and beyond, with tourists flocking to it. Then I too will have a reason to return.
Nominated by: Brian Young
The archetype of the Scottish post industrial town; if you are still doing business on Cowdenbeath main street you are either a charity shop or an off license. You will struggle to find a bleaker or more lifeless town centre outwith the former Soviet Union.
Nominated by: I. McClip
i would like to second cowdenbeath - however not for the high street but for the Insdustrial Estate Glenfield and the company First Milk - Noise pollution been ongoing for years and getting worse, dust/soot pollution damaging properties. Local authority and First Milk ignoring residents who are suffering from constant noise levels 24/7.
Culbokie, Black Isle (Highlands)
culobokie is a highland village with superb views out. unfortunately it has been the beneficiary of incredibly poor planning and development over the past 2 decades leaving it a slightly motley collection of generic random housing styles and layout and spaces left over after planning strung out along a through road.
It needs a proper identity and it needs some work. It is probably saveable unlike Leslie which is unfortunately my home town and a complete and utter dump.
Nominated by: fraser mackenzie
Dirty Town and very Disorganised Council for past 12yrs,
Denny town centre (Scotland)
The town centre is dominated by a huge block of 60s flats, which have been empty for years and falling apart.
Falkirk Council say it will be years before the block is demolished and work begins on a new town centre. They have however been promising same for about 10 years.
Nominated by: Colin Adams
Comment: Denny is quite a bit improved now, by the simple measure of knocking down a good bit of the town centre. It has really opened up the views and the groundspace has been sown with grass. Can't wait for them to demolish the rest. I'd quite like the TSB to be kept as the only building of character in the redevelopment although it is scheduled to be demolished by 2019 to create a "civic space". Although as all plans for re-redevelopment have fallen apart who knows? All we really need from the bit standing is a library (and to be fair Falkirk Council have built a couple of decent ones lately), a paper shop and a chemist. A low rise Aldi or Lidl that didn't spoil the view would be a bonus. Having spent some time in Germany recently, I did wonder if (like Dresden, say) an exact copy of a bit of the old high street could be built.
I have also spent a bit of time in Cumbernauld. Much improved, still shit.
Best of luck with this year’s awards.
East Kilbride (South Lanarkshire)
Scotland largest new town now full of empty factories no employment and inactive councillors and political representatives should be development area no one has the courage to nominate. Even Rolls Royce are ditching us. I asked North Lanarkshire council for a rubbish uplift of all the councillors but i'm still waiting. The capital of part time hours and minimum wage.
Nominated by: Matthew Goundry
Reason for nomination: Centred around an architectural mish-mash. You're welcomed to East Kilbride town centre by the imposingly derelict Stuart Hotel and it goes downhill from there - rows of empty units, even the initial shopping boom of the Centre West has peaked and this is jut 500 yards off the bus. We've not even started on the fact that all major industries have left the town, there are a flood of properties on the market and all the while the town planners seem to think building out the way into the Green Belt is the solution, rather than tidying up what is already there.
Nominated by: B. McGibson
It will be a carbuncle until the tram works have finished and retailers recovered from the years of disrupted trading.
Nominated by: Ian Robertson
Reason for nomination: Falkirk is a grey, depressing place with little to recommend it. The High Street area - once home to thriving independent businesses (long gone and lamented places like Sleeves records) - is now populated by cheapo chain stores, charity shops, empty store fronts, and an amusement arcade. The West End is dominated by the lump of the Callendar Riggs shopping centre, a white elephant if ever there was one. Coupled with the horror that is the main bus station, the husk of the former Tescos, and a stained, worn multi-storey car park, there is little to recommend this approach to the town. At the East End, you have the new police station, a razor-wired, communications-towered bunker of a place (I always think of it as Fort Apache.) The 1970s grimness of what is now Asda does little to help. Overall, central Falkirk is a litany of bad planning decisions, urban degeneration, and lack of care.
Nominated by: Martin
Fort William (Highlands)
Despite being known as the outdoor capital of the UK Fort William consists of about 5 outdoor clothing shops, a handful of charity shops and mostly boarded up shops. Dismal weather and is stuck in the dark ages with most things- internet, postal system, general ways of 21st century life - I can’t even buy my child a pair of good shoes locally!
Nominated by: Simon Abberley
Reason for nomination: After decades of poor planing decisions the results speak for them self's, What a dump.
Nominated by: Oliver Rodger
Empty shops and dirty buildings, littered with dog dirt and foul smelling main street with nothing but charity shops and out of date overpriced cafes/gift shops. The land that time forgot.
Nominated by: John McGinlay
The whole town is an affront to the rest of Ayrshire with its drugs, violence and basically the town that time forgot with nthing but empty buildings and charity shops with gift shops still stuck in the 70s.
I have lived in this horrible New town for 40 years and I have always despised it. The architecture is an abomination, the Kingdom Centre shopping centre is a joke with a pathetic selection of shops & the so-called green areas are a haven for drunks, junkies, perverts and a useless generation of unemployed youth.
The majority of pubs are dives filled with subhumans & the council are morons who are completely self serving & waste money on pretty flowers that they stick on all the roundababouts in order to make Glenrothes 'beautiful'. I'm afraid it is impossible to polish a turd!
Nominated by: DT Wilson
A nomination for a previous winner, Glenrothes.
The place hasn't really changed since it won last time. The town centre is still abysmal. With a high percentage of shops closed, the council seem more intent on investing in flowers than they do in their residents and economy. Fife council seem to have totally lost direction with Glenrothes.
Having lived here, in different areas of the town, for over 35 years I have seen the place slide in a downward spiral to the lower than low level it is just now. Mutton dressed as lamb is still mutton.
I just cannot understand every time I pass through this little place how it was once the capital of Berwickshire. It is the most depressing little place with this huge town hall that is virtually derelict. I spend a lot of time driving around the Borders and the other thing one notices is that charity shops rule....some place like Musselburgh, otherwise a nice place, have so many they swamp the rest. Melrose is one of my favourite small towns and now in the last month they have sprouted the first one.....its like a slow disease, you get one and then they spread.
Reason for nomination: council has turned a nice town into a dump, destroyed all the old buildings and replaced them with concrete and a cheesy statue of a horse
Nominated by: b johnston
Helensburgh town centre & seafront (Argyll & Bute)
It used to be a lovely, bustling wee seaside town, but it's getting very tired and tatty. Many of the small retailers have closed down and charity shops dominate the town.
The seafront is an absolute disgrace. The seating was wrecked in storms a few years ago and the council didn't bother to replace them properly. The shoreline is filthy and not cleared often enough in summer. Shame on you, Argyll and Bute Council.
Nominated by: Fraser Nelson
Reason for nomination: Worst squandering of historic legacy and future potential. Now approaching a critical mass of charity shops, in a town with outrageous commercial rent and rates. No matter what is attempted, the old money of the town say 'NO' in an Ian Paisley voice and thousands more pounds are squandered in consultations everyone ignores.
Nominated by: Justin Beattie
The town is run down. From disused buildings to old paint on buildings, roofs with weeds growing out of them, old dirty windows on the first floors, the first sight a visitor off the cruise ships see is a disused tyre sales building, next door a burnt out shell and a disused restaurant. It's a depressing dump.
Nominated by: Greg Blackley
Reason for nomination: The High Street consists mainly of charity shops, banks and pound shops. The roads themselves all around the town are pothole-ridden. The town proudly proclaims itself as "The Canal Capital of Scotland" despite having one little canal running through it which is strewn with litter and not very picturesque in the least. The Town Hall has been derelict for several years with no sign of anything happening to it. The endless roadworks make it more trouble than it is worth to get into, and there is no reason to stay.
There is litter everywhere, the place is untidy, lacks colour and is just depressing. The council try their best with festivals and so on, which distracts from the grim surroundings for a while, but in general it is a miserable looking place. The junkies queueing up for their methodone finishes the town off nicely. There is dog mess everywhere. There are some lovely buildings but the state of the general town brings these down. It is a very depressing town.
Nominated by: S. Grayson
Reason for nomination: Don't think this dismal town needs a reason, it is plain for everyone to see how bad it is. Terrible roads around the town, so bad that even Edmund Hillary would have trouble finding the town center.
Once you get there, if you are so unlucky to so what's waiting there is unbelievable the worst set of shops (that are still open) that you can imagine, topped of by the Burns mall, Rabbie would be in tears to know his name is being used for this shabby tat filled attempt at a shopping center, which is the gathering point for the cast of the walking dead and BBC's the scheme.
The crowning glory has to be the so called art work in the town it has to be seen to be believed, ask yourself this, has anyone ever said they have had a lovely day trip out to Kilmarnock or would ever want to.
Carbuncle Location: Approach and area around Burns Mall and Bus Station
Reason for nomination: Hate to see urban decline
Nominated by: Robert Currie
Residents of Leslie have hit national headlines with their battle against ongoing blasting work at Lomond Quarry - a literal stones throw from their homes.
Worried about noise pollution, environmental degradation and even the fear of blast debris they are seeking closure of the site.
Whilst the demolition of the infamous has commenced they're still many parts of Linwood that could win the award with ease .
The Clippens road shopping precinct whilst having something the “ regional shopping centre ” hadn't ie shops is of particularly grim appearance and woe betide anyone who ventures there at night . Also some of the housing such as Kintyre Avenue and the houses near the Clippens shopping precinct have suffered from bad maintenance , bad tenants and local hoodlums.
You then have the new houses which whilst are sign of investment by Renfrewshire Council stop laughing at the back the do look rather dreary and given Linwood's recent bleak history you'd think they'd choose something a bit more uplifting .
I could go on but then we end up with a thesis on grimness but at the same time you can't really fault the architects of the 60s for the bad state of some of their creations as they couldn't have predicted the vandalism and general neglect and lack of maintenance from an authority that couldn't give a monkeys .
The sad thing is cycling , driving and walking through Linwood you get the impression that they are some nice areas and whilst first impressions can be misleading as some areas can take a Jekyll and Hyde character the fact that the town is being hamstrung by some Grade A incompetence at Renfrewshire House and will continue to be so unless there is real change.
Reason for nomination: Town whose elected representatives have had their head in the sand for the past 30 years
Nominated by: Arthur Foxake
Reason for nomination: Dilapidated,miserable and thoroughly forgettable, that's was my opinion the last time I visited home..totally overlooked for years and maybe now to broken now to fix..sad
Nominated by: Tommy
IT IS A HORRIBLE TOWN SINCE THE CLOSE OF THE CRAIG AND THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS
Nominated by: STEVE
New Cumnock (Ayrshire)
Pubs and shops boarded up. Looks as though stuck in a time warp to when the town lost its industrial herart, the mines. Very sad..
Nominated by: Jonathan Wood
Energy Rich with nothing to show for it. ForestryTimber, Wind Farm Electicity, Afton Reservoir Water, Opencast Coal, Opencast Fireclay, rock,slate, lime, etc..
Visitors 1st impression of Ayrshire could do with a clean and polish, paid for by a percentage of what's been taken out.
Nominated by: Geoff
New Cumnock has been abandoned by successive councils. What makes it worse is that it is potentially a really nice village and a gateway into the area. The main street has been left to become dismal and derelict and the council to their disgrace give little support to trying to keep amenities open and help the place become more attractive. This despite the fact that the area around the town generates income for the area from mining and windfarns. A disgrace.
Nominated by: Bill
Newmains (North Lanarkshire)
Newmains trumps Newmilns without any difficulty. Not a single saving grace.
Nominated by: Alex McGhie
A boarded-up High Street, lots of derelict lace mills, plus a refractory works which closed down a couple of years ago putting hundreds out of work. It has a lovely setting, but feels pretty down in the mouth, and previous regeneration attempts are apparent but haven't worked.
Reason for nomination: newmilns represents a wasteland of neglect and under-investment.There is very little in the way funding available at the moment so it will take a long time before anything is done and by then it will be too late
Nominated by: Galston-Gal
Comment: As a resident and home owner in Newmilns Ayrshire, I am very upset by your article Carbuncle Award: Hunt launched for Scotland's most dismal town. The photo that you used in your article was not a true image of the town. I could go to any town in Scotland and find the same shot. Newmilns like most town does have its run down parts, but it also has many beautiful old buildings and an amazing river walk, it also has its own country estate that is open all year round. Not to mention parks and playground and Two new ski slopes are to be constructed at a cost of £900,000. I really think that your researchers need to do a little more homework and next time walk a few feet around the corner before they insult a whole community.
Comment: As a member of the community of Newmilns Ayrshire, I was saddened to see the town had been nominated for Carbuncle award. This does nothing for the image of the town nor does it boost community morale. We have people of the community up here that in there own time go out and out time into doing work in Newmilns to brighten the place up...am sure they must feel this as a slap in the face. Yes Newmilns used to be a thriving community and now especially factories and shops are now closed down through no fault of our own there are buildings lying empty. We are no different from any other town with derelict properties. As for the business that are working hard to stay afloat in the town, am quite sure the thought of a carbuncle award does nothing for their community spirit. Had your photographer looked slightly further afield, he would have found some nice scenic areas of our town to photograph. As the saying goes mud sticks and can't think of any town who would wish this award thrust upon them.
Comment: Have noticed today that Newmilns is an early nomination for the carbunkle of the year award. As chairman of our Community Council I take quite an offence at this, for one who is it that nominated Newmilns in the first place, we may have our problems in the town property conditions etc and social problems, but what town does not, we as a community council are doing our best at the moment to improve our town, in any small way we can, and the fact you have us up for an early nomination does not help us in the least, East ayrshire as our council may certainly have things to answer to, but dont crucify an individual town for their shortcomings, every town has small areas that are not very photogenic, and these are the areas that you like to specialise in never the nice areas, I doubt very much whether you will pay any attention to this e-mail, at the end of the day its not your own town you are running down, do you actually care about the damage you do to towns with these silly awards.
So many closed shops, to let signs, charity shops almost every two doors, or £ shops,
Nominated by: Laura Townson
Reason for nomination: It is the most dismal place I have seen in a long time. Just loving the shopping ..... NOT.
Nominated by: Brian
The Paisley town centre is dirty with rubbish lying in doorways & on the streets & in bus stops it makes the place feel grubby. There is too many empty shops. The boarded up windows of these units are covered in layers of Bill posters. The High St is made up of Charity Shops & Pound Shops there is no other choice, even the M&S is a discount store! Around the main Railway station the are too many Bookmakers in a small area. There are old shops that have been empty for a decade eg Arnotts, these could have been made into beautiful flats but it has been a boarded up mess for too long. Paisley needs to stop blaming Glasgow for the state it's in & actually get on with attracting new buisinesses to the town centre.
Nominated by: Caroline McCalman
Perth (Perth & Kinross)
Reason for nomination: Scotland's newest city (said with tongue in cheek) has been seeing some serious decline in its central area. The High Street is noticeably quieter these days, with the west end of the city centre looking particularly run-down. Rather than tackle this decline head-on the focus appears to be instead on creating an expensive outdoor public square by demolishing an attractive building that the council can't find a new use for. The decline in the High Street will only be exacerbated further by the recent approval of a major refurbishment of the local retail park and a relaxation in planning regs allowing more fashion to migrate from the High Street to the retail park.
Nominated by: Mark West
It’s hell, old boarded up buildings and paint peeling off everywhere, a town that’s had its day and needs to be flattened and re built. Certainly, no jewel in the Clyde crown. Very depressing place and no one seems to care anymore.
Nominated by: H Bremner
Reason for nomination: A depressing tourist 'hotspot' that must have visitors asking why they made the journey. Drab, run down and definately worth avoiding at all costs. Even on a sunny day it's dull.
Nominated by: C MacLeod
Reason for nomination: Rothesay is a town of dilapidated buildings with no shops, no nice restaurants, filthy pubs & no facilities to enrich a life. All these factors lead to a malignant oppressive atmosphere of depression & simmering animosity. In short, a hole of Hell.
Nominated by: S.Turner
Its rubbish and hasn't stopped raining for 4.5 months. No wonder everyone is obese, there's no point going outside anymore. My golf course is ruined, and I foresee Scottish sportsmen (golf, tennis ect) in years to come only being from mega rich families who can leave the country to allow them to train.
Nominated by: Derek Ritchie
Stonehouse (South Lanarkshire)
Having lived near Stonehouse for 14 years, I can personally attest to the fact that Stonehouse is a dismal, lifeless and featureless conurbation with no redeeming value. The "high street" is populated with a few tired miner's cottages, a handful of decrepit (frequently boarded-up) shops, pubs you wouldn't go into even if you were on fire, and a few desolate brownfield gap sites that are ideal for local youths to vandalise cars and consume bottles of tonic wine in.
However, I nominate Stonehouse for the Carbuncles because it has almost no architectural merit whatsoever, from its shabby 19th century cottages to its soulless Persimmon housing. The hospital’s accident and emergency ward has closed, the long-awaited town centre upgrading consisted of repositioning a car park, the main street is a claustrophobic nightmare of wing mirrors and traffic enraging schemes, and even the Stonehouse bypass gives up halfway along its intended route.
Stonehouse is a truly joyless place that might have been saved had it become Scotland's sixth New Town in the 1970s, but is now destined to continue in the same desperate downward spiral as another (similar) Carbuncle nomination ten miles west along the A71 - Newmilns.
Nominated by: Neil Stephen
Alas Stonehouse Conservation Area is no Brigadoon as the mist fails to conceal this forgotten apocalyptic outpost nestling in the Avon Valley. Resembling the aftermath of a zombie invested post war film-set the only saving grace is the local bypass which allows thankful travellers the opportunity to avoid the village centre which offers little to entice the lost souls and wandering minstrels to view its architectural splendors and facilities. With numerous closed and burned out premises, boarded shops and facilities the village has lost its heart.
In the past decade the village has seen the closure of three community halls, a church, a bank, several public houses and shops. With crumbling footpaths and streets that would not be out of place in darkness Kabul, South Lanarkshire Council have failed to recognise and address this forgotten village hamlet on the A71, if indeed it knows it exists. An old road traversing the village in days of yore was known locally as ‘the lang deil’s road’.
Today it is indeed the road to ‘Hell’. The closure of the once thriving hospital and the industrial estate which now resembles a scene from war torn Iraq have done little to retain employment opportunities within an area now classed among the top 15% deprivation areas in Scotland. Thankfully all is not lost (I hope), for the village conservation area does retain some archeological character with its weaving cottages and splendid environmental surroundings.
Like other ‘Plooks’ there is treatment that can be applied to either conceal or remove this blemish without resorting to a localised strategical nuclear strike...that of course being there is a will to do anything about it. This is one plook that if squeezed further will burst the goodwill of the people who endure a lack of investment and vision in our village centre by a council who have neglected the aspirations of those who wish to see their village blossom and prosper. Time for change I think.
Nominated by: Alistair Davis
Reason for nomination: Tarbolton is the town in the world. it is smelly, over run and full of idiots. poor shops and a massive landfill less than 1 mile away
The Formerly Glorious Seaside Town of Girvan! (Ayrshire)
A former glorious seaside town that attracted holiday makers in their thousands and enjoys almost unparallel views onto Ailsa Craig, Isel of Arran and the Firth of Clyde has turned into a ghost town of charity shops, dog-mess littered pavements and crumbling infrastructure (the Council tore down the Swimming Pool!). It breaks my heart to see it go to rack and ruin.
Nominated by: Someone who wishes to remain anonymous but has the best interests of the town at heart.
Nominated by: ian B Dick
Whitburn (West Lothian)
By far the worst town i have ever set foot in. Worked there for lots of years. the main street looks like it belongs in the Middle East rather than the middle of Scotland. derelict shops and buildings. in the past few years there have been countless murders and savage assaults have taken place. the bowling club was robbed at knife point and the swimming pool 'went up in flames'. once a proud mining town, the last thing to remember it by was the Miners club which also went on fire mysteriously, hhhmmmmmm, i can see a pattern here. on the main street during the day it looks more like a scene from dawn of the dead with the amount of disgusting pick pocketing junkies walking about and at night there is probably more brawls than an episode of WWE Monday Night Raw.
i used to watch one certain guy walk up and down the street all day picking up cigarette butts and pennies whilst he planned his next raid on a shop. Park your car on the main street at any time and you'll come back to an empty space. i know a lot of people from there and they are let down by a pathetic council and a majority town population of pure and utter scum.
if Alex Salmond happens to read this please do something useful for a change and bulldoze that sh*thole. Independence? i think not, this is a prime example of what will happen to each and every town in Scotland if these morons try to go solo. So get your arse out your kilt and stop watching Braveheart! Its a great film but its full of shit! save the country, Rule Brittania!
Wishaw (North Lanarkshire)
Take a look round and see for yourself. The town is now surrounded by supermarkets, Aldi, Lidl, Morrisons, Asda and 2 Tesco within about 2 miles of Wishaw Cross, leaving the town’s main street dead.
The council have done nothing to help really, the main street is being' refurbished, but is also closed for 18 months to allow the work to take place.
The best parking in town is at the railway station, proving the best thing about Wishaw is the train to Glasgow. The railway station is near the sports centre, look that up on tripadvisor! In summary it’s not called p!shy Wishie for nothing.
Nominated by: Wishie Washy
Wishaw Town Centre (North Lanarkshire)
The high street is a dismal place to be with nothing to attract anyone to the town. Recent work has commenced to replace roads and pavements but the same old boarded up shops remain. You'd be fooled to think you have travelled back in time to the 1970s if you ever visited Wishaw.