|East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire|
|Scottish Gaelic: Cille Bhrìghde an Ear|
East Kilbride parish church tower
East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire shown within South Lanarkshire
|Population||73,796  (2001 census) est. 73,320 (2006)|
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||South Lanarkshire|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Dialling code||01355 & 0141|
|UK Parliament||East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow|
|Scottish Parliament||East Kilbride|
East Kilbride (Scottish Gaelic: Cille Bhrìghde an Ear) is the largest town in the South Lanarkshire council area of Scotland. It is also designated as Scotland's first new town on 6 May 1947. The area lies on high ground on the south side of the Cathkin Braes, about 9 miles (14 km) southeast of Glasgow and close to the boundary with East Renfrewshire.
The town is enclosed by the White Cart River to the west and the Rotten Calder to the east, the latter flowing northwards to join the River Clyde near Cambuslang. This area was previously the site of the small and historic village of East Kilbride, prior to its post-war development. The modern settlement serves both as a dormitory town for the city of Glasgow and maintains its own commercial centre.
The earliest evidence of habitation in the area dates back to ancient graves found near the Kype Water to the south of the district. Roman coins and footwear have also been found in the area.
East Kilbride takes its name from an Irish saint, St Bride (or Brigit) who founded a monastery for nuns and monks in Kildare, Ireland in the 6th century. Irish monks introduced her order to Scotland. Kil, from the Gaelic cill, means church or burial place.
The area of East Kilbride is home to a river valley which, apart from the Avon Gorge, is unique in the way it was formed. A river usually starts off narrow, fast-flowing, with steep cliffs, and in the hills. This is the youth of the river. Later once the river reaches flat land it begins to widen and meander and flow slower. This is the river's middle age. Calderglen is interesting in that it flows fast, has steep cliffs and is fairly narrow (youth stage) but also meanders. The Rotten Calder therefore has its river youth after its middle age, as the river source is on flatter land and is meandering and slow flowing.
Calderglen was in the past celebrated as a picturesque wooded valley. It was the home of a noble family known as the Maxwells of Calderwood who resided in Calderwood Castle. The remnants of Calderwood Castle were demolished in 1951. A few parts of the structure remain.
The original parish church was located on the site of a pre-Christian sacred well, which is possibly the origin of the association with St. Brigit, since the well was dedicated to the Celtic goddess whose traditions the reverence of St. Brigit has continued. Over the centuries the church has been destroyed and rebuilt several times. As a result its current location has moved from its original site by about 50 m.
The presence of the oystercatcher bird in the coat of arms could arises because this bird was considered sacred to both St. Brigit and her pre-Christian antecedent or because it was part of the Lindsey family crest - which had local connections.
East Kilbride grew from a small village of around 900 inhabitants in 1930 to become eventually a large burgh. Behind this growth lay the rapid industrialisation of the nineteenth century which left much of the working population throughout Scotland's Central Belt from Glasgow to Edinburgh living in the housing stock built at the end of that century but accommodating far more people. The Great War postponed any better housing as did the Treaty of Versailles and the period of post war settlement it created. In turn this was followed by the Great Depression. After the Second World War, Glasgow, already suffering from chronic shortages of housing, had to deal with bomb damage from the war.
From this unlikely backdrop a new dawn emerged which would bring East Kilbride to its unlikely success. In 1946 the Greater Glasgow Regional Plan allocated sites where overspill satellite "new towns" could be constructed to help alleviate the housing shortage. Glasgow would also undertake the development of its peripheral housing estates. East Kilbride was the first of five new towns in Scotland to be designated, in 1947, followed by Glenrothes (1948), Cumbernauld (1956), Livingston (1962) and Irvine (1964).
The town has been subdivided into residential precincts, each with its own local shops, primary schools and community facilities. The housing precincts surround the shopping centre, which is bound by a ringroad. Industrial estates are concentrated at sites to the north, west and south, on the outskirts of the town.
From 1975 East Kilbride lent its name to a local government district in the Strathclyde region. In 1996 administrative functions were taken over by the South Lanarkshire unitary council. (See: Subdivisions of Scotland)
There is an East Kilbride constituency of the Scottish Parliament. From the opening of the Scottish Parliament, the constituency was represented by Andy Kerr MSP (Labour), until May 2011 when the seat was won by Linda Fabiani MSP (Scottish National Party).
East Kilbride was formerly a constituency of the UK Parliament. In 2005 it was replaced by the constituency of East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow. The seat was held from 1987 to 2010 by Labour politician, Adam Ingram. Since the 2010 election the seat has been held by Labour politician, Michael McCann, previously a South Lanarkshire Councillor.
The town centre is occupied by a large shopping centre comprising 6 linked malls, developed in phases. The malls are known by local residents as "The Centre".
The six malls are The Plaza (development started in 1972), Princes Mall (1984), Olympia (1988), Southgate (1989), Princes Square (1997) and Centre West (2003). The shopping centre has come under recent criticism for losing major retail chains in light of rising rental prices. This coupled with the Centre West expansion and decreasing shopper numbers has allowed swathes of properties within the centre to remain closed for months at a time, notably on the first floor of Centre West and the Plaza.
A £400m redevelopment of East Kilbride town centre was approved in 2006 by South Lanarkshire Council. The plan proposed demolishing some existing buildings to create a new civic centre, health centre, library and shopping facilities.
It would also see a "landmark" arts and culture complex with a 1,000-seat theatre, a 500-seat conference centre, a museum and a new town square. However the project has been indefinitely delayed.
Local areas 
East Kilbride is divided into a number of smaller areas bordered by main through-roads. Part of the new town design was that each of these would be a self-contained entity, with local shops and primary schools. This is true for the original areas of the town but newer developments, such as Stewartfield do not adhere to this model.
|This section requires expansion. (October 2010)|
There are approximately 30 Christian churches in East Kilbride. This includes nine Church of Scotland churches, three Baptist churches, and four Roman Catholic churches. There is one Lutheran parish of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of England, which is located in the Westwoodhill area. An Evangelical Christian congregtion is also located in the Westwood area.
The four Roman Catholic Parishes in East Kilbride are:
- St. Vincent De Paul Parish, in Greenhills
- Our Lady of Lourdes, in Westwood
- St. Leonard's, in St. Leonard's
- St. Bride's, in Whitemoss
East Kilbride is connected to Glasgow city centre by road and rail. Three main roads connect East Kilbride with surrounding suburbs and the city, one being the A727 (formerly A726) leading west to Busby and on to Clarkston Toll. Another route being the A749 which runs north into Rutherglen. Recently, the addition of the Glasgow Southern Orbital road links the west of the town directly with Newton Mearns and the M77. This road has taken over the designation A726. East Kilbride bus station, at the shopping centre, was recently rebuilt and provides modern facilities. East Kilbride railway station is situated in the Village. Trains depart to Glasgow Central railway station every half hour, with a journey time of 27 minutes. The town is also served by Hairmyres railway station in Hairmyres.
East Kilbride's primary bus operator is First Glasgow which provides regular services to the city centre, Busby, Clarkston, Castlemilk, Rutherglen, Blantyre, Hamilton, Motherwell and to many other destinations across Greater Glasgow. Stagecoach West Scotland provide a half-hourly to hourly service to Ayr, Arriva Scotland West ran an hourly 600 service to the Airport via: Busby, Clarkston, Giffnock, Thornliebank, Silverburn Centre, Hurlet, and Paisley. But was discontinued in late 2009.
Similar to other New Towns, the road network within the area is populated by many roundabouts; East Kilbride has been referred to as "roundabout city" or "Polo Mint City" after the round, mint sweet.
East Kilbride is a good place for cycling with many of the busy roundabouts having underpasses for pedestrians and cyclists. On 19 June 2009, National Cycling Route 756 was opened and connects East Kilbride and Rutherglen with the Glasgow City Boundary.
Dollan Aqua Centre 
One of the most significant buildings of an earlier phase of development was Dollan Baths leisure complex (opened 1968) which has category A listed status. The Dollan Baths are the subject of a local urban myth, which told that the pool was built 5 cm short of Olympic size. In fact, the pool was built as 55 yards long (50.29m), but is only six lanes wide, rather than the Olympic standard of 50m and ten lanes wide. The Aqua Centre re-opened on May 28, 2011 after a major refurbishment costing £6.5 million. Facilities include swimming pool with moveable floor, health suite and fitness gym. The famous glass wall allowing views from the reception area into the pool remains.
Hunter House Museum 
St. Brides's Church 
By architects Gillespie, Kidd and Coia, 1957–1964.
Loupin On Stane 
Outside the Montgomery Arms in the village.
The White Man 
Seated statue of Sir Walter Scott, corner of Old Coach Rd and Markethill Rd.
National Museum of Rural Life 
5 star museum and working farm, featuring 1950s dairy farm methods, run by National Museums of Scotland at Kittochside.
James Hamilton Heritage Park 
16 acre manmade lake with watersports facilities and surrounding nature sanctuary. Overlooked by Mains Castle (private).
Langlands Moss 
Scottish Natural Heritage nature reserve which comprises a Lowland Raised Peat Bog, a UK BAP priority habitat. The reserve is owned by South Lanarkshire Council and maintained by The Friends of Langlands Moss L.N.R. A boardwalk allows visitors to walk over the reserve safely and enjoy the beautiful views south towards Whitelee Wind Farm while soaking up the wealth of wildlife which lives on the Moss - many species here occur only in Bog habitats making this site one of special importance. Located just south of East Kilbride, the reserve is accessed easiest from the A726, heading towards Langlands Golf Course & Auldhouse.
Whitelees Windfarm 
Europe's largest on shore windfarm is located near Eaglesham. Visitors centre, walks.
Parks and sports 
East Kilbride Thistle is the town's main football club. It is the largest town in Scotland without a senior football team. Clyde, in conjunction with East Kilbride Thistle have announced plans to redevelop the Showpark and move into the town. Also, a second team, East Kilbride, is based in the town, and play at the K Park Training Academy at Calderglen Country Park.
East Kilbride RFC, are based at the Torrance House Arena, at Calderglen Country Park.
East Kilbride Lawn Tennis Club is one of the oldest tennis club in Scotland.
East Kilbride Pirates are the country's top American Football team and play in the BAFA Community Leagues.
EK82 Handball Club Founded in 1972, they train at the John Wright Sports Centre and the Alistair McCoist Complex. They play in the Scottish National League.
Athletics in the town is covered by 3 athletics clubs. Whitemoss, East Kilbride and Calderglen. Both Whitemoss and East Kilbride Athletic Club are based at the John Wright Sports centre.
Greenhills Dynamo is an amateur football side set up in 1998. Since its formation, the team has enjoyed relative success in the Strathclyde Saturday Morning League winning 7 trophies in 13 years, more notably the Premier Division in Season 2009/10 under the Management of Tommy Livingston and his assistant Dougie Craggs. Club Secretary Gavin McCann regularly contributes to The East Kilbride News and also the East Kilbride Mail where readers can follow the team's fortunes.
Twin town 
Notable people 
- William and John Hunter, medical pioneers, were born at Long Calderwood within the present-day area of East Kilbride
- Lorraine Kelly, television presenter for GMTV moved to the town with her family when she was aged 13.
- Iain Harvie, guitarist with Scottish rock band Del Amitri, was an East Kilbride resident.
- Actor John Hannah was a resident of East Kilbride, residing in the Murray area
- Adair Turner, former Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), lived there during his youth
- Liam Fox, Conservative MP for Woodspring was born and raised in the town
- Scottish rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain were formed in the town
- Muriel Gray, journalist and broadcaster, was born in the town
- Roddy Frame, frontman of Scottish indie band Aztec Camera, was born in the town
- David Scott, singer-songwriter of The Pearlfishers has many produced notable records from a recording studio in the East Kilbride Arts Centre.
- Ally McCoist, Scottish former professional footballer,lead actor in A Shot at Glory, and now manager of Rangers F.C. was brought up in the town
- Mark McGuigan, footballer currently playing for Partick Thistle
- Kirsty Young, Scottish television and radio presenter and actress was born in the town
- Kate Dickie, actress who appeared in the HBO series Game of Thrones and the 2012 film Prometheus, was born in East Kilbride.
- Ross Montgomery, Scottish darts player and resident of East Kilbride
- Marc Warren, Scottish professional golfer, lived and grew up in town, playing golf at East Kilbride Golf Club
- Blythe Duff, Scottish theatre and television actress of Taggart fame was born and raised in East Kilbride.
- David R. Ross, writer and historian, moved to East Kilbride as a child and resided in the town until his death
- Iain Stewart (geologist), Professor in Geology, Television Presenter and Actor was born and raised in East Kilbride.
- Allan Scott, athlete raised in the town that represented Great Britain at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, currently holds the Scottish 60m hurdle record.
- Adam Sinclair (actor),TV actor for Mile High and other now the new star of movie adaptation of Irvine Welsh's Ecstasy released April 2012.
- Hiding Place, Scottish rock band, were formed in East Kilbride
- Julie Wilson Nimmo (Actress) Famously starred as children's favourite Miss Hoolie in the BBC programme Balamory.Married to 'Still Game' Co-Creator Greg Hemphill.
- Robbie Winters (Scottish Footballer) Robbie started out at Scottish Premier league side Dundee United as a youth product,and after 4 eventful season's at Tannadice he moved on to fellow SPL side Aberdeen FC in a memorable transfer that saw Dons forward Billy Dodds move in the opposite direction (plus cash).Winters went on to play in Norwegian football before returning home to play for Livingston FC and Alloa FC in the twilight of his career.
- George Orwell was writing his novel 1984 while a patient at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride in late 1947 and much of 1948. Orwell was suffering from Tuberculosis while convalescing at Hairmyres.
- "Comparative Population Profile: East Kilbride Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 2001-04-29. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- [dead link]
- "List of UK post towns". Evox Facilities. Retrieved 2012-02-22.[dead link]
- "TGS - 1950s to The Present Day - Neighbourhoods - New Towns". Theglasgowstory.com. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- Cowling, D. (1997). An Essay for Today: the Scottish New Towns 1947-1997. Edinburgh: Rutland Press.
- "Redeveloping East Kilbride Town Centre". Eastkilbride.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- "UK | Scotland | New town could get £400m facelift". BBC News. 2006-04-02. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- "How to find Abercrombie House, East Kilbride". DFID. 2009-12-14. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
- "East Kilbride". Search For Hope. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- "UK | Scotland | Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West | New Zealand city to get Whirlies". BBC News. 2008-04-07. Retrieved 2012-11-14.
- Friday 25 June 2010 (2010-06-25). "Welcome to Polo Mint city!". Evening Times. Retrieved 2012-11-13.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: East Kilbride|
- East Kilbride at the Open Directory Project
- Interactive picture guide of East Kilbride
- East Kilbride Thistle Football Club