Whitburn, West Lothian

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Whitburn - geograph.org.uk - 150688.jpg
Whitburn, looking west towards the town centre
Whitburn is located in West Lothian
 Whitburn shown within West Lothian
Population 10,527 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference NS945645
Council area West Lothian
Lieutenancy area West Lothian
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BATHGATE
Postcode district EH47
Dialling code 01501
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Linlithgow and East Falkirk
Scottish Parliament Linlithgow
List of places

Coordinates: 55°51′44″N 3°41′14″W / 55.86210°N 3.68719°W / 55.86210; -3.68719

Whitburn (Scottish Gaelic: Am Fionn Allt, meaning "The White Burn") is a small town in West Lothian, Scotland, halfway between Scotlands's two largest cities, about 27 miles (43 km) east of Glasgow and 23 miles (37 km) west of Edinburgh. The nearest major towns are Bathgate, 4 miles (6 km) and Livingston, 7 miles (11 km).

The town was once dominated by Polkemmet Colliery – a large coal mine – but this was closed as a result of damage by underground flooding during the 1984-85 miners' strike and never re-opened. The colliery buildings have gone, and the coal bings that once were prominent have now been removed. Work to dismantle Bing No 3, the infamous burning bing, started in August 2006 and was completed by February 2008.[1] The last major outbreak of burning occurred in 1998.

Whitburn Council Offices

The town's population was boosted by the 1960s Glasgow overflow. The town's Murraysgate and surrounding areas north-west of the cross were established to deal with the overflow.


The local secondary school is Whitburn Academy. It is a state run non-denominational secondary school serving pupils aged 11 to 18. Its catchment area is the town of Whitburn and the surrounding villages of Fauldhouse, Longridge, East Whitburn, Stoneyburn, and Greenrigg. There are approximately 1,000 pupils at the school.

The town's primary schools include Whitdale, Polkemmet, Croftmalloch, St Joseph's and Burnhouse.

Sport and recreation[edit]

Whitburn has a King George's Field in memory of King George V which was opened in 1955 by Queen Elizabeth II.

On 16 January 2012, a planning application was submitted regarding the rebuild of the swimming pool; drawings of the new facility were posted on the Xcite Leisure Website.[2]

Whitburn is home to Whitburn Junior F.C. who play at Central Park and are in the SJFA East Region Super League. In 2000 they won the OVD Scottish Juniors Cup.

Whitburn Martial Arts Centre opened in 2009, though ran[clarification needed] as West Lothian Taekwon-Do since 2004. They ran free Taekwon-Do keep fit classes at Polkemmet, Croftmalloch and St. Joseph's Primary Schools in Whitburn from 2004 to 2008. The Centre funds many students to compete at National Championships and has many Scottish and British Champions.[citation needed]

The town holds its annual gala day on the fourth Saturday in June; there is a parade through the town, followed by games and races at King George V Park. The gala day is part of a week of activities known as the "Civic Week"; this also includes a fairground and a fireworks display in King George V Park.

Polkemmet Country Park is located to the west of the town, and incorporates woodland, a golf course, cafe, and play area. The park is also locally famous for the Polkemmet Horn which can be seen from the M8 motorway which runs to the north of the country park. There is also a disused steam locomotive from Polkemmet Colliery on display. Since 2012 Polkemmet Park has also been the site of the Scottish Owl Centre.


The town was once the site of Levi Strauss & Co., the clothing manufacturer. The plant opened in 1969, employing a work force of over 500 local people. At its height, the plant was producing 4 million pairs of jeans in a year. The plant shut its doors in December 1999.

The town has been given the go-ahead[when?] for a £500 million project called "Heartlands". This has included the removal of 1.4 million tonnes of shallow coal reserves by opencast methods and the regeneration of 600 hectares (1,480 acres) of derelict ground, to the south-west and west of the town. It will also include land at Cowhill, next to the M8 motorway, where a new junction and business park is planned. A roundabout and spur road have been built at the west of the town to allow access for the construction of the new junction and business park. This new roundabout replaces a dangerous pair of sliproads on the B7066 road. The project will provide 4000 new jobs, 2000 new homes (with the land available for more), 2 championship golf courses, a 5 star, 150 bedroom, luxury golf lodge and hotel and a 350 car park and ride facility.[3]

There are many main street stores like The Co-operative Food, John Livingstone and Sons butchers, A & C Fisher's bakery and Greggs.


Whitburn Band is a brass band formed in 1870. The band has been successful on the contest stage and competes at the British Open, National Final and European Championships, and has been Scottish Champion on 18 occasions. The band maintains strong links with the local community of Whitburn by offering concerts throughout the year and participation in civic activities. Whitburn Band retained its Scottish Open Championship title in November 2015 as well as again being crowned Scottish Band of the Year. The band was also the 2015 Scottish Champion and is ranked 14th in the British Bandsman /4barsrest World Rankings.[4]

Whitburn Flute Band has was formed in the town in 1962, although it is thought the band may have existed in some form before this.

The band partake in various band prades, cultural days, and orange parades throughout the UK, and hold their own annual band parade on the first Saturday in April. The parade attracts bands from allover the UK, and kickstarts the marching season in Scotland.

The band also serve the wider Whitburn community, playing at church parades, galadays, and other community events throughout the year.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "Environment: Bing 3 (the burning bing)". Heartlands. Ecosse Regeneration Limited. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ http://www.polkemmetoccs.co.uk
  4. ^ http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=9613
  5. ^ "X-Factor Leon has singing in his genes". Edinburgh: The Scotsman. 15 October 2007. Retrieved 15 December 2007. 

External links[edit]