Milngavie Town Centre
The first phase of the ‘West Highland Way’ project in Milngavie was completed in late 2018. The project sought to enhance the starting point of the walk and provide artwork showing landmarks along the 96 mile route.
This new project aims to enhance the Milngavie streetscape, improve wayfinding, and build on the design identity established in the first project. A large part of this new project is to share information about Milngavie’s heritage and other walking trails. This project will inherit the same materiality and detailing as the first phase; namely using weathered Corten steel panels with artwork cut-outs, timber posts, and engraved brass information plaques.
Gathering Area and Community Garden
The central part of the project is a small gathering area consisting of some bench seating and planters, situated on the main high street beside the West Highland Way obelisk. This area will act as a gathering point for walkers and locals alike. The bench seating and planters will have integrated artwork, formed of cut-outs and brass plaques, that tell the geographical story of Milngavie and the surrounding area. Next to the seating area will be a large illustrated panel, with a map of the various long and short distance walks and trails around Milngavie.
Off the main precinct, and adjacent to the existing community garden, we have identified an opportunity to add planters, more seating, and picnic tables.
On the main high street of Milngavie, and adjacent to the starting point of the West Highland Way, there is a classic British red telephone box. As of 2019 this K6 model phonebox was purchased from the Council by the local community group Milngavie in Bloom for the symbolic price of £1.
It is intended that this phonebox be retained and refurbished, so that it might be used by the community for years to come.
A number of smaller pieces of street furniture and signage are proposed for the wider town centre, situated in key locations, and both to encourage pedestrian movement and to celebrate the history of Milngavie.
These modestly sized interventions have the fundamental aim of consolidating some of the existing signage and furniture around the town, some of which has reached the end of their lifespan.
It is proposed that these pieces of signage will be decorated with stories, illustrations and motifs from Milngavie’s past, including: it’s connections to the Glasgow tram network; the fascinating story of the town clock, which previously ovelooked Sauchiehall St from the corner of the Copland and Lye department store; and the unique fish ladder, which exists to this day on the river Allander.
Being developed in conjunction with the local historical society, the trail will include perhaps the most intriguing story of all, that of the Bennie Railplane. The railplane was conceived by George Bennie in the late 1920s as the future of transportation. Although it never made it beyond prototype stage, a section of track was built on the outskirts of Milngavie. Though the track has long since been demolished, the story is one of many that the heritage trail will look to share.
“The Milngavie BID, having worked very successfully with Page\Park last year on an artwork project at the start of the West Highland Way, are delighted to be working with them again to further improve and enhance the public realm of Milngavie Town Centre. This new and exciting project, which will be themed around the amazing walking and cycling opportunities in the locale and beyond, has only been possible with help, encouragement and funding from East Dunbartonshire Council.”
Graeme Ross Milngavie BID Chair