Inverurie wins Scotland’s best “future town” design award

The winning design for Inverurie's town centre

The winning design for Inverurie's town centre

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The winner of Scotland’s best “future town” design has been revealed - with architects looking to the past for its inspiration.

A design to overhaul Inverurie town centre in Aberdeenshire has been named the winner of the Future Towns Scotland competition which sought to revitalise high streets across the country.

The Inverurie design aims to strip out much of the congestion from the town centre and create an open, accessible public space right in its heart - much like it was 100 years ago.

Eleanor Alexander, associated of William Lippe Architects in Inverurie, said: “We have a really thriving town centre in Inverurie and there are very few empty shops. We just don’t want to rest on our laurels and for the town to continue to thrive.

“For a long time, the road network has been where all the problems stem from.

“We want to make sure it is safe for cars to move around, for people to move around and to try and get the town centre back to where it was. It worked before.

“We are trying to get the infrastructure right to open the town centre right up again.”

The design restores and improves the connection between Inverurie Town Hall and the memorial garden by recreating its original town square between the two.

It fits in with established plans to create a new transport system for the town.

The Inverurie design was selected over eight other entries to the competition, organsied by Architecture and Design Scotland and Scotland’s Towns Partnership.

They included the Falkirk Leaf - a futureproof canopy covered in solar panels that twinned as a striking meeting point and information centre.

Phil Prentice, chief officer of STP, said the organisation set up the competition to harness the assets already found in high streets up and down the country.

He said: “Almost 70% of Scotland’s population still lives in its towns and villages. These towns are essentially creations of an industrial age which has since gone and a lot of towns have found it more difficult to reinvent their function.

“Whilst Scotland has some fantastic towns, many are at a crossroads. For too long we have been fixated with “Worst Town” awards and “Plooks on plinths”.

“The concept for the Future Town Design Competition aimed to celebrate the great work and ideas for Scotland’s towns.

“The winning design for Inverurie along with the eight shortlisted designs give an idea of how passionate we are in Scotland to drive forward the regeneration of our town centres to make them vibrant, sustainable places to live and work. We recognise that the winning design was practical yet creative and provides a real solution for Inverurie’s town centre.”

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