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Livingston is a large, commercial town in West Lothian. It is the fourth post-war new town to be built in Scotlandmarker, designated in 1962. It is located approximately 15 miles (25 km) west of Edinburghmarker and 30 miles (50 km) east of Glasgowmarker, and is bordered by the towns of Broxburnmarker to the northeast and Bathgatemarker to the northwest.

Livingston is the largest town in the West Lothianmarker area. It was built around a collection of small villages, Livingston Village, Bellsquarry and Livingston Station (now known as Deans). It contains a number of residential precincts or areas. These include Carmondean, Craigshillmarker, Howden, Dedridge, Ladywell, Knightsridge, Murieston, Adambrae, Deansmarker, Deer Park and Eliburnmarker. Its neighbouring villages include Polbeth, West Caldermarker, East Caldermarker, Mid Caldermarker, Uphall Station and Pumpherstonmarker. The 2001 census showed the town had a population of 50,826 (24,451 male and 26,375 female) and an urban agglomeration population (including Mid Calder and East Calder) of 59,511.

Livingston is also the second largest settlement in the Lothians after Edinburgh. Until 1963 the area surrounding the ancient village of Livingston was open farm land. The name was taken from this village which dates back to 12th Century when a Flemish entrepreneur called De Leving was granted land in the area. He built a fortified tower which is long since gone and the settlement that grew up around it became known as Levingstoun, Layingston and eventually Livingston.

Livingston Development Corporation

Livingston was built as part of the New Towns Act of 1946 (amended 1959), in part to ease overcrowding in Glasgowmarker. Livingston was the fourth new town of five. The others were East Kilbridemarker, Glenrothesmarker, Cumbernauldmarker and Irvinemarker.

In order to build, manage and promote Livingston a quango organisation was formed, the Livingston Development Corporation.

The corporation guided Livingston until the middle of the 1990s when its mandate expired and the town was transferred to West Lothian Council. The last major construction operation carried out by the LDC was the Almondvale Stadiummarker, which was to become the home to the renamed Livingston FC. A new purpose built campus for West Lothian College and other major developments have also taken place in Livingston over the last 10 years.

Construction in Livingston has continued under the management of West Lothian Council.

Geography

Livingston is one of the largest settlements in Scotlandmarker. It lies 35 miles away from Glasgowmarker and 15 miles from Edinburghmarker.

Employment

The area where Livingston now sits was historically dominated by oil shale mining, which is evident from the bings which still exist on the much of the surrounding landscape. The designation of Livingston in the 1960s attracted new light industries to the area, with high technology and pharmaceutical companies in particular moving into the town. Livingston formed a major hub in Scotland's Silicon Glen. Like most other areas this went into a slow decline with the closures of companies including Motorola and NEC. Several multi-national companies however still have factories in the town and BSkyB has its main call centre in Livingston and is the largest private sector employer in West Lothian. Other large employers include those in the retail sector and the National Health Service.

Town centre and shopping

The Centre (Almondvale was renamed on the 18th September 2008 to the "The Centre")
Livingston town centre sits on the southern edge of the Almond Valley. It is bounded by a ring road and has been purposely planned, distinguishing it from West Lothian's other town centres. Howden Park is located immediately north of the town centre.

Livingston is the sub-regional centre serving West Lothianmarker. It features one of the largest indoor shopping and leisure complexes in Scotland, The Centre (formerly Almondvale Shopping Centre) and the Livingston Designer Outlet (formerly McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Centre).

The Centre, was completed in its current guise on October 16 2008. The total development has around 155 shops and eating establishments. The Centre has a wintergarden, an outdoor restaurant area, and several famous shopping names. Major shops include Asda Wal-mart Supercentre, Next, Topshop, M&S, River Island, Debenhams and more.

The designer outlet mall contains a VUE multiplex cinema , a gym, bars, restaurants and cafes as well as around 100 outlet stores.

Livingston town centre has an abundance of car parking. The south western edge of the town centre is dominated by retail parks. These contain a number of well known retailers such as Toys 'R' Us, PC World & Currys as well as fast food outlets like KFC and Frankie & Benny's.

There is also a large B&Q and a large Homebase located right beside each other in the south-west of the town centre as well as a large Morrisons supermarket. However there are plans in the future to turn Homebase into a large Sainsburysmarker. Also in the town centre are foreign food stores such as Aldi and Lidl which is located beside the Almondvale Stadiummarker.

Livingston's town centre also contains a large number of offices, including the local authority's headquarters building, West Lothian House. Private sector offices are also concentrated at the eastern and western edges of the centre and along the Almondvale Boulevard. Other facilities in the centre include hotels, a swimming pool and local authority gym, restaurants, pubs and Club Earth. Almondvale Football Stadium and West Lothian College are located at the north western edge of the town centre.
Sculpture, Livingston Square
Neighbourhood Shopping Centres are located at stragic points around the town. The first of these to be built was The Mall at Craigshill. This was followed by the Carmondean Centre in Deans and groupings of shops in Ladywell and Murieston.

Transport

Road

Livingston has excellent connections to the central Scotland road network. The M8 bounds Livingston in the north. A899 dual carriageway spine road passes north south along Livingston's eastern edge and connects the M8 in the north to the A71 in the South and has the A89 to the west.

Buses

Livingston has a central bus terminal located on Almondvale Avenue between the two shopping centres in the town centre. This provides regular services to surrounding towns and villages. First Edinburgh are the main bus operator in Livingston, other operators include E&M Horsburgh, Passenger Travel, Blue Bus, Davidsons Buses, SD Travel, Prentice Westwood, Stagecoach and Nordi Travel. Livingston has buses to Glasgowmarker, Edinburghmarker, Edinburgh Airportmarker, Ocean Terminalmarker, Obanmarker, Lanarkmarker, Fifemarker and Falkirkmarker . There are 7 stances at the bus terminal.

Rail

Livingston has two railway stations; and . Livingston North is located adjacent to the Carmondean Shopping Centre between Eliburn and Deans and is on the Edinburgh to Bathgate Line. Livingston South is located at the Murieston Shops and is on the Shotts Line. On completion of the Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link, Livingston North will be served by trains running to and .

Airports

Livingston is 15 km west of Edinburgh Airportmarker which has regular flights to UK and international destinations.

Ferry

Livingston is in relative close proximity to the port of Rosythmarker in Fifemarker. This runs three sailings a week to and from Zeebruggemarker in Belgiummarker.

Politics

In 1983 Livingston formed it's own constituency at Westminstermarker. The constituency covers the whole of Livingston as well as Mid Caldermarker and East Caldermarker, which are two nearby villages. The Member of Parliament for Livingston is Jim Devine of the Labour Party and the Member of the Scottish Parliament is Angela Constance of the Scottish National Party.

By-election of 2005

Education

Primary schools

  • Bankton Primary School
  • Bellsquarry Primary School
  • Carmondean Primary School
  • Deans Primary School
  • Dedridge Primary School
  • Harrysmuir Primary School
  • Knightsridge Primary School
  • Letham Primary School
  • Livingston Village Primary School
  • Meldrum Primary School
  • Peel Primary School
  • Riverside Primary School
  • Toronto Primary School
  • Howden St. Andrews RC Primary School
  • St John Ogilvie RC Primary School
  • St. Ninian's RC Primary School
  • Williamston Primary School


Special schools

  • Ogilvie School Campus
  • Beatlie School Campus
  • Cedarbank School
  • Autism resource classes at Dedridge Primary School


Secondary schools

West Lothian College


Further Education



The Institute for System Level Integration is situated in the Alba Centre, near the heart of the town. The institute offers postgraduate studies in Microelectronics and awards a joint degree from four leading Scottish Universities: University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgowmarker, Heriot-Watt Universitymarker and the University of Strathclyde.

Libraries

Livingston has three public libraries:
  • Almondbank Library, Craigshill
  • Lanthorn Library, Dedridge
  • Carmondean Library, Carmondean


Youth activities

Livingston has its own Air Training Corps squadron, 2535 (Livingston) Squadron (located in Craigshillmarker) and Army Cadet Force unit (based at Dedridge). The town also has Cubs, Scouts, Boys Brigade, Brownies and Guides units, and a LGBT [Youth Action Project (WLYAP)]http://www.wlyap.org.uk and a Youth Theatre.

The youth action project involves a music session and many gigs and is widely attended by many teenagers from the surrounding area.

A skateboard park is also provided adjacent to the town centre. A leisure swimming pool and a Multiplex cinema are located in the town centre.

The Livingston Skatepark opened in 1981, at a time when most commercial skateparks were closing and was one of the most important facilities in Britain during a critical period in the development of skateboarding. It is an example of a free, unsupervised facility which achieved international status.In 2004 it was visited by the stars of the television series Dirty Sanchez, who described it as "The Best Skatepark in the world, apart from the ones in Wales"

Livingston Skatepark Bowls


Sports

The town has a local rugby union club, Livingston Rugby Football Club, a professional football club, Livingston F.C., and a junior football club, Livingston United.

Livingston is also home to; two competitive swimming clubs, the Livingston & District Dolphins and the Aquanauts of Livingston; Livingston and West Lothian Hockey Club, which has several men's and women's teams and provides junior coaching; and Livingston & District AAC, a track and field athletics club.

Livingston FC are the most notable sports team in the town. They were formed in 1995 on the relocation of Edinburgh-basedmarker side Meadowbank Thistle, who had relocated to a new stadium in the town. They were Scottish Division Three champions in their first season, and in 2001 reached the SPL. They finished third in their first season in the top flight, qualifying for the UEFA Cup. In their ninth season of existence they won the SFL Cup, but were relegated two years later back to Division One.

The West Calder Model Flying club meets regularly and host open days, national competitions and club training events.

Livingston also has a popular cricket club which holds teams for juniors and seniors and has seen some professionals play for them over the years.

Although Livingston is a large town it has few tennis courts. However, there is a growing tennis club in the Ladywellmarker area of the town, called The Ladywell Community Tennis Club. The Courts have been there since the 1970s and have not been re-furbished since due to a lack of attention. Ladywell Community Tennis Club aim to improve the courts by relaying surfaces, improving lighting, replacing nets and fences at the site of the courts through grants or government funding.

Livingston FC

Image:LivingstonFC_crest.png|Badge of Livingston FC.Livingston F.C., known to locals as "Livi" the "black and ambers" or the "Livi Lions" are the most successful football team across the county of West Lothianmarker. They were formed in 1995 after the re-location of Meadowbank Thistle, who were formally known as Ferranti Thstle from Edinburgh. They started life in the Scottish Third Division and were promoted to the Scottish Second Division in their very first year of existance.

In the season of 1998-1999 Livingston were promoted to the Scottish First Division, after they were crowned champions of the Second Division. They spent two seasons in the second teir of Scottish football and in the 2000-2001 season they were promoted to the SPL. Many people thought that Livi over-achieved in their first SPL season after they finished in third position behind Celtic and Rangers. The club also recorded a famous league victory over Rangers that season a last-minute "wonder goal" from Stuart Lovell secured a 2-1 victory. This match was also played infort of the clubs record attendance at Almondvale, 10,019 fans remains the record attendance.

Livi kicked of the 2002-2003 season in the UEFA Cup. They managed to get through to the second round of the competition after beating FC Vaduz of Lichtensteinmarker in the first round on the away goals rule. The first leg finished 1-1 in Lichtenstein and the return leg finished in a goaless draw at the 'Vale. However, they faced a tougher task in the second round against Sturm Graz of Austriamarker. They went out of the competition at this stage after a thrilling 8-6 aggregate loss, however recorded their first and only ever European victory in the return leg after a 4-3 win at the 'Vale.

More success came the following season as the club won the Scottish League Cup. They beat Hibs 2-0 in the final after knocking out Dundee in the semis. The goal scorers at Hampden Parkmarker were Derek Lilley and Fernando Pasquinelli. However since that cup final on the 14th of March 2004 things at Livingston F.C. have only got worse. Relegation to the Scottish First Division in 2006 came after the club entered administration in 2004 as well as other financial problems. In July 2009 the club were hours away from going out of business but were saved by administrators. However, the SFL decided to relegate the club back to the Scottish Third Division on the 5th of August 2009 due to insolvency problems. Livi lost two appeals against the decision.

Churches

Uniquely in Scotland, Livingston has been designated an "Ecumenical Parish" in a joint initiative by the Church of Scotlandmarker, Scottish Episcopal Church, Methodist Church in Great Britain and the United Reformed Church. The Ecumenical Parish has six places of worship.

Apart from the Ecumenical Parish, Livingston Old Parish Church is a congregation solely within the Church of Scotland. There are also churches of other denominations, notably the Catholic Church and also the Baptist Church (who have two congregations in Dedridge and Ladywell).

Freemasonry in Livingston

Livingston is home to three Masonic Lodges, Lodge Buchan St John number 636 and Lodge St Andrew number 1548 meet in Deans and Lodge Almondale 1658 meet in Craigshill.

In addition Strathbrock 237 Royal Arch Chapter, Strathbrock 237 Cryptic Council and the Deans Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star also meet in the Deans Masonic Hall.

Most of the surrounding villages also have a Masonic Lodge including Lodge St John Mid Calder 272, Lodge Thistle 270 in West Calder and Lodge Torphican Killwining 13 in Bathgate.

Freemasonry is starting to emerge from its supposed secrecy and is attempting to educate the public that it has no connection to the Orange Order and is not a sectarian organisation.

Notable people from Livingston



Town twinnings

Livingston and West Lothianmarker are twinned with the following cities;



References



Primary sources

  • Wills, E (1996) Livingston: the Making of a Scottish New Town
  • Cowling, D (1997) An Essay for Today: the Scottish New Towns 1947-1997


External links



Further reading

New Towns




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