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Giant red phone box wins FutureTown design competition

The design plan for a visitor centre in Kirkintilloch secured more than half of the public vote.

Winner: The visitor centre design.
Winner: The visitor centre design. John Dickson

By Graeme Murray

A giant red phone box has led to a town being crowned winner of a design contest.

Kirkintilloch in East Dunbartonshiremore secured more half of the public votes for its visitor centre in the FutureTown Design Competition.

A public vote was held online last month and entries were shortlisted by a panel of Scotland's Towns Partnership and Threesixty Architecture.

John Dickson of Kirkintilloch, came up with the Big Red Phone Box visitor centre entry and will showcase the project to an audience of policy-makers and supporting towns.

Other shortlisted designs for Alloa, Crail, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Milngavie.

'His original vision for a Big Red Phone Box visitor centre in Kirkintilloch is rooted in the town's heritage and certainly seems to have resonated locally'
Phil Prentice, Scotland's Towns Partnership

Since 2015 the public and organisations have submitted ideas for their town or city neighbourhood to the competition which hopes to spark conversations, provoke ideas and encourage new approaches to future visions of towns.

Mr Dickson said: "I'm delighted that my vision for Kirkintilloch's future as a unique destination has been overwhelmingly voted for by the people of Kirkintilloch and beyond.

"Kirky's Giant Phone Box has captured the imagination of people who now know the prospect exists to transform our town centre towards a bustling and exciting future.

"New jobs and businesses created to cater to folk who'll be attracted to a colossal testimony to our industrial heritage.

"I am looking forward to discussing the practicalities with our elected representatives and professionals with expertise to: Build it and they will come. Thanks to everyone who voted. It's so exciting."

Alan Anthony, managing director of sponsors Threesixty Architecture, said: "Once again this competition has reinforced how important the town centre is to our communities and how design can play a critical part in repairing and safeguarding our centres.

"It has also been an opportunity for those that passionately care about their towns to showcase inventive ideas none more so than the winning entry by John Dickson who has eloquently presented his unique design ideas firmly grounded in the unique story of his town, Kirkintilloch."

Phil Prentice, chief officer of Scotland's Towns Partnership also praised Mr Dickson's entry.

He said: "His original vision for a 'Big Red Phone Box' visitor centre in Kirkintilloch is rooted in the town's heritage and certainly seems to have resonated locally.

"Indeed, well done to all shortlisted entrants for submitting high-quality and forward-thinking designs for their towns and city districts".

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