Coatbridge Town Centre
The town was formed by the fusion of various villages in the area that grew and quickly sprawled as a result of the booming iron industry and the coal mining from the late 18th century. These villages were Old Monkland and Kirkshaws, Coatbridge, Coatdyke, Dundyvan, Gartsherrie, Langloan and Whifflet. Because of its industrial nature and its designation as a burgh in 1885, Coatbridge was known as the ‘Iron Burgh’.
Over the 19th century, the area was the destination of thousands of Irish migrants seeking to work at the ironworks and the mines. It is estimated that by 1851, a third of Coatbridge’s population was Irish-born. The town hosts a very popular festival on the Saturday prior to St Patrick’s Day with thousands of people celebrating in the streets.
The Whitelaw fountain now at Bank St is one of the town’s landmarks from that era. It is dedicated to Alexander Whitelaw, an ironmaster and philanthropist with a keen interest in education, using part of his wealth to endow schools and churches. Coatbridge treasures other monuments, listed buildings and museums -such as Summerlee- that are examples of the industrial heritage and the Victorian architecture of the period.
The present layout of the town was highly influenced by the Baird family, although the historic town centre has been reshaped by development since the 1960s. A new town centre framework and action plan for the next 10 years will bring new changes to Coatbridge, with the intention of improving the experience of its community, its visitors and its retailers.
Hundreds of businesses offer a wide range of products and services for customers in the town centre. The shopping experience is complemented by the leisure and cultural attractions, with the Time Capsule and the Summerlee Museum receiving lots of visitors not only from Coatbridge, but from the whole of North Lanarkshire and beyond.