Coatbridge - Blair Bridge Access To Monkland Canal

The aim of the project was to enhance the Blair Bridge and immediate area to create a high quality, attractive and inviting access to the Monkland Canal Corridor as it is the starting point to the western section of the Canal. This stretch of the Monkland Canal is an important resource for the local community, not only in terms of leisure but also a route connecting Town Centre to some of the outlaying urban area and wider countryside, including Drumpellier Country Park.

The project encompassed the following elements:

The creation of a high quality, attractive new entrance feature: Despite being in a prominent location the entrance to this section of the Canal was not highly visible. Access was through a narrow opening in a tall wall that led to a flight of steps and it looked particularly unsafe and people did not know it was an access to the Canal. The new entrance feature has reversed the image of the area and made it much more prominent and welcoming. The archway was designed by two local schools working with renowned Scottish Artist and Sculpture Any Scott. The feature interprets the heritage of the canal and its people, in the style of the famous local book writer Mark Millar who officially opened the project.

Landscape Improvements: Adjacent to the towpath entrance was an area of derelict land which created the impression of an unsafe uncared for and neglected entrance to the canal. We have transformed this to become a welcoming destination point and a location for future canal side festivals and activities. Soft and hard landscaping have created a high quality environment. This has included tree and shrub planting, seating, installation of solar lighting, repair to the historic wall along the towpath and new signage and interpretation.

Creation of linkages with local path networks and car park: The Waterways Trust Scotland have upgrade of the existing pedestrian access including a ramped access to improve the existing stepped access to the towpath, so making the towpath accessible for all abilities. Improved surfacing has been laid which has improved connections between the towpath, Drumpellier Country Park and Coatbridge Town Centre.

The community have benefitted from this improved facility in a number of ways. Removal of barriers to physical access has opened up the canal corridor to users of all abilities. The design has created a more open and safe environment that will encourage more users.


WREN funding was sought towards Blair Bridge Access by contributing towards the capital elements of the enhancement works construction, railings, groundwork's, planting and orientation.

Project Details

Glasgow & North Lanarkshire
Project types
Mar 23, 2011
Aug 12, 2011
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Grant Information

FCC Community Action Fund
Grant allocated
Project cost

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