About East Airdrie

The East Airdrie site was historically associated with industrial mining activities, first coal mining and later in the 1970s opencast. Previously miners’ homes formed villages which lay adjacent to the Ballochney Railway which ran through the site, but these were abandoned following the decline of the mining industries and traces of the villages on the site were removed by the opencast activities.

Our vision for the site is underpinned by a regeneration objective that reimagines the site’s industrial legacy to create attractive new communities celebrated through public realm that will provide a focus on commercial and residential life.

A History of East Airdrie

The Vision for East Airdrie has been developed over the past decade but the site is no stranger to human activity

The Monklands come into being.

King Malcolm IV of Scotland grants lands in central Scotland, which include East Airdrie, to the monks of Newbattle Abbey in Lothian. These lands become known as “The Monklands”. The monks were known to mine coal for their own use at a place called ‘Whytrig’ – Whiterigg in East Airdrie.

Cotton replaces the Linen Industry

Cotton weaving is introduced and begins to replace the linen weaving industry in Airdrie. The East Airdrie area was originally agricultural, with small farmsteads dotted throughout the landscape, particularly known for growing flax for the Airdrie hand-weaving industry.

1790s: The early beginnings of the coal industry

As the linen industry began to decline, the farm tenants and/or owners began to take out leases for the mineral rights contained in their land and began mining coal and ironstone. Operations remained small, answering mainly local need for smithy coals.

Small coal and ironstone pits can be seen on the 1816 map.

The railways come to East Airdrie

Ballochney Railway opens, running through East Airdrie from Kipps to Ballochney Colliery, branching off to service Whiterigg and Stanrigg, transporting minerals from the pits to the Forth & Clyde Canal to Glasgow, and the Union Canal to Edinburgh.

1830s-1840s: New mining villages appear in East Airdrie

Mining companies build miners’ cottages close to the collieries. The village of Whiterigg consisted of four groups of houses constructed by William Black & Sons, including Old Row, South Stanrigg Rows, North Stanrigg and Airdriehill Square.

1860s: A short-lived boom in oil production

The Stanrigg Oil Works, the Whiterigg Chemical Works and the Rochsolloch Oil Works all open, producing crude oil and refined products from local coals, and the distillation of shale refuse for the production of oil. Most close by the 1870s, although Stanrigg continues until 1903.

Airdriehill square – a better type of miners housing

Airdriehill Square, Whiterigg constructed by United Collieries, 49 brick-built houses in a square with a mixture of two-room and three-room houses of a much higher quality than the earlier cottages.

The hills in the background are the spent shale from the Stanrigg Oil Works, known as the “Victor Emmanuel Bing”

The School destroyed by quarrying

Airdriehill School, Whiterigg, accommodating 300 scholars from Whiterigg, Stanrigg, Ballochney and Rawyards was opened, built on ground to the East of what was to become Airdriehill Quarry. The school closed permanently in 1922 due to damage from the nearby quarry blasting.

Miner’s rows found unfit for human habitation

As part of the Royal Commission on Housing, Dr John T. Wilson, the Medical Officer of Health for Lanarkshire published a report on “The Housing Condition of Miners”. All of the mining villages across East Airdrie were reviewed, and many were found unfit for habitation and recommended for demolition. This included the old rows at Whiterigg and South Stanrigg.

The Stanrigg Disaster – 19 killed and a boy awarded for bravery

Stanrigg Pit Disaster, 9th July 1918. An in-rush of peat and water, known as ‘moss’ into one of the mine shafts, causing the death of 19 men and boys trapped underground. 11 of the bodies were never found. Six of the victims were under 18, with two only 14 years old.

15-year-old John McCabe, working in a different shaft, rather than escaping, ran a quarter of a mile to warn 62 miners working at the face, getting them to safety. He was awarded the Edward Medal for Bravery.

1920s-1930s: The beginning of the end

Mining starts to decline, with the old pits being worked out and fewer new seams developed.

Stanrigg Mine closes in 1930.

The mining villages start to empty, with Arden being abandoned then demolished in 1930

1940s-1950s: The last families leave the mining villages

The last families leave Darngavil in 1945, following subsidence caused by mining under the village. The villages had all disappeared by the late 1950s.

Residents of the mining villages were given new council houses in Plains and Caldercruix.

Albert Bartlett & Sons begins supplying beetroot to local stores

Having invested £30 in an old water boiler and cast iron bath, Albert began boiling and packing beetroot in a garden shed outside his Coatbridge home.

The disappearance of the mineral railways

The Ballochney Railway closes, with the track being lifted shortly after

1970s: A whole new landscape in East Airdrie

Opencast Mining finally removes all traces of the mining villages.

New ‘state of the art’ premises constructed on Stirling Road, Airdrie a short distance from original Watt Street site

Albert Bartlett embarks upon its most adventurous development; the creation of what is widely regarded as Europe’s most advanced potato washing, grading and packing facility.

2013 to 2016: Concept of East Airdrie identified

In 2013 the concept of East Airdrie was identified. The northern community at Stand, known as Berryhill, was identified as the first phase and a draft allocation for the site was identified in the emerging Local Development Plan. Albert Bartlett commissioned a multi-disciplinary charrette to develop the broad masterplan vision for the whole site which tested different masterplan approaches.

City Deal Pan Orbital Announced

Glasgow City Region Cabinet approve a revised Strategic Business Case for the Pan Lanarkshire Orbital Transport Corridor. The ‘Pan Lan’ is made up of three projects, including the East Airdrie Link Road.

Planning permission received for new community at Stand

The northern neighbourhood at Berryhill, received Planning Permission in Principle for a new 523 home community.

May 2021
Council publish proposals for East Airdrie Link Road

North Lanarkshire Council published its plans for the new East Airdrie Link Road in support of a Phase 1 consultation process.

Late 2021: East Airdrie Link Road Preferred Option Selected

Stage 2 of the process reflected the outcome of further feasibility work to support the selection of the preferred route. Option B was selected as the preferred route and Albert Bartlett expressed their support for the preferred alignment.

July 2022
North Lanarkshire Council adopts its new Local Development Plan

North Lanarkshire Local Development Plan was Adopted and came into force on 6 July 2022. The Local Development Plan is a 5- to 10-year strategy for physical development. The East Airdrie site benefits from a number of industrial allocations identified in the 2022 Plan, however these are not aligned with modern market needs and need to be reconfigured in light of the preferred route of the link road.

October 2022
East Airdrie Charrette

In Autumn 2022, we undertook a further multi-disciplinary charrette to test two models of masterplanning: neighbourhood versus zonal. The outcome of this process was a hybrid approach which encapsulates the best of the 2015 plan and the zonal approach.

April 2023
Launch of our website and first successful public consultation event held in support of our initial vision for East Airdrie.

February 2024: Further consultation

Following a successful exhibition event, we are now ready to present our updated vision for East Airdrie. Public Consultation events will take place on 20th and 21st February 2024.

July 2024

Submission of a Planning Permission in Principle application for East Airdrie to North Lanarkshire Council

Summer 2024: North Lanarkshire Council intend to submit a planning application for the East Airdrie Link Road.

Planning applications for both East Airdrie and the application for the Link Road will be determined.

Works for the initial phases of East Airdrie commence on site

The first employment spaces and housing at East Airdrie are occupied

Construction of the East Airdrie Link Road commences. 2029-2030 Construction of the East Airdrie Link Road complete.  Further phases of East Airdrie commence on site.