Livingston, Let’s Talk

We’re discussing life in the New Town as part of ReimagiNation

Our ReimagiNation tour of Scotland’s New Towns concludes with a series of exciting community conversations in Livingston.

How does Livingston’s story fit in with the other New Towns, and what has life been like in the 50+ years since people started moving there? What mistakes have been made in the past, and what opportunities exist for the future? To help us find out, historian and writer Daniel Gray hosts three informal community discussion sessions across April and May – find dates and details below. These are free to attend, informal and relaxed, lasting around two hours and with refreshments provided. Daniel wants to hear from you, whether you’ve lived in the town for five decades or five minutes. He’ll also be taking up residence on public transport and in other key locations in the town, with some dates and times to be confirmed. Keep an eye on this website and follow us on Twitter and Facebook to find out how, where and when you can contribute and make your voice heard as we conclude our ReimagiNation tour.

Formed around a collection of existing small villages and farmland, Livingston was designated the fourth Scottish New Town in 1962, and is now the third biggest town in Scotland, and the second biggest settlement in the Lothians after Edinburgh. Much like Glenrothes, the area where Livingston now stands has a history with the boom and bust of mining. The New Town designation in the 1960s led to the town becoming another hub in Silicon Glen, bringing people and jobs as well as instability when major companies closed. Today it is home to one of the country’s biggest shopping complexes. Unlike most of its fellow New Towns, Livingston has never received or been nominated for the Carbuncle Award, a dubious architecture ‘prize’ which looms over the Scottish New Towns project in the public imagination.

ReimagiNation will roll into the Book Festival in August, where we’ll conclude many of the discussions we’ve had around the country over the past two years, and bring the tales of Scotland’s New Towns to the world’s largest public celebration of words and stories. The programme launches on Thursday 7 June – we hope you’ll attend some of our events and keep adding to the conversation.

Community Conversations

  • Connector.

    The Vennie | Mon 23 April, 5pm

    Knightsridge Adventure Project, EH54 8RA | contact booked@edbookfest.co.uk to register

  • Connector.

    Craigshill Good Neighbour Network | Fri 11 May, 10.30am

    The Mall, Craigshill, EH54 5EJ | contact booked@edbookfest.co.uk to register

  • Connector.

    Generation Arts @ The Howden Park Centre | Thu 24 May, 1.30pm

    Howden Park Centre, EH54 6AE | contact booked@edbookfest.co.uk to register

Daniel will also be popping up in and around Livingston’s train stations (Fri 4 May) and bus services (Fri 25 May) to speak with commuters and staff. Our thanks to Scotrail and First Buses for their support. We hope to arrange dates in other locations around the town: watch this space for details!


Our thanks go to The Vennie, Craigshill Good Neighbour Network, Generation Arts, The Howden Park Centre and West Lothian Council. ReimagiNation: Livingston is supported by the players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

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