Livingston, West Lothian

Livingston, West Lothian

infobox UK place
country = Scotland
official_name= Livingston
gaelic_name= Baile Dhùn Lèibhe
scots_name= Livingston ("Livvie")
population= 54,826 (2006)
os_grid_reference= NT054690
map_type= Scotland
unitary_scotland= West Lothian
lieutenancy_scotland= West Lothian
constituency_westminster= Livingston
constituency_scottish_parliament= Livingston
constituency_scottish_parliament1= Lothians
post_town= LIVINGSTON
postcode_district = EH53, EH54
postcode_area= EH
dial_code= 01506

Livingston is the fourth post-war new town to be built in Scotland, designated in 1962. It is located approximately 15 miles (25 km) west of Edinburgh and 30 miles (50 km) east of Glasgow, and is bordered by the towns of Broxburn to the northeast and Bathgate to the northwest.

Livingston is the largest town in the West Lothian area. It was built around a collection of small villages, Livingston Village, Bellsquarry and Livingston Station (now Nether Dechmont or Deans ). It contains a number of residential precincts or areas. These include Craigshill, Howden, Dedridge, Ladywell, Knightsridge, Murieston, Adambrae, Deans and Eliburn. Its neighbouring villages include Polbeth, West Calder, East Calder, Mid Calder, Uphall Station and Pumpherston. Livingston itself is the 7th largest town in Scotland, based on 2004 population estimates [ "GROS Website" [] ] . The 2001 census showed the town had a population of 50,826 (24,451 male and 26,375 female) and an urban agglomeration population (including Mid Calder and East Calder) of 59,511.

Livingston is also the second largest settlement in the Lothians after Edinburgh. Until 1963 the area surrounding the ancient village of Livingston was open farm land. The name was taken from this village which dates back to 12th Century when a Flemish entrepreneur called De Leving was granted land in the area. He built a fortified tower which is long since gone and the settlement that grew up around it became known as Levingstoun, Layingston [ "NLS Website" [] ] and eventually Livingston.

Livingston Development Corporation

Livingston was built as part of the New Towns Act of 1946 (amended 1959), in part to ease overcrowding in Glasgow. Livingston was the fourth new town of five. The others were East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Cumbernauld and Irvine.

In order to build, manage and promote Livingston a quango organisation was formed, the Livingston Development Corporation.

The corporation guided Livingston until the middle of the 1990s when its mandate expired and the town was transferred to West Lothian Council. The last major construction operation carried out by the LDC was the Almondvale Stadium, which was to become the home to the renamed Livingston FC. A new purpose built campus for West Lothian College and other major developments have also taken place in Livingston over the last 10 years.

Construction in Livingston has continued under the management of West Lothian Council.


The area where Livingston now sits was historically dominated by oil shale mining, which is evident from the bings which still exist on the much of the surrounding landscape. The designation of Livingston in the 1960s attracted new light industries to the area, with high technology and pharmaceutical companies in particular moving into the town. Livingston formed a major hub in Scotland's Silicon Glen. Like most other areas this went into a slow decline with the closures of companies including Motorola and NEC. Several multi-national companies however still have factories in the town and BSkyB has its main call centre in Livingston and is the largest private sector employer in West Lothian. Other large employers include those in the retail sector and the National Health Service.

Town centre and shopping

:"Main article: Shopping in Livingston"Livingston town centre sits on the southern edge of the Almond Valley. It is bounded by a ring road and has been purposely planned, distinguishing it from West Lothian's other town centres. Howden Park is located immediately north of the town centre.

Livingston is the sub-regional centre serving West Lothian. It features one of the largest indoor shopping and leisure complexes in Scotland, the Almondvale Shopping Centre and the Livingston Designer Outlet Centre (formerly McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Centre).

The Almondvale Centre was built in two main phases and contains around 120 shops, most of which are well known high street retailers. It contains one of the UK's largest superstores, an ASDA Walmart, which is located at the east end of the mall. The Almondvale Centre also contains a bingo hall, cafes and restaurants.

Expansion of the Almondvale Centre is currently underway. This is on the site of the former Safeway store and adjoining carparks. Once completed Livingston will contain one of Europe's largest indoor shopping complexes [] . The scheme, named , The Elements [ "The Elements website" [ ] ] , is to be a mixed use development, anchored by a Debenhams and Marks & Spencer department store, new commercial leisure space and will contain an internal winter garden civic space.

The designer outlet mall contains a VUE multiplex cinema, a gym, bars, restaurants and cafes as well as around 100 outlet stores.

Livingston town centre is very car-dependent and has an abundance of car parking. The south western edge of the town centre is dominated by retail parks. These contain a number of well known retailers and fast food outlets.

Livingston's town centre also contains a large number of offices, including the local authority's headquarters building, West Lothian House. Private sector offices are also concentrated at the eastern and western edges of the centre and along the Almondvale Boulevard. Other facilities in the centre include hotels, a swimming pool and local authority gym, restaurants, pubs and Club Earth. Almondvale Football Stadium and West Lothian College are located at the north western edge of the town centre.Neighbourhood Shopping Centres are located at stragic points around the town. The first of these to be built was The Mall at Craigshill. This was followed by the Carmondean Centre in Deans and groupings of shops in Ladywell and Murieston.



Livingston has excellent connections to the central Scotland road network. The M8 bounds Livingston in the north. A899 dual carriageway spine road passes north south along Livingston's eastern edge and connects the M8 in the north to the A71 in the South and has the A89 to the west.


Livingston has a central bus terminal located on Almondvale Avenue between the two shopping centres in the town centre. This provides regular services to surrounding towns and villages. First Group [ [ FirstGroup - UK Bus South East & Central Scotland ] ] are the main bus operator in Livingston, other operators include E&M Horsburgh [ [ E&M Horsburgh Coaches, for contract and private hire ] ] , Passenger Travel, Blue Bus, Davidsons Buses [ [ Davidson Buses ] ] , SD Travel, Prentice Westwood [ [ Prentice Westwood Ltd ] ] and Nordi Travel. Livingston has buses to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Edinburgh Airport, Ocean Terminal, Oban, Lanark and Falkirk . There are 8 stances at the bus terminal of which 7 are used.


Livingston has two railway stations; Livingston North and Livingston South. Livingston North is located adjacent to the Carmondean Shopping Centre between Eliburn and Deans and sits on the Edinburgh-Bathgate line. Livingston South is located at the Murieston Shops and sits on the Edinburgh-Shotts-Motherwell-Glasgow Central Line. Livingston North is part of a new line that will go to Glasgow Queen Street and Airdrie.


Livingston is 15 km west of Edinburgh Airport which has regular flights to UK and international destinations.


Livingston is in relative close proximity to the port of Rosyth in Fife. This runs three sailings a week to and from Zeebrugge in Belgium.


Primary schools

*Bankton Primary School
*Bellsquarry Primary School
*Carmondean Primary School
*Deans Primary School
*Dedridge Primary School
* [ Harrysmuir Primary School]
*Knightsridge Primary School
*Letham Primary School
*Livingston Village Primary School
*Meldrum Primary School
*Peel Primary School
*Riverside Primary School
*Toronto Primary School
*St. Andrews RC Primary School
*St John Ogilvie Primary School
*St. Ninian's RC Primary School
*Williamston Primary School

Secondary schools

*Inveralmond Community High School
*James Young High School
*St. Margaret's RC Academy
*Deans Community High School

Further Education

*West Lothian College of Further Education

The Institute of System Level Integration is situated in the Alba Centre, near the heart of the town. The institute offers postgraduate studies in Microelectronics and awards a joint degree from four leading Scottish Universities: University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow, Heriot-Watt University and the University of Strathclyde.


Livingston has 3 public libraries:
* Almondbank Library Craigshill
* Lanthorn Library Dedridge
* Carmondean Library Deans

Youth activities

Livingston has its own Air Training Corps squadron, 2535 (Livingston) Squadron (located in Craigshill) and Army Cadet Force unit (based at Dedridge). The town also has Cubs, Scouts, Boys Brigade, Brownies and Guides units. As well as a LGBT a Youth Action Project (WLYAP) and a Youth Theatre.

A skateboard park is also provided adjacent to the town centre. A leisure swimming pool and a Multiplex cinema are located in the town centre.

The Livingston Skatepark opened in 1981, at a time when most commercial skateparks were closing and was one of the most important facilities in Britain during a critical period in the development of skateboarding. It is an example of a free, unsupervised facility which achieved international status.In 2004 it was visited by the stars of the television series Dirty Sanchez, who described it as "The Best Skatepark in the world, apart from the ones in Wales"


The town has a local rugby union club, Livingston Rugby Football Club, a professional football club, Livingston F.C., and a junior football club, Livingston United.

There are also two competitive swimming clubs:The Livingston & District Dolphins,and the Aquanauts of Livingston.Livingston and West Lothian Hockey Club has several men's and women's teams, and provides junior coaching.The West Calder Model Flying club meets regularly and host open days, national competitions and club training events.

Livingston FC are the most notable sports team in the town. They were formed in 1995 on the relocation of Edinburgh-based side Meadowbank Thistle, who had relocated to a new stadium in the town. They were Scottish Division Three champions in their first season, and in 2001 reached the SPL. They finished third in their first season in the top flight, qualifying for the UEFA Cup. In their ninth season of existence they won the SFL Cup, but were relegated two years later back to Division One.


Uniquely in Scotland, Livingston has been designated an "Ecumenical Parish" in a joint initiative by the Church of Scotland, Scottish Episcopal Church, Methodist Church in Great Britain and the United Reformed Church. The Ecumenical Parish has six places of worship.

Apart from the Ecumenical Parish, Livingston Old Parish Church is a congregation solely within the Church of Scotland. There are also churches of other denominations, notably the Catholic Church.


Primary sources

*Wills, E (1996) "Livingston: the Making of a Scottish New Town"
*Cowling, D (1997) "An Essay for Today: the Scottish New Towns 1947-1997"

External links

* [ Livingston in pictures @ Livingstoni 1000+]
* [ Undiscovered Scotland- Livingston featurepage]
* [ Stevens Pictures (Livingston Gallery)]
* [ Livingston Badminton Club]
* [ Livingston Alive]
* [ Weather foreacast, film times and other info about Livingston]
* [ LiviMS - Livingston's Music Scene]
* [ Livingston Football Club]
* [ West Lothian Business Portal]
* [ West Lothian College]
* [ Livingston Skate Park Website]
* [ St Andrews RC Primary School Website]
* [ West Calder Model Flying Club]
* [ Club Earth, West Lothians No.1 Nightclub]
* [ Livingston Ecumenical Parish Church]
* [ "the Elements"]
* [ The James Young High School]
* [ Deans Community High School]
* [ Livingston Air Training Corps]
* [ Army Cadet Force]
* [ West Lothian Ice Hockey]
* [ Youth Group]
* [ Youth Action Project]
* [ Youth Theatre]
* [ Model Flying Club]
* [ Rosyth Ferry Link]
* [ Institute of System Level Integration]

Further reading

New Towns

*" [ "The Dissappointing New Towns of Great Britain"]
*" [ "New Towns: Can They Be Given New Life?"] "
*" [ "Building Towns for the future"] "

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