The largest town in West Lothian

In fact, the second largest in all of the Lothians behind only Edinburgh

Just after Edinburgh

Livingston is the second largest settlement in the Lothians after Edinburgh. When one considers that prior to the 1960s, few people outside of its immediate area had ever heard of it, it is remarkable that over 50,000 people have chosen to make it their home in the past forty odd years. This is an accomplishment that is truly remarkable. All of that changed in 1962 when the government was looking for a suitable place to relocate Glasgow's over spill population.

  • They only had one city in mind;

  • which was Livingston.

A beautiful area

They chose this beautiful area on the banks of the River Almond with its beautiful scenery of the Pentlands hills to the south and the Bathgate hills to the north to be the attractive site for the fourth of Scotland's five designated new towns. This area is midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. East Kilbride, Irvine, Cumbernauld, and Glenrothes are some examples of similar towns that were founded at the same time. Livingston is one of the most successful of the five. One of the most prosperous of the five, Livingston is now the:

  • administrative;

  • economic;

  • and shopping center for the entirety of West Lothian.

Livingston Development Corporation

Livingston wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for the "Livingston Development Corporation," more commonly known as the LDC. The LDC was initially located on the top floor of the Scotsman buildings before moving to their purpose-built offices within Livingston village. Without the LDC, Livingston wouldn't be what it is today.

  • LDC is fundamental
  • a company that made Livingston famous

The concept behind the master plan for Livingston was that it should be the first new town in Britain to be planned with the intention of serving as a regional center for the entirety of its surrounding area.

It's success

It was also very successful in regulating the growth and expansion of the new town, with the scheme dictating that the new town should expand in an orderly fashion from east to west. This was accomplished with great success.

  • growth and expansion
  • orderly fashion - from east to west

As a result, the first people to move into the new town were housed in the already established village of Livingston station, but the construction of the first significant housing development began on the hillside near Craigshill. A Swedish industrialized method of building was used there in order to meet the government's demand for one thousand new homes every year.

The Gilchrists

The first residents, MR and Mrs. James Gilchrist, along with their son Robert, moved in on schedule in April 1966 to number 39 Broom Walk. This was accomplished in order to meet the government's demand. Nearby, former Rangers goalkeeper Billy Ritchie opened the first shop, which would later become the Craigshill covered shopping center, which would go on to become one of the wonders of its age. Howden, Ladywell, Knightsridge, Dedridge, Eliburn, Deans and Carmondean, DeerPark, Bankton, and Murieston are just a few of the place names that followed and became well known in the Livingston New Town.