'Carbuncle' town Cumbernauld unveils 33ft Arria statue

image captionThe final piece of the Arria sculpture is put into place

A £250,000 steel sculpture designed to boost the image of a North Lanarkshire town has been erected.

The 10m (33ft) structure of a female form overlooks the A80 at Cumbernauld.

The town won the infamous Carbuncle award for the most dismal place to stay in Scotland.

The artwork was created by artist Andy Scott and named Arria after Arria Fadilla, the mother of Emperor Antoninus.

It was selected following a competition asking locals to suggest a title for its new resident.

Mr Scott has produced several notable public artworks in Scotland, including the M8 Heavy Horse and Falkirk Helix Water Kelpies.

Part of the Cumbernauld Positive Image Project, the sculpture incorporates two large swooping arcs, inspired by the original name for Cumbernauld, "comar nan allt", which means "coming together of waters" in Gaelic.

Its proximity to the motorway means more than 70,000 commuters will see the sculpture every day.

Work to erect the statue began on Tuesday morning took most of the day to complete.

Councillor Gerry McElroy, chairman of the company set up to facilitate the redevelopment of Cumbernauld, said: "After almost a year of waiting she is now complete and looks fantastic.

"We're all really looking forward to driving by her on the main road that bisects Cumbernauld and hope that she becomes an iconic landmark for the town."

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