Bid to redesign 'carbuncle town' Denny
A competition has been launched to redesign a rundown town centre recently crowned Scotland's most dismal place.
Residents of Denny asked for the Carbuncle Award after learning no-one wanted to pick up the trophy on behalf of this year's winners, John O'Groats.
Work to revamp the town centre has been delayed repeatedly since 2004.
Competition organisers Urban Realm - who run the Carbuncle Awards - said some of Scotland's top architects had already agreed to take part.
The organisation said architects RMJM, Aedas and Alan Dunlop had expressed an interest in submitting a design.
Urban Realm wants entrants to look at ways of improving the town's aesthetic, function and transport links.
A statement announcing the competition said: "New housing is needed for the Denny area but market forces are pushing this requirement to the suburban fringe.
"We would like to investigate ways of designing an affordable live-work combination for the town centre which is both buildable and sufficient to the town's future needs."
Falkirk Council announced last week that it hoped to demolish the Church Walk blocks in autumn 2011 as part of a £13m regeneration to be carried out by developers Henry Boot.
The blocks were built in the 1960s and are described as an "eyesore" by many residents.
A panel of judges chaired by Wayne Hemingway and encompassing local residents and the Urban Realm editorial team will assess the submitted work and select their favourite designs.
John Glenday from Urban Realm said: "This competition proves that our infamous Plook on the Plinth award is no mere flash in the pan.
"With this competition we hope to clearly show that though Denny may be a carbuncle today, it need not be tomorrow."
The top three designs will be revealed in November and will be handed to Henry Boot Ltd and Falkirk Council.
But council leader Craig Martin said the redevelopment had not been held up by the lack of a good design.
He said: "We know what we want to achieve in Denny and are working closely with people in Denny to realise this.
"It is unfair to the people of Denny to suggest that an alternative design can be delivered any sooner, or that it will be better than the current scheme.
"Regeneration doesn't happen overnight. We have a masterplan which has been consulted on over the past five years and has received very favourable comment."