Designs by budding artists from Winchburgh schools have been selected by the national organisation that looks after Scotland’s canals to feature on a series of bridges serving Scotland’s fastest-growing town.

Six designs by talented pupils were cherrypicked by judges from Scottish Canals and Winchburgh Developments, who received entries from  more than 150 young people

The competition was initiated by Winchburgh Developments Ltd. (WDL) and pupils were challenged with a brief of reflecting in their designs the environment, the canal and history of Winchburgh.

“All the bridges along the Union have numbers on each side as is a requirement for bridges, but we wanted to do something a bit more special to celebrate the history, heritage and future of Winchburgh,” said WDL Community sports and Greenspace  Manager Penny Lochhead “With Scottish Canals, we devised the concept of coming up with something creative to involve the next generation of the local community.

“These brilliant designs will be here forever; the winners, their children, and their grandchildren will all see how the community wanted to represent Winchburgh during this exciting period of development. Well done to all entrants on their fantastic designs, and congratulations to all the winners.”

The designs are likely to be cast onto six permanent oval plaques that will be inset into each side of three canal bridges, which, for navigational reasons, are known as 32a, 32b and 32c.

George McBurnie of Scottish Canals said: “Winchburgh is very blessed that the Union Canal passes through such a vibrant place. Connections like this whereby the community is engaged in the development is very important for Scottish Canals. We want the communities to embrace what we have to offer and contribute to the wellbeing of the canals. We need the younger generations to become engaged as it’s their actions that will influence how future generations use the canal; the canal is there to be loved.”

Winchburgh Academy pupils vied for the honour of having their designs featured on Bridge 32A, a footbridge to Daisy Park, with Caleigh-Marie and Vianne emerging as the judges’ choices.

Winchburgh Primary School children from primary 1 and 2 had the opportunity to create artwork for Bridge 32B, the bridge that leads to the new Marina Bridge, and Ella and Isla saw their designs selected.

Holy Family RC Primary School drew designs to be featured on Bridge 32C, Winchburgh Canal Bridge, with Magdalene and Dara creating the winning designs. Magdalene, now of Sinclair Academy, depicted a rose in recognition of the rose plant that would have traditionally been presented to each miner who moved to Winchburgh during the village’s mining heyday.

The first of these plaques will be placed on the completed road canal bridge and marina bridge in early 2023.

On completion of Winchburgh Developments’ current consented masterplan for the town, it is estimated that Winchburgh will have 4,324 residential units and a population of over 13,000. The placemaking project has already seen significant investment in infrastructure, facilities and publicly accessible greenspace, as well as the completion of new primary and secondary schools, a new district park and a junction which connects Winchburgh directly to the M9 motorway.