HUNDREDS of people have backed a petition calling for a park to be created on the site of a Lanarkshire hospital when it moves to a new home. 

Locals in Airdrie would like to see the land surrounding University Monklands Hospital transformed into a greenspace to boost the area’s physical and mental health.  

Campaigners say the town lacks a major park compared to neighbouring Motherwell (Strathclyde Park) and Coatbridge (Drumpellier Country Park), despite having a larger population than the former. 

READ MORE: Wester Moffat confirmed as new site of Monklands Hospital by Lanarkshire health board

Monklands is due to move to Wester Moffat on other side of Airdrie by the end of 2028 after the Scottish Government gave its blessing to plans last week. 

Organiser Calum Gibson, a secondary school PE teacher, said: “Airdrie, unlike other large towns in Lanarkshire, doesn’t have a large park people can go to.

“There’s nowhere people can go and relax on a sunny day, go and play with their kids, or even go down with their pals.

Glasgow Times: Organiser Calum Gibson hopes to get the conversation started on the site's future Organiser Calum Gibson hopes to get the conversation started on the site's future

“Airdrie has three or four small parks compared to other towns which have a big one that’s almost like a community hub.

“We talk about hubs for social gatherings and that would be great for the town.”

The 25-year-old added: “We have two massive problems in Scotland. One is mental health and it is proven fresh air and exercise really helps people with that. 

“Secondly, there’s physical health and that’s even been brought up by Boris Johnson.

“This would also be ten minutes' walk from the town centre and that, in turn, would really benefit the town.

Glasgow Times: Campaigners would like to see a community hub in Airdrie just like Motherwell's Strathclyde Park Campaigners would like to see a community hub in Airdrie just like Motherwell's Strathclyde Park

“You want the town centre to be a hub where people can go and get a coffee and do everything.” 

NHS Lanarkshire bosses say they will launch a community consultation in time and intend to create a “health and wellbeing village” on the site. 

Mr Gibson, whose petition has garnered more than 105 signatures in just four days, added: “A community park would be the perfect alongside that.

“People want something they can use and don’t just want new homes.” 

Alex Neil, Airdrie and Shotts MSP, said he looked forward to a community consultation being launched. 

He added: “It is important the views of the community are listened to create something positive for the local area.” 

Colin Lauder, NHS Lanarkshire director of property, planning and performance, said: “We intend to create a ‘health and wellbeing village’ on the current site of University Hospital Monklands after the hospital is relocated in 2028. 

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"This means the local community will benefit from enhanced community-based healthcare plus the development of the new hospital – both of which will help to reduce health inequalities and provide the opportunity for economic regeneration in the area.

Glasgow Times: The Wester Moffat site of Monklands The Wester Moffat site of Monklands

“We recognise that public and staff input will be key to the development of the proposals and we expect it to be around two years before a firm plan for the site is agreed.”

A North Lanarkshire Council spokeswoman said: “We will work closely with NHS Lanarkshire on options for the future development of the site, including provision of community facilities.”

To sign the petition, visit the Change.org page