Blantyre is a community of 21,000 people, situated within easy commuting distance, to the south east of Glasgow. Bordered by Hamilton on one side and East Kilbride on another it is famous world-wide as the birthplace of the missionary/explorer David Livingstone. His actual birth-place in Shuttle Row has been preserved as a museum managed by the National Trust for Scotland. Blantyre is also famous as the site of Scotland’s worst-ever Mining Disaster in the 1870’s when over 270 men and boys lost their lives in a single explosion. Representing one in ten of the male population of the town at the time it led to one the first ever National Appeals on behalf of the widows and bereaved families. Many of them lost their tied homes and all income when their men were killed. The explosion is remembered with a memorial in High Blantyre beside the Blantyre Old Parish Church.
Blantyre is a Community that relied on heavy Industry in the past and has had to weather the down-turn in that sector of the economy. Once an Urban Priority Area and benefitting from Social Inclusion Partnerships, it is now a strong, vibrant, resurgent place with a real sense of Community. Hamilton Technology Park and growing Industries in the area have brought new jobs. New housing – notably in nearby West Craigs – has brought new families to the area. Blantyre has excellent amenities with up-to-date facilities at the Leisure Centre and the Miners’ Welfare. Calderside Academy, a new-build High School, sits in the heart of the community and draws its 1400 roll from Blantyre to Earnock. Many of the Primary Schools are also new build or are in the process of being re-built.