Vision for Townhead
Comic book creator vows to make his home town out of this world
Comic book king Mark Millar has announced plans to invest in his home area of Townhead – including developing new homes on brownfield sites.
His trust, the Millar Foundation, will begin work on the initiative in the new year, as well as helping fund community projects.
Mark Millar has spent most of his adult life creating comic book characters that are known and loved the world over.
But the man behind many of Hollywood’s most memorable movie moments of recent years is on the cusp of becoming a real-life superhero in his hometown.
For the Kingsman creator has pledged to plough substantial investment into his native Townhead over the coming years after selling his company to Netflix.
The home entertainment giant’s acquisition of Millarworld, the first of its kind, has allowed the 47-year-old to put the wheels in motion on a plan which – like all his best stories – he began formulating some time ago.
In the new year, his trust, the Millar Foundation, will begin the process of developing brownfield sites for family homes. Money from the first sales will be put into more building and community activities.
“This process has been on the go for a few years now,” an excited Mark told the Advertiser.
“I’ve always wanted to do a bit more for my hometown and the idea is to build 30 houses over five years.
“Two years ago I was bored on a flight to LA so I took out a pen and pad an worked on an idea of helping to regenerate the area. I wanted to form a charitable foundation, start building properties and put the entire profit into the community.
“Instead of just giving a oneoff donation, I wanted to make an investment and do something which will have a lasting effect in Townhead.”
He went on: “Every time a house is built, the profit goes into the community and the initial investment goes into the housing programme.
“I didn’t want to start until I knew I could fully commit, and selling Millarworld has given us the capital to do this.
“We want to take over derelict land and make it look nicer, regenerate the area and have a steady profit stream lasting forever.”
Mark reckons there are “four or five” sites in Townhead that have potential to be used.
But he and his wife Lucy’s hunger to help his hometown doesn’t begin and end with property development.
He added: “There are other things we want to do to help impact the community as well.
“This year we’ll be putting on a free Christmas lunch in a local church hall for elderly people and will bring in variety acts to entertain them.
“We also fund school trips now after my niece told me six years ago that hers was cancelled due to a lack of money.
“I want to have private-school levels of facilities and after-school clubs to the point where parents are champing at the bit to get into the area and have their kids schooled in Townhead.
“We also want to supercharge the
Scouts, Guides and Boys’ Brigade. I just love the idea of giving back and helping to stop the wee things seeming like luxuries.”
The philanthropic former pupil of St Bartholomew’s Primary and St Ambrose High sold his first comic book script for the princely sum of £240 in 1989 and went on to create characters who became the stars of multi-million dollar movies such as Kick-Ass, Captain America: Civil War, and the Kingsman franchise.
The down-to-earth dad splits his time between Glasgow and Los Angeles, but still returns to Monklands on “two or three” occasions a month to visit family and friends.
He added: “I have worked all over the world, but Townhead will always be home and I want to give something back.
“I learned to read and write there and that’s how I make my living.
“My pals and long-lasting relationships were built there and I will always have close connections with the area.
“And anyway, I’d rather be doing this than hanging around with the likes of Simon Cowell!”
Hometown hero Mark has pledged to plough substantial investment into his native Townhead
Giving something back A plaque for the Blairbridge Arch, which was unveiled by Mark in 2011
Land-Mark The Blairbeth Arch, top and St Bartholomew’s, above, one of Townhead’s places of worship
Home boy Mark Millar loves Townhead