Vi­sion for Town­head

Comic book cre­ator vows to make his home town out of this world

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Front Page - An­drew Bargh

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

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