Scotland’s most notorious urban eyesore is to be bought, demolished and replaced.

North Lanarkshire Council has today agreed a deal in principle to purchase Cumbernauld’s brutalist centre from its private owners.

The local authority plans to redevelop the iconic megastructure, which was opened in a blaze of publicity and new town optimism in 1967.

Councillors and officials are not saying how much they will spend buying the building from its private owners. That remains commercially confidential.

But their plans are part of a £3.5billion-pound effort to re-imagine towns across the region, putting schools and public services back at the centre of urban communities.

Councillor Jim Logue, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The acquisition of The Centre Cumbernauld is an extremely significant part of the town vision for Cumbernauld and would represent a huge step forward in the regeneration of the town.

“While the building represented the future in the 1960s, it is clear that it does not fit with residents’ vision of what they need from a modern town centre.

“We are absolutely committed to ensuring that Cumbernauld – and all the towns in North Lanarkshire – is a vibrant, living town and our overall investment in town centres, hundreds of millions of pounds, is about ensuring a sustainable future.”

The purchase will mean that the vast majority of the original town centre buildings will be owned by the council. This does not include the nearby Antonine shopping centre.

Officials stress plans are long-term. The current landlord, Glasgow-based property firm Hamcap, is expected to continue to manage the building on the council’s behalf for the time-being.

The redevelopment will not start for a number of years and will take around a decade to complete, a spokesperson for the authority said.

Council-owned facilities such as the Tryst sports centre, library and other offices in the town centre will also be replaced, with facilities transferring to the new state-of-the-art hub as part of the programme.

The Centre Cumbernauld was once lauded as an architectural marvel.

An architectural critic - during it construction - suggested Leonardo Da Vinci would have created something like it, calling it a “soaring citadel surrounded by meadow”.

It has since, however, won Scotland’s Carbuncle award for biggest eyesore so often it is often known as the “plook on the plinth”.

The council has agreed to buy most of the structure. It is still in negotiations with the owners of two small parts of the building, Avon House and Cornerstone House.

There has already been a public consultation on the future Town Hub of Cumbernauld. It will contain schools, schools, leisure facilities, office space and a new health centre.

But the hub will also include shops, homes and public spaces, connected by what council officials call “active and sustainable travel options”.

Mr Logue added: “While these plans will have a significant positive impact on Cumbernauld, they will take a number of years to realise.

“During that time, Cumbernauld remains open for business and the council will support retailers and other businesses throughout to maximise their potential and continue to attract custom.”

The Centre Cumbernauld, the main part of the building, is roughly 300,000 sq ft of shopping with 1000 car parking spaces. It houses retailers like Boots and Iceland, Argos and New Look, as well as a pub and some banks.