In 1962 the population in the area that was to become Livingston was just 2,000. To achieve the objective of building a town that could be self-sufficient, house a population of 100,000, and revitalise industrial output in the area, an overseeing body was created by the Secretary of State of Scotland - this was the Livingston Development Corporation.
The statutory order which established the Corporation, the New Town (Livingston) (Development Corporation) Order 1962, was not formally passed until 9 July 1962, but the Corporation came into being on 17 April 1962 - the date of its first board meeting. The powers of the Corporation, in relation to planning and building the new town, were wide ranging:
“It is the duty of a corporation...:
A) To carry out building and other operations
B) To provide water, electricity, gas, sewerage and other services
C) To carry on any other business or undertaking in or for the purposes of the new town
and generally to do anything necessary or expedient for the purposes of the new town or for purposes incidental thereto.”
The Corporation was, in short, responsible for the planning, construction, and continuing development of Livingston. From 1962 until 1996, when the Corporation was effectively wound up (it had a final non-operational period until March 1997), the Corporation was to develop a town that had the components of an established settlement, with shopping districts, industrial and commercial areas, and a community with a strong sense of local identity.
For 34 years the history of Livingston was inextricably linked to the Livingsotn Development Corporation.