Advertisement
Culture

Mark Millar opens new community café to boost his hometown

The Rainbow Family Café is the comic creator’s latest project aimed at revitalising Townhead in Coatbridge where he grew up

Kingsman and Kick Ass creator Mark Millar has swapped comic book pages for tea and cake as part of his ambitious plans to turn his hometown into a “destination”.

The latest scheme he has cooked up to help the Townhead area of Coatbridge is the Rainbow Family Café, which opened its doors with free food and superhero support on Sunday. The cafe is Millar’s attempts to build a sorely-missing community hub for his hometown and will be open on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday afternoons.

The comic book legend, alongside wife Lucy, has spent the last few years investing money from the sale of his Millarworld company to Netflix to help restore the town to its former glories, including holding Comic Cons stacked with Marvel talent.

And he told The Big Issue that he has bigger plans to serve up in the North Lanarkshire town to lift it out of the economic problems that have dogged it in the last 40 years.

“There seems to be a really good market for it and every penny from it will go into the community – we’ll essentially give money away to start it up and then it will become self-sustaining,” said Millar, who unveiled his latest Netflix project The Magic Order last week.

Advertisement
Advertisement

“My plan is to make Townhead a destination. I want to have movie premieres for my films there, I want to have comic-cons, I want to have festivals, I want it to become a destination in a way that it never even was in its glory days.”

Rather than aiming to offer a social mobility boost to lift people out of Townhead and leaving the town to rot, Millar has opted to take the approach of improving his hometown.

The cafe is just a small part of Millar’s five-year plan to make things better in Townhead, whether it be working with the local church and schools or the bigger aims like the aforementioned premieres.

“There’s two ways you can look at something like that,” said Millar, who guest-edited The Big Issue in 2016. “One is you can kind of move out and go somewhere else or you make it better. And I think that the healthy approach is to make it better.

“I loved growing up there and I only have positive memories of it but at the same time the town has suffered from problems that the west of Scotland has suffered from in the 40 years. But I think that there is something to build on and I’d rather contribute to it then help people get out of it, I’d rather it became even better.”

Image: Stuart Crawford/Flickr

Advertisement

Bigger Issues need bigger solutions

Big Issue Group is creating new solutions through enterprise to unlock opportunities for the 14.5 million people living in poverty to earn, learn and thrive. Big Issue Group brings together our media and investment initiatives as well as a diverse and pioneering range of new solutions, all of which aim to dismantle poverty by creating opportunity. Learn how you can change lives today.

Recommended for you

Read All
Jeff Bridges: ‘I had cancer and Covid. I was facing my mortality’
TV

Jeff Bridges: ‘I had cancer and Covid. I was facing my mortality’

Mrs Harris Goes to Paris review: Lesley Manville swaps drudgery for a dream dress
film

Mrs Harris Goes to Paris review: Lesley Manville swaps drudgery for a dream dress

‘I just want to represent real people’ – Lydia West talks Inside Man, It's A Sin and the cost-of-living crisis
TV

‘I just want to represent real people’ – Lydia West talks Inside Man, It's A Sin and the cost-of-living crisis

Blue Note Re:imagined II goes back in time to forge future paths
Music

Blue Note Re:imagined II goes back in time to forge future paths

Most Popular

Read All
How much will the Queen's funeral cost?
1.

How much will the Queen's funeral cost?

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses
2.

The internet's best reactions as Kwasi Kwarteng cuts taxes and lifts the cap on bankers' bonuses

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet
3.

From benefit claimants to bankers: Here’s what the mini-budget means for your pay packet

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces
4.

5 ways anti-homeless architecture is used to exclude people from public spaces

To mark our new Arctic Monkeys exclusive interview, we’ve picked out some of our best band and musician interviews from the past, featuring Arctic Monkeys (2018), When Jarvis met Bowie, The Specials, Debbie Harry and more. Sign up to our mailing list to receive your free digital copy.