COATBRIDGE, for all its smallish population of 41,000, has made a sizeable enough contribution to the Scottish press. Perhaps it's just that the town's name leaps out at me, given my own Coatbridge connections, but it seems to be an easy pass, a name to drop, when any such Scottish press member needs a quick way to illustrate their understanding of the working class.

"I'm superficially middle class now," they claim, "But one of the people really."

I'd argue it gets a worse rap than it deserves, poor old Coatbridge, but the North Lanarkshire town might be poor no longer.

Enter stage right, Mark Millar.

I was once, at another title, asked to write a piece about the fashion designer Christopher Kane. This would perhaps have been around 2005, long before he became a household name. What was of interest was purely the fact he was from Newarthill and had made it to London's fashion scene. Actually, I was told by the newsdesk he was from Motherwell, but I suppose such nuances are irrelevant to a London audience.

Boy From North Lanarkshire Does Good, was the general thrust of it. A breathless, patronising, astonished praise that someone from a coal town might have talent and the wherewithal to use it.

Some 10 years later and I notice the same thing with Mark Millar, boy from a coal town with the talent and the wherewithal to wield it like Galahad's umbrella. "Coatbridge Man Goes To Hollywood." The same amazement as a duck playing Rachmaninoff's Third with its bill. I don't for a minute underestimate the hurdles to aspiration when one is from a working class, deprived area, knowing them first hand, but achievement is impressive, not astonishing.

Millar, despite all the Coatbridge odds against him, is a runaway success. He has recently sold his publishing company, Millarworld, to Netflix for a rumoured $50 million to $100 million and it has been announced that he is to use his wealth to invest in his hometown. This appears to be an improvement scheme developed from the ground up: from panto trips for schoolkids and pensioners to the development of brownfield sites for family homes.

On Academy Street, the former Carnegie Coatbridge Library sits, a building in the Beaux-Arts style, a former seat of study now to be converted into flats. Streaming media is where the big bucks are, the steel industry of today. What can philanthropy do for the town 100 years on from Andrew Carnegie's generosity?

For Mr Millar the idea seems to be to raise standards of housing, facilities and opportunities in the community. “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,” he said. While it is impossible to be anything other than impressed by a man who makes his fortune then plots how best to give it away, this seems the wrong thing to wish for.

Gentrification is a very loosely defined term for the middle classes moving into areas of regeneration, inflating property prices and freezing out the indigenous population. There are enough Glasgow suburbs where the working class is locked out by upwardly mobile parents looking to ring fence the "good schools" without this becoming an issue for our towns as well.

It will be interesting to see how the services Mr Millar envisages will be delivered for the benefit of the people he plans to help, and not be to their eventual detriment.

Andrew Carnegie was given the ceremonial freedom of the burgh of Coatbridge when he opened his library in 1906. Renaming the town Millarworld might be a little much but I'm sure residents will find themselves strolling down Millar Street erelong.

Not all heroes wear capes, eh Mark Millar?