£6.2 million funding boost for Scotland’s historic towns and cities
Seven communities across Scotland will benefit from the latest round of Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) funding announced today. Projects in Rothesay, Penicuik, Union Street in Aberdeen, Cockenzie, Jedburgh, Maybole and Dunoon will receive a combined £6.2m to help them regenerate and attract further investment in the future.
The investment was outlined by Alex Paterson, Chief Executive of Historic Environment Scotland (HES), as he visited Falkirk CARS, which is scheduled for completion in 2018.
This is the seventh round of CARS funding, with £42.2 million having been invested by HES (and formerly Historic Scotland) on behalf of the Scottish Government since the first grants were awarded in 2007.
Speaking in Falkirk, HES’s biggest CARS funding award to date at £1.6m, Mr Paterson noted that the progress of the joint Falkirk Townscape Heritage Initiative/ CARS has been transformative in the town.
He said: “In Scotland’s year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we’re celebrating all the different elements which make up our rich and diverse historic environment. Preserving the built heritage of our town centres is a hugely important part of this, because investment in our historic environment is key to supporting improved quality of life for many people across Scotland, and it has been great to see this in action today in Falkirk. The council’s aim has been to create a high quality urban environment where people will want to spend their time and money, and the progress they’ve made to date is fantastic.
“It’s my pleasure to announce Round 7 today, as this funding will enable seven more communities up and down the country to breathe new life into their historic town and city centres, encouraging further investment, creating new employment opportunities, and boosting the local tourism industry.”
Councillor Dennis Goldie, spokesperson for Economic Development at Falkirk Council said: “The funding received from Historic Environment Scotland has been a critical component of the joint CARS-THI initiative which is currently running in Falkirk Town Centre.
“The restoration of the Steeple, a real local treasure for many people, is nearing completion thanks to nearly £500k spent to conserve this iconic local landmark for the future.
“A great many property owners have also benefited from upgrades, improvements and restoration works to their homes and businesses, with more works still to be carried out.”
The aim of the Falkirk CARS has been to improve the physical appearance of the Town Centre and enhance the things that make it special and unique. This includes the reinstatement of traditional shop fronts, roof repairs to historic buildings and major repair and restoration work to the exterior of the Falkirk Steeple including stone and joinery repairs, timber preservation, and repairs to the clock faces. The project has also included traditional skills workshops and heritage engagement exhibitions.
The CARS funding programme specifically targets conservation areas with social and economic disadvantages that make it difficult to attract investment in sustainable regeneration. The scheme assists these areas through channelling funding towards opportunities to enhance sustainable economic growth and help support projects that develop an area’s sense of place.
The scheme is open to Local and National Park Authorities, community groups and other third sector organisations experienced in delivering multi-funded projects. Funding can be utilised for a number of purposes from the repair of priority properties and small grants to homeowners and retailers, to providing traditional craft training opportunities.