Support for historic hubs
Towns share £4.4m to regenerate struggling streets
Jane Ryder: ‘unlocking potential’
A £4.4 million funding boost for regeneration projects in Scotland’s historic heartlands aims to breathe new life into struggling town centres.
Four towns will benefit from the scheme unveiled by Historic Environment Scotland – Inverkeithing, which will receive £1,007,700; Hawick, £1,314,800; Lochgilphead, £969,700; and Mauchline, £1,119,800.
Projects that stand to benefit include investment in one of Scotland’s best surviving Victorian high streets and investment in one of Ayrshire’s more hidden historic links to Burns.
The funding is part of the eighth round of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), the investment will be split across four towns:
CARS is a regeneration initiative designed to direct funding to town centres across Scotland which would benefit from heritage-led redevelopment. Since inception, £43 million has been awarded to communities across the country, resulting in more than 140 new businesses and the creation of more than 460 jobs in areas of high unemployment.
Jane Ryder, chairman, Historic Environment Scotland, said: “HES’s ambition is to provide more ways for people who live and work in Scotland to benefit from all of our historic environment, and our grants schemes are an important part of this.
“One of the great merits of the CARS scheme is that it is locally led and allows local authorities to invest in priority properties they have identified and help communities to unlock the potential of their historic assets. So, as well as investing in conservation projects worthwhile in their own right, additional benefits range from encouraging tourism, to supporting local skills training and the creation of new businesses. All of this shows why the CARS scheme is so important.”
Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop, pictured, said: “This grant funding has been protected by the Scottish Government and supports towns and cities across Scotland to regenerate and improve their built environment benefiting Scotland’s diverse heritage assets and communities.
“Now in its eleventh year, the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme has led to the repair and restoration of local heritage in towns across Scotland and in doing so contributes to their social fabric and community cohesion. It also boosts the economy as the funding supports local businesses in carrying out repairs and improvements.”
The announcement comes as HES launches its new Corporate Plan for 2019 onwards, ‘Heritage For All’, and a new Historic Environment Policy for Scotland, which sets out how Scotland’s historic environment will be managed for current and future generations.
The launch of the plan follows an extensive period of consultation by the organisation, where people across Scotland were asked for their views on Scotland’s heritage sector, and what it meant to them.
Commenting on the Corporate Plan, Alex Paterson, chief executive, Historic Environment Scotland said: “Heritage for All sets out a new way of looking at our historic environment reflecting the voices of people across Scotland, what that means to them and setting out a collective vision for the historic environment. This is a new plan, developed in a new way, with new perspectives.
“At its core the plan is about looking after Scotland’s fantastic historic environment – the past – but also making sure that it is relevant and contributes to the Scotland of today as well as the future in a variety of ways, and how we will continue to harness its potential.”
To support the launch of Heritage for All, a new digital campaign has been launched asking people across Scotland to share their stories of Scotland’s diverse heritage, using the hashtag #MyPlaceInHistory.