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17 May 2023

Culture Secretary announces over £850,000 investment in eight communities

Coastal towns and busy urban centres amongst eight projects in Scotland set to benefit from new area-based funding

From left to right, Glasgow City Council Deputy Leader Cllr Richard Bell, HES Chief Executive Alex Paterson, Culture Secretary Angus Robertson and Caroline Clark, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Director for Scotland.

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson announced in Govan today (Wednesday 17 May) that eight communities across Scotland are set to benefit from £863,050 funding, awarded by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (Heritage Fund).

HES and the Heritage Fund have joined forces to jointly provide area-based funding, through the new Heritage & Place Programme (H&PP) run by HES to support the regeneration of Scotland’s places, and the Heritage Fund’s Thriving Place commitment to create better places to live, work and visit.

This is the first time that both organisations have jointly encouraged projects to apply for development grants, providing access to a larger pool of resources for heritage projects across the country. This could lead to a total investment of up to £19.8 million in the communities.

The funding will drive regeneration plans in eight communities. This includes Govan where Glasgow City Council plan to regenerate significant aspects of the local Conservation Area, and Buckhaven, where Fife Council plan to restore the remaining built heritage in the area. Aberdeen City Council are also looking at ways to breathe new life into the east end of Union Street as well as increasing traditional skills training and providing community engagement opportunities, while South Ayrshire Council plan to protect and repair the historic fabric of the townscape of Girvan and stimulate economic regeneration.

This first phase of funding will support the development of high-quality sustainable development plans for the eight areas over the next 12 months, with the potential that HES and Heritage Fund will then award up to £19.8 million jointly to deliver the projects in the coming years.

Susan O’Connor, Head of Grants at HES, said:

“We are delighted to announce £863,050 to support the regeneration of eight heritage areas in Scotland. This is the first time that HES and the Heritage Fund have coordinated our funding in this way, and by working together, we are able to create an even bigger impact for communities across the country.

“Heritage-led regeneration and the reuse of historic buildings is an important catalyst for generating long-term social and economic benefits, and I'm incredibly excited to see the plans develop over the next 12 months to help contribute to a vibrant and sustainable future for each of these eight places.”

Caroline Clark, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Director for Scotland, said:

“Heritage sits at the heart of a place’s identity, adding depth, character and value. It helps connect people and communities to a place and boosts local economic prosperity.

“The funding we are announcing today, thanks to National Lottery players, will help revitalise eight communities across Scotland leading to potential investment of up to £19.8 million. Our aim is to help drive heritage and community focused regeneration, helping local people to deliver long-term, sustainable improvements.”

By working jointly with HES we have been able to double the support offered to these communities, so that whether these initiatives are focusing on a small coastal town or a post-industrial city centre, each place can approach its regeneration with ambition, imagination and heritage at its heart”.

Speaking in Govan, one of the communities set to benefit from funding, Culture Secretary Angus Robertson, said:

“Scotland is internationally renowned for the quality and diversity of its historic environment which plays an important role in shaping all of our lives.

“This joint community-focused funding initiative will deliver positive and lasting change to Scotland’s places as well as raise awareness around the importance of sustainability.

“If we are to be successful in our transition to net-zero we must encourage more restoring and repurposing of heritage assets to ensure our historic environment is protected for the benefit of future generations.”

The full list of projects awarded joint funding are:

Buckhaven, Fife Council: £170,000
For a project to restore the remaining built heritage within Buckhaven, alongside public realm works and community-focused engagement.

HES development grant: £85,000

Heritage Fund development grant: £85,000

Girvan, South Ayrshire Council: £170,000
For a project to revive Girvan's identity as a destination. The project will research, interpret, educate and celebrate the heritage of the town; protect and repair the historic fabric of the townscape; and stimulate economic regeneration.

HES development grant: £85,000

Heritage Fund development grant: £85,000

Airdrie, North Lanarkshire Council: £150,000
To transform Airdrie town centre and the local economy, establishing Airdrie as a vibrant place and a centre for creativity, culture, enterprise and learning through restoring and repurposing heritage assets and engaging with the local community and visitors to connect them with Airdrie’s heritage.

HES development grant: £50,000

Heritage Fund development grant: £100,000

Govan, Glasgow City Council: £87,900
For a project to tackle the next phase of restoration in Govan’s built heritage, with a focus on bringing disused sites back into sustainable use.

HES development grant: £43,950

Heritage Fund development grant: £43,950

Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council: £86,350
For the regeneration of the east end of Union Street which has high levels of vacancy, resultant deterioration and a lack of investment compared to other areas. There will be repairs to five priority buildings and public realm improvements alongside a community engagement and skills development programme.

HES development grant: £43,175

Heritage Fund development grant: £43,175

Tarbert, Argyll & Bute Council: £80,000
To create new economic opportunities through support of local businesses and increased tourism. Restored historic buildings will protect the unique character of this fishing village and provide better routes for young people in particular to stay in the area.

HES development grant: £40,000

Heritage Fund development grant: £40,000

Forres, Moray Council: £66,000
This project will protect the distinctive historic character and attractiveness of Forres and take steps to green the conservation area and connect those spaces with local parks.

HES development grant: £33,000

Heritage Fund development grant: £33,000

Granton Waterfront, The City of Edinburgh Council: £52,800
To rescue, preserve and enhance a range of 'B' and 'C' listed built heritage assets within the Granton Waterfront area, including the Granton Lighthouse, and provide training opportunities in traditional building skills.

HES development grant: £26,400

Heritage Fund development grant: £26,400

The next round of funding for the Heritage & Place Programme will open for expressions of interest on Wednesday 31 May.

Find out more on the Heritage Fund.

About the Heritage & Place Programme (H&PP)

The Heritage & Place Programme (H&PP) is an area-based funding programme that aims to contribute to the development of vibrant and sustainable places in Scotland, through community-led regeneration of the historic environment. It supports the development and delivery of heritage focused schemes within conservation areas, or alternatively distinctive heritage areas with local authority recognition.

About the National Lottery Heritage Fund

Using money raised by the National Lottery, we inspire, lead and resource the UK’s heritage to create positive and lasting change for people and communities, now and in the future. www.heritagefund.org.uk.

Follow @HeritageFundUK on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #NationalLotteryHeritageFund

Follow our Scottish accounts @HeritageFundSCO on Twitter and Facebook

Each week, National Lottery players raise £30 million for good causes across the UK.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES) 

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