About Us

5 April 2019

Over £4 million investment for Scotland’s historic heartlands

Today we announced a £4.4 million funding boost for regeneration projects in Scotland’s historic heartlands.

Jane Ryder OBE posing with an interpretation panel in Inverkeithing

Part of the eighth round of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), the investment will be split across four towns: 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.

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 over 140 new businesses and the creation of more than 460 jobs in areas of high unemployment.

Jane Ryder OBE, Chair, Historic Environment Scotland, said;

HES' 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."

Commenting on the announcement, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop 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, CARS 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.

About CARS
Run primarily by local authorities for priority Conservation Areas, CARS funding can provide a number of socioeconomic benefits to the regions during the five-year project, while creating a lasting legacy for the town.

This latest CARS round will see historic buildings repaired to their former glory while ensuring greater accessibility for communities; the creation of local grant schemes to allow property owners to apply for funding to repair buildings; investment in streetscapes, community-led projects and training in traditional skills.

Regional CARS project overviews

Inverkeithing will be granted £1,007,700. The application was submitted by Fife Council.

The funding will integrate capital and community projects in Inverkeithing, with the aim of restoring a community feel to the historic centre of the town while enhancing the resilience of the area and developing the town’s tourism potential.

CARS will deliver high impact priority repairs to an A-listed town house, ensuring it’s fit for purpose and accessible for the whole community, and a bespoke grants scheme, which will support repairs to listed and historic properties to rejuvenate the town. The historic town square will be revitalised, and the prominent Mercat Cross will be transported from its current location, to be situated in the heart of the town.

Hawick will be granted £1,314,800. The application was submitted by Scottish Borders Council.

Aiming to increase economic activity on Hawick High Street and support an increase in tourism to the area, CARS will facilitate up to seven priority projects in Hawick, alongside a small grants scheme focusing on conservation-led repair work and shop-front improvements.

Recent successful delivery of CARS programmes in neighbouring Kelso and Selkirk have informed the proposed education and training elements of this scheme, which will work in conjunction with the High School Bursary programme and the local construction sector. This will allow members of the local community to upskill, while gaining specific understanding and awareness of the need for conservation, building management and regular maintenance.

Lochgilphead will be granted £969,700. The application was submitted by Argyll and Bute Council.

The five-year CARS project to regenerate Lochgilphead will deliver up to three priority projects focused around the main square of the town. A small grants scheme will complement this by supporting repairs to historic properties, which will be further developed by the local Housing Service. A boost to the local economy is expected, through reparation of buildings within the area and further by the anticipated increase in tourism.

Training and educational activities will also be delivered in the local community, increasing the understanding of Lochgilphead’s heritage and engaging people of all ages in the historic environment, while teaching them how to protect this for generations to come.

Mauchline will be granted £1,119,800. The application was submitted by East Ayrshire Council.

The five-year CARS project aims to regenerate Mauchline through increasing economic activity and community development, maximising the area’s historic links with Robert Burns, one of Scotland’s most loved bards, who lived in Mauchline in what was arguably one of the most creative periods of his life.

The activity will also involve up to five priority repair projects and a small grants scheme for building repair work, including energy efficiency and climate change adaptations, as well as appropriate public realm work.

Mauchline aims to empower and encourage the community to take an active role in understanding and enhancing the historic environment. In turn, it is expected that these efforts will lead to an increase in tourism, which will positively impact the economy through the creation of new jobs.

About Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

  • We are the lead public body charged with caring for, protecting and promoting the historic environment. We will lead on delivering Scotland’s first strategy for the historic environment, Our Place in Time.
  • Historic Scotland, Scran, Canmore, The National Collection of Aerial Photography (NCAP), The Engine Shed, Stirling Castle and Edinburgh Castle are sub-brands of HES.
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Follow Historic Environment Scotland

Twitter: @HistEnvScot | @welovehistory

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For further information, please contact:

Linsay Moore 
Muckle Media
Direct line: 0131 228 9713