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Grants and Funding

Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS)

Grants to support heritage-led regeneration in Conservation Areas

1 Overview

Under the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) programme we can offer grant of up to £2 million to support cohesive heritage-focused community and economic growth projects within Conservation Areas across Scotland.

We expect CARS to deliver a combination of larger building repair projects, small third-party grant schemes providing funding for repairs to properties in private ownership, activities which promote community engagement with the local heritage and training for professionals in traditional building skills, all of which will contribute to sustainable economic and community development within the Conservation Area.

The CARS funding programme has been in operation since 2007 with over £40m awarded to date. See details of all our CARS funding awards to date. 

As this is a devolved funding programme, there is no CARS funding directly available from HES for individual properties located within a Conservation Area. If you are the owner of an historic structure/building that is in need of repair and located within a Conservation Area then please check to see whether it is one of our currently funded CARS or, if not, then please refer to our own Historic Environment Repair Grants to see if you may be eligible.

2 Eligibility

The following organisations may apply for CARS funding

  • Local Authorities
  • National Park Authorities
  • Not-for-profit organisations

Applicant organisations must be formally constituted with a clear governance and financial structure and have their own bank account.

We can fund projects which are:

  • located within a designated Conservation Area
  • informed by Conservation Accredited Professional Advisors
  • yet to begin
  • timetabled for five-years or less
  • achieving our CARS priority outcomes

3 Criteria for Awarding Grants

CARS bids are assessed in competition with each other. We will assess how well your project achieves the priority outcomes for the CARS programme (below), how well planned and deliverable it is and how you plan to sustain the scheme benefits in the longer term.

We will consider the overall value for money the scheme offers against all of these well as the grant intervention level requested.


The four CARS priority grants outcomes are listed below, under their relevant corporate plan themes. We expect you to achieve these outcomes through your CARS programme.

Priority outcome: Communities are empowered to take an active role in understanding and enhancing the historic environment

Priority outcome: Historic sites and properties will be conserved, regenerated and made sustainable and economic activity will be increased

Priority outcome: People and communities enjoy the historic environment

Priority outcome: Economic activity undertaken in and around the Historic Environment will be increased

Eligible costs

We can fund:

  • historic fabric repairs for single property projects
  • third-party grants schemes for multiple properties
  • community engagement activities
  • training for professional craftspeople and construction workers – minimum of 5% of grant request
  • public realm conservation and restoration – maximum of 20% of grant request
  • new staff costs – we do not fund existing staff costs

We are unlikely to fund CARS schemes where the main focus is a single building or an active place of worship.

We do not fund:

  • demolition
  • repair or installation of services
  • extension
  • alterations
  • internal works

Useful links:

Successful bids will be required to sign a CARS grant contract with HES.

Grants for projects which relate to repair work must be carried out in accordance with conservation best practice. You can find more about what we consider best practice in our Advisory Standards of Conservation and Repair

We ask you to evaluate your project – here are a couple of examples of recently completed CARS evaluation reports.

Gorebridge CARS Evaluation Report [PDF, 7.02MB]

Selkirk CARS Final Report and Evaluation [PDF, 1.42MB]

Selkirk CARS Final Education and Training Report [PDF, 1.70MB]

Please make use of the HES Inform Guides which provide specialist conservation information for historic fabric repairs.

4 How to apply

The CARS programme is currently closed.


We accept online applications for Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme funding when the scheme is open for applications.
Before you apply, please get in touch with us: email or telephone 0131 668 8801
Application is through our Grants Online Application System. New users must register to use the system.
Historic Environment Scotland is bound by the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act. This means that any information that you send us or which is provided to help process your application may be made publicly available. However, any sensitive information you give us will be covered by the relevant legislation and will be dealt with accordingly.

5 CARS Funding Awards

Successful applicants for the eighth round of funding were announced in 2019.

Since 2007, just over £46.5m of Scottish Government/HES funding has been awarded towards the following schemes:

Round 1: 2007-2012 (completed)

Local Authority Conservation Area Total grant awarded
Aberdeenshire Banff £156,250
Aberdeenshire Peterhead £650,000
Argyll and Bute Campbeltown £382,500
Dumfries and Galloway Whithorn £370,000
East Ayrshire Kilmarnock £811,170
Edinburgh Leith £468,285
Falkirk Bo’ness £300,000
Fife Dunfermline £850,000
Highland Wick £1,500,000
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Killin £62,500
North Lanarkshire Kilsyth £325,000
South Lanarkshire Leadhills £400,000
Western Isles Stornoway £300,000
Total Investment £6,575,705

Round 2: 2008-2013 (completed)

Local Authority Conservation Area Total grant awarded
Aberdeen City The Green £350,000
Angus Brechin £370,750
East Ayrshire Kilmarnock – John Finnie/Bank Street £253,980
Fife Dysart £395,000
Midlothian Dalkeith £318,406
Perth and Kinross Coupar Angus £192,000
Total Investment £1,880,136

Round 3: 2009-2014 (completed)

Local Authority Conservation Area Total grant awarded
East Ayrshire Cumnock £888,050
East Lothian Haddington £836,000
Fife Kirkcaldy £495,917
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Callander £250,000
North Lanarkshire Cumbernauld Village £375,000
Orkney Islands Stromness £857,583
Perth and Kinross Blair Atholl £306,574
Renfrewshire Paisley £738,800
Scottish Borders Kelso £307,500
Total Investment £5,055,424

Round 4: 2011-2016 (completed)

Local Authority Conservation Area Total grant awarded
Aberdeenshire Portsoy £500,000
Argyll and Bute Rothesay £499,933
Fife Anstruther £500,000
Highland Dingwall £420,000
North Ayrshire Irvine £500,000
South Ayrshire Ayr £498,244
Moray Keith £355,500
Total Investment £3,273,677

Round 5: 2013-2018 (current)

Local Authority Conservation Area Total grant awarded
Aberdeenshire Banff £500,000
Angus Kirriemuir £645,000
Argyll and Bute Inveraray £970,000
East Ayrshire Galston £750,000
Falkirk Falkirk £1,600,000
Fife Cupar £1,000,000
Glasgow City Parkhead Cross £1,000,000
Midlothian Gorebridge £548,500
Moray Elgin £750,000
North Ayrshire Kilbirnie £500,000
Orkney Islands Kirkwall £1,200,000
Scottish Borders Selkirk £750,000
Total Investment £10,213,500

Round 6: 2015-2020 (current)

Local Authority Conservation Area Total grant awarded
Aberdeenshire Fraserburgh £1,203,571
Argyll and Bute Campbeltown £990,000
Dumfries and Galloway Stranraer £541,392
East Lothian Tranent £570,900
North Ayrshire Millport £750,000
North Lanarkshire Coatbridge £800,000
Renfrewshire Paisley Town Centre £998,554
South Lanarkshire New Lanark £1,548,732
South Lanarkshire Strathaven £625,000
Total Investment £8,028,149

Round 7: 2017-2022 (current)

Local Authority Conservation Area Total grant awarded
Aberdeen City Union Street, Aberdeen £1,177,104
Argyll and Bute Dunoon £1,002,348
Argyll and Bute Rothesay £500,000
East Lothian Cockenzie £600,290
Scottish Borders Jedburgh £866,500
Midlothian Penicuik £980,000
Orkney Islands North Isles £654,328
South Ayrshire Maybole £1,289,607
Total Investment £7,070,177

Round 8: 2019-2025 (current)

Local Authority Conservation Area Total grant awarded
Argyll and Bute Lochgilphead £969,700
East Ayrshire Mauchline £1,119,800
Fife Inverkeithing £1,007,700
Scottish Borders Hawick £1,314,800
Total Investment £4,412,000

6 Contact

You can contact us with your questions about the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme.


Grants Team
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place