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Grants and Funding

Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS)

Grants to support heritage-led regeneration in Conservation Areas

1 Overview

Please note the CARS programme is currently closed. We have recently reviewed this programme and are redeveloping it in line with recommendations. Updates to the programme will look to facilitate stronger community ownership and increase impact and sustainability. We’ll share news of the relaunch on our website and social media channels.

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 factors.as well as the grant intervention level requested.

Outcomes

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.

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

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

Value
Priority outcome: People and communities enjoy the historic environment

Lead
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.

Applying

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 grants@hes.scot 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

The CARS funding programme has been in operation since 2007 with just over £53m of Scottish Government/HES funding awarded to 73 schemes throughout Scotland, contributing towards £234m of investment by local authorities, other funders including NLHF and property owners in these areas.

From 43 completed schemes, the following outputs are some of what the CARS funding has helped to support and deliver. 

  • 1,026 building repair projects ranging from shopfront improvements to larger scale projects to bring vacant historic buildings back into use
  • 79,288m2 of historic public realm repairs or reinstatement
  • 43,976m2 of vacant space brought back into use
  • The creation of 273 new businesses
  • The creation of 605 new jobs

Round 1: 2007-2012 (completed)

Local Authority Conservation Area CARS Grant Award Total Cost of Scheme
Aberdeenshire Banff £191,250 £2,558,438
Aberdeenshire Peterhead £650,000 £3,164,000
Argyll and Bute Campbeltown £382,500 £4,832,646
Dumfries and Galloway Whithorn £400,000 £850,051
East Ayrshire Kilmarnock £811,170 £15,355,354
Edinburgh Leith £468,285 £3,257,702
Falkirk Bo’ness £434,000 £2,979,426
Fife Dunfermline £850,000 £2,815,000
Highland Wick £1,500,000 £5,670,715
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Killin £62,500 £320,073
North Lanarkshire Kilsyth £325,000 £1,676,000
South Lanarkshire Leadhills £400,000 £1,243,408
Western Isles Stornoway £300,000 £1,780,000
Total Investment £6,774,705 £46,502,813

Round 2: 2008-2013 (completed)

Local Authority Conservation Area CARS Grant Award Total Cost of Scheme
Aberdeen City The Green £350,000 £1,391,251
Angus Brechin £370,750 £4,267,477
East Ayrshire Kilmarnock – John Finnie/Bank Street £253,980 £3,103,050
Fife Dysart £395,000 £1,940,000
Midlothian Dalkeith £402,638 £3,600,000
Perth and Kinross Coupar Angus £192,000 £3,700,000
Total Investment £1,964,368 £18,001,778

Round 3: 2009-2014 (completed)

Local Authority Conservation Area CARS Grant Award Total Cost of Scheme
East Ayrshire Cumnock £977,306 £4,114,471
East Lothian Haddington £935,313 £1,739,273
Fife Kirkcaldy £538,917 £6,123,000
Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park Callander £250,000 £1,214,970
North Lanarkshire Cumbernauld Village £379,000 £921,100
Orkney Islands Stromness £901,583 £6,545,433
Perth and Kinross Blair Atholl £306,574 £1,062,451
Renfrewshire Paisley £738,800 £3,394,500
Scottish Borders Kelso £307,500 £4,400,000
Total Investment £5,334,993 £29,515,198

Round 4: 2011-2016 (completed)

Local Authority Conservation Area CARS Grant Award Total Cost of Scheme
Aberdeenshire Portsoy £700,000 £2,924,829
Argyll and Bute Rothesay £499,933 £2,652,704
Fife Anstruther £500,000 £3,335,000
Highland Dingwall £420,000 £1,336,335
North Ayrshire Irvine £500,000 £887,699
South Ayrshire Ayr £498,244 £2,419,847
Moray Keith £355,500 £1,500,000
Total Investment £3,473,677 £15,056,414

Round 5: 2013-2018 (current)

Local Authority Conservation Area CARS Grant Award Total Cost of Scheme
Aberdeenshire Banff £500,000 £3,728,250
Angus Kirriemuir £679,000 £1,923,849
Argyll and Bute Inveraray £1,009,887 £3,016,374
East Ayrshire Galston £750,000 £1,735,633
Falkirk Falkirk £1,630,725 £5,084,644
Fife Cupar £1,019,000 £7,817,271
Glasgow City Parkhead Cross £1,000,000 £6,733,401
Midlothian Gorebridge £734,651 £1,736,532
Moray Elgin £750,000 £3,760,797
North Ayrshire Kilbirnie £500,000 £1,035,000
Orkney Islands Kirkwall £1,200,000 £6,453,534
Scottish Borders Selkirk £865,000 £2,155,981
Total Investment £10,638,263 £45,181,266

Round 6: 2015-2020 (current)

Local Authority Conservation Area CARS Grant Award Total Cost of Scheme
Aberdeenshire Fraserburgh £1,203,571 £5,759,853
Argyll and Bute Campbeltown £990,000 £2,170,422
Dumfries and Galloway Stranraer £541,392 £1,690,185
East Lothian Tranent £570,900 £887,500
Glasgow City Council Govan Cross £1,000,000 £6,745,149
North Ayrshire Millport £750,000 £1,958,963
North Lanarkshire Coatbridge £800,000 £2,634,500
Renfrewshire Paisley Town Centre £998,554 £4,564,891
South Lanarkshire New Lanark £1,548,732 £4,590,857
South Lanarkshire Strathaven £625,000 £1,336,000
Total Investment £9,028,149 £32,338,320

Round 7: 2017-2022 (current)

Local Authority Conservation Area CARS Grant Award Total Cost of Scheme
Aberdeen City Union Street, Aberdeen £1,177,104 £3,516,965
Argyll and Bute Dunoon £1,002,348 £1,889,330
Argyll and Bute Rothesay £500,000 £3,201,459
East Lothian Cockenzie £600,290 £1,225,726
Scottish Borders Jedburgh £866,500 £2,447,000
Midlothian Penicuik £980,000 £3,727,929
Orkney Islands North Isles £654,328 £4,040,906
South Ayrshire Maybole £1,289,607 £4,463,604
Total Investment £7,070,177 £24,512,919

Round 8: 2019-2025 (current)

Local Authority Conservation Area CARS Grant Award Total Cost of Scheme
Argyll and Bute Lochgilphead £969,700 £1,606,096
Argyll and Bute Helensburgh £1,240,000 £2,268,927
Dumfries and Galloway Dumfries £762,101 £1,870,077
East Ayrshire Mauchline £1,119,800 £2,234,099
East Lothian Dunbar £1,113,949 £2,588,527
Fife Inverkeithing £1,007,700 £3,772,839
Scottish Borders Hawick £1,314,800 £5,502,029
Stirling Stirling £1,386,525 £3,047,290
Total Investment £8,914,575 £22,889,884

6 Contact

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

Email: grants@hes.scot 

Grants Team
Historic Environment Scotland
Longmore House
Salisbury Place
Edinburgh
EH9 1SH

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