The browser you are using is out of date and is no longer supported. To view and use this site correctly, please update your browser to the latest version.

We're changing

We have created a new public body, Historic Environment Scotland. While we work on shaping our future we can reassure you that all services and products will continue as normal. Please follow our progress and find out more about our new organisation.

£2.5M regeneration boost for historic communities

7 September 2010

Funding of £2.5M for heritage-led regeneration was announced by Minister for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop today (Tuesday).

Visiting a successful scheme in Kilmarnock, the Minister urged other local authorities to follow East Ayrshire’s example to use the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) grants to revitalise key historic buildings.

The grants breathe new life into run down areas through the restoration of important buildings and supporting projects that enhance the understanding of an area’s heritage,

Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Culture and External Affairs, said: “These grants have already made a huge difference to 27 projects in 19 different council areas. Since 2007 £13.5m has been spent revitalising our historic communities in this way. The investment has meant that the architecture, building styles and materials that make our towns, villages and communities unique are properly preserved.

“The repairs being carried out on high streets and in town centres maintain those distinct identities, improving them for the people who live, shop and work there.

“These are difficult economic times and I urge more councils to follow the example of  East Ayrshire Council. Three projects here have been awarded grants – two here in Kilmarnock and a further one in Cumnock. There is £2.5m available to help other councils kick start regeneration projects like this across Scotland.”

Leader of East Ayrshire Council Douglas Reid said:  “East Ayrshire Council is proud to be leading the way with CARS. Kilmarnock and Cumnock are fortunate to have some outstanding historic buildings.

“Sadly many of these had fallen into a poor state of repair. This scheme is already bringing huge benefits to the towns, breathing new life into tired buildings, making them fit for a multitude of uses for generations to come. With this funding we can help owners to achieve high levels of restoration using tailored, traditional materials and methods best suited to their unique built environment With CARS we are rebuilding an architectural landscape to be proud of.”

CARS specifically target historic areas with social and economic disadvantages that make it difficult to attract investment in sustainable regeneration.  

Funding can be used for repairs and improvements to private homes and businesses as well as restoring local landmarks to bring them back into use. Local authorities can also use the money to appoint qualified conservation staff to guide the project or provide training in traditional skills.

Owners can apply for small grants for improvements such as restoring sash and case windows or clearing gutters. Funding is also provided to enable education, training opportunities and spearheading work to public spaces.

Notes to editors

1. Grants are targeted towards conservation areas where:
  • economic, social and physical need for financial support can be demonstrated; investment is identified as a priority through development plans and community planning partnerships;
  • support is demonstrated to add value to a wider package of public/ private investment and action;
  • it is actively managed in line with best practice set out in Planning Advice Note 71: Conservation Area Management; and
  • there is evidence of strong local commitment for heritage–led regeneration.
  • grant funding has not already been invested.

2. CARS are partnership projects in which Historic Scotland will be just one of the funding bodies. They typically include the Heritage Lottery Fund local authorities, heritage trusts and other public or voluntary bodies. Contributions are also made by the private sector.

3. The successful projects will be announced in January 2011. More information can be found at

4. Local authorities already taking part in CAR schemes include:

Local Authority, Project, Grant Offer
CARS 1 (2007-2012)   

ABERDEENSHIRE, Banff, £156,250   
ABERDEENSHIRE, Peterhead, £650,000   
ARGYLL & BUTE, Campbeltown, £382,500   
DUMFRIES & 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 & TROSSOCHS, Killin, £62,500   
NORTH LANARKSHIRE, Kilsyth, £325,000   
SOUTH LANARKSHIRE, Leadhills, £400,000   
WESTERN ISLES, Stornoway, £300,000   
Total - £6,575,705   
CARS 2 (2008-2013)   

ABERDEEN, The Green, £350,000   
FIFE, Dysart, £395,000   
PERTH & KINROSS, Coupar Angus, £192,000   
MIDLOTHIAN, Dalkeith - Park & High Street, £318,406   
ANGUS, Brechin, £370,750   
EAST AYRSHIRE, Kilmarnock - John Finnie/ Bank Street, £253,980   
Total - £1,880,136   

CARS 3 (2009-2014)   

LL & TROSSACHS NATIONAL PARK, Callander, £250,000   
NORTH LANARKSHIRE, Cumbernauld, £375,000   
EAST AYRSHIRE, Cumnock, £888,050   
FIFE COUNCIL, Kirkcaldy, £495,917   
ORKNEY, Stromness, £857,583   
SCOTTISH BORDERS, Kelso, £307,500   
PERTH & KINROSS, Blair Atholl, £306,574   
EAST LOTHIAN, Haddington, £836,000   
RENFREWSHIRE, Paisley, £738,800   
Total - £5,055,424   

TOTAL CARS - £13,511,265

5. Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s built heritage.  It is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

6.Register for media release email alerts from If you wish to unsubscribe at any time, please email  

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07920 768100