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Communities regeneration boost

30 August 2007

Six communities will be transformed thanks to nearly £2m in Historic Scotland funding. The Conservation Area Regeneration Schemes (CARS) in Aberdeen, Brechin, Coupar Angus, Dalkeith, Dysart and Kilmarnock are intended to kick-start local authority-led projects to breathe new life into historic areas.

Linda Fabiani, Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, said: “Evidence of the generations of talented architects, engineers and craftsmen Scotland has produced surround us - in both rural and urban areas. This money will improve the quality of life of people all across the country.

“I know how important it is for people to be able to take pride in their communities. These schemes are about celebrating local heritage and the first round of successful grants are already delivering results. They bring real social, economic and visual benefits to parts of our towns and cities that have been in decline.”

CARS specifically target historic areas with social and economic disadvantages that affect their capacity to support sustainable regeneration.

Funding can be used for repairs and improvements to private homes and businesses as well as restoring buildings 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.

In the first year of the CARS Historic Scotland distributed more than £6.5 million to projects. Round two of awards gave preference to local authorities that have not previously benefited from the programme.

The projects which have been made grant offers are:

The Green, Aberdeen £350,000.
The grant has been offered to help towards repairs to traditional buildings and architectural features as part of a wider strategy to turn The Green into a vibrant cultural area.

Brechin £371,000.
Core buildings will be identified for repairs and to be brought back into use. The CARS project will support the wider strategy of rebranding Brechin as the ‘wee city of culture’.

Coupar Angus £192,000.
The CARS funding will help with the creation of a larger conservation area.

Dalkeith £318,000.
The funding is being offered to help improve the area by paying for repairs in the historic High Street.

Dysart £395,000.
The CARS offer would help deliver key parts of the wider Dysart Regeneration Initiative which aims to use the area’s architectural heritage as a way to restore its tourism potential.

Kilmarnock £254,000.
The offer would allow core buildings to be brought back into use, return a green area to public use and fund small property improvement grants for residents.

Notes to editors
1. Grants are targeted towards conservation areas where:
·strategic regeneration effort is being addressed through a Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI)
·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.

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. Grants are made once a project has secured the package of funding required to make it viable. This stage has already been reached by the Brechin and Coupar Angus projects.

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873