Scotland’s towns, city centres and places of historic interest are set to benefit from a £10 million funding boost from Historic Environment Scotland.
The new lead heritage body which cares for, protects and promotes the historic environment will make the announcement, today (24 May) at the launch of the organisation’s first corporate plan in Paisley, which sets out their strategy for the historic environment.
The funding, which is distributed through Historic Environment Scotland’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), will see communities throughout Scotland benefit from over £10 million of investment which encourages local authorities to invest in their historic environment, repairing and restoring the built environment whilst helping to stimulate economic regeneration.
This is the seventh round of funding bringing the overall contribution to £45 million invested by Historic Environment Scotland since 2007 to the benefit of more than 56 projects across the country.
Paisley was awarded CARS funding in 2009 and since then the programme has played a key role in supporting investment through heritage led regeneration. With targeted investment in shops fronts and bringing vacant space back into use key outputs have included attracting new businesses to the area as well as shopkeepers recording increased footfall.
Meanwhile, the works required have helped to provide employment opportunities for local and regional building contractors with the transformation of redundant buildings in Paisley – such as the conversion of a church into a new Arts Centre providing a central cultural hub for the town – which is now pursuing European City of Culture status.
Dr David Mitchell, Acting Chief Executive for Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Our investments the length and breadth of Scotland both support and inspire people and communities to utilise their heritage for the future. What we aim to do is to facilitate decision making at a local level with funding allocated to priority projects which have a key focus on the wider contribution that the historic environment brings to communities– with benefits ranging from helping to breathe life back into high streets, providing employment opportunities or acting as a tourism driver.
“Since we launched CARS, many towns and villages across Scotland have benefited from this funding, from Stromness to Kelso. Paisley town centre is a great example of what can be achieved and it’s fantastic to see the area flourishing and several of its historic buildings transformed.
“Releasing another round of £10 million funding will give more areas than ever before the opportunity to benefit from this investment.”
Speaking ahead of the launch of Historic Environment Scotland’s first corporate plan at Paisley Abbey, Jane Ryder, OBE, and Chair of Historic Environment Scotland, said: “Today marks a major milestone for Historic Environment Scotland and I am both delighted and immensely proud to be unveiling our first corporate plan. As the lead body for the historic environment it is our aim to empower people to play a greater role in Scotland’s heritage, ensuring it is cared for, protected, understood, valued, enjoyed and enhanced now and for future generations.
“In that vein we were determined to have a thorough interactive consultation exercise both by reaching out to a new audience and encouraging debate on social media which many people participated in. This has helped shape our strategic direction in managing the historic environment which contributes £2.3 billion to the Scottish economy every year and supports over 60,000 jobs. (1)
“So today signals the beginning of an exciting future as we look to deliver on this corporate plan by engaging and empowering communities and partners both national and local. We firmly believe that Scotland’s heritage is for all and it is our job to demonstrate the difference it makes to people and how it contributes to a better way of life in Scotland, and I look forward to the journey ahead.”
The deadline for CARS applications is Wednesday 31 August 2016. For more information and to apply visitwww.historicenvironment.scot
Each round of CARS funding is open to local and national park authorities, community groups and other third sector organisations. Delivering multi-funded projects it can be utilised for a number of purposes from priority repairs and small grants for homeowners, developers and retailers, to providing traditional craft training opportunities
The funding, available over a five year-period, of Scottish Government money which is allocated by Historic Environment Scotland, can be used for repairs programmes for priority projects, small grants schemes or used for community engagement programmes through providing training opportunities in traditional skills and through education.