Four historic towns and cities to benefit from £4M investment

18 March 2021
John Cowane's House, Stirling, copyright Robert Murray
Four historic communities across Scotland will benefit from a combined investment of £4,502,575, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced today.

The funding, awarded as part of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), will be shared between four Conservation Areas to help them regenerate and attract further investment in the future: £762,101 will be invested in Dumfries; £1,113,949 in Dunbar; £1,240,000 in Helensburgh; and £1,386,525 in Stirling.

Buildings which have been prioritised for works include the B-listed Alhambra Theatre and Arcade in Stirling and the former Lothian Hotel in Dunbar which was built in the late 18th century.

Each CARS scheme will deliver a combination of larger building repair projects, small grants schemes providing funding for repairs to properties in private ownership, community engagement and education activities, and professional training activities and opportunities, all of which will contribute to sustainable economic and community development within the Conservation Area. The schemes, managed by the local authority, will last for five years with works commencing in April.

The recipients are:

Argyll and Bute Council - £1,240,000 for Helensburgh CARS

The scheme proposes to repair at least three priority projects across Colquhoun Street, East Clyde Street and West Clyde Street in the newly designated Helensburgh Conservation Area. The scheme will also improve links between the waterfront and the town centre, and through the repair of properties on the waterfront, make the area more attractive for people to spend time.

Helensburgh Pier, copyright Michal Klasban

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Dumfries and Galloway Council - £762,101 for Dumfries CARS

The scheme proposes to repair four priority projects on English Street and the High street in Dumfries. Buildings include 117-119 High Street and 11-17 English Street. The scheme also includes public realm works and will work in parallel with the Town Centre Living Fund.

There are high numbers of properties that are suffering from a lack of maintenance and high levels of vacancy, and through the use of a condition survey map, buildings which are in the poorest condition will be identified and focused on as part of the repair works.

East Lothian Council - £1,113,949 for Dunbar CARS

The scheme proposes to repair six priority projects on Dunbar High Street, including the former Lothian Hotel which is currently on the Buildings at Risk Register, and there will also be a strong focus on providing local training opportunities and addressing empty properties. A further project that will be developed around the production of building condition surveys for tenement owners working together in stair committees will help to promote collaborative working and lead to better maintenance of private properties within the CARS area.

Stirling Council - £1,386,525 for Stirling CARS

The scheme proposes to repair two priority projects - the Alhambra Theatre and Arcade and John Cowane’s House. Ten properties have also been identified as focus buildings to be repaired through a small grants scheme. Through public realm works, walking routes will be created within the city to improve connections between the commercial and historic centres.

The CARS project will build on the work which has been carried out in recent years by the Stirling City Heritage Fund, funded by HES, and The Traditional Buildings Health Check to carry out a high standard of repairs and improvements to key sites in the city centre.

For further information on CARS, visit Historic Environment Scotland.

Report courtesy of Historic Environment Scotland.