Dunbar to receive £1.1m as part of bumper investment to regenerate historic towns

The town of Dunbar is to receive more than one million pounds as part of £4.5 million combined investment to regenerate four historic communities across Scotland.
Dunbar in East Lothian is to receive £1.1m as part of the investment.Dunbar in East Lothian is to receive £1.1m as part of the investment.
Dunbar in East Lothian is to receive £1.1m as part of the investment.

The £4,502,575 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, Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced.

Dumfries will see £762,101 invested; £1.24million will be invested in Helensburgh; £1,113,949 in Dunbar in East Lothian and £1,386,525 in Stirling.

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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.

Dumfries is one of the four areas which will receive the significant investmentDumfries is one of the four areas which will receive the significant investment
Dumfries is one of the four areas which will receive the significant investment

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.

CARS was launched in 2007 to encourage local authorities to invest in their historic environment by repairing and restoring the built environment whilst helping to stimulate economic regeneration.

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Since then, over £50 million funding has been invested in Scotland’s high streets, towns and cities with more than 40 CARS schemes now completed, with the funding supporting the creation of over 600 jobs and more than 270 new businesses, and almost 50,000 metres squared of vacant space has been brought back into use.

Alex Paterson, chief executive of HES, said: “This round of CARS marks a very important milestone for the scheme in that over £50 million has been invested in more than 70 Conservation Areas in Scotland.

“Through CARS, communities are supported and empowered to harness their valuable heritage assets. Decisions are made on a local level and local authorities can prioritise key properties for investment.

“The impact that COVID-19 has had on town and city centres – with more people than ever now working from home and the rise of online shopping due to the closure of shops – shows just how important schemes such as CARS are in revitalising and regenerating our high streets.

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"By bringing historic buildings back into use and providing crucial repairs, high streets are transformed, new employment opportunities are created, and tourism is increased, demonstrating the significant effect that our historic environment has on our towns, cities and villages.

“Heritage-led regeneration has proven to have long-term benefits and I look forward to seeing the positive impact that these projects in Dumfries, Dunbar, Helensburgh and Stirling have on the people that live and work in these historic places.”

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “It is vital that we continue to protect and conserve our heritage. Now more than ever we are all increasingly aware of our local surroundings and attractions and the important role they play in our health and well-being as well as in the heart of our communities.

“This scheme has already helped transform conservation areas across Scotland, reinvigorating communities and supporting economic and social regeneration. I look forward to seeing how this new support helps transform even more of our historic high streets.”

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