Historic Environment Scotland gives communities £10m restoration boost

Historic communities across Scotland are set to receive a £10 million funding boost from the country's new heritage body.

Historic Environment Scotland will launch its first corporate plan in Paisley. Picture: John Devlin

The cash pot is being unveiled by Historic Environment Scotland, which is inviting applications from groups which believe their area could benefit from a slice of the funding.

The money, distributed through the charity’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), is aimed at repairing and restoring the built environment while helping to stimulate economic regeneration.

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The heritage body is making the announcement at the launch of its first corporate plan in Paisley, Renfrewshire, an area which has benefited from previous cash injections.

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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.

“Releasing another round of £10 million funding will give more areas than ever before the opportunity to benefit from this investment.”

The funding, available over a five year-period, can go towards repair programmes, small grants schemes or training opportunities.

Each round of CARS funding is open to local and national park authorities, community groups and other third-sector organisations.

The deadline for applications is Wednesday August 31.

Jane Ryder, chair of Historic Environment Scotland, said the move marks a “major milestone” for the organisation.

She said: “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.”

Historic Environment Scotland is the lead public body established to investigate, care for and promote the country’s historic environment.