Inverkeithing Celebrates Major Heritage Funding Award

Archived news: published on Wednesday 10 Apr 2019 by Fife Council

Jane Ryder OBE, Chair of Historic Environment Scotland & Cllr. Alice McGarry

Jane Ryder OBE, Chair of Historic Environment Scotland & Cllr. Alice McGarry

Inverkeithing is celebrating a grant award of £1,007,700 from Historic Environment Scotland for essential repairs and improvements to its historic streetscape and buildings.

The heritage funding, which is distributed through the HES Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) was confirmed by HES on 5th April following an application made by Fife Council last November. Inverkeithing is one of only four Scottish Towns to benefit in this funding round.

This will kick start a five- year programme of improvement & investment in the town, starting in April.

A complimentary bid was submitted last month to the National Lottery Heritage Fund Townscape Heritage programme (TH). If this is also successful, when combined with this CARS award, Fife Council money and other funding contributions, a regeneration package of over £3 million will be available.

The CARS and TH will be run together and be managed by Fife Historic Buildings Trust in partnership with Fife Council. The heritage funding supports local authorities committed to investing in their historic environments, as an important way to help stimulate economic regeneration.

Councillor Alice McGarry, area convener south west Fife area committee, said:“This is very good news for Inverkeithing and its regeneration. It reflects the positive and constructive input taken onboard from local people and groups in Inverkeithing whilst the application was developed. It also represents a major step forward in starting to realise local people’s vision for the town as expressed in the Imagine Inverkeithing Community Masterplan developed last year. People wish to see new investment, jobs, and diversifying the local economy, whilst protecting and enhancing our built and natural heritage.

The CARS TH funding will enable repair & redevelopment of the Town House as a community use hub; major streetscape uplift in the High street and the Market Square; and a grant scheme for repairs to other historic buildings in the town centre. There will also be a wide range of training & education courses and activities for the whole community, designed to improve heritage skills and knowledge for both adults and children."

Councillor Altany Craik, Convener - Economy Tourism. Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee said:  “Like many towns today, Inverkeithing has to contend with a range of negative market forces, like changing shopping habits, and as an historic centre, needs investment to tackle dilapidation associated with an ageing building stock. To have a sustainable future the town needs to evolve and improve its offer to attract both locals and visitors.  The town’s heritage and history is underplayed, but given its location on the Fife Coastal Path and Pilgrims Way, proximity to the Forth Bridges and Edinburgh, and its major transport links, Inverkeithing has the potential for step change through heritage led regeneration, and this funding can enable that to happen.”

Jane Ryder OBE, Chair, Historic Environment Scotland, said; “HES’ ambition is to provide more ways for people who live and work in Scotland to benefit from all of our historic environment, and our grants schemes are an important part of this.

“One of the great merits of the CARS scheme is that it is locally led and allows local authorities to invest in priority properties they have identified and help communities to unlock the potential of their historic assets. So, as well as investing in conservation projects worthwhile in their own right, additional benefits range from encouraging tourism, to supporting local skills training and the creation of new businesses. All of this shows why the CARS scheme is so important.”

Lorraine Bell, Manager of Fife Historic Buildings Trust, said: “So many people have been instrumental in the planning process for this magnificent level of funding. FHBT will build on its recent experience of delivering the award winning Cupar CARS project to bring some of Inverkeithing’s most historic buildings back to life in partnership with the local community and Fife Council. We are absolutely thrilled for Inverkeithing, and we can’t wait to get started.”

For more information on the CARS TH funding bid, please contact: Chris Wragg, Town Centre Development Unit, Fife Council, chris.wragg@fife.gov.uk or tel 03451 555 555 ext 471851 or visit the website http://www.fifehistoricbuildings.org.uk/inverkeithing

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