Fund for heritage-led regeneration proposed
A three month consultation has been launched into the future of Government grants for the repair of historic buildings and to seek views on a proposed new scheme; the Historic Environment Regeneration Fund.
The fund, outlined in a Scottish Executive consultation paper, would refocus money currently used to aid the repair of individual buildings in ‘outstanding’ conservation areas. The cash would instead be channelled into conservation area regeneration schemes and smaller projects in a handful of areas with evidence of decline and need for investment.
With large parts of Scotland’s six cities served by investment from City Heritage Trusts, the majority of the fund is likely to be targeted on other parts of the country. Priority would also be given to areas where wider packages of support for regeneration are justified and where investment is promoted through community planning partnerships and local plans. Historic Scotland would meet up to 40% of the cost of a scheme, with an expectation of match funding from the local authority.
Schemes should be delivered in partnership with local authorities, although trusts and charitable companies will also be able to take them forward.
The consultation also looks at how to build capacity in the voluntary heritage sector, but the executive will consult separately on grants to support their work. The deadline for responses to the consultation is 31 October. Historic environment grants: www.scotland.gov.uk/consultations/culture/hist_en_grants.asp
Frank McAveety, Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, announced the move, saying ‘Since Historic Scotland was established in 1991 they have awarded over £140 million in grants to safeguard our built heritage. This money has generated match funding in excess of £300 million. This represents an enormous investment and commitment to Scotland’s architectural past and our cultural heritage.
‘It is vital to make sure that every penny of this grant money goes to the most deserving causes and in the most efficient way. We propose setting up an Historic Environment Regeneration Fund, which should enable Historic Scotland to do even more to tackle the decline of some historic areas and to realise the potential of the historic environment in terms of economic and community regeneration.’
Historic Scotland is an Executive Agency of the Scottish Executive and was set up in 1991 to safeguard the nation’s built heritage and promote its understanding and enjoyment. Historic Scotland is accountable to Scottish Ministers.
Source: Scottish Executive