A £4.4 million funding boost for regeneration projects in Scotland has been announced by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).
The investment, part of the eighth round of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), will be split across four towns: Inverkeithing (£1,007,700) Hawick (£1,314,800), Lochgilphead (£969,700) and Mauchline (£1,119,800).
CARS is a regeneration initiative designed to direct funding to town centres that would benefit from heritage-led redevelopment.
Since its inception, £43 million has been awarded to communities across the country, resulting in more than 140 new businesses and more than 460 jobs created in areas of high unemployment.
HES chairwoman Jane Ryder said: “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.”
Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said: “This grant funding has been protected by the Scottish Government and supports towns and cities across Scotland to regenerate and improve their built environment benefiting Scotland’s diverse heritage assets and communities.
“This contributes to their social fabric and community cohesion.
“It also boosts the economy as the funding supports local businesses in carrying out repairs and improvements.”
The announcement comes as HES launches its new corporate plan for 2019 onwards, Heritage For All, and a new historic environment policy, which sets out how areas will be managed for current and future generations.
Alex Paterson, HES chief executive, said: “Heritage for All sets out a new way of looking at our historic environment reflecting the voices of people across Scotland, what that means to them and setting out a collective vision for the historic environment. This is a new plan, developed in a new way, with new perspectives.”