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Culture Secretary announces £170,000 investment into Girvan's story

Stumpy Tower Girvan 400 x 400

The Girvan conservation area in Ayrshire is amongst eight projects in Scotland set to benefit from new area-based funding, totalling over £850,000

Culture Secretary Angus Robertson announced in Govan today (Wednesday 17 May) that eight communities across Scotland are set to benefit from £863,050 funding, awarded by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund (Heritage Fund).

HES and the Heritage Fund have joined forces to jointly provide area-based funding, through the new Heritage & Place Programme (H&PP) run by HES to support the regeneration of Scotland's places, and the Heritage Fund's Thriving Place commitment to create better places to live, work and visit. 

This is the first time that both organisations have jointly encouraged projects to apply for development grants, providing access to a larger pool of resources for heritage projects across the country. This could lead to a total investment of up to £19.8 million in the communities. 

One of the eight communities receiving funding for their regeneration plans is Girvan. "Girvan's Story", a project run by South Ayrshire Council, has received funding to revive Girvan as a community-led tourism destination. The project will address underinvestment in the town's historic environment, work with community engagement through community heritage activities, and provide opportunities for traditional skills training, particularly for young people in the area.

This first phase of funding will support the development of high-quality sustainable development plans for the eight areas over the next 12 months, with the potential that HES and Heritage Fund will then award up to £19.8 million jointly to deliver the projects in the coming years.

Susan O'Connor, Head of Grants at HES, said: "We are delighted to announce £863,050 to support the regeneration of eight heritage areas in Scotland. This is the first time that HES and the Heritage Fund have coordinated our funding in this way, and by working together, we are able to create an even bigger impact for communities across the country. Heritage-led regeneration and the reuse of historic buildings is an important catalyst for generating long-term social and economic benefits, and I'm incredibly excited to see the plans develop over the next 12 months to help contribute to a vibrant and sustainable future for each of these eight places."

Caroline Clark, The National Lottery Heritage Fund Director for Scotland, said: "Heritage sits at the heart of a place's identity, adding depth, character and value. It helps connect people and communities to a place and boosts local economic prosperity.

"The funding we are announcing today, thanks to National Lottery players, will help revitalise eight communities across Scotland leading to potential investment of up to £19.8 million. Our aim is to help drive heritage and community focused regeneration, helping local people to deliver long-term, sustainable improvements.

"By working jointly with HES we have been able to double the support offered to these communities, so that whether these initiatives are focusing on a small coastal town or a post-industrial city centre, each place can approach its regeneration with ambition, imagination and heritage at its heart."

Speaking in Govan, one of the communities set to benefit from funding, Culture Secretary Angus Robertson, said: "Scotland is internationally renowned for the quality and diversity of its historic environment which plays an important role in shaping all of our lives.

"This joint community-focused funding initiative will deliver positive and lasting change to Scotland's places as well as raise awareness around the importance of sustainability. 

"If we are to be successful in our transition to net-zero we must encourage more restoring and repurposing of heritage assets to ensure our historic environment is protected for the benefit of future generations."

The full list of projects awarded joint funding are: 
Buckhaven, Fife Council: £170,000 
Girvan, South Ayrshire Council: £170,000 
Airdrie, North Lanarkshire Council: £150,000 
Govan, Glasgow City Council: £87,900 
Aberdeen, Aberdeen City Council: £86,350 
Tarbert, Argyll & Bute Council: £80,000 
Forres, Moray Council: £66,000 
Granton Waterfront, The City of Edinburgh Council: £52,800 

The next round of funding for the Heritage & Place Programme will open for expressions of interest on Wednesday 31 May. For further information visit the HES website