Communities across Scotland are set to benefit from the latest round of Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) funding. This is the sixth round of CARS funding, with £26 million having been invested by the Scottish Government in projects across Scotland since the first grants were made in 2007. Applications for this round will open early in the new year with a closing date of 31 August 2014.
The £10 million was outlined by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs during her keynote speech at the Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) Annual Congress in Linlithgow. CARS specifically targets conservation areas with social and economic disadvantages that make it difficult to attract investment in sustainable regeneration. The scheme assists these areas through channelling funding towards opportunities to enhance sustainable economic growth and help support projects that develop an area's sense of place.
Ms Hyslop told BEFS delegates that the scheme has clearly demonstrated it is a catalyst to attract funding from other sources. In the scheme's first year, £6.7 million was invested through CARS, delivering improvements to 28,000 sq m of public realm, and the rejuvenation and reuse of 15,000 sq m of vacant floor space. This investment attracted a further £18.6 million from other sources – a leverage of extra funding of 3 to 1.
CARS is open to Local and National Park Authorities, community groups and other third sector organisations delivering multi-funded projects. The funding can be utilised for a number of purposes from priority repairs and small grants to homeowners and retailers, to providing traditional craft training opportunities.
Further information on the CARS scheme and previous funding recipients can be found on the Historic Scotland website.