£2.2million boost for Campbeltown’s historic town centre

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£2.2million boost for Campbeltown’s historic town centre

Postby Kintyre Forum News » Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:05 pm

£2.2million boost for Campbeltown’s historic town centre will protect 70 jobs

People in Campbeltown can look forward to more town centre buildings being saved thanks to further investment by Argyll and Bute Council. This week Historic Scotland awarded the council almost £1million to repair key buildings within the town’s conservation area which, in addition to funding from the council’s regeneration and housing repair budgets as well as private contributions, will see at least £2.2million being spent on buildings in Campbeltown’s historic town centre over the next five years.

The council will be targeting properties in and around Main Street and Longrow South, including the replacement of the decked areas in the rear of courtyard tenements, which have been causing significant problems for a number of years.
Safeguarding the future of these properties, both commercial and residential, will protect over 70 jobs, from people working in the repaired shops to local tradesmen carrying out the improvement works. Businesses which could benefit include traditional businesses such as local florists, the fishmonger and the butcher shop. There will also be a small building repair grant scheme for work such as roofing, leadwork, gutters, windows and doors.

Leader of Argyll and Bute Council, Councillor Dick Walsh, said of the continuing investment: ‘’This is fantastic news for the people of Campbeltown and will see our town centre regeneration initiative continue for another five years, building on the great work in the last seven, which has had real tangible benefits for the town – safeguarding jobs and creating the right conditions for businesses to thrive.

‘’Community based regeneration projects are a key part of our constant drive to improve our towns, making them places that people can be proud of and that, crucially, create the correct environment for economic growth, which means secure and well-paying jobs.

‘’This is another big boost for the town, with the construction of the new marina underway, the Kintyre Renewables Hub project nearer completion the town hall and Cross Street/Main Street renovations projects on site and the recent news that the MACC base is on the shortlist to become the UK’s first spaceport, these are exciting times for people in South Kintyre.’’
Chair of the Mid-Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands Area Committee, South Kintyre Councillor Rory Colville, said of the news: ‘’I warmly welcome this news and look forward to seeing even more town centre projects progressing in the coming years, with at risk buildings and jobs being saved.

‘’Securing funding from Historic Scotland’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) is always difficult, with this round of funding being particularly competitive, and I’d like to thank the council’s project team for their hard work, both in terms of the fantastic work in the town to date and particularly for securing this new funding. Securing a second round of CARS funding is a real accomplishment in itself and puts the area on the map as a leader in heritage-focused regeneration.
‘’We have a track record to be proud of, with work carried out on over 40 buildings to date, including major projects such as the creation of a community backpacker hostel and a £335,000 initiative to bring the vacant flats at 13-15 Kirk Street back into use. A lot of new businesses have opened as a result, including a beauty salon, a hair salon, and IT store and several cafés and restaurants. Work is underway on another two priority buildings, the town hall and the tenement at Cross Street/Main Street, which will see them fully repaired and brought back into sustainable use hopefully by the beginning of 2016.

‘’I’m delighted we’re investing even more in Campbeltown, making it an attractive and vibrant place where people want to live, work and visit.’’

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said: “We’ve invested over £33 million through CARS since 2007, helping towns and cities across Scotland improve and conserve their built environment.

“Funding from the CARS scheme often acts as a catalyst for additional investment in a town or project from additional funders. I look forward to hearing the impact the scheme has on all of today’s recipients in the coming months and years.”
Jane Ryder, the newly appointed Chair of Historic Environment Scotland, said: “In 2014 a ten-year strategy for Scotland’s historic environment was created, with one of its founding ideas being that the historic environment is owned by the people of Scotland, and not by the Government, so we should do everything in our power to enable the people to look after this environment.”

“Another key objective of the strategy was to put the conditions in place which allow our heritage to make as strong a contribution as possible to the cultural, social, environmental and economic value of Scotland.’’

If anyone would like to speak to the council’s project team about building repair grants please drop-in to the Harvey’s Lane office or call 01586 559048.

Notes to editor
Town centre regeneration statistics
Total number of grants offered: 77
Town centre buildings repaired: 40+
Total spend on these buildings (including private contributions): £7million
Local contractors used: 40+
Shopfronts improved: 17
Training course/community events: 36
Total number of people receiving training: 300+
Attendees at events: 1000+
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