This year we’re celebrating the 10th anniversary of our very first CARS programmes. We can see the difference the grants are making to both the look and feel of cities, towns and villages across Scotland.
CARS by numbers
The first round of CARS funding awarded £6.7 million for 13 conservation schemes in 2008
After 7 rounds, total CARS funding investment now stands at £41.5 million for 61 separate conservation schemes across Scotland
To date, CARS grants have contributed to the repair of more than 1,000 properties
Based on reports from the first four rounds of CARS, funding has helped to bring more than 35,000 square metres of vacant floorspace back into use for residential and retail premises
Funding from the initial four rounds has resulted in the setup of 142 new businesses and the creation of 464 new jobs in areas of high unemployment
The success of CARS so far
Every CARS project to which we contribute funding is different. Success stories range from high-quality repairs and restorations of at-risk heritage buildings, beautified town centres and high streets and transformed properties operating as new businesses.
Fife Historic Buildings Trust transformed the historic Burgh Chambers into a high-end holiday let apartment
In Kirkwall, capital of the Orkney Islands, traditional buildings have been enhanced and brought back into use like the formerly vacant ‘Old Library’ now up and running as a thriving café, shop and art gallery.
CARS funding has encouraged sustainable economic growth in Falkirk. Here, improvements to town centre shopfronts are helping businesses take advantage of the growing local tourism industry.
CARS funding has also preserved the character of old town centres in places like Gorebridge. Here, heritage property owners have been educated about using lime mortar, rather than cement, for building conservation.
The future of CARS
We launched the scheme in 2007 to help communities across Scotland cope with the growing need for investment in run down town centres.
Our goal with the funding is to contribute to the restoration of heritage buildings, while generating investment in conservation areas. The funding also supports training opportunities, community engagement and small grants schemes for homeowners and retailers.
CARS funding helped Argyll and Bute Council convert Campbeltown’s Old Schoolhouse into affordable accommodation
We see CARS as a partnership between ourselves and local authorities and communities. They lead, and we provide the funding.
Jennifer is our Grants Team Leader. She's responsible for overseeing the delivery of the CARS funding programme and communicating with CARS project officers across Scotland. Based in Edinburgh, Jennifer has worked at HES for 15 years.
View all posts by Jennifer Storrie