Next phase of Hawick Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme announced
The next phase of the £1.57 million Hawick Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) has been announced this week, with a new round of grant funding opening.
The latest round of funding for building repairs and improvements through the scheme can provide up to £15,000 of eligible project costs. Applications are open until 31 May 2021.
A new project team is in place at Scottish Borders Council to lead the scheme, which has been funded by Historic Environment Scotland, the council and the South of Scotland Economic Partnership, which paved the way for South of Scotland Enterprise.
In conjunction with private sector investment in building repairs, the direct spend through the scheme will be more than £2m.
Originally a five-year programme, it has been extended by a year until 31 March 2025 due to the impact of COVID-19. The scheme has already helped to deliver a number of improvements in the town.
These include works to three properties on the High Street, which has resulted in roof and masonry works, joinery repairs and external decoration.
Six priority buildings, identified by the community-led Hawick CARS Steering Group during the bid process have been included in the work programme, with a total budget of over £627,000 allocated to support traditional building repairs.
These buildings are:
- Former Glenmac Mill, Teviot Crescent
- 4 Round Close
- 24 High Street
- 26 High Street
- Former Queens Head, 32 High Street
- Former Liberal Club, 80 High Street/Brougham Place.
Grant funding totalling £450,000 is also available for other town centre property owners to undertake traditional building repairs.
Councillor Mark Rowley, SBC’s executive member for economic regeneration and finance, said: “The main focus for the scheme is to help conserve and enhance historic town centre buildings, address issues with key priority buildings, bring empty properties back into use and encourage general repairs to others.
“This investment into Hawick town centre, combined with the Hawick Flood Protection Scheme and development of the business incubator centre, is crucial to the town’s recovery over the coming years and to establishing a bright future for the town, its business and residents.
“COVID-19 has affected progress of the scheme, along with staff changes, but now we are ready to hit the ground running again and I would encourage property owners in the town centre to investigate the opportunities available.”
Other important elements of the CARS project include reinforcing and enhancing awareness of the town’s rich history and heritage through community heritage projects, as well as the development of traditional skills training to enhance construction skills locally to look after the town’s historic environment for the future.
The complimentary ‘Missing Shares’ pilot scheme set up within the town was also launched in October 2019. This scheme enables essential common repairs to be undertaken to private properties within the town’s conservation area where property owners with shared responsibility are unwilling or unable to contribute to their share of the costs. It too has been extended to run alongside the CARS project for the duration of the scheme.