Communities to benefit from new historic building regeneration grant

Leith Theatre
Leith Theatre

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is expanding its grant-giving programme and has launched a new Scottish Community Development Grant that enables historic building regeneration projects in communities across Scotland.

Thanks to three year funding of up to £200,000 from Historic Environment Scotland (HES), eligible applicants could receive up to £50,000 for regeneration projects in their community, bringing benefits to local areas through the reuse of historic buildings.

Approved projects will have the potential to make a significant positive social impact, offer long-term sustainable uses for historic buildings, and will be clearly and strongly community led.

Thomas Knowles, head of grants at Historic Environment Scotland, said: “The new Scottish Community Development Grant offers opportunities for communities to take the lead on restoring their historic buildings and find a sustainable reuse for them as a modern community-owned asset.

“Projects supported by this new grant have the potential to make a really significant positive social impact, and we’re looking forward to hearing about successful applicants and seeing their projects take shape in the future.”

The Architectural Heritage Fund is a UK-wide registered charity that helps voluntary and community groups to repair and regenerate historic buildings.

David Hunter, an AHF Trustee for Scotland, said: “We are looking for proposals that offer long-term sustainable uses for historic buildings and help build stronger and more cohesive communities. Delivering social enterprise, local business or community services from historic buildings can not only help unlock additional funding sources, but improve the sense of place and wellbeing for a local community.”

Springburn Winter Gardens
Springburn Winter Gardens

The first two grants under the new scheme, totalling £39,500, have just been awarded to Springburn Winter Gardens Trust, to help regenerate the historic glasshouses in North Glasgow, and to the Leith Theatre Trust to help bring the Leith Theatre back to life as a live performance venue in Edinburgh.

Jack Hunter, chair of Leith Theatre Trust said: “It is absolutely fantastic to be awarded this grant to further the work of Leith Theatre Trust. This will help give us the capacity to take the next steps in bringing the theatre back to life - bringing in a design team, helping to fundraise and making sure the local community have the opportunity to get the most out of this neglected public asset.”

Jamie Mallan, chair of Springburn Winter Gardens Trust, said: “Early funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund enabled us to demonstrate the viability of restoring the Winter Gardens, which then helped us go on to win other financial support to make crucial repairs to prevent further deterioration of the building.

“We’re delighted that this new grant offer will enable us to further develop our plans to restore the Winter Gardens. It will help us to deliver our vision of a restored and repurposed Winter Gardens as a community-owned site that delivers crucial services and meet the needs of the people of Springburn and north Glasgow.”

To find out more about the Scottish Community Development Grant and to see if your project might be eligible for support, contact the AHF support officer for Scotland, Gordon Barr, on 0300 121 0341 or

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