Lochgilphead’s historic town centre has been handed a £1million boost in the shape of a grant from Historic Environment Scotland (HES).
The funding, part of the HES’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), will see Lochgilphead benefit from similar CARS projects that have improved Campbeltown, Inveraray, Dunoon and Rothesay.
Along with the £969,700 from HES, Lochgilphead CARS is backed with £386,000 in council funding, and estimated contributions from building owners of £250,000 – bringing a projected total budget of £1.6m over the five years that the CARS scheme will run.
The scheme will fund extensive repairs to a number of priority buildings in the town, with a focus on Argyll Street and part of both Lochnell Street and Poltalloch Street. It will also allow for the creation of a small grant and shopfront improvement budget. Additionally, there will be traditional skills training and education opportunities available.
Councillor Aileen Morton, Leader of the Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Lochgilphead and the Mid Argyll region. The competition to secure funding from Historic Environment Scotland’s CARS scheme is always fierce, so it is a real achievement to have made this happen. Like the CARS projects in Campbeltown, Inveraray, Dunoon and Rothesay, this funding will bring about tangible change in the town centre and help to support our drive to attract new businesses, residents and visitors to Argyll and Bute.”
Approval of the CARS funding follows on from the announcement of a £1.5m investment in the Lochgilphead Front Green project, which will deliver improvements to the Lochgilphead Front Green and Colchester Square. A consultation process is currently underway to shape plans for the Front Green project, which is part of the wider £3m Tarbert and Lochgilphead Regeneration Fund.
Chair of the Mid-Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands Area Committee, Councillor Robin Currie, added: “I wholeheartedly welcome the wonderful news that Lochgilphead CARS has been approved. 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 create the correct environment for economic growth, which means secure and well-paying jobs.”
The council was supported in the application process by the local community and businesses, who supplied letters of support and other assistance in creating a successful bid.
Further updates on the Lochgilphead CARS scheme will follow, and a public consultation event will be announced in due course.