Wed 26 Jun 19
Inverkeithing is now celebrating a grant award of £1,255,900 from The National Lottery Heritage Fund for essential repairs and improvements to its historic streetscape and buildings.
The Townscape Heritage (TH) funding, which can be allocated thanks to National Lottery players, was confirmed by the Scotland Committee of The National Lottery Heritage Fund today.
The good news means that a regeneration package of over £3 million is now available for a five-year programme of heritage themed improvement and investment in the town, 2019-2024.
This National Lottery award will now be combined with the grant made in April to Inverkeithing of £1,007,700 from the Historic Environment Scotland Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS), along with Fife Council money and other funding contributions.
Councillor Alice McGarry, Area Convenor for the South and West Fife Area Committee said: “This is more good news for Inverkeithing and its regeneration. It reflects the positive and constructive input taken on board from local people and groups in Inverkeithing whilst the applications were developed. It also represents a major step forward in starting to realise local people’s vision for the town as expressed in the Imagine Inverkeithing Community Masterplan developed last year. People wanted to see new investment, jobs, and diversifying the local economy, whilst protecting and enhancing our built and natural heritage.
"The National Lottery and CARS funding will enable repair and redevelopment of the Town House as a community use hub; major streetscape uplift in the High street and the Market Square; and a grant scheme for repairs to other historic buildings in the town centre. There will also be a wide range of training and education courses and activities for the whole community, designed to improve heritage skills and knowledge for both adults and children.“
Councillor Altany Craik, Convener of the council's Economy Tourism. Strategic Planning and Transportation Committee said: “Like many towns today, Inverkeithing has to contend with a range of negative market forces, like changing shopping habits, and as an historic centre, needs investment to tackle dilapidation associated with an ageing building stock. To have a sustainable future the town needs to evolve and improve its offer to attract both locals and visitors. The town’s heritage and history is underplayed, but given its location on the Fife Coastal Path and Pilgrims Way, proximity to the Forth Bridges and Edinburgh, and its major transport links, Inverkeithing has the potential for step change through heritage led regeneration, and this funding can enable that to happen.”
This latest award to Inverkeithing by The National Lottery Scotland Committee is one of the first Scottish projects to secure major funding support under a newly devolved decision-making process, which puts 80% of money distributed by the National Lottery Heritage Fund into the hands of local decision-makers with local expertise.
Commenting on the awards, Riona McMorrow, Acting Head of The National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “Historic buildings give our town centre’s their character. They differentiate one town from another giving each a sense of history that communities can identify with. The wonderful medieval buildings of Inverkeithing are what make it distinctive and helps boost its local economy through jobs, tourism and investment. Now thanks to The National Lottery, they will be revitalised so they can be enjoyed for many more years to come.”
The Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration project will be managed by Fife Historic Buildings Trust (FHBT) in partnership with Fife Council.
Lorraine Bell, Manager of Fife Historic Buildings Trust, said: “So many people have been instrumental in the planning process for this magnificent level of funding. FHBT will build on its recent experience of delivering the award winning Cupar CARS project to bring some of Inverkeithing’s most historic buildings back to life in partnership with the local community and Fife Council. We are absolutely thrilled for Inverkeithing, and we can’t wait to get started.”
The rules for National Lottery and CARS Heritage funding means that it is largely restricted to use within the Conservation Area of Inverkeithing Town Centre.
Last week, Fife Council’s Policy and Coordination Committee decided how to use the £4.335 million allocated to Fife from the Scottish Government’s Town Centre Capital Fund. Up to £170,000 from that programme was allocated towards Inverkeithing’s Heritage regeneration, to increase the impact of the CARS TH funding package, by supporting streetscape improvement works in front of the Civic Centre, beyond the Conservation Area southern boundary.