Stirling Council has been awarded over £1.3m (£1,386,525) in funding from Historic Environment Scotland to support heritage-led regeneration projects in the historic Mercat Cross and Old Town area of Stirling City Centre.
The funding comes from a successful application made by the Council’s Planning and Economic Development Services to the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) in 2019. A total of over £3million (£3,117,185) will be invested into the Stirling CARS project over a five year period.
Priority projects proposed by the Stirling scheme focus on repairs to the Stirling Arcade and Alhambra Theatre as well as John Cowane’s House, to bring these redundant historic building’s back into positive re-use. These aim to bolster the city’s heritage and history by regenerating links between historical assets of the city with its commercial centre.
An associated General Building Grant Scheme & Shopfront Improvement Scheme will be established, and a traditional building skills training and education employment skills programme will also feature in plans for the CARS project, as well as public realm enhancement of historic routes in the city.
Finance and Economy Committee Convener, Cllr Margaret Brisley, said: “This funding from Historic Environment Scotland will provide a shot in the arm for the heritage of our historic city centre over the next five years.
“Places like the Stirling Arcade, Alhambra Theatre and John Cowane’s House are sites of significant historic and cultural interest, unique in Scotland, and the opportunities to improve links to these from the city centre offer can offer a significant economic boost to the area.”
Vice Convener, Cllr Alison Laurie said: “We look forward to the work this funding will achieve over the next five years, in ensuring key heritage assets in the conservation area are improved for the benefit of residents and tourists alike, and that the economic regeneration of the city is supported as we emerge from the Covid-19 Pandemic.
“This welcome funding will stimulate repairs, improvements and training, to sustain Stirling’s historic buildings into the future, and will allow the Council to build on projects already undertaken in the area by Stirling City Heritage Trust, via their grants and the Traditional Buildings Health Check.”
Stirling Council is anticipated to contribute a total of £625,725 towards the Stirling CARS project over the five year period.
Since 2007, 63 CARS projects across Scotland’s local authority areas have been awarded £41.5 million. This project is the first time Stirling Council has benefited from the scheme.