Jedburgh is one of seven communities across Scotland to benefit from this week’s £6.2m Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) funding by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).
The Borders town is to receive £866,500 as part of the seventh round of CARS funding – and it will be joined by £150,000 from the Scottish Borders Council revenue budget and £50,000 from the capital budget, as well as private sector contributions of £260,500 to total £1,327,000 of funding.
The proposed scheme aims to make Jedburgh a more attractive town to visit as the ‘Historic Gateway to Scotland’, and build on the heritage and local attractions, including Jedburgh Abbey and a proposed new distillery to the south.
Councillor Ron Smith, SBC’s executive member for planning and environment, welcomed the funding.
He said: “Following significant work by a range of council officers in a variety of services, and through community engagement with key local partners in the town, we are delighted to have been awarded this funding.
“As we continue to see in Selkirk, the CARS funding can help in a range of ways, from improving the historic town centre to bringing experts in to assist property owners and the engagement of young people through education programmes.
“I very much look forward to the Jedburgh scheme progressing with similar success.”
Alex Paterson, chief executive of HES, announced the move this week, saying: “The funding will enable seven more communities up and down the country to breathe new life into their historic town centres, encouraging further investment, creating new employment opportunities, and boosting the local tourism industry.
“We’ve seen how successful this approach can be in previous schemes across the UK, and I’m looking forward to seeing the results for Jedburgh.
Executive member for economic development, Councillor Stuart Bell, said: “Many of our town centres are facing real challenges and we know Jedburgh has issues in terms of deteriorating buildings, increasing vacancy rates and declining footfall. So we are delighted this funding will begin to help address some of these issues and act as a catalyst for regeneration in the town”.
He continued: “I would encourage local businesses and community groups to continue to work with us to make Jedburgh a really welcoming attractive destination for visitors, particularly for those coming over the border.”
In a joint statement, local ward members Councillors Jim Brown, Rory Stewart and Sandy Scott said: “We are delighted Jedburgh has been successful in gaining this vital CARS funding, which we believe will help start a turnaround in fortunes for our historic town.
“There is much work ahead, both for the council and its community partners, but it is extremely fitting that this funding has been awarded to Jedburgh in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.”
CARS specifically targets conservation areas with social or economic disadvantages that make it difficult to attract investment in sustainable regeneration.
The scheme assists these areas through channelling funding towards opportunities to enhance sustainable economic growth and help support projects that develop an area’s sense of place.
The scheme is open to Local and National Park Authorities, community groups and other third sector organisations delivering multi-funded projects.
Funding can be utilised for a number of purposes, from priority repairs and small grants to homeowners and retailers, to providing traditional craft training opportunities.