Over £25 million in new funding will help revitalize distressed Scottish communities by regenerating and reusing historic buildings

On January 27, 2021, over £25 million was allocated to revitalize disadvantaged and remote communities around Scotland by supporting regeneration and job-creation projects.

The money from the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) will go to 26 projects to tackle inequalities and deliver inclusive growth.

Over 400 business and organizations will benefit from the projects which will support or create more than 1220 jobs as well as thousands of training places by refurbishing and bringing back into use 26 empty buildings to provide space for community enterprises.

Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said, “Together with COSLA we have invested almost £200 million through this fund since 2014 in support of locally-led regeneration projects which help to build the resilience and wellbeing of communities. I am pleased that a further 26 projects will benefit from the fund as we look to a period of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

We have had to lead our lives locally, pulling together more as communities, to see off the many challenges arising from coronavirus. This latest round of investment into local projects continues our ongoing support for vibrant and accessible town centres and communities,” she added.

COSLA’s Environment and Economy spokesperson Councillor Steven Heddle explained, “This work has never been more important as we look to rebuild from the devastating impact of COVID-19. Recovery from the virus must be fair to our communities and promote inclusivity, growth and wellbeing. The innovative projects announced today can empower our communities to deliver better places to live and work.

Among the projects being funded this year is The Old Clyne School Redevelopment Project in Brora, Highland. It will redevelop a derelict C-listed building to become a community-owned museum and heritage centre, and to be a base for the Clyne Heritage Society.

Dr. Nick Lindsay, Chairman of the Clyne Heritage Society said, “This is the best news that we could have hoped for, in what has been a very difficult year. This should unlock the final ‘brick-in-the-wall’ funds from other funding partners, so we can deliver this major development for Brora.”

We can now fulfil our dreams by regenerating the Old Clyne School into a must-visit destination, transforming a current eyesore into a welcome attraction for the whole community and future generations,” he added.

In Port Glasgow, Scotland, the Inverclyde Council was awarded almost £1.2 million to repurpose and renovate one of the oldest local buildings into a new community hub.

The local authority has successfully bid for funding from the national Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) for the town’s historic King George VI (KGVI) building, which dates back to the 1700s.

The council has invested £1m to date making the B-listed property wind and watertight in order to preserve it for future generations.

Now the award of just under £1.2m from the RCGF will be used to complete the regeneration of the King Street building and transform it into a community hub featuring meeting rooms, office space and a café.

It will also become the new home for Clune Park Resource Centre allowing the group to relocate from their current base to make it easier for the people right across Inverclyde to access the activities they offer.

Councillor Jim Clocherty, Inverclyde Council’s convener of education and communities, said, “Saving such an old and historic building like this has been challenging but I’m delighted we’ve managed to secure the funding required to not only complete the restoration but to deliver a valuable resource for the people of Port Glasgow and across Inverclyde.”

It will also hopefully drive more people into our town centres at a time when high streets need our support and provide employment and training opportunities while preserving an important piece of local history for future generations,” he continued.

The RCGF is delivered in partnership between the Scottish Government and council umbrella group the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla).

As well as the successful KGVI funding, the council also supported local charitable organization, The Inverclyde Shed, in securing just over £½m to take on vacant local authority-owned building opposite Greenock’s East India Harbour and turn it into a community workshop.

Photo of the King George V Club in Port Glasgow is by Thomas Nugent via Wikipedia.

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