Heritage is Good for Business with multi-million town centre investment announced

Heritage is Good for Business with multi-million town centre investment announced

Aerial view of Paisley town centre
Aerial view of Paisley town centre

Three towns which are putting heritage at the heart of their town centre regeneration strategy – Govan, Paisley and Fraserburgh – have been awarded funding of £5.68m from HLF to help turnaround their economic fortunes through the restoration of their historic streets and buildings.

Today’s grants were made under HLF’s highly successful Townscape Heritage programme which has allowed the organisation to target £54.4million funding into over 50 communities across Scotland, from seaside resorts to market towns.

Colin McLean, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland, said: “The regeneration of town centres is an obvious way in which we as an organisation can make an important contribution to improving the economy of an area and the standard of living for the people resident there. Investing Lottery money to revitalise historic buildings at the heart of a community, not only makes a place more attractive to live, visit and invest in, it also provides jobs and training opportunities for local people. We are delighted to make these awards as part of our on-going commitment to preserving Scotland’s heritage in a way in which is relevant to the needs of today.”

Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative has received initial support for a £1.8million Townscape Heritage bid from HLF for a project which will build on the success of the first, smaller, Govan Cross THI. The historic core of Govan features a remarkable concentration of fine, listed buildings reflecting the town’s history from its ecclesiastical origins dating back to the 6th century to its rapid expansion as the shipbuilding industry developed.

Among the buildings to be restored will be Govan Old, home to the Govan Stones. The former church will be transformed into a heritage visitor centre to display these Viking-age monuments which are said to be of the best collections of early medieval sculpture anywhere in the British Isles. The funding will also be used to repair other key buildings, improve shop fronts and restore the gates to Elder Park.

Renfrewshire Council has received earmarked funding of £1.99m for repairs to properties in Paisley Town Centre Conservation Area. Paisley has an outstanding architectural heritage as a result of its long and diverse historical development dating back to the 6th century. It thrived in the 18th century as a result of the textile and other manufacturing industries, then again in the 19th century with the growth of the thread mills, when it grew to become Scotland’s largest town.

This new Townscape Heritage project builds on the current THI initiative and will focus on  High Street, Shuttle Street and Dunn Square. As well as building repair work and public realm improvements, there will be opportunities for people to learn and develop skills based on Paisley’s rich weaving and textile heritage.

HLF has awarded Fraserburgh Town Centre Heritage Regeneration Scheme earmarked funding of £1.8m for a five-year programme of repair and conservation projects which includes the restoration of the former town hall and adjoining police station.

Fraserburgh is highly significant as the earliest planned town in Scotland and its original street layout still survives today. It has a rich maritime heritage and is one of the largest prawn landing ports in Europe. As well as the restoration of key buildings, there will be heritage activities such as walking tours and open days, education and training links with schools and colleges and a focus on boosting town centre business.

Notes to editors

An HLF Townscape Heritage (TH) first-round pass means that money has been set aside by HLF. The applicants can then progress to the second round and send a detailed second-round submission to secure the full award. This early level of strong financial commitment means that THs can build strong partnerships with the assurance that funding for their scheme is in place provided their final proposals fully meet the programme criteria.

THs encourage partnerships of local organisations to carry out repairs and other works to a number of historic buildings, structures or spaces. Grants are available from £100,000 up to £2m. The next application deadline is 1 September 2015 with decisions being made in January 2016.  

Govan Cross THI Phase 1 operated from September 2009 to January 2015 and is a partnership between Glasgow City Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund. It has resulted in £4.6million investment in Govan’s historic built environment of which £939K was funded by HLF, £1.679M by Glasgow City Council with the balance raised from other sources including Scottish Government’s Town Centre Regeneration Fund, Historic Scotland and owner contributions.

Key projects include: restoration of the Pearce Institute; essential building repairs at: 1 Water Row, 5&9 Water Row, Brechin’s Bar / Cardell Halls; restoration of the Pearce Statue and Aitken Memorial Fountain; public realm improvements at Govan Cross; nine shopfront improvements including Café 13 at Govan Cross, plus shops on Water Row and Langlands Road; an innovative range of community heritage projects and events including: a community reminisence project which produce a highly popular book Only in Govan – A Collection of Govan Memories; ‘Let’s Talk Shop’ – a schools project engaging all 177 Primary 7 pupils in Govan’s shopfront restoration programme and the changing role of the high street; and most recently the THI was the anchor fund for the Govan Hidden Heritage Trails Project.


Further information


HLF press office: Katie Owen on 020 7591 6036 or 07973 613 820, email: katieo@hlf.org.uk.
Govan TH: Paul Kane, Glasgow City Council on 0141 287 5387, email: paul.kane@glasgow.gov.uk or Chris Starrs on 0141 287 5742, email: chris.starrs@glasgow.gov.uk.
Paisley TH: Colin Orr, Renfrewshire Council on 0141 618 7348, email: colin.orr@renfrewshire.gov.uk.
Fraserburgh TH: Rebecca Thomson, Aberdeenshire Council on 01224 665 547, email: rebecca.thomson@aberdeenshire.gov.uk.

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