Dingwall Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme–Last Call for Applications

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The last and final call for CARS grant assistance in Dingwall High Street is the 30th of September 2015. As part of its agreement with Historic Scotland, The Highland Council is obliged to spend the CARS grant by the 30th of March 2016 and in order to achieve this it has been necessary to set the deadline.

Dingwall CARS is a heritage-led regeneration project promoting awareness-raising and investment in the historic environment. There is specific funding for the repair, and in some cases, replacement of historic shop fronts. Dingwall High Street has a number of very interesting shop fronts dating from the late 19th and early 20th century. Some have distinctive cast iron columns and others elegant curved glass and fine timber windows.

In March this year the Mackintosh Brothers transformed their Dingwall newsagent’s premises back to its former Victorian glory. With grant assistance the 1970’s shop front was entirely replaced to bring it back to how it would have appeared when it was first constructed around 1880. 

Dingwall and Seaforth Ward member, Councillor Alister MacKinnon who is Vice Chair of the Council’s Resources Committee said: “The Council is now in the final year of the 5 year CARS programme and still has significant amount of grant to be invested in Dingwall. If the grant is not spent then it will need to be returned to Historic Scotland which is why we are reminding folk time is running out so they need to get in touch right away if they have projects they are keen to see completed.” 

As well as helping to upgrade shop fronts, the funding has been used to give the iconic Townhouse tower overlooking the High street a major make-over. This important restoration work has prevented the building from falling into disrepair and ensured it will remain an important and familiar landmark building in the centre of Dingwall for many years to come.

Local Councillor Margaret Paterson said she was particularly pleased how the Dingwall CARS project had engaged with young people. She said: “I think it has been terrific that local school children have had the opportunity to learn new skills in stone carving and masonry as part of the project. I was also very impressed by the quality of entries from Dingwall Academy in the Mercat Cross design competition. This was a great way of raising the young people’s awareness of the town’s historic built environment.” 

As well as engaging with school pupils, traditional training courses for adults that have been run as part of the CARS programme.

The funding that is still available covers repairs to the external fabric of historic buildings within the CARS area covering such items as roofing, stonework, rainwater goods and lead work. There is also specific funding for the repair and in some cases replacement of historic shop fronts. 

If you think your property might qualify for a grant, please get in touch with the CARS Project Officer, Neil Cameron on 07557 480846 or e-mail DingwallCARS@highland.gov.uk

28 Jul 2015
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