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£7 MILLION TO IMPROVE CUPAR

Cupar's Burgh Chambers

Cupar's Burgh Chambers

A MULTI-MILLION pound restoration project that would bring a significant jobs boost to Cupar could soon be under way.

Representatives from the buildings watchdog Historic Scotland are due to visit the town centre next month to consider an application for more than £1.8 million worth of grant funding towards the £7 million it’s likely to cost to repair decaying buildings such as the Burgh Chambers, which has lain empty and in a state of disrepair for years.

The funding bid has been made by Fife Historic Buildings Trust and Fife Council as part of the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).

Historic Scotland will make its decision in January, but the local area committee got the ball rolling on Wednesday when they approved a contribution of £10,000 a year for the next five years - payable only if the grant application is successful.

A total of £4.2 million has already been earmarked by Fife Council and around £600,000 will be made up of private contributions.

It’s also hoped to get Heritage Lottery funding to pay for a Townscape Heritage Initiative to run alongside the CARS project.

Fiona Mitchell, locality support team leader for north east Fife, said that the main aim of the CARS project was to halt the rapid decay of key buildings in Cupar’s historic town centre - but creating jobs, apprenticeships and training opportunities would form a significant part of it.

CONSERVATION

The County Buildings, Watts and the YMCA as well as the Burgh Chambers were among the key buildings that would be restored, while a small grants scheme would also be made available to help private owners carry out repairs to properties within the conservation area so that they blend in with their historic surroundings.

Members of north east Fife area committee unanimously approved the £10,000-a-year contribution, which will come from the locality budget.

Councillor Karen Marjoram commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity to create apprenticeships and training programmes in traditional skills such as stonemasonry, which are sorely lacking at the moment.

“I really welcome it and hope we can pull it off.”

 

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