Lottery awards £1m to restore burgh’s beauty

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ANSTRUTHER’S historic buildings are to benefit from a further cash bonanza of almost £1million.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded Fife Council and Fife Historic Buildings Trust a £915,000 Townscape Heritage Initiative grant to help carry out a repairs project at a number of buildings in the town, including the Hew Scott Hall, St Nicholas Tower and Wester Anstruther Town Hall complex of buildings, and the Murray Library.

The money adds to the £500,000 Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) grant from Historic Scotland and Fife Council’s commitment to match fund a total of £225,000, which were approved in December. In total, it is expected that over £2m will be invested in the project over the next five years.

Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, which agreed to the funding at a committee meeting just before Christmas, said his organisation put up the funding as it felt Anstruther was a ‘beautiful town but time has seen some of that beauty fade’.

He added: “Through our Townscape Heritage Initiative vitality will be breathed back into these fine buildings, giving the community a sense of pride and confidence while encouraging businesses and visitors into the town.

“The New Year heralds the beginning of a brighter future for Anstruther and I am delighted that the Heritage Lottery Fund is helping make that happen.”

East Neuk and Landward councillor, Elizabeth Riches, is delighted the work will be able to go ahead.

She said: “Buildings such as the Murray Library and the Hew Scott Hall complex have been important to the communities for many years.

“The opportunity at last to be able to secure both their fabric and their future in a sustainable way is really exciting. I look forward to hearing the views of the public when proposals are put forward.”

Fife Historic Buildings Trust manager Alan Lodge echoed Cllr Riches’ excitement and added his organisation can’t wait to be able to start work after years of preparation.

He added: “The Trust is looking forward to working closely with Fife Council, Anstruther Improvements Association, the Murray Library Trust and the whole community to deliver this wonderful project.

“The support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Scotland is greatly appreciated.”

Kate Anstruther, from the improvements association, also expressed her gratitude to all who are supporting the project.

She added: “This investment in these community assets will support the enormously valuable work that so many people already put into making Anstruther such a wonderful place to live.”

Work on the renovations is expected to start early this year.

However, a community drop-in information session will take place in the Murray Library on Tuesday, January 10 between 2pm-8pm. Residents are encouraged to go along at some point during the day to see what is planned.