THE Heritage Lottery Fund has earmarked £578,500 to Cupar for essential repairs and improvements to its historic streetscape and buildings.
The funding, distributed through the Townscape Heritage Initiative, complements the £1m already announced by Historic Scotland for a Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme in Cupar.
It is hoped the two projects will run together, starting in April next year.
Work will be carried out to preserve the town’s characteristic long, narrow pends, and stone buildings, built from a particularly soft local sandstone.
Repairs will also be made to prominent historic buildings - in particular the Burgh Chambers.
The whole programme will be built around a training scheme in traditional building skills. Funds are earmarked for training for local contractors and new apprenticeships in the private sector and in Fife Council’s building services historic buildings squad.
Cupar councillor, Karen Marjoram, said she was delighted the town had been granted the funding.
She said: “Our town centres are so important, and this funding award will go a huge way to improving the town, making it an even more attractive place to live, and visit.
“The added bonus of this following on so close to the CARS funding will help ensure that our youngsters can be given the chance of apprenticeships in traditional skills. I look forward to seeing the work starting on the Burgh Chambers, and the historic closes.
“It is good to get some good news for Cupar, particularly following the announcement last week of the probable closure of the court.”
Councillor Lesley Laird, Fife Council’s executive member for business, enterprise, economy and planning said the schemes would allow the Council to protect and enhance the external fabric of notable Cupar landmarks.
She added: “All this investment will contribute to improving the appearance, attractiveness and functionality of Cupar’s town centre and will hopefully attract more visitors.”
Colin McLean, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said: “Investing lottery money to revitalise historic buildings at the heart of Cupar, will not only make it a more attractive place to live, visit and invest in, it will also provides jobs and training opportunities for local people.”