Building a versatile heritage in Anstruther

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A HERITAGE project known as CARS is driving towards a January start in Anstruther.

The Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme is a five-year initiative to revitalise the town through the sustainable re-use of historic buildings.

The venture includes improvements to the public realm, grants to repair privately-owned historic buildings, and training and education initiatives.

Fife Council’s policy, finance and asset managment committee agreed last week to enter legal agreements with Historic Scotland to release funding for the scheme.

Anstruther’s project focuses on the repair and re-use of the Murray Library building on Shore Street as a backpacker hostel, and of the Hew Scott Hall, St Nicholas Tower and Wester Anstruther group of buildings to provide a community-owned, multi-functional space for music, creative arts, and community events and activities.

An application to Historic Scotland for £500,000 has already been approved and it’s hoped the project will start early in 2012.

An application to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an Anstruther Townscape Heritage Intitiative, to run concurrently with CARS, has also been agreed.

A round-two bid for £915,000 is due to be considered by the HLF committee this month.

The council had committed to match funding through revenue budgets, totalling £165,000 over five years, with an additional £60,000 through the locality budget.