MAUCHLINE is set to benefit from over £1 million pounds to regenerate it’s town centre.

The Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) has granted £1,119,800 for projects to help the local economy.

It comes as part of a wider £4.4 million investment in Scotland’s historic heartlands by Historic Environment Scotland. The funding will help the area’s economic links with Robert Burns who lived in Mauchline to promote Scottish heritage.

The activity will also involve up to five priority repair projects and a small grants scheme for building repair work, including energy efficiency and climate change adaptations.

A community activity programme will also be developed to train local construction workers boosting their building skills.

Jane Ryder OBE, Chair, Historic Environment Scotland, said; “HES’ ambition is to provide more ways for people who live and work in Scotland to benefit from all of our historic environment, and our grants schemes are an important part of this.

“One of the great merits of the CARS scheme is that it is locally led and allows local authorities to invest in priority properties they have identified and help communities to unlock the potential of their historic assets.

“So, as well as investing in conservation projects worthwhile in their own right, additional benefits range from encouraging tourism, to supporting local skills training and the creation of new businesses. All of this shows why the CARS scheme is so important.”

Councillor Jim Roberts, East Ayrshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy and Infrastructure welcomed the news: “This is great news for Mauchline, which is an historic gem in East Ayrshire, steeped in local history with world famous Burns connections and it’s unique curling stone factory.

“Our regeneration team has worked hard on this bid, engaging with Mauchline Burns Club, owners of properties and representatives of local community groups, such as the Mauchline Community Action Group with assistance from the vibrant communities team to identify ways to conserve and enhance the beautiful old buildings which make up a significant part of the town’s conservation area.

“Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme funding has had a truly transformational effect on other East Ayrshire communities including Galston, Cumnock and Kilmarnock - and now it’s Mauchline’s turn.

“Thanks to CARS funding, from Historic Environment Scotland and the Council and with the additional commitment of building owners to put up a percentage of the funds for vital conservation and repairs to local properties, we can look forward to a regenerated community in Mauchline, bringing previously unused buildings back to life, creating and sustaining jobs for traditional builders and craftspeople, encouraging training, community engagement and education activity and above all, making sure that future generations can continue to enjoy the magnificent heritage which surrounds us.”

Commenting on the announcement, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop said: “This grant funding has been protected by the Scottish Government and supports towns and cities across Scotland to regenerate and improve their built environment benefiting Scotland’s diverse heritage assets and communities.

“Now in its eleventh year, the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme has led to the repair and restoration of local heritage in towns across Scotland and in doing so contributes to their social fabric and community cohesion. It also boosts the economy as the funding supports local businesses in carrying out repairs and improvements.”