An ambitious £1.57million Hawick Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) has been launched in the town.
Funded by Historic Environment Scotland (£1.314m), Scottish Borders Council (£200k) and the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (£60k), it is hoped that, in conjunction with private sector investment in building repairs, the direct spend through the scheme will be more than £2million over the five-year programme.
The main focus for the regeneration scheme is to help conserve and enhance historic town centre buildings, address issues with key properties, target bringing empty properties back into use, and encourage general repairs to others within a defined town centre area.
Six priority buildings, identified during the CARS bid process by the community-based Hawick CARS Steering Group have been included in the CARS programme, with a total budget of over £627,000 allocated to support traditional building repairs.
The buildings are:
Former Glenmac Mill, Teviot Crescent
4 Round Close
24 High Street
26 High Street
Former Queens Head, 32 High Street
Former Liberal Club, 80 High Street/Brougham Place
Grant funding totalling £450,000 over the five years will also be available for other town centre property owners to undertake traditional building repairs.
Local elected members, community groups including Hawick Community Council, Future Hawick and the local archaeological society all had input into the successful bid for the eighth round of competitive CARS funding from Historic Environment Scotland. It is hoped that these groups and others around the town will continue to play an important part as the scheme is delivered, ensuring that the initiative benefits the town as much as possible.
In a joint statement, the six councillors for Hawick and Denholm and Hawick and Hermitage said: “This is an important investment in Hawick and will help to improve a number of key buildings. We hope that other property owners will also take the opportunity to access the funding available to make repairs and improvements and breathe new life in to our town centre.”
Any property owners interested in the funding available through Hawick CARS should contact HawickCARS@scotborders.gov.uk for further information. In addition, and complimentary to the Hawick CARS programme, a ‘missing shares’ pilot scheme, focused on Hawick initially, has also been launched in the town. This will help enable essential common repairs to private properties within the town’s conservation area where property owners with shared responsibility are unwilling or unable to contribute to their share of the costs.