More support for make-over plans

MEMBERS of Kirriemuir Community Council have agreed to support a local authority bid for funding that could lead to a make-over of town centre buildings.

If the bid to Historic Scotland’s Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) is successful the cash will be mainly used to carry out repairs to historic buildings, along with operating a small grants scheme.

A presentation of what is involved was made at the most recent meeting of Kirriemuir Community Council by Roy Madden of Angus Council infrastructure services, and Lee Haxton, community planning officer.

Roy Madden circulated a comprehensive leaflet to the meeting, outlining the proposal.

Funding of £10 million is being made available to Scotland and Historic Scotland will allocate grants on merit.

In all 32 local authorities have chosen to submit a bid, with Angus Council agreeing to make a bid for the town of Kirriemuir.

Bids must be submitted by August 31.

Historic Scotland will advise whether the application has been successful, or not, by January 31, 2013.

If successful then the scheme will get underway in April 2013.

Funds will be available to “restore historical buildings” with priority given to “areas which are socially disadvantaged.”

The small grants scheme will provide funds for smaller projects, such as the refurbishment of windows, roof repairs, revamping of shop fronts, etc.

Angus Council will grant a percentage, expecting the private owners to contribute, too.

Community councillors were informed that the other element is to encourage training for the traditional skills, and offer apprenticeships.

Historic Scotland strongly recommend, if successful, that the scheme is run through a dedicated CARS officer.

The conservation area, outlined in the leaflet, was discussed and it was agreed it was a sizeable area.

Roy Madden and his team had earlier assessed Kirriemuir and their proposed priority areas are Hooks, 1/3 Roods, the Glengate Hall and the Airlie Arms Hotel.

There is a smaller scheme, the “Small Grants Scheme,” which will be utilised for refurbishment, e.g. windows, roof repairs, shop fronts, etc.

The grant would not be 100% and the owner would be expected to contribute. Final decisions by the owners not a priority at this stage.

Roy Madden said 20 properties had been identified that would benefit from the Small Grants Scheme.

Members discussed several areas that could benefit from upgrading work, and Roy Madden asked community councillors to forward any suggestions. Community councillors stressed they were keen to support the local authority bid for funding, and encouraged other organisations to lend their support to make the Kirrie bid as strong as possible.

Members also agreed that a further meeting be held before the August deadline to further discuss the project.