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10 February 2015, 06:16
Historic streets and buildings throughout Scotland are set to be restored with the help of millions of pounds of Lottery funding.
Paisley in Renfrewshire, Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire and Glasgow's Govan area have had £5.68 million earmarked through the Heritage Lottery Fund's Townscape Heritage programme.
Govan Cross Townscape Heritage Initiative has received initial support for a £1.8 million bid to restore Govan Old Church, home of the Govan Stones.
Under the plans, the former church will be transformed into a visitor centre to display the Viking-age monuments, said to be one of the best collections of early medieval sculpture anywhere in the British Isles.
Renfrewshire Council has received earmarked funding of £1.99 million for repairs to properties in Paisley town centre conservation area, focusing on High Street, Shuttle Street and Dunn Square.
A further #1.8 million has been set aside for Fraserburgh Town Centre Heritage Regeneration Scheme's five year repair and conservation programme, including the restoration of the former town hall and adjoining police station.
Having passed the first round and had money set aside, the three projects will now progress to submit a detailed second-round submission to HLF to secure the full award.
Colin McLean, head of HLF in Scotland, said: "The regeneration of town centres is an obvious way in which we as an organisation can make an important contribution to improving the economy of an area and the standard of living for the people resident there.
"Investing lottery money to revitalise historic buildings at the heart of a community, not only makes a place more attractive to live, visit and invest in, it also provides jobs and training opportunities for local people.
"We are delighted to make these awards as part of our on-going commitment to preserving Scotland's heritage in a way in which is relevant to the needs of today.''
Councillor Jim Gifford, leader of Aberdeenshire Council, said: "I am very excited that HLF has thrown their considerable support behind the regeneration of Fraserburgh's town centre.
"The town is of great historical significance to Scotland but like many other coastal towns around the country it is in need of a lift.
"Amongst other projects, if a second-round bid to HLF is successful, we will be able to restore many of the town's fine examples of 19th-century architecture, particularly those in its central public space, Saltoun Square.''
Renfrewshire Council leader Mark Macmillan said: "Paisley has an architectural heritage worth celebrating, and this money will go a long way towards keeping some of the finest examples of that alive for future generations to enjoy.
"The preservation of that heritage is a central part of a regeneration journey which we hope will build on the town's existing strengths and turn it into a vibrant international cultural destination over the next decade.
"Part of that is in helping to increasing the Paisley public's awareness and appreciation of the stunning built heritage which surrounds them, which will be a key feature of this project.''