GRANTS totalling almost £500,000 are to help bring derelict buildings in a historic part of Wick back to life.
The Pulteneytown Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme is to hand out £486,530 to revitalise run-down areas at Harbour Quay and Telford Street.
The scheme, which was first launched in 2007, is a joint venture between Historic Scotland and the Highland Council, and aims to regenerate areas through the reuse and repair of historic buildings.
Members of the local authority’s planning, environment and development committee have approved a grant of £369,940 to the Highland Housing Alliance towards a project to stabilise properties at Harbour Quay which are in need of repair.
A further grant of £115,000 is due to go to Historic Scotland for approval for work to a council-owned property at 14 Telford Street which the Highland Housing Alliance will manage as part of the Harbour Quay project.
A total of £1590 was also awarded to the owner of a “B”-listed building in the heart of the conservation area to cover 50 per cent of the cost to replace front and back doors with timber panelled doors.
Local Highland councillor Willie Mackay, a committee member, told the Caithness Courier he welcomed the grants which indicate the commitment to help restore a historic part of Wick.
“This is good news for the town and the grants will help continue the ongoing redevelopment of the Pulteneytown area,” he said. “Using the funds to bring historic buildings in the area back to life will hopefully add to further regeneration of other buildings to help the area maintain its identity and also boost the local economy.”
The five-year CARS scheme, which is set to end in March, has invested £1.2 million to help fund four large grants for projects with a public benefit and distributed 21 small grants for individual properties.
It has also attracted just under £2m of further investment in the built heritage of Pulteneytown from the private and public sectors.
The projects include the provision of affordable housing, the conversion of a former cooperage and repair works to the “A”-listed Wick Heritage Museum.
Other improvements in the Pulteneytown area have also taken place recently with a new 70-berth marina in Wick harbour, which brought in funding from the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Crown Estate.
As well as money from CARS, other funding has come from the Scottish Government’s Vacant and Derelict Land Fund as well as income from the sale of new properties.
Since the scheme was set up, grants have been available for works to properties situated within the Pulteneytown conservation area which retain and enhance the character of the area through the use of traditional materials and methods.