A £2 MILLION regeneration project for Keith was launched yesterday.
The Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) is the first of this kind to be run in Moray, and involves a range of grants being made available to property owners within the conservation area that includes Mid Street, Reidhaven Square and Chapel Street, to help with repairs.
Funding has come from Historic Scotland, the Scottish Government and European Community Moray LEADER 2007-2013 programme, as well as Moray Council.
Yesterday Clare Russell, the Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire, was given an update on the scheme and a tour of the conservation area.
As well as work on large priority building projects, a small grants scheme will be available for property owners, for repairs to traditional shop fronts, sash and case windows, cast iron rainwater guttering and other external work.
The scheme also includes an educational element, with training opportunities in traditional skills, and events to encourage people to maintain and enjoy the built heritage of Keith.
Valery Dickson, who chairs the town’s regeneration partnership, said: "There are many people who have worked very hard over a long period to bring this to fruition. I hope that this project will encourage and enable a busier Mid Street, with benefits to all those who live, work and visit Keith.
"The project will last for nearly four years, and should improve the condition and the look of the area.
"I hope people will continue to be interested in improving the environment of Keith and the quality of life for everyone who enjoys our friendly town."
The regeneration scheme will be overseen by Moray Council’s economic development team and the Keith and Strathisla Regeneration Partnership, with a steering group of members from the community, Keith traders and councillors.
Councillor Fiona Murdoch, chairman of the local authority’s economic development and infrastructure services committee, said: "The Keith CARS project is key to the regeneration of the centre of Keith and improving the main shopping core and public spaces of Keith for those who work or live in and visit the town.
"The funding will not only make substantial visual improvements but bring economic and
educational benefits for the town."
She added that the project was a culmination of the substantial efforts made by the council’s economic development team and the Keith and Strathisla Regeneration Partnership.
Information about the scheme and grants available can be found at the new website at www.keithcars.org.uk, which went live yesterday.
Gillian Ferguson, project officer for Keith CARS, can be contacted through the website, by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 01343 563549.