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Success For Dingwall But Not Wick, Thurso, Fort William and Nairn

5th August 2009

Council Welcomes Dingwall Streetscape Funding

The Highland Council has been successful with a funding bid to the Scottish Government for a facelift of Dingwall High Street.

A grant of 462,000 will contribute towards a 947,000 package for town centre improvements. This package includes the 766,000 streetscape project, which is due to start at the end of August and other measures for the improvement of signage, visitor information and the vennels adjoining the High Street.

Councillor Isobel McCallum, Vice-Chairman of the Council's Planning Environmental and Development Committee, welcomed the news.

She said: "This is great news for Dingwall. It will not only enable substantial improvements to the whole High Street, but will also generate work locally in the current difficult economic climate. The announcement has been eagerly awaited and we are looking forward to getting the work started on the ground."

Councillor Margaret Paterson, Dingwall and Seaforth, said: "The grant from the Scottish Government will ensure we can upgrade the entire length of the pedestrianised area of the High Street. This together with the works the Dingwall Business Association asked us to include for improved town signage, visitor information and improvements to some of the vennels will make a tremendous difference to the town centre."

The Council was unsuccessful in the first round with bids for funding towards town centre improvements in Wick, Thurso, Fort William and Nairn. It will consider alternative options for these schemes including the use of its Capital Programme.

MILLIONS OF POUNDS FOR TOWN CENTRES
Forty-eight Scottish towns will benefit from a share of millions of pounds of government cash, to help revitalise their town centres and sustain jobs.

Nearly 40 million pounds has been allocated in this round of funding out of the dedicated 60 million pound fund, with applications invited for a 20 million pound second round to be shared out later this year.

It is estimated that the town centre projects will help support 640 jobs in Scotland.

Better retail, business, community and leisure facilities will be created, while many town centres will see public access and transport links improved. The funding will also kick start a number of town centre housing developments.

Housing and Communities Minister Alex Neil said: "Town centres are key to our economic and social prosperity. They are centres of employment and services for local communities.

"Our aim is to turn round the fortunes of town centres - help them reach their full potential and support local economies.

"This funding encourages and supports dynamic public and private sector organisations to do that.

"This is part of our wider economic recovery plan and we will continue to use every lever at our disposal to ensure Scotland gets through the economic downturn in the strongest possible position."

The Scottish Government's 60 million pound Town Centre Regeneration Fund was opened to applications in April 2009. The deadline for bids was June 5, 2009. Applications received after June 5 are being considered for a second tranche of funding to be announced in late October 2009. Bids who did apply by the deadline and who did not receive an award in this tranche are also being encouraged to consider resubmitting their applications for the second tranche. The closing date for applicants to bid for a share of the second tranche has been extended to August 28, 2009.

A wide range of bodies including local authorities, Community Planning Partnerships, Business Improvement Districts, Town Centre Managers, local Chambers of Commerce, businesses and third sector groups are eligible to apply.

The towns to benefit from the first, nearly 40 million pound tranche of grant funding, are as follows. For further details please visit www.scotland.gov.uk/topics/built-environment/regeneration/town-centres/tcrf

* Aberdeenshire - Stonehaven (181,500) and Fraserburgh (255,000)
* Argyll & Bute - Tarbet (984,500)
* Clackmannanshire - Alloa (2,000,000)
* Dumfries and Galloway - Dumfries (1,965,000) and Sanquhar (341,000)
* Dundee - Lochee (2,000,000)
* East Ayrshire - Galston (250,000) and Cumnock (749,000)
* East Lothian - Dunbar (416,850)
* East Renfrewshire - Barrhead (906,000)
* Edinburgh - Craigmillar (2,000,000) and Portobello (582,014)
* Falkirk - Denny, Bo'ness, Stenhousemuir and Grangemouth (2,000,000)
* Fife - Kirkclady (2,000,000) and Lochgelly (1,750,000)
* Glasgow - Bridgeton (1,950,000), Maryhill (1,800,000), Govan Cross (1,300,000)
* Highland - Dingwall (462,900)
* Inverclyde - Greenock (1,320,000)
* North Ayrshire - Ardrossan (800,000), Millport (397,678), Saltcoats (650,000)
* North Lanarkshire - Airdrie, Bellshill, Coatbridge, Cumbernauld, Kilsyth, Motherwell, Wishaw (2,745,000)
* Perth & Kinross - Coupar Angus (200,000), Blairgowie (1,500,000) and Aberfeldy (320,075)
* Renfrewshire - Paisley (1,830,000) and Johnstone, Renfrew, Erskine, Bridge of Weir & Lochwinnoch (775,000)
* Borders - Hawick (353,000)
* South Ayrshire - Ayr (2,258,000)
* South Lanarkshire - Carluke (550,370) and Biggar (197,350)
* Stirling - Raploch (1,000,000) and Dunblane (1,200,000)

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