Partnership work between Scottish Borders Council and community groups in Jedburgh is taking place with a view to bidding for funding for the establishment of a Jedburgh Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).
CARS is a funding programme, managed by Historic Environment Scotland, to support town centre conservation and regeneration activity.
A large part of the town is a designated conservation area and a scheme for Jedburgh could potentially attract funding of around £1million from Historic Environment Scotland.
This would enable a targeted approach for conservation based building repairs to be delivered along with a wide range of heritage and education related activities over a five year period.
Some of the building repair projects being initially considered for support within the scheme are the Category A listed Port House building owned by Jedburgh Community Trust, the Abbey Ramparts, which provide a great platform for town events and the Canongate Bridge, a key link from Bountrees/Boundaries to the town centre.
Talks between Council officers and key partners and community groups in Jedburgh have been taking place and there are now plans to create a working group and develop a draft proposal with a view to making an application to Historic Environment Scotland by the end of August.
If a bid is successful for Jedburgh, the scheme would run from 1 April 2017to March 2022. A full time project officer would be recruited to work with a formal working group and the community to deliver the scheme.
The Kelso Townscape Heritage Initiative recently delivered by the Council and local partners was a huge success and won a national planning award. It delivered improvements to eight priority buildings, along with repairs to over 30 traditional buildings. A £2m streetscape scheme was also completed, along with the gap site development of business space and a school education programme.
The ongoing Selkirk CARS programme is also aimed at delivering enhancements to the town centre, including building repairs and streetscape works.
Councillor Ron Smith, SBC’s executive member for planning and environment, added: “As we have seen with the successful Kelso scheme, the funding, including that leveraged from the private sector, can make a significant positive impact on the town with a much improved town centre and retail vacancy rates significantly reduced, and I wish the same success for Jedburgh.
“This partnership approach has also helped to stimulate the private sector in Kelso and we now have a very proactive Chamber of Trade working together to promote the town and encourage new visitors to stay and spend.”
The elected members for Jedburgh, Councillors Jim Brown, Sandy Scott and Rory Stewart, are fully supportive of the bid, and in a joint statement said: “Following the success of the Kelso scheme, we welcome the opportunity to bid for additional funding for Jedburgh’s historic town centre.
“The town is an important gateway to Scotland and we are keen to work with all our partners to encourage new spend and investment in the town to ensure Jedburgh remains a key visitor destination.
Source: Scottish Construction Now