Brechin Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI)
Following on from the successful delivery of the Arbroath THI by Angus Council, a Townscape Heritage Initiative was launched in the City of Brechin, Angus, in early 2008 and is due for completion in January 2013.
This £2.9 million heritage led regeneration project has been jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Angus Council and Historic Scotland (Historic Environment Heritage Fund - Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) and during the lifetime of the scheme the budget has been used to regenerate the city by funding several priority projects. This has included the repair and restoration of a selection of key vacant buildings on the High Street, the expansion of the Town House museum into the upper floors as well as the funding of repairs to a number of other buildings located in the central conservation area. Public realm enhancement work has also been undertaken, including the upgrading of High Street closes by unemployed 18-24 year olds on the former New Deal scheme. Other initiatives have included training in traditional skills, a workshop on how to improve retail displays, and a number of heritage type community events such as archaeological digs, walks and talks.
Strong involvement of the local community is central to the success of the THI project in addition to the long term sustainability of the city. For this reason, the community was closely consulted in the bid process for the funding and has been essential in the delivery of the scheme. During the course of the project grant applications have been reviewed and considered by a Project Support Group (PSG) which consists of members of the community. A further group, called the Partnership Executive, has been responsible for the award of the grants. The THI has been managed and co-ordinated by the project officer.
During recent months, as the majority of building projects have reached completion and the scaffolding has been taken down, the refurbishment of the town centre has given a boost to local confidence amongst local businesses, retailers and residents. Following a merchandising workshop and visit by the marketing manager from the Glasgow Merchants City Tourism and Marketing Co-op, a Brechin retailers group was established and to date the group has been assisted by community planning since September 2011. To date a number of events have been held in the centre of Brechin. These events have attracted large visitor numbers and have included the Christmas in the City Event in December 2011 and Harley Davidson in the City on 14 July 2012.
This grant scheme is now complete and the THI office is closed. Please contact the Natural and Built Environment Section on 01307 473334 if you require any information or email email@example.com.