Scottish towns awarded £3m for revamp work
Six Scottish towns are to share almost £3m in funding to revamp key heritage sites.
Ayr, Rothesay, Portsoy, Anstruther, Dingwall and Irvine have all been awarded in the region of £500,000 under Historic Scotland's Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme.
Work will include building preservation, shopfront repairs and the maintenance of town centre landmarks.
The grant scheme has seen £16m spent on conservation areas since 2005.
In the latest round, repairs will be carried out on the category A Trinity Church in Irvine to bring it into use as part of a wider programme of public improvements.
It has already undergone preservation and emergency repairs to the spire, roof and windows.
In Ayr, Rothesay and Anstruther the funding will be part of larger townscape heritage projects.
Aberdeenshire Council is using the project in Portsoy as part of efforts to use heritage regeneration to help rural economies.
Works in Dingwall will include the preservation of historic shopfronts.
Historic Scotland will provide back-up and advice to local authorities and building owners taking part in the project.
Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said: "When we speak about regeneration it is important that we do not lose sight of what makes a place unique or special.
"These grants are specifically for areas that have a historic heart to them.
"The successful projects, in Irvine, Rothesay, Portsoy, Anstruther, Dingwall and my own home town of Ayr, are centring attention on buildings that represent something about the character of these towns.
"These are landmarks that people have grown up with and they are part of identity of the community."