SB Connect Winter 2016

Regeneration of Jedburgh

Partnership work between Scottish Borders Council and community groups in Jedburgh has resulted in a bid for the establishment of a £1.3m Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).

CARS is a funding programme managed by Historic Environment Scotland (formerly Historic 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 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 repair projects considered for support within the scheme are the Category A-listed Port House building owned by Jedburgh Community Trust and the Abbey Ramparts, which provide a great platform for town events.

Talks between Council officers and key partners and community groups in Jedburgh took place earlier this year and resulted in an application to Historic Environment Scotland in August. An announcement on the successful bidders is likely early in 2017.

Historic Environment Scotland has an overall budget of £10m for this competitive round of CARS funding, with bids expected from towns across Scotland.

If the bid is successful for Jedburgh, the scheme would run from April 2017 to 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 (partly funded by CARS) recently delivered by the Council and local partners was a huge success and won a national planning award.

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, said: “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: “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.”