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May 6, 2009

£60m Town Centre Fund

The Scottish Government is encouraging bids to revitalise Scotland’s ‘hard pressed high streets’. Bids are eligible from public, private and third sector bodies – but the first deadline for applications is June 1st, which seems a bit rushed. A second assessment round will take place in the autumn, which is more realistic

Town Centre Regeneration Fund


The Scottish Government recognises the important contribution made by Scotland’s town centres to the achievement of its purpose of increasing sustainable economic growth. Town centres are a key element of the economic and social fabric of the nation, acting as centres of employment and services for local communities and a focus for civic activity. We want to see town centres reach their full potential and to support local economies through these challenging economic times.

The new Town Centre Regeneration Fund is a sign of our commitment to the improvement of Scotland’s town centres and local high streets. We are making available £60m in 2009-10. We want these significant new funds to support community and business leaders to regenerate and grow our town centres. This funding will help our town centres adapt to modern markets, and supply the access, mix of facilities and services, and environment that will meet the needs of local communities and businesses.

Applications for the scheme are now open. For an application form and more information about how to apply, download the information below. There will be two rounds of assessments of applications. The deadline for consideration in the first round will be June 5 2009. The deadline for the second round will be Aug

How much is available ?

£60 million capital is available from April 2009 to March 2010. While there are no minimum or maximum award levels, we will expect all projects to make a strategic contribution to the long term plans for their town centre; and we expect all areas of the country to benefit. In practice, this may mean that bids for less than £100,000 or for in excess of £3,000,000 require additional scrutiny.

What will the fund support?

The Fund aims to support local community and business leaders to make real and lasting improvements to town centres across the whole of Scotland. We will consider all capital activity. This might include for example:
 Improving pedestrian or vehicle access to a town centre
 Improving parking provision within a town centre
 Attracting increased footfall, both by day and by night
 Diversification of the mix of services and amenities within a town centre, underpinned by an understanding of the requirements of the local community
 Acquisition of gap sites and vacant properties for redevelopment
 Streetscape improvements which enhance and improve how a town centre operates, providing these are of sufficient scale and ambition to represent a capital investment
 Remediation of vacant or derelict sites within the town centre to fit them for retail, residential, business or recreational use
 Purchase of gap sites to allow for use as residential, retail, business or recreation
 Remodelling of existing premises to provide a suitable mix and floorplan of retail, business, residential and recreational uses, or to comply with Disability Discrimination Act legislation

We will be looking for evidence that the investment is needed, and that it will contribute to long term strategic improvements to the town centre. Inclusion in local plans and evidence of the support of local partners will be important.

What will the fund not support?

The Fund is capital only and so cannot support any non-investment activity. This might include, for example:
 Running costs such as staffing costs
 Marketing activity
 Payment for consultants, including for masterplanning activity
 Partnership engagement exercises

We will also not offer funding retrospectively or as a substitute for programmed spend. For the avoidance of doubt, this means that capital investments which have already taken place or for which funding has already been allocated will not be reimbursed.

What is a “town centre”?

Scottish Planning Policy defines town centres as:
“city, town and district centres, irrespective of size, that provide a diverse and sustainable mix of activities and land uses which create an identity that signals their function and wider role.”

Based on this definition, each local authority in Scotland identifies in their development plans a network of centres. We want all town centres and local high streets across Scotland to be able to benefit. All areas recognised in local authority development plans as town and district centres will therefore be eligible for funding. This will include town centres and high streets within cities, although city centres are excluded. All funding applied for must be spent within these areas; although we will welcome bids for multiple town centres within the same local authority area or across local authority boundaries.

Who can apply for funding?

We want to encourage a diversity of ideas and ensure that all parts of the community have an opportunity to get behind their local town centre. We will therefore accept bids from local authorities, Community Planning Partnerships, Town Centre Management organisations, Business Improvement Districts, local Chambers of Commerce, Urban Regeneration Companies, businesses, Registered Social Landlords and third sector groups.

Organisations applying to the Fund must:
 Be established organisations with an appropriate legal personality
 Be located or operating/trading in a recognised town centre
 Have appropriate management and governance arrangements in place to support our investment