MORE than £1 million will be spent on restoring six buildings on Dunbar High Street.

Work could get under way as early as this month, after funding was granted to East Lothian Council by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

The scheme will see work carried out at the former Lothian Hotel, as well as five other buildings of which the local authority was unwilling to share details as they are in private ownership.

A total of £1,113,949 has been granted for Dunbar through the Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).

The scheme delivers a combination of larger building repair projects, small grants schemes to fund repairs to properties in private ownership, community engagement and education activities, and professional training activities and opportunities, all of which will contribute to sustainable economic and community development.

The nationwide schemes, managed by local authorities, last for five years.

Pippa Swan, chairwoman of Dunbar Community Council, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “I think we are absolutely thrilled. The CARS application has been on the go for probably the best part of two years.

“We expected to hear last spring whether we were going to be successful but it got delayed and delayed and delayed.

“To finally hear we have been successful is phenomenal.”

Douglas Proudfoot, executive director for place at East Lothian Council, described the funding boost as “welcome news”.

He said: “East Lothian’s towns have suffered significantly over the last year, and this injection of funding to support physical improvements on Dunbar’s High Street couldn’t come at a better time.”

CARS was launched in 2007 to encourage local authorities to invest in their historic environment by repairing and restoring buildings whilst helping to stimulate economic regeneration.

Since then, more than £50 million funding has been invested in Scotland’s high streets, towns and cities.

Alex Paterson, chief executive of HES, said: “The impact that Covid-19 has had on town and city centres – with more people than ever now working from home and the rise of online shopping due to the closure of shops – shows just how important schemes such as CARS are in revitalising and regenerating our high streets.

“By bringing historic buildings back into use and providing crucial repairs, high streets are transformed, new employment opportunities created, and tourism increased, demonstrating the significant effect that our historic environment has on our towns.”