MORE than £1 million will be spent improving Dunbar’s historic town centre.

Funding will be spent on a range of heritage and conservation-based regeneration activities within the town centre until 2027.

The Dunbar Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) will offer grant aid towards repair works to traditional buildings in private ownership, as well as supporting complementary initiatives such as traditional skills training and community heritage projects.

The initiative aims to increase awareness and understanding of the town’s rich heritage and the care and maintenance of its traditional buildings.

Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s cabinet spokesperson for environment, economic development and tourism, welcomed the project, which has been developed by the council and the local community, and is funded by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

He said: “Dunbar town centre is rich in history, with its Town House and John Muir’s Birthplace being just two stand-out examples of its wonderful heritage.

“I’m delighted that Dunbar is the next East Lothian town to benefit from expert help and funding from another joint project between the council, local community and HES. This regeneration scheme will be of huge benefit to property owners and local residents and, of course, will help to enhance the visitor experience for tourists to the town, boosting the town’s economy.”

The scheme will undertake a combination of larger, priority building repair projects to properties identified through consultation with the community as having a detrimental impact on the town centre.

The current priority building repair projects include the former Lothian Hotel at 50-54 High Street and the former Value Shop at 86-88 High Street.

Susan O’Connor, head of grants at HES, said: “Our grants have a key role to play to help ensure that Scotland’s historic environment can continue to be maintained, cared for and promoted for generations to come, with grants helping to deliver funding at a local level, meaning communities like Dunbar can make the most of their heritage assets.

“While the physical effects to town centres and buildings are impressive, it is also the many secondary benefits funding brings that have other meaningful and long-lasting effects, such as attracting investment, helping the climate through retrofit of existing building stock, jobs and tourism.”

The aim of the scheme is to work with the local community to secure the historic built fabric for the future, undertake community engagement and education activities, and deliver high-quality professional training and upskilling opportunities – all of which will contribute to sustainable economic and community development within the conservation area and Dunbar as a whole.

Expressions of interest from property owners for potential repair projects are now invited.

A free Dunbar CARS introduction event takes place on Wednesday in the community room of Dunbar Town House from 5.30pm.

Anyone interested in the scheme is invited to go along to hear more about the grants on offer and the complementary activity that will be taking place.

Advance booking is advisable via eventbrite or by contacting the CARS team by email at regenera