FUNDING grants are being offered to help the regeneration of Dunbar’s historic town centre.

The town’s CARS (Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme) is a partnership between East Lothian Council and Historic Environment Scotland.

Working together, funding will be available for local providers of traditional skills training to run courses throughout the next two financial years.

Pippa Swan, chairwoman of Dunbar Community Council, described it as “a phenomenal opportunity”.

She said: “The CARS scheme is really, really good and does offer a fantastic opportunity.

“I would urge anybody who has a building that needs to be repaired to get in touch with the CARS team. There is a significant amount of money still in the pot.”

Appropriate repairs will be carried out on traditional buildings, and conservation-based training activities for building contractors, professional agents and the wider community will be delivered.

Traditional buildings – generally those built before 1919 – make up about 20 per cent of Scotland’s dwellings, and the appropriate skills needed to work on the buildings are in decline.

This means that traditional buildings are often repaired in an inappropriate manner, which can accelerate the deterioration of the historic fabric and often cause irreversible damage.

The aim of the next round of funding is to support organisations to develop their capacity for teaching valuable skills – such as stonemasonry, traditional roofing and metalworking – and encourage participation and upskilling in conservation-based building techniques within the local community.

Proposals must focus on initiatives that encourage an increase of traditional building skills and provide a pathway to formal qualifications or employment where possible.

The application stage is now open, with a submission deadline of Monday.

Proposals are sought from any organisation that plans to deliver formal training related to traditional building repairs.

The fund will support successful proposals through the awarding of grants of up to £100,000, covering a two-year period.

Later this year, Dunbar CARS will launch funding for individuals in the Dunbar and East Linton ward who wish to attend traditional skills training events or activities on a formal or informal basis, or work towards conservation qualifications and accreditations.

A complementary series of events and activities will also be developed and delivered to enhance the knowledge of appropriate building repairs for property owners and increase the awareness of the historic built environment within the community.

Interested parties should email and request an application pack.