Cupar Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme and Townscape Heritage Initiative (Cupar CARS/THI)

Fife Historic Buildings Trust worked in partnership with Fife Council to deliver this five-year programme (2014 – 2019) to breathe new life into Cupar’s historic town centre. The project was generously funded by Historic Environment Scotland and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. In total around £7.8 million was invested in Cupar’s superb architectural heritage.

You can watch a short film about the project here.

Key Projects

  • The disused Burgh Chambers was repaired and adapted to create a high quality holiday let apartment.
  • Part of the County Buildings was refurbished and converted into social housing.
  • A Building Repair Grant Scheme helped property owners to repair and conserve the historic fabric and traditional appearance of their buildings.
  • Cupar has a great network of narrow closes and wynds. Public realm works were carried out at Steele’s Close and Speedie’s Close to enhance their historic character.
  • Traditional buildings skills are essential to help us look after our built heritage for the future. An ambitious training scheme underpinned the whole programme to promote good practice in looking after historic properties, focusing on traditional skills training for contractors, apprentices, young people and local residents.

Evaluation report

An end of project evaluation report was commissioned to identify the achievements and impact of the programme and lessons learned. A visual summary of the findings can be downloaded below. If you would like a copy of the full report please email:

What next for Cupar?

While the CARS/THI programme has now ended, inspiring community-led heritage and regeneration initiatives are continuing in Cupar:

Regular maintenance and repair of Cupar’s traditional buildings will continue to be important for the town. Property owners can get advice on repair and maintenance and how to work with neighbours to manage common repairs here:


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A stone and slate building survey of the historic centre of Cupar was carried out in 2016. Stone matching through analysis and testing is an important step in the identification of a suitable replacement stone for the repair of historic masonry. The use of incompatible replacement stone can lead to further decay of the surrounding masonry.

Many of the building stones in Cupar were matched as part of this project. This ensured that the correct stone and slate types were used for all the town centre building repair projects. The survey also provided a better understanding of the condition of the buildings and future conservation needs.

The survey report remains as a legacy for future repairs in Cupar and will continue to be a useful resource for contractors, specifiers and property owners. Follow the links below to read the full report.

Cupar Stone and Slate Survey:

Cupar Stone and Slate Survey – Appendices:



Over a ten-day period in October 2018, twenty local volunteers worked with ARCHAS Cultural Heritage and AKD Archaeology to excavate four trenches across East Moat Hill in Cupar. The community excavation gave local people an opportunity to actively explore the town’s heritage and learn new archaeology skills through on-site training.

During the excavation many interesting 17th to 20th century artefacts such as coins, metal objects, a gunflint and a .303 cartridge were found in the trenches excavated on the flanks of the hill. However, the very last day of the excavation revealed some unexpected findings on the summit of the hill: a large, deep pit was discovered containing cremation deposits.  Samples were extracted and were Radiocarbon dated to approximately 1750BC, roughly the transition from the Early to the Middle Bronze Age nearly 4000 years ago. Although only a small part of this large feature was investigated it is very likely that what was revealed is a Bronze Age Cremation pit in the centre of Cupar!

The press release and full report can be downloaded here: 



To find out more about our past, present and future projects throughout Fife by the Fife Historic Buildings Trust, click below.


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Holiday Lets

Fife Historic Buildings Trust has two self-catering holiday apartments to let. For more information and to book, click below.


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