Perth gets cash for building repairs to mark city status

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Scotland's newest city has been awarded £650,000 to restore and repair its historic buildings.

Most of the Historic Scotland grant, which will be spread over three years, will be spent on maintaining the town's architectural treasures.

The town is being awarded city status to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and will be officially recognised by the monarch during a visit this month.

Perth's historic buildings include more than 360 listed properties.

These include the sheriff court, which was built between 1816 and 1819 by Robert Smirke, and is defined by a huge Greek Revival entrance protico, and St John's Kirk - which dates from the 15th Century.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "The grant from Historic Scotland will help secure Perth's outstanding built heritage, enhancing the city and preserving a sense of place.

"Improving the historic properties will also encourage tourism, promote the use of traditional building skills and make the city of Perth a better place to live, work and invest in."

Perth, which celebrated its 800th anniversary last year, was one of three UK towns to be awarded city status, following a competition which had 25 entrants.

Perth was Scotland's capital until 1437. It was stripped of city status in 1975 but it never dropped the sobriquet The Fair City.

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