2022 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration officially launched

2022 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration officially launched

The annual SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration were launched for 2022 yesterday by the Scottish Government at a special event in the Britannia Panopticon, the world’s oldest surviving music hall, in Glasgow to celebrate the ‘Year of Stories’.

The event, attended by 50 guests, included presentations from SURF Sponsor Museums Galleries Scotland, who have been distributing funding to storytelling projects, three projects who received funding; Concrete Garden, Platform and Cassiltoun Housing Association, the Scottish Government Regeneration Unit, who formally announced the Awards open for applications, and concluded with input from Storyteller Paul Bristow from Magic Torch Comics.

The SURF Awards are delivered each year by SURF, a regeneration forum with over 300 cross-sector member organisations across Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government. The purpose is to highlight, celebrate and share the achievements of initiatives that address physical, social and economic challenges in communities across Scotland.

This year’s five thematic categories include; Supporting Youth Employability sponsored by Skills Development Scotland, Creative Regeneration sponsored by Creative Scotland, Community Led Regeneration sponsored by Highlands and Island Enterprise, Improving Scotland’s Places (previously Scotland’s Most Improved Place) sponsored by Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Architecture & Design Scotland and finally an award for Housing and Regeneration.

The winners of the 2022 Awards will be announced by a leading Scottish Government Minister at a celebratory dinner event on December. 8

The timescale for the 2022 SURF Awards is as follows:

  • Thursday 9th June - launch of Awards
  • Monday 5th September - close of application period
  • Sept - Shortlisting by 20 independent judges
  • Late Sept-Oct - Visits and assessment period by judges
  • Thursday 8th December – SURF Awards Presentation Dinner

Community wealth minister Tom Arthur said: “As we celebrate the 24th year of the SURF Awards, they remain a vital platform for recognising successful community regeneration.

“The awards are inspiring examples of the possible, showcasing the wonderful work undertaken by communities and local partners to make a real difference to the lives of people.

“The Scottish Government is working with SURF, Scotland’s Regeneration Forum, to share knowledge and experience of what works in community regeneration and highlight the role that regeneration projects have in improving the economic, social and environmental wellbeing of communities.

“This approach will also help us deliver entrepreneurship ambitions set out in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET) by creating enterprising communities.”

Brian MacDonald, SURF chair, said: “The SURF Awards represent a way in which communities across Scotland can examine their journey and achievements over the past year and be recognised for their work. For those who are successful, the chance to be recognised by their peers is quite significant. For those who come close and others, there is the chance to learn and share experiences. I hope that communities across Scotland will take this chance to consider their own achievements and enter the Awards.”

Emma Scott, events, information and communication manager at SURF said: “As we build back from Covid we face new challenges which are exasperating poverty and inequality within our most deprived communities. The pandemic highlighted how resilient and responsive our communities can be when rising to meet unprecedented challenges. The 2022 SURF Awards will showcase best practice examples of what people working at a grassroots level can achieve, and allow for learning to be shared and replicated throughout the country.”

Mhairi Donaghy, vice chair, Scotland’s Towns Partnership and SURF award sponsor, said: “Scotland’s Towns Partnership is proud to be working alongside SURF as sponsor of Improving Scotland’s Places Award 2022. Scotland’s holistic policy approach, based upon the Place Principle is seen as international best practice, underpinned by the ask of relevant stakeholders across the public, private, social and community sectors to play a contributory role in a collective effort. With a slight change in the category title this year, I expect to see some really innovative local place-based submissions, focused on delivering community, economic and physical outcomes, which will hopefully provide inspiration to other places in Scotland and beyond.”

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