2019 SURF Awards winners!

The outcomes of the prestigious 2019 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration were announced on 5 December 2019 at a celebratory presentation event in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.


Representatives of the five category winning initiatives for 2019 were personally congratulated on their inspiring work by the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Communities, Aileen Campbell MSP.


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.


SURF’s panel of 20 independent judges are drawn from national regeneration bodies and community groups. They carefully assessed all of the varied SURF Awards nominations in five thematic categories, visiting 15 different shortlisted initiatives from Dumfries and Galloway to Inverness and Drumnadrochit, before selecting the following category winners:


Community Led Regeneration: Ochiltree Community Hub (East Ayrshire). The community aimed to save the community centre by taking it into community ownership and expanding its service provision.


Creative Regeneration: WHALE Arts (Wester Hailes, Edinburgh). The community led arts charity and social enterprise create the conditions for the community of Wester Hailes to work alongside artists and cultural practitioners to become agents for change.


Housing and Regeneration: Glenurquhart Care Project (Drumnadrochit, Highlands). Led by the GCP, the ambitious project developed suitable housing and facilities in Drumnadrochit that enables elderly people to remain in the community and be cared for locally.


Supporting Youth Employability: Achieving the Right Transferable Skills for Todays Job Market! (Dumfries and Galloway). Led by Dumfries and Galloway Council, the programme helps young people bridge the gap between education and employment, with a particular award focussing on careers in farming.


Scotland’s Most Improved Place: Calton Barras (Glasgow).Over the last ten years, Glasgow City Council, in consultation with local residents, traders and other stakeholders, have worked to respond to challenges of deprivation and poor urban connectivity and environment through a series of strategies and action plans.


The five winning projects all demonstrate the value of a long-term approach to regeneration, with dedicated partners working strategically and inclusively to develop comprehensive plans and deliver real and sustainable benefits for all. 

“The SURF Awards are an excellent model for highlighting what is really working across Scotland. Dumfries and Galloway Council’s ‘Achieving the Right Transferrable Skills for Today’s Job Market!’ programme is a prime example of a highly successful, collaborative partnership approach, which has increased opportunities for local young people, from a rural area, to bridge the gap between education and employment. SURF look forward to working with the Council to share the transferrable learning lessons from the programme in 2020.” Emma Scott, SURF Awards, SURF


Here is a quote from Lynne Burgess  – Service Manager for Employability and Skills: 

“Our work-based qualification provides a framework to build employability skills and accredits the ability to apply those skills in the workplace. The framework is based on research with local employers, training providers and young people and is accredited by SQA and endorsed by the Scottish Chamber of Commerce.  We are really proud that, working in partnership with our local employers and training providers, we are supporting young people to achieve and move successfully into sustained employment.”

 “Over 30 young people have completed the award and been supported into work including care experienced young people and young people with additional support needs or disabilities on our Project Search programme. A growing number of young people and industry partners are also recognising the value of our pioneering land-based employability initiative for young people in their senior phase at school, delivering the award in partnership with local farmers and SRUC Barony.”