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March 7, 2012

SURF shines spotlight


Most of the time, much of the work of the community sector goes on beneath the radar – unheralded and often unnoticed until called upon. So occasionally it’s good to throw off this cloak of invisibility and step into the limelight of an awards ceremony. SURF held is regeneration ‘Oscars’ recently and an impressive roll call of winners stepped forward to pick up awards from Minister for Regeneration, Alex Neill MSP.




The event – which was originally arranged for 8 December 2011 but had to be postponed as a result of ‘Hurricane Bawbag’ – was well attended with over 200 guests in attendance from a wide range of public, private, voluntary and community organisations. 

Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, said: “Successful regeneration relies on the passion and commitment of a whole range of partners, working tirelessly to make a difference to the people and places that need it most. Awards such as these play an important part in recognising achievements across the country. I am delighted to be supporting the SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration. And I wish to congratulate, not only the winners, but all those that have taken part.”

Stephen Maxwell, Chair of SURF, said: “The outstanding achievements made by the projects featured in this year’s SURF Awards are all the more impressive when you consider the challenges and pressures they are operating under. More than ever, now is the time for all of us concerned with community regeneration in Scotland to make sure we are doing all we can to support and replicate examples of best practice.”

Andy Milne, Chief Executive of SURF, said: “There is a lot of discussion about more independence. SURF supports real independence for people and places. Real independence comes from collective action in communities. Every year, the SURF Awards show that there are thousands of people working together in hundreds of projects across the whole country every day for a better community and a better Scotland. 

“With public spending cuts allied to increasing poverty, 2011 has been one of the most challenging years in recent times for delivering effective regeneration. The 2011 SURF Awards show that resilient communities and their regeneration partners are still providing practical solutions to local challenges. Scotland’s challenge is to sustain and build on such accomplishments. That would be a real success for genuine independence.”

The SURF Awards are delivered by SURF (Scotland’s independent regeneration network) in partnership with the Scottish Government. 

People Category       

Winner – Greater Easterhouse Alcohol Awareness Project (Glasgow)

Highly Commended – Auchmountain Community Resource Centre (Greenock)

Place Category

Winner – Dedridge Environmental Ecology Project (Livingston) 

Highly Commended – Kimartin House Museum (Argyll)

Partnership Category

Winner – Community Power Orkney

Highly Commended – Pulteneytown People’s Project (Wick)

Employability for All Category

Winner – The Coalyard (South Lanarkshire)

Highly Commended – The Engine Shed (Edinburgh)

For more information on all 17 shortlisted projects for 2011, please click here to download a special SURF Awards publication.