In what has been an unprecedented year for everyone SURF is pleased to announce the 2020 shortlist for our prestigious national awards scheme, which showcases success in responding to regeneration challenges in communities across Scotland. This year pays particular focus to projects and communities that have come together to support those most in need through current challenges resulting from the Covid pandemic.

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.

Having assessed over 50 applications, from Shetland to Dumfries and Galloway, across five categories, SURF’s independent panel of 20 judges, drawn from national bodies and community groups, have agreed upon 15 shortlisted projects for 2020. By category, they are:

Housing and Regeneration:

  • Dunarn Street, Newtyle (Angus)
  • Nith Valley Leaf Trust Community Owned Passivhaus Project (Dumfries and Galloway)
  • Gairloch (Wester Ross)

Supporting Youth Employability:

  • Street League: Head Body Future (National)
  • Move On: Employability Fund (Glasgow)
  • Community Renewal Trust: Youth Employability Team (Edinburgh)

Creative Regeneration:

  • The Glasgow Barons (Govan)
  • Plantation Productions: Creative Steps to Positive Mental Health (Govan)
  • Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre (Glasgow)

Community Led Regeneration:

  • Bridgend Farmhouse Community Hub (Edinburgh)
  • The Tannahill Centre (Paisley)
  • Rom Romeha (Govanhill)

Scotland’s Most Improved Place:

  • Fernbrae Meadows, Rutherglen (South Lanarkshire)
  • New Cumnock (East Ayrshire)
  • Campbeltown Town Centre (Argyll and Bute)

SURF will also be presenting a Special Achievement Award to a Community Led project in recognition of their efforts to support their community through the Covid lockdown period.

Since 1998, the SURF Awards have identified successful regeneration projects of all sizes from across Scotland. This year‘s shortlisted projects feature major place-making investments, youth employability initiatives, and activities delivered by community groups and arts organisations in both urban and rural contexts, from Dumfries and Galloway to Wester Ross.

Due to current restrictions the judging panel will be carrying out virtual visits throughout October to all of these diverse projects to develop a better understanding of their impact and the situations they are responding to. Before deciding on a winning project in each category.

The 2020 SURF Awards are delivered by SURF in partnership with the Scottish Government, with additional support from Architecture & Design ScotlandCreative ScotlandHighlands and Islands EnterpriseScotland’s Towns Partnership, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and Skills Development Scotland.

Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government, Aileen Campbell, said: “In this exceptionally challenging year, we have seen an unprecedented response from Scotland’s communities. They have supported each other like never before. I am delighted that this year’s Awards recognise those who have truly gone above and beyond for those most in need. The care and compassion shown by these communities is inspiring and will help us to emerge from the COVID -19 pandemic stronger and even more together.”

SURF Chief Executive Andy Milne said: “This has been no ordinary year for anyone, or for the SURF Awards. Community based regeneration projects have shown not just how creative and vital they are in a real emergency. They have also demonstrated how much more could be achieved by sharing local knowledge and supporting community assets in new and longer term partnerships.”

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