From Bilboa to Dundee, and across the communities, towns and cities of Scotland, heritage, culture and creativity approaches to regeneration, are moving to centre stage.

How can places and people use their distinctive assets, creative processes and shared culture to drive authentic community, social and economic regeneration?

Or is that increasingly fashionable focus, really just a distraction from the less glamorous regeneration challenges of upgrading infrastructure, attracting quality employment and tackling poverty and inequalities?

These will be the central questions in this year’s SURF debate.

In the highly appropriate setting of the Dundee V&A, Human Geography academic Oli Mould, will set out the main arguments of his recent book, ‘Against Creativity’.

Stewart Murdoch, Director of Leisure and Culture Dundee, will respond by drawing on what the city has creatively achieved in recent years.

After additional comments from a panel of diverse expertise, we will then open up the debate with an audience of experienced regeneration practitioners, community activists, policy makers and academics, from across SURF’s extensive membership and wider contacts.


12.00   Lunch and Networking;

12.45   Welcome and Introductions – Cllr John Alexander, Leader of Dundee City Council and Kate Wimpress and Andy Milne of SURF;

13.00   Opening Arguments – Oli Mould, Academic and Author and Stewart Murdoch, Leisure and Culture Dundee;

13.40   Comments from the Panel – Maggie Broadley (CoCreate), Leonie Bell (Renfrewshire Council), Phil Deverell (Creative Scotland) and Alisdair Clements (Inch Architecture);

14.00   Open Debate – Questions from the floor;

15.30   Closing statements – Oli Mould and Stewart Murdoch;

15.45   Summary and What’s Next? – Andy Milne, Kate Wimpress and Emma Scott, SURF;

16.00   Close

When and Where

When: Thursday 9th May, 12pm-4pm

Where: V&A Museum, Dundee


Due to demand we are now operating a waiting list for this workshop as numbers are at capacity. If you would like to added to the waiting list please email 

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Creative Scotland
Glasgow City Council
Historic Environment Scotland
Museums Galleries Scotland
Scottish Enterprise
Scottish Government
Scottish Had
Skills Development Scotland
Wheatley Group