This free half-day SURF Awards workshop event in the Grassmarket Community Project, Edinburgh on 23rd July provides an opportunity to explore successful approaches towards linking creative arts and culture into regeneration initiatives. The winning and highly commended projects from the ‘Creative Regeneration’ category highlighted in the 2019 SURF Awards process will provide comment on their experiences and transferable learning.

SURF and the Scottish Government work together to identify and highlight excellence and innovation in initiatives that address social and economic challenges in disadvantaged communities through the annual SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration.

Workshop guests will firstly hear from a project representative from the ‘Creative Regeneration’ category winner WHALE Arts.  Founded by local community members in 1992, and starting life in a porta-cabin, it has since established itself as the cultural anchor organisation for Wester Hailes. They now operate from a unique community asset with a range of creative spaces including an arts workshop, performance space, and a community garden.

Guests will then hear from highly commended Inverness Creative Academy. Led by Wasps Studios the project aimed to establish a regional cultural hub in a vacant, historically significant school building. Creating creative studio space for 44 artists and craftspeople. It also offers two community workshop spaces, an exhibition space, and a photographic darkroom.

Finally, guests will then hear from the second of the highly commended projects The Glasgow Barons. Led by Paul MacAlinden, the Barons aim to revitalise the inner city area of Govan through music. A modern orchestral ensemble founded in 2018, they put on a range of events and workshops, aiming to release creativity within the community and raise the areas profile as a creative hub.

The event will close with presentations from Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government Culture Team providing detail on their current priorities towards supporting creative arts organisations and the Culture Strategy. It will then open up to a discussion on National Policy.

The SURF Awards ‘Creative Regeneration’ judging panel team – comprising representatives of Creative Scotland, WAVEparticle, Bellsmyre Development Trust and the Scottish Government – were particularly enthused by the collaborative approaches taken by each project and the lasting impact in each area within all three shortlisted projects in this category.

This workshop is being delivered with support from Creative Scotland.


10:00am   Welcome and Coffee

10:30am   Introduction: Andy Milne, Chief Executive, SURF

10:40am   Presentation, WHALE Arts: Leah Black, WHALE Arts

10:55am   Presentation, Inverness Creative Academy: Audrey Carlin, Wasps Studios

11:05am   Presentation, The Glasgow Barons: Paul MacAlinden, The Glasgow Barons

11:15am   Open Discussion, Questions and Comments with representatives from the projects: Chaired by Kate Wimpress, Chair, SURF

11:35am   Presentation, Creative Scotland: Karen Dick, Creative Scotland

11:45am   Presentation, Culture Strategy: TBC, Scottish Government

11:55pm   Open Discussion on National Policy: Chaired by Kate Wimpress, Chair, SURF

12:25pm   Summary, Thanks and What’s Next: Andy Milne and Emma Scott, Information, Communications & Events Officer, SURF

12:35pm   Networking Lunch with music from Feis Phaislig

About the SURF Awards

Please visit  for more information on the SURF Awards and the outcomes of the 2018 process.

Check back the website or follow us on Twitter @SURFscot or Facebook – SURF for information on how to apply for the 2020 SURF Awards, which launch on Thursday 4th June and close for applications at 5pm on Monday 7th September.

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