A free half-day SURF event and networking lunch for local authority representatives. 

About This Event

This event presents an opportunity for local authority officers with responsibilities for any aspect of place-based regeneration to engage in constructive and informed discussion around the themes of land reform and community land ownership.

Land reform is a key policy priority for the Scottish Government, and one that it views as integral to regeneration and sustainable development in rural and urban Scotland. Its previous target of moving one million acres of land into community ownership has been superseded with the more general objective of “normalising” the acquisition of land and buildings by community groups.

Participants will explore, from the perspective of Scottish local government, the opportunities and challenges associated with evolving land reform policy, and the implications for place-based regeneration. SURF is particularly interested in understanding more about the ways in which community land ownership policy mechanisms are viewed and implemented in different parts of Scotland.

Guests will hear about emerging research from a SURF and Scottish Land Commission initiative. They will also have the opportunity to share their local experiences, learn about SURF’s ‘Alliance for Action’ place programme, and network with local government colleagues from across Scotland.

The event is free to attend and open to all local government officers in Scotland. It is delivered by SURF with support from the Scottish Government.


9:50am             Tea, coffee & pastries;

10:30am           Welcome & Introduction (Andy Milne, Chief Executive, SURF);

10:40am           SURF’s Alliance for Action Programme (Derek Rankine, Policy Manager, SURF);

10:50am           Land Reform in Focus – the policy and practice landscape (Kirsty Tait, Community Engagement Officer, Scottish Land Commission);

11:05am           Alliance for Action Case Study: Greener Kirkcaldy (Suzy Goodsir, Chief Executive);

11:20am           Land and Communities: Beyond the Echo Chambers Research Outcomes (Dr Elaine Cooper, Development & Learning, SURF);

11:35am           Open Discussion – on challenges and opportunities for local government within the evolving land reform policy agenda;

12:20pm           Summing Up and What’s Next (Andy Milne & Emma Scott, SURF);

12:30pm           Lunch.

When and Where

Date and Time: 25th September 2109, 10.30am-1.30pm

Venue: The CoSLA Conference Centre is located on 19 Haymarket Yards in central Edinburgh. It is a five minute walk from Haymarket Train Station. A location map is available on the CoSLA website.

Book Your Place

To book your free place, please complete the form below. If you have any queries please contact  Emma Scott (0141 440 6392, emma@surf.scot) or Derek Rankine (0141 440 6393, derek@surf.scot) directly.

Please note that event places are limited to those working in Scottish local government. In the event of excess demand, SURF will maintain a waiting list.

Your Name (required)

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Address and postcode

Your Email (required)

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Are you a SURF member? (Non-members are welcome; this information is requested for information purposes only)

Do you have any dietary or mobility requirements that we should be aware of?

If booking more than one place, please provide details here:

Background Reading

Participants may wish to review the following reports in advance of the event:

Scottish Land Rights & Responsibilities Statement (Scottish Government, 2017).

Community Ownership: Recommendations to Scottish Ministers (Scottish Land Commission, 2018).

Land and Communities: Beyond the Echo Chambers link to come (SURF, 2019).

SURF’s Alliance for Action – a brief overview of the 2018-21 programme (SURF, 2018).

Scottish Land Commission Publications and Resources

About the People and Sector Connector Service

As part of its Alliance for Action programme, SURF provides a People and Sector Connector Service on an ongoing basis to regeneration-related practitioners and decision-makers in local government. The service is intended to support regeneration policy enhancements in the current turbulent context in which local authority regeneration functions have been affected by funding cuts and departmental restructures.

SURF’s approach is designed to share knowledge of ‘what works’ in community regeneration, and provide networking opportunities across sectors and geographies, as part of an ongoing, informal and bespoke developmental process. Further information is available on our website.

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