SURF’s Edward Harkins has in recent years provided Scotregen readers with a regular update on SURF’s networking programme of events. In this article he provides information on the future of the programme and highlights a contribution to the regeneration discussion process.
SURF, like many other organisations and companies in regeneration, has recently had to contend with a more challenging financial climate.
This included a significant reduction in Scottish Government funding support for the SURF Open Forum and Networking Programme, after a commendable extended run of almost ten years.
A priority in this time of change and instability for regeneration is that we do not lose the learning and experience that has been carved out of the past decade and more of success and achievement in Scotland.
There are already apparent misgivings in England over the loss or skills and tacit knowledge as a consequence of the funding cuts that have led to the demise of many organisations and programmes.
In response to the challenge, SURF has reshaped the structure of the networking programme and redeployed the available resources to ensure that a cross-sector learning and networking facility continues. In essence, the regular series of planned Open Fora events will be discontinued. Such events will be on a more occasional basis, and in response to topical needs and collaborative possibilities with SURF members and other networked organisations and companies.
Meantime, in an opportune and timely way, an Outcome Paper is now available* from a recent short series of SURF Food for Thought events. This series was SURF’s contribution to the regeneration policy discussion process instigated by Scottish Government in February 2011 with the launch of the paper, ‘Building a sustainable future’.
As mentioned above, future networking events will be partly realised through more intensive collaborations between SURF and other players. All members, supporters and friends of SURF are invited and encouraged to make contact with any proposals or opportunities for such activities.