SURF is a keen promoter of the links between the arts and urban regeneration, as evidenced by our ‘Creative Regeneration’ SURF Awards category and our long-standing partnership with Creative Scotland.
We were therefore pleased to see that the 2015 Turner arts prize has been awarded to architect and urban design group Assemble for their imaginative work in the creative regeneration of a row of derelict houses in Toxteth, Liverpool.
In the Granby Four Streets initiative, Assemble worked closely with local residents to put long-abandoned terrace houses to productive use, including as a popular monthly marketplace, a distinctive urban garden (pictured), and a base for a social enterprise that employs local people and produces artworks made from construction materials.
The award was announced at Glasgow’s Tramway arts venue on Monday, which is hosting the 2015 Turner Prize exhibition (running until mid-January). The exhibition includes an showroom with products made by the social enterprise, which is operated by a group of nine Granby Street residents.
Assemble also established the Baltic Street Adventure Playground in Dalmarnock, Glasgow. A Commonwealth Games legacy initiative, the community-managed play area has a “scrap yard” theme and provides group activities for children on campfire cooking, wood construction and other outdoors skills.
The 2015 SURF Awards outcomes will be announced on Thursday evening at a presentation dinner event. There are three projects in the running in the Creative Regeneration category shortlist: Ayr Gaiety Partnership, Glasgow Women’s Library, and the ‘Open Spaces’ initiative in Laurieston, Glasgow.