The prestigious SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration were announced yesterday evening at a celebratory event in Glasgow’s Radisson Hotel.

Representatives of the five winning initiatives for 2012 were personally congratulated on their inspiring work by Derek Mackay MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Local Government and Planning.

The 2012 SURF Award results were decided upon by a panel of 20 independent judges drawn from national regeneration agencies and community groups. After carefully scoring over 50 project applications, and then visiting 15 different shortlisted initiatives from the length and breadth of Scotland, the five winning projects were announced as:

Community Led Regeneration Category

Winner – Pennyburn Regeneration Youth Development Enterprise (North Ayrshire)

Sustainable Place Category

Winner – Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme (Orkney)

Infrastructure & Regeneration Category

Winner – Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust (Argyll & Bute)

Creative Regeneration Category

Winner – Kirkton Woodland and Heritage Group (Wester Ross)

YESS to Jobs Category (Youth Employability & Skills Services)

Winner – ng2 Ltd (Glasgow)

This new, expanded suite SURF Award categories was introduced this year to reflect the full range of regeneration activity in Scotland, from multi-million pound infrastructure projects to more modestly resourced community-run processes.

SURF Chair Brian MacDonald is keen to point out that the real value of the SURF Awards is in celebrating the considerable efforts carried out everyday across Scotland to improve the social, physical and economic fabric of disadvantaged communities in our cities, towns and villages.

Derek Mackay MSP said: “The regeneration of Scotland’s disadvantaged and deprived communities transforms people’s lives and the communities in which they live. The SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration recognises this. The experience, expertise and living examples of regeneration practitioners bring about action for the people and communities that need it most.

“These awards are a great example of empowered communities working together to meet the challenges they face. This type of community-led regeneration delivers long term sustainable change in disadvantages communities. I congratulate all SURF Awards participants.”

This year’s winning projects demonstrated that, when financial support is restricted, identifying and developing the value of existing local assets – whether an unused pub (Pennyburn), a historic World War II site (Scapa Flow), or traditional regional crafts (Kirkton) – can provide an excellent platform for generating enthusiasm, enterprise, and wider action.

The event was well attended, with over 200 guests from a wide range of public, private, voluntary and community organisations present.

Our publication has more information on the 2012 SURF Awards, including an overview of all 15 shortlisted projects (.pdf, 2mb).

The SURF Awards are delivered by SURF in partnership with the Scottish Government, and with additional support from Creative Scotland and Architecture + Design Scotland.