SURF, Scotland’s Regeneration Forum, is pleased to announce the 2023 shortlist for the prestigious SURF Award national awards scheme, which showcases success in responding to regeneration challenges in communities across Scotland.

The SURF Awards are delivered each year by SURF, a regeneration forum with over 300 cross-sector member organisations across Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government. 2023 marks the 25th Anniversary year of the SURF Awards process.

Having assessed applications from Shetland to the Dumfries and Galloway, across five categories, SURF’s independent panel of 15 judges, drawn from national bodies and community groups, have agreed upon 15 shortlisted projects for 2023. By category, they are:

Housing and Regeneration:

  • City of Edinburgh Council Mixed Tenure Improvement Scheme (Wester Hailes)
  • Glentrool Community-led Housing & Regeneration (Dumfries & Galloway)
  • Goathill Housing and Care Home Project (Isle of Lewis)

Removing Barriers to Employability:

  • Topgolf Recruitment (Rutherglen)
  • All In Dundee (Dundee)
  • ABZWorks Employability Support (Aberdeen)

Creative Regeneration:

  • Wild Skies Shetland (Unst)
  • Deaf Action: Inclusion & accessibility to the arts (Edinburgh)
  • The Beacon Arts Centre, Creative Minds (Greenock, Inverclyde)

Community Led Regeneration:

  • Gairloch and Loch Ewe Action Forum (GALE) (Wester Ross)
  • Govan HELP – The Govan Pantry (Glasgow)
  • Kerrera North-South Road Project (Isle of Kerrera)

Improving Scotland’s Places:

  • Vibrant Gala Project (Galashiels, Scottish Borders)
  • Rockfield Community Hub (Oban)
  • Shapinsay (Orkney)

Since 1998, the SURF Awards have identified successful regeneration projects of all sizes from across Scotland. This year’s shortlisted projects feature major place-making investments, employability initiatives, and activities delivered by community groups and arts organisations in both urban and rural contexts, from Dumfries and Galloway to Unst in Shetland.

The judging panel will be carrying out visits throughout October to all of these diverse projects to develop a better understanding of their impact and the situations they are responding to. Before deciding on a winning project in each category.

The five category winners will then be announced by Scottish Government Minister for Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning, Joe Fitzpatrick MSP, on the evening of Thursday 7 December at the 25th Anniversary SURF Awards Presentation Dinner event in Glasgow’s Voco Grand Central Hotel.

The 2023 SURF Awards are delivered by SURF in partnership with the Scottish Government, with additional support from Architecture & Design ScotlandCreative ScotlandHighlands and Islands Enterprise, Institute of Employability ProfessionalsScotland’s Towns Partnership and Scottish Procurement Alliance.

Scottish Government Minister Joe Fitzpatrick commented: “The SURF awards have showcased inspiring projects of all sizes from across Scotland for 25 years. They recognise the best examples of place-based, community-led regeneration, and I am pleased the Scottish Government is able to continue its longstanding support.

“Regeneration is at the heart of our approach to the key priorities of reducing poverty and increasing opportunity – it creates jobs, brings buildings back into use, and supports the development of local facilities and services.

“By celebrating projects undertaken by communities and their partners, the awards help to spread knowledge and experience of what works in regeneration. I congratulate the projects shortlisted for this year’s awards and look forward to announcing the winners at the award ceremony later this year.”

SURF Vice-Chair Diane Gray reflected: “It is fantastic to see the high quality applications that have been made for the SURF Awards this year, and we are delighted to enable the best of these to be shared more widely. The Awards, now in their 25th year, are a wonderful opportunity to come together and celebrate the difference that people are making in their place and communities. All the nominees deserve recognition, and I’m sure the judging panels will value finding out more about them, and their work, as they reach their decision for the final awards.”

SURF’s Emma Scott said: SURF were delighted to mark the 25th Anniversary year with a record number of applications, showcasing the remarkable efforts of communities and organisations throughout Scotland to improve lives and outcomes for both people and place. The volunteer judging panel have had the unenviable task of narrowing those excellent applications down to a shortlist of 15. We look forward to celebrating with all 15 projects at the Awards Presentation Dinner in December, and thank all of the applicants who took the time to share their work, and story, with us.

Find out more about the 25th Anniversary SURF Awards HERE