25 Aug 2022

From Slogans to Sound Strategy? The 2022 SURF Annual Conference – 25th August

Organised by: SURF


COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh


“Community Wealth Building”

“Levelling Up”

Anyone involved with the regeneration of Scottish places, is very likely to have heard repeated references to the above concepts in recent times.

The SURF network is not alone in raising important unanswered questions, such as:

  • How do the two policy descriptions translate into meaningful, positive change in the places we live, work and socialise in?
  • Do they represent genuine shifts in the way we approach and deliver place-based regeneration?
  • How can we avoid shuffling the deck of an already complex regeneration policy and resource landscape by simplifying focus on the key challenge of tacking poverty?
  • Do we have a clear consensus on what Community Wealth Building is?
  • How are the UK Government’s Levelling Up priorities integrating with existing regeneration funding and support programmes in Scotland?

SURF’s 2022 Annual Conference will critically examine policy and practice developments associated with both concepts, with particular reference to the Argyll & Bute town of Dunoon.

As Dunoon is progressing a Community Wealth Building agenda, and is in receipt of regeneration project funding from the UK’s Government Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, local stakeholders are well-placed to share their experience and perspectives.

Participants will learn about national policy developments associated with the new regeneration context from the Scottish and UK Governments, and hear emerging lessons on the ground from Dunoon and elsewhere in Scotland. Those attending will also have the opportunity to share their local experiences, and question leading practitioners, policy-makers and academics in interactive panel sessions.


9.30am    Registration and networking with tea/coffee and music by Fèis Phàislig
10.00am  Welcome and Setting the Scene – Brian MacDonald, Chair & Euan Leitch, CEO, SURF
10.10am   Ministerial Address – Tom Arthur MSP, Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth Building
10.20am  CWB: Giving communities the power to develop their local economies – Martin Avila, CEIS
10.40am  Community Wealth Building in Action – Jude King & Emma McMullen, North Ayrshire Council
11 am        Coffee, pastries and chat; with music by Fèis Phàislig
11.15am   What’s Happening in Dunoon – Ann Campbell, Dunoon Area Alliance & Hannah Clinch, Tacit Tacit
11.40am  Table Discussions
12.00pm  Panel Session – Hannah Clinch, Martin Avila, Jude King, Carey Doyle (Community Land Scotland) & Kate Christie (Lintel Trust)
12.30pm  Lunch and networking
1.30pm    Levelling Up – Lauren Bruce, Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities
1.45pm    Scottish Government Funding Context – David Cowan, Regeneration Unit at Scottish Government
2pm         Panel Session – Lauren Bruce, David Cowan, Alasdair Morrison (Renfrewshire Council) & Karen Jackson (South of Scotland Enterprise)
2.30pm   Community Culture – Kevin P. Gilday, Poet, Writer and Performer
2.45pm   Summary and What’s Next? – Euan Leitch & Emma Scott, SURF
2.55pm   Thanks and Final Thoughts – Brian MacDonald, Chair, SURF
3pm        Close


Martin Avila (CEIS) – Martin Avila CEIS

North Ayrshire Council – Ayrshire Community Wealth Building

Dunoon – Ann and Hannah Dunoon

Dunoon Transcript (Ann) – SURF Conference Input 2022 Ann Campbell, Dunoon Area Alliance

Dunoon Transcript (Hannah) – SURF Conference Dunoon Forward 2022 Hannah Clinch

Lauren Bruce (Levelling Up) – Lauren Bruce Levelling Up

David Cowan (Scottish Government Regeneration Unit) – David Cowan Scottish Government