A SURF seminar on small town regeneration

CoSLA Conference Centre, Haymarket, Edinburgh

Tuesday 15th May 2007


  • Much of the regeneration debate, policy and resource allocation of recent years has been focused on the cities and their surrounding areas of concentrated disadvantage.
  • Small towns (of up to 20k population) are where 30% of Scotland’s people live.
  • In 2004 and 2005 SURF highlighted the case for more attention on the regeneration needs of Scotland’s small towns with a series of 3 articles in its Scotregen journal.
  • Towards the end of 2006 Scottish Borders Council, in co-operation with CoSLA, produced a substantial report calling for dedicated policy and resource support for Scotland’s small towns.

Purpose of this seminar

  • To learn more of new approaches for supporting small town regeneration in differing contexts.
  • To highlight the potential for linking local skills, knowledge and expertise in an invigorated local Community Planning approach.
  • To consider specific funding proposals to the development of small towns as models of sustainability.
  • To make the case for more vigorous local democracy through community specific social, economic and environmental ‘health-checks’
  • To inform policy and resources considerations for regenerating Scotland’s small towns.
  • To help re-engage national regeneration organisations and strategies with local communities.


  • A short-day seminar from 10am to 3.30pm
  • Brief presentations from relevant key speakers followed by discussion groups
  • A plenary panel session to summarise key points and form recommendations for consideration by relevant policy makers

Key speakers

Open Discussion Panel Session

Discussion on policy and practice. Panel representatives:

  • Laura McIvor – Scottish Executive
  • Euan Dobson – Scottish Enterprise
  • Ian Mitchell – Communities Scotland
  • Ian Lindley – Scottish Borders Council
  • Jon Harris – CoSLA
  • Brian MacDonald – Irvine Bay URC
  • Kirsten Francis- One NorthEast

Event Report

Please click here to download a paper reflecting on inputs and producing recommendations for enhancing future policy and action will be available shortly.

Further Reading

Please click here to download a bibliography containing links to a variety of reports related to the regeneration of Scotland’s small towns.