In partnership with Architecture + Design Scotland (A+DS), SURF convened a workshop on opportunities and difficulties for town centre regeneration in the current context in Edinburgh in May 2014.

Diarmaid Lawlor highlighted the 'Hub' approach to town centre collaboration

Diarmaid Lawlor highlighted the ‘Hub’ approach to town centre collaboration

The workshop featured contributions from: A+DS’ Head of Urbanism Diarmaid Lawlor on the shared challenges for town centres; Miriam Frier of Orkney Islands Council on the SURF Award winning Stromness Townscape Heritage Initiative; and Craig Torrance of the City of Edinburgh Council on the innovative ‘Edinburgh 12’ model to encourage developments in strategically significant city centre gap sites.

In the workshop’s wide-ranging debate, the main barriers perceived as hindering sustainable town centre regeneration were the need for projects to accumulate ‘cocktail’ funding and the trend for public bodies to relocate offices and staff away from town centres. Positive opportunities were recognised in the establishment of the ‘Town Centre First’ principle, the under-used potential of town centre educational facilities, and the growing policy appetite for creative thinking, community empowerment and cross-agency collaboration.

Please click on the link below for a copy of the report, which summarises the three presentations and the open discussion that followed:

Summary Report – Town Centre Regeneration Workshop 2014