The Highlands and Islands is leading Scotland in community regeneration, as groups from the region cleaned up at a prestigious national awards ceremony last night (12 December) at Glasgow’s Radisson Hotel.
After judging numerous projects, SURF, Scotland's independent regeneration network, selected Highlands and Islands projects as three out of their five winners.
HIE’s Communities Development Manager, Kevin Macdonald, said: “Kirkton Woodland and Heritage Group, and Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust are both HIE account managed organisations and we congratulate all the groups on their success.
“Kirkton has received national media coverage for its most recent developments – a community Treehouse and workshop units. On Gigha, the Trust, and the local community, have been instrumental in improving the quality and availability of housing on the island.”
SURF Chair Brian MacDonald was 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.
Brian said: “The SURF Awards present a unique opportunity to acknowledge the hard work, resolve and dedication that exists at the front-line of efforts to improve and regenerate disadvantaged communities throughout urban and rural Scotland.
“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.”
Other award winners were, Pennyburn Regeneration Youth Development Enterprise (North Ayrshire) which won the Community Led Regeneration category, and ng2 Ltd from Glasgow who won the YESS to Jobs category (Youth Employability and Skills Services).