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Winners of the 2013 Creative Place Awards Announced

Published: 13 Feb 2014

The inspirational musical scene of the Pathhead Music Collective, the international creative links and artistic community initiatives in Huntly and the thriving arts venues and year round series of festivals of Kilmarnock all received awards in recognition of the opportunities offered for wide community involvement within in their creative initiatives.

Now in its second year, the Creative Place Awards were established to celebrate and recognise the hard work and imagination that contribute to the rich cultural life of a community, as well as its social and economic well-being.  The initiative focuses on creative programmes in areas outwith Scotland’s main cities.

Representatives from the three communities received the awards at a ceremony hosted by broadcaster Dougie Vipond at The Byre Theatre, St Andrews.  The winners of each category received cash awards to enable them to enhance and promote their creative activity throughout 2013:

For places with up to 2,500 residents (£50,000), the winner is:

Pathhead, Midlothian is home to 15 acclaimed musicians including Martin Green, Tom Bancroft and Karine Polwart. The Creative Place Award will support Pathhead Music Collective in its aim to make Pathhead internationally renowned as a centre of musical excellence through a range of activities, including increased performances, education outreach projects and three one day festivals.

For places with up to 10,000 residents (£100k), the winner is:

Huntly has developed world-wide creative community links through its ‘Town is the Venue’ programme.  Several projects, including the town re-branding, have been led by artists initiatives involving the community. The Creative Places Award will enable Huntly to create a roaming initiative, ‘Walks of Life’, bringing together physical walking initiatives with creative and cultural opportunities.   In addition, over three years, including the Year of Natural Scotland and Homecoming Scotland, local arts groups and individual artists will be able to collaborate on a new initiative ‘Hospitality in Huntly and District’.

Places with up to 100,000 residents (£150k), the winner is:

Kilmarnock’s thriving arts venues and their year round series of festivals including Kilmarnock Edition Festival, Kilmarnock Fair Festival, Summer Symphony, Harvest and Imprint Festivals, present an ambitious range of cross art form programming.  The Creative Place Award will enable the East Ayrshire Festivals to expand their programmes, including new work based in vacant shops in Kilmarnock as part of on-going work to regenerate the town centre.

Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development for Creative Scotland, said:  “These three communities are fantastic examples of how embedding arts and culture within the foundation of a community strengthens and improves people’s lives, impacting the social and economic wellbeing of the community.  The Awards celebrate how arts and creativity can promote the identity and character of a place.  Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted places.  The creative vitality and energy demonstrated in this year’s shortlist is extremely impressive.”

Derek Mackay MSP, Minister for Local Government and Planning who attended the awards ceremony, said: “The Creative Place Awards provide inspiration for our people and visitors by encouraging and promoting the exceptional creative programmes that are taking place in towns, villages and communities across the country.  

“Culture really can be an important catalyst for economic development and a powerful force for regeneration. As well as attracting tourists and inward investment - creative and cultural activity helps to support and shape our communities and places – fostering and reinforcing people’s sense of identity and community cohesion. I congratulate the winners of today’s awards.”

The application process for the next awards in 2014 will be open in spring 2013, with an autumn deadline. Information about the application process can be found in our funding section.