2024 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration officially launched

The prestigious national 2024 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration were launched on 6 June 2024 by the Scottish Government at a special online event.

The event, attended by 80 guests, included specially recorded messages from previous SURF Award Winners; North Edinburgh Arts, Alchemy Film & Arts, DRC Youth Project, Aberdeenshire Council, Wild Skies Shetland and RIG Arts; and Awards partner the Scottish Government Regeneration Unit, formally announced the Awards open for applications.

The SURF Awards are delivered each year by SURF, a regeneration forum with over 300 cross-sector member organisations across Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government. The purpose is to highlight, celebrate and share the achievements of initiatives that address physical, social and economic challenges in communities across Scotland.

This year’s five thematic categories include; Removing Barriers to Employability sponsored by the Institute of Employability Professionals, Creative Regeneration sponsored by Creative Scotland, Community Led Regeneration, Improving Scotland’s Places sponsored by Scotland’s Towns Partnership and finally an award for Housing and Regeneration sponsored by the Scottish Procurement Alliance.

The winners of the 2024 Awards will be announced by a leading Scottish Government Minister at a celebratory dinner event on the 5th December.

The timescale for the 2024 SURF Awards is as follows

  • Thursday 6 June - launch of Awards
  • Monday 2 September - close of application period
  • September - Shortlisting by 15 independent judges
  • Late September to October - Visits and assessment period by judges
  • Thursday 5 December – SURF Awards Presentation Dinner

A Scottish Government Spokesperson said: “We are pleased to continue supporting the SURF Awards in its 26th year, which presents an opportunity to recognise and celebrate some of the stand- out examples of community-led regeneration in Scotland.

The awards have a crucial role in showcasing best practice, in encouraging others, and in disseminating knowledge and learning across Scotland. They also highlight the wide-range of benefits that place-based community-led regeneration can deliver in supporting and enabling communities to help tackle issues of poverty, inequalities, boost local economies and tackle climate change. We look forward to learning more about this year’s entrants, and wish them all the best of luck."

Brian MacDonald, SURF Chair said: "Last year we were able to celebrate our 25 years of acknowledging the range and scope of the tremendous work being undertaken in our communities.

I have been both impressed and inspired by these activities. It's important, as we reflect over the last 25 years, that we look forward to the future and our desire to celebrate the work which continues to be done in our communities. It doesn't get any easier and it is therefore all the more important that we continue to provide the means to acknowledge the work which continues to be done.

I look forward to seeing the entrants, best of luck to all of you."

Emma Scott, Events, Information and Communication Manager at SURF said: "For the 26th year the SURF Awards will again provide an opportunity to share best practice examples from communities throughout Scotland. Demonstrating what communities can achieve and providing a platform for them to tell their story. SURF looks forward to seeing this year’s applications and hearing more about the remarkable work happening in communities across the country. "

Karen Dick, Head of Place, Partnerships and Community Strategy at Creative Scotland said: “In our continuing partnership with SURF, Creative Scotland is a proud supporter of the Award for Best Practice in Creative Regeneration. We look forward to learning about the great work that community-led creative projects are achieving in their areas, which not only reflect local culture but also foster inclusion and a sense of pride and belonging among residents. Once more, these awards will inspire communities to harness the power of creativity to enact positive change and build a brighter future."

For further information on the SURF Awards and to download application materials please visit https://surf.scot/surf-awards/surf-awards-2024/ or contact Emma Scott on [email protected]


What are the SURF Awards?

Each year, SURF and the Scottish Government team up to deliver the SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration. The SURF Awards offer an opportunity for regeneration projects of all sizes to demonstrate value to funders and partners, support team building and develop a national profile. For more on the SURF Awards, including information on previous annual processes, please visit: https://www.surf.scot/surf-awards/

About the SURF Awards delivery partners

SURF is a registered charity that aims to improve policy and practice in community regeneration in Scotland. It runs an annual activities programme to share knowledge and experience between its 300+ member organisations. In addition to the SURF Awards, SURF organises conferences, seminars, research, policy recommendation reports, study visits, and policy manifestos.

The Scottish Government has been SURF’s main SURF Awards partner since 2003. The devolved government for Scotland has a range of responsibilities which include: health, education, justice, rural affairs, housing and the environment. Its current Regeneration Strategy, Achieving a Sustainable Future, emphasises the need to tackle regeneration in a holistic way that addresses the physical, economic and social needs of Scotland’s communities. For more details on the Scottish Government’s regeneration policies, please visit: www.scotland.gov.uk/regeneration

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland, distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. Follow us on XFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot.

Scotland’s Towns Partnership is Scotland’s largest towns’ collective; representing and promoting the diversity of our towns and places, and supporting those organisations and groups that have an interest in or ownership of them.

Institute of Employability Professionals is the only professional membership institute for the employability profession. It represents its members to key influencers and sets the standards for the profession.

Scottish Procurement Alliance is part of the LHC Procurement Group, which has been supporting public sector organisations with technical procurement for over 50 years.

Media contact

For further information, please contact Emma Scott, SURF Events, Information and Communications Manager at [email protected]