Scottish Property Awards 2017

The 4th annual Scottish Property Awards, the independent programme which celebrates excellence in commercial property, has launched its 2017 programme including a refreshed list of categories and three new judges.

The Scottish Property Awards 2017 heads to Edinburgh next year and will take place on Thursday 2nd March at the Corn Exchange.  Once again, the annual celebration will bring together the breadth of the industry including developers, funders, architects, councils, agents, professional advisers and contractors.

Fiona Morton, the former managing partner and chairman of Ryden, returns as chair to lead the expert judging panel of 18 people, drawn from across the Scottish property industry.

In addition, the panel is joined for the first time by Paul Curran, Managing Director of Quartermile Developments and Vice Chair of the SPF alongside Gail Hunter, Regional Director of RICS Scotland and Graham Ross, Deputy Chair of Architecture and Design Scotland.

Last year’s programme reviewed 40 new developments undergoing construction in Scotland and welcomed 700 people to the to celebrate the achievements in the sector with the ultimate award of the night being presented to Drum Property Group for the second year in a row.

The awards are free to enter and entrants have until Friday 14th October 2016 to submit their work. Organisations are invited to enter as many categories as they wish.

These key sector awards raise funds for the charity ‘It’s Good 2 Give’ currently building The Ripple Retreat – a luxury residential holiday home which will be gifted to families with children who have cancer. The 2800 sq. ft. property is located on the shores of Loch Venacher in the Trossachs National Park and is being constructed by John Dennis group and has been designed by award winning architect, Tony Kettle.

For more information visit Scottish Property Awards 2017.

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CDAS Conference: Making Community Empowerment a Reality

Community Development Alliance Scotland

Our communities have great potential capacities and assets to offer. But their ability to successfully make full use of these cannot be taken for granted.  Action is needed to enable them to develop in response to challenges and to ensure social justice in the outcomes. That action is called community development. People are putting the values and skills involved into action in a wide range of places, dealing with many different issues, but usually with limited resources and finding support wherever they can. Our conference is a chance for people in government, in communities and elsewhere and in all sectors to come together and find their common ground.


  • Martin Cawley, Chief Executive, Big Lottery Fund Scotland
  • (invited) Kevin Stewart MSP, Minister for Local Government and Planning

The main purpose of the day will be the opportunity to learn from a wide range of groups and projects who are putting community development into practice. We will also be happy to display information about your experiences, and offer opportunities to tell others about them. You will hear from groups, and from the people who have worked with them, in a wide range of situations, including:

  • Community action to improve health
  • Community action to reduce poverty
  • People making a community plan for their area
  • Working together to develop a rural community
  • Mutual help for people leaving prison
  • Giving a voice to people involved in community care
  • Participatory Budgeting with young people


Cost:  £50, including light lunch and refreshments (Free to community groups with income of less than £50,000 per year, but booking is essential).

Read more and book.

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Towns and Town Centres CPG - Digital Towns
The Cross Party Group for Towns and Town Centres hosted by John Scott MSP, invites you to the next meeting of the Group.
If you wish to attend, please RSVP below or contact Elaine Bone (details below). 


Wednesday, 8th March 2017, from 12.30pm – 2pm
Scottish Parliament, Committee Room 2

Discussion theme: Digital Towns

View agenda.

Digital Towns Strategy for Scotland: Phil Prentice, Chief Officer, Scotland’s Towns Partnership 
Maggie Morrison, Vice President Public Sector, CGI Scotland 
What Does Digital Mean for Towns? - David Wallace, Regional Direct – Major and Public Sector, BT
#DigiREN’s Progress and the Importance of a Digital Ambassador - Diane Webb, Project Manager, Digital Assistance, Renfrewshire Council
Introducing guests from the USA: Energy Edge on Digital Support for Renewable Towns

Open discussion and refreshments

Refreshments kindly supported by CGI Scotland

Please confirm your attendance by 1st March.
Email or RSVP below.

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An Introduction to Natural Capital Accounting at the local and landscape scale

Organisers: Ecosystems Knowledge Network & Eftec

About the topic

There is growing interest in the use of accounting frameworks to understand the value of the natural environment. The aim is to inform planning, management and investment decisions that minimise risks and maximise opportunities. They are typically divided into asset accounts, maintenance costs, physical flow and monetary flows. Different frameworks help distinguish maintenance costs, physical flows of ecosystem services and their monetary values, and asset values.

Alongside efforts to develop natural capital accounts for large organisations and countries, accounts are being produced for natural features across smaller areas of land and water. This includes private estates, public parks and protected landscapes.  These seminars will introduce the process of accounting for the value of the natural environment at the local and landscape scale.

What will I learn?

The session will increase your understanding of

  • the methods for ecosystem and natural capital accounting applicable at the local and landscape scale

  • relationship with other tools and methods, e.g. ecosystem service mapping

  • the resources and skills required to undertake an assessment

  • the potential for informing planning, investment and management decisions

Who is the seminar for?

  • Estate managers in the private, third and public sector

  • Businesses dependent on goods and services from the UK’s natural environment (such as in agriculture, water, tourism)

  • Managers of designated areas (such as AONBs and National Parks)

  • Local heritage and environmental initiatives (such as Landscape Partnerships, Futurescapes, Living Landscapes, Local Nature Partnerships (England), Catchment Management Partnerships.)

Seminar leaders

These first seminars are being delivered by eftec (the economics of the environment consultancy) with experience of accounting for the value of the natural environment at the local and landscape scale.

Cost and how to book

For bookings paid for by 31st January:

  • Public sector and third sector organisations £55

  • Academic and private sector organisations: £85

The above costs are expected to rise by £20 after 31st January 2017. 

Click here to book your place at the seminar in Perth on Thursday 9th March 2017

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Scottish Tourism Week & Conference 2017

Tourism has been acknowledged by Scottish Government as being “Scotland’s most important industry", so we feel ok about being the first industry ever to create the ‘8 day week’ (you’ll notice that in fact, Scottish Tourism Week will run for eight days this year – we are packing a lot in!).

Our STW ‘Connecting 2020’ Roadshow was a huge success in 2016 and saw the STA travelling the length and breadth of the country, connecting with upwards of 2020 businesses.  This was one of the highlights of Tourism Week and tourism businesses and destinations all over the country are in full planning mode right now to offer you the opportunity to connect and engage with businesses in your area and be part of the national tourism conversation.

The ‘jewel in the STW crown’ is of course the STA Signature Conference which this year is titled ‘Tourism: The Future - Beyond 2020’, and will take place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Glasgow on Wednesday 15th March. As it says on the tin, the conference is all about looking ahead at everything in the political, economic, consumer and environmental worlds that will impact and affect Scotland’s global competitiveness and perception as a destination of choice.  

Once again, the Scottish Thistle Awards add a glittering celebratory element to Scottish Tourism Week, taking place this year on Thursday 16th March at the EICC, Edinburgh.

The STW2017 Parliamentary Reception, co-sponsored by The Caravan Club and VisitScotland, will be held at the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March, and the final Scottish Tourism Week Signature event will see the Scotland Food & Drink AGM and Conference take place at the Doubletree Hilton in Glasgow.

The North Coast 500 Parliamentary Reception will be held on 14th March at the Scottish Parliament.  Frequently referred to as ‘Scotland’s greatest roadtrip ever’, this event acts as an exciting and important pre-cursor to the biggest week for Scotland’s tourism industry.

Visit Scottish Tourism Week website for full information. 

Scottish Tourism Week is brought to you by the Scottish Tourism Alliance. 

We are grateful for the generosity of the STA "official" conference & DWAD sponsors and for the support of the national agencies helping ensure that the 2017 weeklong programme will be one of the best! 

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It's All About the Place & the People: Destinations Mini-Conference

An event by Scottish Tourism Alliance, sponsored by Calmac. 

Destinations, towns and cities are identified one of five key assets of Scottish tourism in the national tourism strategy, Tourism Scotland 2020. There are over 30 destination organisations in Scotland, all of whom are working hard to strengthen and grow the sector and the visitor experience in their areas, through the implementation of their own destination plans, linked to the national strategy.

This event is aimed specifically at destination leaders, such officers, Board or committee members of destination groups, destination managers in public agencies and Local Authorities and others who are active in supporting their destination activities. The event provides an opportunity for these professionals to come together to share ideas and best practice around destination development and marketing in Scotland.

Attendance free - eventbrite booking page


9.00am Registration 

9.30am Welcome by Chair: Calum Ross, Board member of Scottish Tourism Alliance & Argyll & Isles Tourism 

9.40am Session 1 - A National & International Perspective

Facilitator: Riddell Graham, Director of Partnerships, VisitScotland

  • Travel Trade, Quality & Destinations: Andrew Macnair, Business Development Manager - Scotland, UKInbound
  • Towns and Tourism - The Spirit of 2017: Phil Prentice, Chief Officer, Scotland’s Towns Partnership
  • Destinations & Local Authorities: Cllr Stephen Hagan, Orkney Islands Council
  • Destinations, A View from Across the Atlantic: speaker from Nova Scotia delegation

10.45am Session 2 - New Products

Facilitator: Graeme MacFarlan, Commercial Director, Calmac

11.45am Break

12.00pm Session 3 - Future-Proofing Destinations

Facilitator: Aileen Lamb, Tourism Manager, Scottish Enterprise

1.00pm Final Q&A and Closing Remarks

1.15pm Close

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Adam Smith Festival of Ideas: Kirkcaldy, 17 – 19 March 2017

In March 2017, Adam Smith Global Foundation will host the Festival of Ideas, in Smith’s hometown of Kirkcaldy.

The Festival of Ideas seeks to build on the philanthropic and academic theories of Smith to engage people from around the world in creative and animated discussions on topics such as Cultural Life, Enterprise and Economies and Cohesive Communities as Scotland enters a period of “New Enlightenment”.

Taking centre stage at the Festival of Ideas, the Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy will come alive as Scots and interested non-Scots gather to discuss and understand the changes in context and peer into the future of Scotland.

A varied range of interesting key speakers describe, from their perspective, fundamental changes and challenges facing Scotland and the global community.

Ticketed events over two packed days of stimulating and thought provoking discussion will allow versions of Scotland’s future to unfurl, hosted by Alistair Moffat.

Tired compartmentalisation has no place and we need a holistic perspective to ensure we can positively benefit from the effects of globalization, the impacts of social media, the shift in our relationship with Europe, the pressing need to embrace diversity, sport, sexuality, fiscal literacy, language and well-being so that we can build and contribute to a socially just and equal society, not just for ourselves, but for future generations.

Read more and access ticket booking

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Social Enterprise Exchange Marketplace

The Social Enterprise Exchange Marketplace will be held on Tuesday 21 March 2017 in the Corn Exchange, New Market Road, Edinburgh. We are delighted to welcome Nicola Sturgeon MSP (First Minister) to deliver the keynote speech.

This dynamic and exciting one day event is a marketplace of over 80 exhibitors and a diverse mix of 600 delegates – with many opportunities for trading, learning and making new business connections – helping take Scotland’s brilliant social enterprises forward.

Visit event website for more information

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BIDs Scotland Gathering 2017

BIDs Scotland is hosting its Annual Gathering on, 28th March 2017 at Perth Concert Hall.

Building on last year, which was the biggest BIDs Gathering ever held in Scotland, we anticipate that this year’s will be equally successful. Located in the superb Perth Concert Hall; offering an excellent programme, combined with the launch of the National Report on BIDs in Scotland 2017. We expect demand for places to be high, this year’s event will focus on supporting sustainable economic growth.

With attendance free of charge, secure your place at the only Gathering of around 200 senior professionals with direct influence and responsibility for delivering BIDs, policy-making and strategic delivery across Scotland; creating a unique space in which to engage with local and national government including politicians and officers, as well as a wide range of key stakeholders and representative bodies.

Book now via Eventbrite 

For commerical opportunities, please contact Elaine Bone, tel 07801 354591 or email for more information 



Visit original event page here.

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Charity Retail Association - Scotland Conference & Networking Day

The Charity Retail Association is the only organisation which represents charity shops in UK and we are delighted to be holding a Scotland Conference in Edinburgh in 2017.

Join us to hear how the association can work with you to represent your views and needs. We are lucky to be joined on the day by a plethora of fantastic speakers, making for a packed and varied agenda for the meeting.

Robin Osterley, our Chief Executive will be leading a session on The Future of CRA Services. Further speakers will be announced shortly.

We will also be running our ‘Conversation Stations’ section – themed, topic based discussion groups, with the topics decided by you. It is a great opportunity to share you experience and learn new things from your fellow charity delegates.

*Speakers at the event include Chief Officer of Scotland's Towns Partnership, Phil Prentice, who will talk on the subject of Scotland's Towns: Fighting Back*

It will also be an opportunity to meet and hear from our NEW Scotland Officer, a brand new post for the Association (specifically to support our Scottish Members).

A full agenda for the meeting will be made available shortly.

The meeting is FREE to attend for both our charity and corporate members.  The meeting will commence with teas and coffees at 10.30am, lunch will be provided and the meeting should end by 3.30pm.

Non-members of the Association can book onto the meeting for a small fee; £20 + VAT for charities and £45 + VAT for suppliers.

There will also be fantastic networking opportunities, a small exhibition and plenty of chance for you to feed into the work that we do.

Book your place at the meeting here.

For further information please contact Julia Cloke at or call the team on 020 7697 4080.

Details of our Cancellation Policy for all training, events, networking days and conference can be viewed here.

See original event page here.

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Places and Spaces for Health and Wellbeing 2017

The health and wellbeing of a population is a key focus in any thriving nation. With this in mind, it is widely recognised that many of the underlying determinants of inequalities in health and well-being are environmental, including for example, our built environment, our communities as well as access to green space. The Scottish Government recognises that this has a significant impact on the health of Scotland’s people, and that action is required to create healthy environments which are safe, calming and nurturing for all age groups.

There are a growing number and variety of organisations, including the Scottish Government agencies, NDGBs, private companies and charities, working in this field and looking at a variety of issues. These issues include the association between health and access to green spaces and recreation, the benefits of play and the importance of active travel. However, the relationships between quality and extent of green space, proximity to and use of such areas, and health outcomes, have yet to be quantified appropriately and the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood.

This conference will examine the issues outlined above such as the connections between health and wellbeing, place making and use of urban built landscape and open spaces. In addition, it will summarise the relationship between open space in relation to physical and mental health, and environmental, economic, social and cultural wellbeing, through expert analysis and evidence based case studies.


Event Agenda

9:20 Introduction from the Chair

9:30 Session 1 – Sustainable Places for Future Health

Scotland’s Place Standard - Sandy Robinson, Principle Architect, Scottish Government

Understanding the role of the built environment and its effect on human health and wellbeing – Prof Catharine Ward-Thompson Institute of Built Environment, Heriot Watt University

Public Health within the Planning Process; Spatial Planning – Craig MacLaren, Scotland Director, RTPI

Investing in our Future, addressing the needs of Scotland’s Children in the built environment – Marguerite Hunter-Blair, Play Scotland


11:00 Break

11:20 Session 2 – Environmental Health Effects

Activating spaces

Public Health Research in the built environment – pollution, noise, air quality etc – Fintan Hurley, IOM

Future proofing for health in the built environment – Daisy Nanayathan, Sustrans


13:00 Lunch and Networking

13:50 Session 3 – Social and Economic Impacts

Addressing Scotland’s postcode health inequalities – Matt Lowther, NHS Health Scotland

Regeneration of place for social health equality – Euan hall, The Land Trust

Housing and Community regeneration case study


15:30 Closing remarks from the chair

15:40 Close

For a limited time there are a number of early bird places available for just £89+VAT. These places will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so we do recommend booking now disappointment. To view the full event and register click here or push the button below.

Booking link.

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Reversing Economic Decline in Scotland’s Towns: SURF Awards Shared Learning Workshop

This free half-day SURF Awards workshop event in the COSLA Centre, Edinburgh on 18 May provides an opportunity to explore successful current approaches towards reversing economic decline in Scotland’s towns with two winning projects from both the’ Most Improved Town’ and ‘Community Led Regeneration’ categories highlighted in the 2016 SURF Awards process.

Workshop guests will firstly hear from project a representative in the ‘Most Improved Town’ category winner Lochgelly. After being deemed ‘the worst place to live in Britain’ in 2004 and winning the Carbuncle Award in 2010 Fife Council, along with Ore Valley Housing Association and local community groups responded by developing a Lochgelly Masterplan which included the establishment of a Community Development Forum and the delivery of a Community Charrette.

This will be followed by input from the ‘Community Led Regeneration’ winner Tomintoul and Glenlivet Regeneration Project. To support the rural area’s socio-economic recovery a dedicated community organisation, the Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust, was established to identify and deliver appropriate regeneration responses. This included the reopening of a Visitor Information Centre and the two local hotels, saving the local youth hostel and establishing the Glenlivet Mountain Bike Trails.

Following an open discussion session with the projects attendees will hear from Scottish Government representatives who will give an overview of the Town Centre Action Plan. This will be followed by short presentations from Highlands and Island Enterprise and Scotland’s Towns Partnership on the role they provide in helping to reverse economic decline within Scotland’s towns. The floor will then be open for wider discussion on national policy.

The SURF Awards ‘Most Improved Town’ judging panel team – comprising representatives of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Royal Town Planning Institute Scotland, Architecture + Design Scotland, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Heads of Planning Scotland and the Scottish Government – were particularly enthused by approaches taken to make Lochgelly a vibrant town with a lot to offer, and the potential of replication to other town centres.  The SURF Awards ‘Community Led Regeneration’ judging panel team – comprising of Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Bellsmyre Development Trust, Lloyds TSB Foundation for Scotland and Scottish Community Development Centre – were impressed by the ambition and vision of the Development Trust which has provided a strong foundation for success in reversing economic decline. The judges will be participating in the workshop, which also features a discussion session and networking lunch, to help draw out transferable lessons from the participating projects.

Book here.



10:00am   Welcome and Coffee

10:30am   Introduction: Andy Milne, Chief Executive, SURF

10:40am   Presentation, Lochgelly: Hazel Cross, Fife Council

10:55am   Presentation, Tomintoul and Glenlivet Regeneration Project: TBC, Tomintoul and Glenlivet Development Trust

11:10am   Open Discussion, Questions and Comments with representatives from the projects

11:35pm   Presentation, Town Centre Action Plan: Kevin McGowan, Scottish Government

11:45pm   Presentation, Highlands and Islands Enterprise: Ailsa Raeburn (tbc), HIE

11:55pm   Presentation, Scotland’s Towns Partnership: Ewan Robertson, STP

12:05pm Open Discussion on National Policy

12:30pm Summary and Thanks: Andy Milne

12:35pm   Networking Lunch


When and Where

When: Thursday 18th May, 10am – 1pm

Where: COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh

Book here.


About the SURF Awards

Please visit  for more information on the SURF Awards and the outcomes of the 2016 process.

Places are free but numbers are limited. To reserve a place please complete the booking form. If you have any queries or difficulties with this please contact Emma Scott, Information and Communications Officer, or 0141 4406392

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Sponsored By …Connecting Scotland's Towns