DrinkAware Information Sessions for Staff and Businesses

Drinkaware has partnered with the Scottish Alcohol Industry Partnership to deliver multiple free ‘Everything you need to know about alcohol’ sessions across Scotland in 2019. 

These workshops can be targeted at employees, sole traders, SMEs and business associations, to help support individual workers as well as promote a healthier, happier workforce: 

"The alcohol awareness session run by Drinkaware for our staff was informative and interactive with some surprising misconceptions blown out of the window" - Lloyd's Register

Alcohol can affect every aspect of our lives, from our long-term health to our mindset and safety at work the day after drinking.

The one-hour interactive sessions will give you the facts about alcohol and take-home tools so you can make better choices about your drinking; enabling you to feel healthier and happier both at work and at home.

Dates include;

  • 5th Feb 2019 – West Lothian
  • 8th Feb 2019 – West Lothian
  • 30th April 2019 - Glasgow
  • 8th May 2019 - Edinburgh


Click here to book your free place.

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National Lottery Heritage Fund Scotland Workshops: Strategic Funding Framework 2019 - 2024

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (formerly Heritage Lottery Fund) is the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK.

Following the launch of their new Strategic Funding Framework 2019-2024, the National Lottery Heritage Fund seeks to better connect the funding it offers and the projects it supports with the source, the National Lottery players, while also striving to better serve Scotland’s heritage. You can discover more about the new-look organisation at their website www.heritagefund.org.uk.

In the coming months the NLHF team will be running workshops across the country to help your colleagues and the wider sector discover more about their funding under the new framework, including introducing our outcomes and priorities. These events are free to attend but places are limited.


20th February    Heritage Fund workshop West Lothian

27th March        Heritage Fund workshop Dumfries and Galloway

26th April          Heritage Fund workshop Glasgow

2nd May            Heritage Fund workshop Inverness

TBC May           Heritage Fund workshop Dundee (date and venue TBC)


Places can be booked through ticket source: https://www.ticketsource.us/heritagefundscotland

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Models for Success: 2019 Seminar Series from Burness Paull

From February to May 2019 Burness Paull are holding a seminar series on ‘Models for Success’: models for better collaboration and joint working among public authorities; models for maximising the benefit of City Region Deals; models for creating vibrant and sustainable communities; and models for driving innovation in delivery of public services.

All those involved in Scotland’s towns and business improvement districts are welcome to sign up. STP Chief Officer and SIDs Programme Director, Phil Prentice, will be speaking at Seminar 3 on ‘Creating New Communities’, which takes place on Wednesday 24 April 2019 at Burness Paull's Glasgow Office.

Please see below or the event website for more information.


The current economic environment is challenging, with continuing constraints on public finances and major uncertainty round the future shape of the Scottish economy. But with these challenges come new opportunities… and new thinking. 

New models are emerging in a wide range of settings – models for better collaboration and joint working among public authorities; models for maximising the benefit of City Region Deals; models for creating vibrant and sustainable communities; and models for driving innovation in delivery of public services.

This series of seminars will explore each of these areas in turn, identifying key features of the new models as well as future trends – and aiming to stimulate debate and develop new ideas.

This is a time when innovation has never been so important; and while media comment has tended to focus on the need for public authorities to adopt new ways of working, the reality is that success can only be achieved if we can also harness the creativity of private sector businesses, the academic sector, and third sector organisations, in a common effort.

We hope through this seminar series to help drive forward the debate, and encourage greater understanding of the contribution which these new models can make - in creating new opportunities and achieving success.

We look forward to seeing you. You are free to come to all, or any one or more, of the seminars in the series. Please use the links below to sign up.

Stephen Phillips


Topics will include:

  • Legal structures to support collaboration on capital projects;
  • Options for achieving good governance in shared services;
  • New templates and guidance for property-sharing arrangements among public authorities.

Who should attend: 

  • Senior officers of local authorities;
  • Senior officers of other public sector bodies and further/higher education institutions;
  • Accountants and consultants with a specialist practice in this field.

When and where

Wednesday 20 February 2019
Burness Paull's Edinburgh Office, 50 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9WJ
8.30am - 10.45am


Topics will include:

  • Navigating the state aid issues;
  • Making the most of community benefit packages;
  • Applying innovation to financing models.

Who should attend: 

  • Private sector players involved in delivery or financing of public infrastructure;
  • Accountants and consultants with a specialist practice in this field;
  • Senior officers of local authorities and other partners involved in delivery of City Region or Growth Deals.

When and where

Wednesday 6 March 2019
Burness Paull's Glasgow Office, 120 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JL 
8.30am - 10.45am


Topics will include:

  • New models for affordable housing;
  • Creating new opportunities via community empowerment;
  • Sustainable models for managing common areas and community facilities
  • Key ingredients for creating vibrant, balanced and sustainable communities.

Who should attend: 

  • Housebuilders and developers with a special interest in sustainable communities;
  • Consultants with a specialist practice in this field;
  • Senior officers of local authorities
  • Senior officers of housing associations and development trusts.

When and where

Wednesday 24 April 2019
Burness Paull's Glasgow Office, 20 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 7JL
8.30am - 10.45am


Topics will include:

  • Key features of the Innovation Partnership model; 
  • Constraints on innovation arising from existing procurement approaches; 
  • New opportunities which Innovation Partnerships could unlock; 
  • Emerging templates and guidance for Innovation Partnerships.

Who should attend: 

  • Private sector players in public infrastructure and public services;
  • Accountants and consultants with a specialist practice in this field; 
  • Senior officers of public sector bodies.

When and where

Tuesday 14 May 2019
Burness Paull's Edinburgh Office, 50 Lothian Road, Edinburgh, EH3 9WJ
8.30am - 10.45am



Events contact: events@burnesspaull.com

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Can Do Places - Enterprise Walkabouts 2019

Can Do Places - All across Scotland there are community groups changing their places for the better. Our focus is communities that are working to strengthen their local economy by breathing new life into redundant or stalled buildings. Our theme this year is Community Super Heroes vs the Blight of Empty Buildings.

Following our successful launch event on 7 February we are now pleased to announce that we will be hosting 4 Enterprise Walkabouts, where what is already happening can be shared. Shared by visiting, seeing and learning. These Enterprise Walkabouts are being held in Falkirk, Alexandria, Oban and Crieff.

Visit Enterprise Walkabouts event page for information, dates and booking.  

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Cross Party Group for Towns and Town Centres Parliamentary Reception

A celebration, recognising the diversity and importance of Scotland’s small and rural towns. Given the importance of towns to MSPs and their constituents, this is a significant event to connect and inform. Leaders in the towns and Improvement Districts field will join at this opportunity to get up to speed and celebrate towns becoming viable, vibrant, vital places.

Cross Party Group for Towns and Town Centres Parliamentary Reception
Sponsored by John Scott MSP

‘A Celebration of Small and Rural Towns’

Recognising the diversity and importance of Scotland’s small and rural towns 

Ministerial Address by, Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary, Communities and Local Government

Tuesday, 26th March 2019

6 pm to 8 pm

The Garden Lobby
Scottish Parliament


To register your place please contact Alison Jones: alison@scotlandstowns.org

Information for visitors to the Parliament can be found here:  https://www.parliament.scot/Eventsandexhibitions/Information_for_Guests_-_Jul_2018.pdf



17:30   Guests Arrival

17:45   Guests Escorted to The Garden Lobby

18:00   Networking and Small and Rural Towns Showcase

18:15   Welcome – John Scott MSP, Convener, Cross Party Group for Towns and Town Centres

18:20   Ministerial Address – Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government

18:30   Professor Leigh Sparks, Deputy Principal and Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling and Chair, Scotland’s Towns Partnership

18:40   5G and what it means for Places and People in Scotland

              David Wallace, Director Scotland, Major and Public Sector, and Chair of BT in   Scotland and Fotis Karonis, Managing Director, Mobile and Voice Converged Services, BT

18:50   Bringing rural resilience, energy and local generation

            Caryn Jack, Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Scottish Power Energy Networks

19:00    Networking and Small and Rural Towns Showcase

20:00   Close

Refreshments provided

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Introduction to Local Economic Development: Challenging Times for Scotland’s Towns

CPD Course delivered by EDAS and Prof Alan McGregor, University of Glasgow


March 27, 2019 at 9.30am – 3.30pm


Architecture + Design Scotland, Bakehouse Close, Edinburgh


£150 + VAT, email alison@scotlandstowns.org to reserve your place. Booking includes the course and materials, CPD certificate/points, also one year’s membership of the Economic Development Association Scotland.

Under the circumstances of key trends impacting on the economy - Brexit, digitalisation, low growth/low productivity and demographic change - it is challenging for people involved in Scotland’s Towns and local economic development to work out what’s best to be done. Uncertainty casts a heavy cloud over local and regional economies. However, this simply means that professionals need to be more up to speed with what is going on and how best to respond.

This one-day course on Challenging Times for Scotland’s Towns is designed for Business Improvement District Managers, Chairs, Local Authority liaison officers and other sector professionals as an introduction to local economic development through the lens of towns and city districts. It will cover key policies and strategies, and institutional arrangements, relevant to the Scottish town and urban district setting. There will also be consideration to some of the underlying economic issues and key drivers in relation to maximising potential of businesses, people and places.

Booking for this workshop also comes with one year’s membership of EDAS, alongside a CPD certificate and points from the Institute for Economic Development.



9.30                         Coffee/tea on arrival

10.00                       Purpose of the Day, Phil Prentice

10.05                       Key Economic and Social Trends, Prof Alan McGregor    

11.15                       Policies and Strategies

12.30                       Lunch

1.15                         Institutions and Processes

2.30                         Open Forum: Doing Better for Our Towns

3.25                         Closing Remarks

3.30                         Close


About Prof Alan McGregor

Alan McGregor is Professor of Economic Development in the Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow. Although working in an academic environment for most of his career, he has always placed considerable emphasis on research with applications for policy and practice. He has worked for a range of public bodies including community-based initiatives, local authorities, sub-regional and city-regional bodies throughout the UK, national agencies across the UK, the Scottish Government and its agencies, and for the European Commission between 2011 and 2016 advising on the evaluation of the European Social Fund across all 28 member states.

Coming from a background in labour economics, he has researched a wide variety of local economic development and inclusion issues, and carried out many hundreds of evaluations of projects, programmes and policies.  Much of his work relates to the development of strategies and action plans to achieve better outcomes at the local, sub-regional and national levels.

Alan was born and brought up in Ayr, but on occasional visits to the town has not been able to summon the psychological strength walk down to the bottom of Ayr High Street for at least 10 years, since it entered into a period of ‘renaissance’. He remains very committed to Ayrshire. He is vice-chair of the North Ayrshire Economic Development and Regeneration Board, and has worked pro bono on aspects of the Ayrshire Growth Deal. He is also a founder member of the board of the Ayr United Football Academy.


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Celebrate Scottish Community Councils Campaign April 2019

By Scottish Community Councils - Throughout April, the Scottish Community Councils website will be showcasing the varied work of community councils across Scotland.

Using the hashtag #CelebrateCCs on Twitter, we will highlight some of the great projects, activities and events community councils have led on and encourage others to share their favourites: from gala days to stalled spaces; useful community resources to intergenerational get-togethers; everyday triumphs to years-in-the-making successes.

The aim of the #CelebrateCCs event is to highlight the positive impact community councils have in their areas and help community councils share their knowledge and experience of undertaking different projects. We want to raise the profile of community councils and encourage individuals and other organisations to learn more about them.

This is the second year of the #CelebrateCCs campaign. We were thrilled with the level of enthusiasm for and engagement with the campaign last year and throughout the month great examples were shared from across Scotland. Some community councils shared a list of their achievements, some highlighted their greenspace projects, others showcased their intergenerational work or health initiatives. Find out more about last year’s activities here: http://www.communitycouncils.scot/how-we-celebrated-community-councils.html

We want to hear about lots of different community council work, for example:

  • Projects that are ongoing
  • Work with organisations and other local groups
  • Health and social care projects
  • Young people-focussed projects
  • Stalled spaces
  • Participatory budgeting (also known as Community Choices)
  • Community magazines and other publications

We understand that some community councils prefer to use Facebook to engage with their communities. While the Scottish Community Councils Website does not have a Facebook page, we would be happy for people to share community council achievements using the hashtag #CelebrateCCs on Facebook.

To get involved, simply post or tweet anytime throughout April about a community council and an achievement of theirs that you are proud of, and remember to include the hashtag #CelebrateCCs. You do not need to be a community councillor or post from an official community council account. If you have suggestions of what we should tweet, or you want to highlight to us your #CelebrateCCs Facebook post, and you do not have a Twitter account, send them to ScottishCCs@improvementservice.org.uk

We will be retweeting and tweeting examples from www.twitter.com/ScottishCCs. If you do not have a Twitter account you can still see tweets for the event by searching #CelebrateCCs or going here: https://twitter.com/search?src=typd&q=%23celebrateccs

Source: Scottish Community Councils

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Best practice approaches to place-based regeneration: SURF Awards Shared Learning Workshop – 2nd May 2019

This free half-day SURF Awards workshop event in the Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh on 2nd May provides an opportunity to explore successful current approaches towards regenerating Scotland’s places with three winning projects from the ‘Most Improved Place’, ‘Housing’ and ‘Community Led Regeneration’ categories highlighted in the 2018 SURF Awards process.

SURF and the Scottish Government work together to identify and highlight excellence and innovation in initiatives that address social and economic challenges in disadvantaged communities through the annual SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration.

Workshop guests will firstly hear from project a representative in the ‘Most Improved Place’ category winner the Orkney island of Westray. The community owned Westray Development Trust’s mission is to develop the economic, social and cultural sustainability of Westray by harnessing the quality of its resources, people and island environment. It has delivered a number of projects with real practical benefits for the island’s diverse demographic and its economy.

This will be followed by input from the ‘Housing’ winner Chapelpark: A new beginning. This Angus Council-led project successfully transformed a B-listed former school into 29 high quality affordable rented homes in the town centre. An eco-minimalist ethos involving high thermal insulation and airtightness, and passive solar gain, was used to provide comfortable and efficient homes, which the Council pre-allocated to existing tenants.

Finally, we will hear from the ‘Community Led Regeneration’ winner Papay Community Cooperative, based on the Orkney island of Papa Westray. In 1979, Papay Community Cooperative was established by local community members in response to an announcement that the island’s only shop was set to close. The group’s initial aim was to develop a community shop, accommodation for tourists, and a venue for community activities. It delivered these by repurposing a row of empty farm cottages, known as Beltane House, which have helped safeguard the island’s future.

Following an open discussion session with the projects attendees will hear from Scottish Government representatives who will give an overview of current priorities regarding place based regeneration. This will be followed by a short presentations from Scotland’s Towns Partnership on the role they provide in helping to regenerate Scotland’s towns and Highlands and Islands Enterprise on their current focus on place based regeneration. The floor will then be open for wider discussion on national policy.


10:00am   Welcome and Coffee

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

10:40am   Presentation, Westray: Isobel Thompson, Westray Development Trust

10:50am   Presentation, Chapelpark: Lynne Warburton, Angus Council

11.00am   Presentation, Papay Community Co-op: Jennifer Foley, Papay Community Co-op

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

11:30pm   Presentation, Place-Based Regeneration: Susan Bolt, Scottish Government (TBC)

11:40pm   Presentation, Scotland’s Towns Partnership: Phil Prentice, STP

11:50pm   Presentation, Highlands and Islands Enterprise: TBC, HIE (TBC)

12.00pm   Open Discussion on National Policy

12:30pm   Summary, Thanks and What’s Next: Andy Milne and Emma Scott, Information, Communications & Events Officer, SURF

12:40pm   Networking Lunch

When and Where

Date and Time: Thurs 2nd May 2019, 10am-1.30pm

Venue: The Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High St, Edinburgh EH1 1SR


To book a place at this free event please complete the booking form at the SURF event page here.

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Strengthening Communities Conference Scotland 2019

Join practised community development leaders from home and abroad in this exciting two-day international conference sharing experiences, skills, ideas and knowledge. Organised by Highlands & Islands Enterprise. 

Designed by communities, for communities, the event spotlights relevant topics important to organisations like yours, united by the theme 'Ionnsachaidh a ‘tighinn le deasbad' — learning and growing together.

Join the debate - let local and global perspectives empower your community

This is your opportunity to hear from expert speakers on key areas including assets, income, finance, succession, service provision and sustainability.

And importantly, you’ll tackle these topics in working groups – where you can discuss how to get the best results in community-led development with a wide variety of people working at all stages of community project development.

We’re expecting 250 delegates from a wide variety of groups to join the two-day event. In addition, you’ll have access to a vibrant, informative marketplace of up to 60 organisations and partners where you can get the latest help and advice from community support organisations, public agencies, and subject experts.

A diverse programme to stimulate ideas and action

We're delighted to be joined by Alex Thomson, chief correspondent of Channel 4 news. He’ll guide us through a varied programme of speakers, open forums, exhibitors and opportunities for networking and informal meetings. As well as a conference dinner, there’s a variety of entertaining fringe events.

Our final speaking line-up will be announced soon. Speakers already confirmed include: 

  • Sarah Skerrett, author of Recharging Rural
  • Rob Snyder and Suzanne MacDonald of Maine’s Island Institute
  • Brian Swainbanks from Tobermory Harbour
  • Irene Warner-MacIntosh from the Mhor Collective
  • Mike Staples from Dumfries and Galloway Small Communities Housing Trust
  • Neil Ferguson from Electric A9

Sign up today - give your community the advantage!

Please register now to secure your place. Because we anticipate high demand, tickets will be limited to TWO persons per organisation. Let us know if you wish to book a conference dinner place.

Conference rate accommodation is available at the MacDonald Aviemore Resort. We’ll send you a code after you register.

If you're interested in exhibiting in the marketplace, please get in touch at SCCS19@hient.co.uk.

#SCCS19 is being run by Highlands and Islands Enterprise, with support from the South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership, the Scottish Government, and Scottish Enterprise. The conference dinner is supported by Cairngorm National Park Authority.

For more information, visit our website

Do you have questions about Strengthening Communities Conference Scotland 2019? Contact Highlands and Islands Enterprise
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Sponsored By …Connecting Scotland's Towns