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SCOTLAND's biggest Gaelic cultural festival has been declared a 'tremendous' success on its return to Oban for the first time in six years.

Thousands of competitors have converged from as far afield as Canada, the USA and Germany for the Royal National Mòd, which ran until Saturday.

A Glasgow accountant won the title of best overall piper on the opening day of competitions at the Royal National Mòd in Oban on Saturday.

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WEST Kilbride is the only Scottish finalist in this year’s Great British High Street Awards.

It marks a remarkable transformation from having a dilapidated village centre with half the shops boarded up to becoming a thriving community where the number of visitors has doubled in the last four years.

Over 230 communities entered the prestigious competition – almost double the entrants from 2014.

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EDAS is pleased to announce details of two events which will be of interest to all stakeholders in economic development: addressing Local Economic Strategies, and Skills & Underemployment.

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The Crieff Succeeds BID is now looking to recruit a full time BID Manager to drive forward the business plan and to work with the local businesses and the BID Board. This position is a fantastic opportunity for an experienced, enthusiastic and self-motivated Manager to lead our team and influence the future success of Crieff.

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The shortlist for a prestigious national awards scheme that showcases success in regenerating Scottish communities has just been announced.

The SURF Awards are delivered each year by SURF, Scotland’s independent regeneration network, in partnership with the Scottish Government.

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A weekly newspaper has won its battle to get town status for an area of its patch.

The Wishaw Press had been campaigning for Shotts to be recognised as a town for two months.

North Lanarkshire Council has now agreed to the new designation for Shotts, previously a village, making it Scotland’s newest town.

It means Shotts, which has a population of around 8,400, will be able to apply for a share of £1.7m being offered by the Scottish government to regenerate town centres across Scotland.

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What: To experience Scottish culture this weekend, you won’t even need to leave the state, let alone the country. Throw on your kilt and head over to the 28th annual Highland Festival from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Waldo Homestead in the Quiet Corner town of Scotland.

Fun and games: The event will include Scottish music, vendors, sheep hearding, demonstrations, competitions, traditional food and more. Competitors come from around the country to Scotland for the games, which include Highland dancing, athletics, piping and drumming.

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The Centre for Scottish Public Policy (CSPP) features the work that Business Improvement Districts have been doing to support local economic growth and community engagement across Scotland.

There has been much debate in recent years on how Scotland can best adapt to changing circumstances in order to guarantee prosperity, fairness and sustainable development. One widely shared response has been to focus on the role of communities and how they can promote local development, engagement and wellbeing. Such notions have also helped to inform Scottish Government policy, as expressed through the Town Centre Action Plan, the Community Empowerment Act and the proposed Land Reform Bill, which together seek to strengthen the role of community groups and local business in regeneration and development.

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Urban Realm has begun the process of collating our annual New Year’s honours list with a hunt for your nominations for our top 100 architect’s poll.

As the year draws to a close we will once again assess the state of play in Scotland’s architecture community with the return of our annual roll call of the country’s top architectural practices, as recommended by peers and clients.

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AHR have unveiled the first in a series of new gateway pavilions on the outskirts of Stranraer, Dumfries & Galloway, designed to help revitalise the seaside town following the relocation of its ferry terminal to nearby Cairnryan.

The cantilevered pavilion sits next to a revitalised café on the shores of Loch Ryan and is intended to provide shelter from the elements whilst offering a panoramic outlook for visitors.

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Bookings are now open for the Scotland’s Towns Conference 2015 and we can’t wait to see you in Falkirk this year!  

As part of Scotland's Towns Week (16 - 22 November) and in partnership with Falkirk Council, the Conference will take place in Falkirk's Town Hall on 18th November 2015. 

Join us for an active and practical day of learning, sharing and networking with colleagues from Scotland, the UK and overseas and to celebrate a year’s worth of achievements in towns across the country.   This year focusing on the Transformation of Scotland’s Towns, putting our town centres first and how the Town Centre Action Plan is being delivered across Scotland, we anticipate this to be the biggest (and best!) gathering yet.  

We've listed a few highlights but encourage you to browse the full STC15 Programme.

  • Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights
  • Audience Forum: From National to Local - Putting Town Centres First
  • Town Centres First in action!
  • Unique Fringe Events
  • Towns for All: a vision for fairer towns
  • International Speaker, Cord Soelke, University Town of Tübingen
  • Towns Tales
  • FutureTown Gallery
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Can you imagine the high streets of the future? Do you have a good idea for the future of Scotland’s high streets?

Scotland’s Towns Week’s (16 – 22 November) FutureTown Gallery needs your ideas! We want your ideas to contribute to a space for a possible high street in STP’s FutureTown. 

Get creative and sketch or photograph your idea for one space on the high street - it should be innovative and creative yet practical and should look to provide genuine potential for development within town centres in the future. Whether a unique bin design or different use for public or vacant space…be creative!

The competition is open to all and shortlisted designs and ideas will be showcased at the Falkirk Business Hub throughout Scotland’s Towns Week and will be on view for Scotland’s Towns Conferencedelegates in Falkirk Town Hall on 18th November. Voting will be open from 16 November online, in the Falkirk Business Hub and at the Scotland’s Towns Conference.

The winning idea, decided by the towns network, will be featured in the Scotland's Towns Sunday Herald Series, across the National Towns Portal throughout the year and at the Cross Party Group for Towns and Town Centres where you'll have the opportunity to present your design to the group.

To take part, please submit a sketch or photograph of your idea along with up to 100 words describing it. Entries should be submitted to Rebecca Mather by 5pm on Wednesday, 21 October. More information and guidelines here.

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Blog from Lesley Fraser, Housing, Regeneration and Welfare Director, Scottish Government

It’s been some time since we updated you on what has happened since the Scottish Housing Event at Murrayfield on 18 November 2014...

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Hundreds of affordable homes being built on redundant public sector sites.

Former publicly-owned land and buildings across Scotland, including hospitals, prisons and police stations, are being redeveloped to allow hundreds of affordable homes to be built.

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