The prestigious 2017 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration were launched today (13/06/17) at a Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland event celebrating the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Scotland’s Towns Partnership is supporting the Scotland’s Most Improved Place category.

The SURF Awards are delivered each year by SURF, a regeneration forum with 250 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; Creative Regeneration sponsored by Creative Scotland, Youth Employability: Overcoming Barriers sponsored by Skills Development Scotland, Community Led Regeneration sponsored by Highlands and Island Enterprise, Scotland’s Most Improved Place sponsored by Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Architecture & Design Scotland and finally introducing a new Housing category for 2017.

The timescale for the 2017 SURF Awards is as follows:

  • Tuesday 13th June - launch of Awards in partnership with HLF
  • Monday 18th September - close of application period
  • Mid Sept-Oct - Shortlisting by 20 independent judges
  • Oct-Nov - Visits and assessment period by judges
  • Thursday 7th December – SURF Awards Dinner (Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow)

This year SURF will be holding a Caption Competition for the main Awards Image featuring the duck and the chick.  The best and funniest caption will win a free place at the SURF Awards Celebratory Dinner in the recently refurbished Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, on the evening of Thursday 7th December 2017.

SURF’s Chief Executive Andy Milne says;

“The very productive links between heritage, places, communities and regeneration, have featured prominently in the SURF Awards over recent years. So it’s highly appropriate for us to be launching our 2017 SURF Awards process in collaboration with HLF, especially in this designated year of History, Heritage and Archaeology”

Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:

“As a main partner in the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology, the National Lottery is funding very many heritage projects across the country this year. These projects have a real impact on places and people, often breathing new life into communities through regeneration, training and tourism. It’s fitting then that SURF is launching these awards today, celebrating and rewarding the hard work and innovation that transforms the fortunes of Scotland’s communities.”

Phil Prentice, Chief Officer of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, said:

"Scotland's urban landscape has shifted dramatically over the last couple of decades: mills, mines, shipyards, steelworks and manufacturing plants have given way to retail, offices, hotels, service industries, universities, leisure and attractions. The SURF Awards are a recognition that things never stand still, that we are constantly changing shape and evolving - and these awards showcase the best examples of this renewal and regeneration to help inspire others".

For further information on the SURF Awards and to download application materials please visit  or contact Emma Scott on [email protected]

Sponsored By Supporting Scotland's Towns