THE Old Police Station in Langholm has been shortlisted for Scotland’s Regeneration Forum’s prestigious SURF awards.
The awards showcase the success in responding to regeneration challenges in communities across Scotland, with The Old Police Station in the running in the housing and regeneration category.
The Eskdale Foundation, a community development trust with charitable status, were in charge of developing the former Langholm Police Station, which is a listed building, into four affordable flats in the heart of Langholm.
Delivered in partnership with South of Scotland Community Housing, working alongside a design team led by John Gilbert Architects, the project was supported by Scottish government’s Rural and Islands Housing Fund, DGC Town Centre Living Fund, the Architectural Heritage Fund, Muirhall Energy, South of Scotland Enterprise, as well as a significant contribution by the Eskdale Foundation themselves.
The total cost of the project was around £596,132.
SURF chairwoman, Kate Wimpress reflected on those to have made the cut.
“The work of all the SURF Award entrants has been vital in keeping communities connected, resilient and forward thinking across these most challenging of months,” she said.
“It is extremely heartening for SURF and our independent panel of judges to have received a raft of new entrants for all our award categories, even with groups and organisations across the country operating at full pace to address the impacts of the pandemic.
“Celebrating what works, and why it works, through the SURF Awards programme is a key strand of our work and is, arguably, of heightened importance this year.”
Since 1998, the SURF awards have identified successful regeneration projects of all sizes from across Scotland.
They are delivered each year by SURF, a regeneration forum with over 300 cross-sector member organisations across Scotland, in partnership with the Scottish government.
Having assessed applications from Lewis to the Scottish Borders, across five categories, SURF’s independent panel of 20 judges, drawn from national bodies and community groups, have in total agreed upon 15 shortlisted projects for 2021.
This years’ shortlisted projects feature major place-making investments, youth employability initiatives, and activities delivered by community groups and arts organisations in both urban and rural contexts, from Dumfries and Galloway to Fraserburgh.
In the housing and regeneration category, alongside the Old Police Station, is the affordable housing at former school on Abergeldie Road, Ballater in Aberdeenshire, and the Step Up – Step Down at the Telford Centre in Fort Augustus.
The Scottish Borders also features in the supporting youth employability category with Eat, Sleep, Ride CIC, alongside The Larder in West Lothian and Move On: Employability Fund in Glasgow.
Other categories, include creative regeneration, community led regeneration, and Scotland’s most improved place.
SURF’s new Chief Executive Euan Leitch said: “As we continue to live through very challenging times it’s heartening to see community-based regeneration projects deliver such positive outcomes for the people they work with.
“SURF is already looking forward to sharing the learning from all the nominees for fellow practitioners, funders and Scottish government about how best to support communities, driving forward the positive changes that the pandemic enabled.”
This year the awards will return to a physical project visit format, and the judging panel will be carrying out visits throughout October to all of the projects before deciding on the winning project in each category.
Their visits will help to develop a better understanding of their impact and the situations they are responding to.
The five category winners will be announced by the Scottish government minister for public finance, planning and community wealth, Tom Arthur in December.
It will take place at the 2021 SURF awards presentation dinner event in Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel.