Irvine has been named Scotland’s ‘most improved place’ at an awards ceremony in Glasgow.
The town was praised for The Irvine Vision, an effort by North Ayrshire Council, in partnership with the local community, to drive a strategic approach to the town’s economic and physical development.
The announcement was made at the 2017 SURF Awards for Best Practice in Community Regeneration at a celebratory presentation event held at Glasgow’s Grand Central Hotel on Thursday night.
The Ayrshire town claimed their award alongside four other winners, including The Broomhill Project in Greenock - which took the Creative Regeneration award - and the Ulva Ferry Housing Project on the Isle of Mull - which won in the Housing category - and were personally congratulated on their inspiring work by the Scottish Government’s Housing and Local Government Minister Kevin Stewart MSP.
The SURF Awards are delivered each year by SURF, a regeneration forum with over 260 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.
SURF’s panel of 20 independent judges are drawn from national regeneration bodies and commnity groups. They carefully assessed all of the varied SURF Awards nominations in five thematic categories, visiting 15 different shortlisted initiatives from the Scottish Borders to the Inner Hebrides, before selecting the five category winners.
Other winners included LinkLiving Step On which is based in Edinburgh, Falkirk and Fife, and provides support to young people seeking employment, education and training, and the Dundee International Women’s Centre which provides a space where women and girls from black and minority ethnic communities can “achieve their personal goals, reach their full potential, and prosper in their community”.
SURF Chair Kate Wimpress, who congratulatd each of the winners, said: “We hope that the talent, creativity, imagination and devotion shown by the 15 shortlisted projects can encourage even more such regeneration activity across Scotland in the future.