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“We found that groups and organisations had a values-based and holistic way of working in collaboration with their communities and embraced risk and creativity as a tool of practice. They had developed working practices that were embedded in their place and focused on social wellbeing and inclusion in our communities finding innovative solutions to local needs.”

Katharine Wheeler, Curatorial Team member and lead for Embers at The Stove

Embers lays out a Vision and Approach to growing our places as prosperous, sustainable and resilient communities. It examines the role of creativity in effective placemaking work to inspire change and grow local activity and projects responsive to local need.


  • Put Creative Placemaking at the heart of building prosperous and healthy communities, supporting grassroots enterprise and innovation and informing our regions wider strategic agenda
  • Establish an innovative framework of support, resource and expertise that considers localised economies of places to build a network of opportunity, learning and collaboration
  • The South of Scotland will be a leader in rural enterprise and community-led regeneration and innovation, growing national and international partnerships and opportunity for the South.

A huge thank you to the individuals, groups and organisations who contributed to the writing of this report!

Embers was an independent piece of work partially funded by the South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SoSEP). It was conceived by The Stove Network and led by Katharine Wheeler with support on relative policy background by Carnegie Trust UK.

Embers – Creative Placemaking for the South of Scotland

There is has been a growing recognition that something special is happening in community-led work across the country. In D+G our creative sector is working at the heart of rural communities and helping to inspire, facilitate and connect other initiatives that are making a real difference for our places and the people that live there. At The Stove we have received national and international recognition for our work in this field and are aware of the transformational resource this Creative Placemaking practice can be for our communities.

Embers aims to ignite creative and culturally-led regeneration by exploring the work and experience in Dumfries & Galloway and helping to define a joined-up vision for work in Creative Placemaking for the South of Scotland. Embers presents Creative Placemaking as a collaborative practice that uses creative activity to connect and come together with other individuals, groups and organisations and respond to local needs with innovative solutions that focus on social wellbeing and inclusion in our communities.

With the establishment of the South of Scotland Enterprise (SoSE) there is an opportunity for this type of Creative Placemaking work to be a key part of a regional strategy for enterprise and growing healthy community-focused economies in the South of Scotland.

Through 6 months of deep consultation work we have had conversations with, and gathered information from, 21 groups and organisations from across Dumfries and Galloway with additional feedback and input from regional and national support bodies and agencies and research into relative policy. We wanted to find out directly from groups and organisations working successfully as part of their communities more about the strengths and challenges of their work and build a picture of effective Creative Placemaking in Dumfries and Galloway and its impact for our places.

“How can we, as a creative agency for change, make things slightly different here.”

Lucy MacLeod, Creative Director for Outpost Arts, Langholm

Download the Embers report here: Embers Report

A Clear Text version here: Embers Report – Clear Text Version

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