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Stove awarded best Creative Regeneration Project in Scotland!

We have received some great news to end the year – The Stove Network has been awarded the best Creative Regeneration Project in Scotland 2016! The prestigious Scottish Urban Regeneration Form (SURF) Awards took place in Glasgow last week, at the Award presentation dinner. Launched in 2003, these awards have become the benchmark for best practice and innovation in community regeneration in Scotland. This is an award for everyone connected to The Stove. We’ve all been a part of making a new momentum of change in Dumfries – whether taking part in projects, attending events, or simply being a member and telling others that The Stove is something worth checking out.


During their visit to the Stove back in October, the judges of the SURF Awards noticed a buzz about the town and could see that a big part of that was down to The Stove. It’s fantastic that other people are looking at Dumfries as somewhere that is trying out new ideas. The SURF Awards are a way of profiling and sharing these ideas. It’s been great to find out about other projects across Scotland as well, and we’re really pleased to be have been nominated alongside them

The judges commented, “The Stove Network demonstrates that a strong and uncompromising creative vision stimulates debate, giving the local community a greater voice in issues affecting Dumfries, from frequent flooding to high street regeneration. It was clear that The Stove Network has had a significant and transformational impact on Dumfries, and that the energy and drive demonstrated by the creative team, their partners and the wider community will continue to revitalise Dumfries and make a real difference to the place and to people’s lives.”


The SURF Awards identifies and celebrates success in revitalising Scottish communities. The other projects shortlisted alongside Dumfries were from Easterhouse in Glasgow and Falkirk. Since 1998, the SURF Awards have promoted regeneration initiatives, large and small from across Scotland. Town centres are now looking at different ways of sustaining themselves, and creativity and the arts have a big part to play in this.


The Stove Network shortlisted for SURF Award

We love a good press release at the stove…..

Dumfries Artists Collective, The Stove Network have been shortlisted for the prestigious Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum (SURF) Awards for 2014. Launched in 2003 these awards have become the benchmark for best practice in urban regeneration in Scotland.

The Stove Network have been shortlisted in the Creative category which highlights best practice in arts-based projects that contribute to local regeneration efforts. The Stove Network have been nominated for their pioneering work in placing the arts and culture at the heart of regeneration efforts in Dumfries and in particular for their ‘innovative and exemplary arts practice in the context of national cultural and economic strategy’.

Commenting Stove Curatorial Team Member Matt Baker said – ‘It is huge for us and for Dumfries itself to be getting this national recognition for what is happening in the town.’

‘The Stove Network works in close partnership with other arts organisations locally such as Big Burns Supper, Moat Brae, Theatre Royal and Robert Burns Centre Film Theatre as well as DG Unlimited. SURF understands about partnership and this recognition is for all of us. The public really began to notice a buzz about the arts in the town after Dumfries was shortlisted as Scotland’s Creative Place for 2014 – the Creative Dumfries project was a massive communal effort by everyone connected to the arts and regeneration in the town’

‘Currently we are unable to use our premises on the High Street whilst DGC carry out essential accessibility improvements. Unfortunately these works have been subject to significant delays and this has curtailed the projects that we have been able to do over the last few months. However we hope people will have seen the potential of our work through events like the Nithraid in September, we are gathering an amazing group of people around our organisation – so just imagine what we will be able to do when we are fully functioning in 100 High Street!’

In June The Stove Network worked with more than 40 local groups and individuals to create a ‘people’s charter’ for the town which they launched as part of Guid Nychburris celebrations. The launch included members of the public hurling wet sponges from the town fountain at giant banners that changed colour when wet to reveal the Charter.

15.BMX on Sands
BMX and skaters take to the Whitesands as part of Nithraid 2014

On September 13th the artists staged the second running of their Nithraid event which saw more than 4000 people reveal the potential of the town’s riverside carparks as public space with an artist’s street market, roller skating, skateboarding and BMX. Nithraid is a ‘dangerous sailing race’ in which sail powered craft negotiate the river NIth from the Solway Firth into the centre of the town on the highest tide of the year.

The winners of the SURF Awards 2014 will be announced at the Radisson Hotel in Glasgow on 2nd December.

More about the SURF Awards available on their website here 

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