An application by Fife Council for a SURF Award for Lochgelly has seen the town shortlisted under the Scotland’s Most Improved Town category in the 2016 Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum awards (SURF).

The purpose of the SURF Awards is:

  • To recognise and reward best practice and innovation in community regeneration;
  • To promote and disseminate best practice across Scotland as means of sharing knowledge and experience, and thereby enhancing future policy and practice;
  • To highlight the role that regeneration projects have in improving the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

Fife Council’s submission showcased some of their work in Lochgelly over the last 16 years, as well as the work of other groups such as The Ore Valley Group, Lochgelly Community Development Forum, and other community groups.

The submission by Fife Council sought to demonstrate how collaborative and partnership working over a number of years has helped change the face of Lochgelly by improving the town’s assets, creating new housing, leisure and business opportunities. It also outlined the range of community-led projects that have been delivered throughout the town.

The submission highlighted how more recently the community-led Lochgelly Community Action plan 2016-2021 was launched.

Christine McGrath from Lochgelly Community Development Forum said that she was “absolutely delighted that Lochgelly is a finalist for the award”, commenting “the town is getting the recognition it deserves after years of hard work by everyone involved. The community commitment in Lochgelly is very strong with two new groups Growing in Lochgelly and Lochgelly Heritage Group recently starting from the Lochgelly Community Action Plan process. These groups are making a positive difference in the town”.

Andrew Saunders CEO of Ore Valley Group said “the projects showcased in the application, although delivered separately, were very much part of a collaborative masterplan first developed in 2001 in a partnership with the local community, Fife Council and Ore Valley Group. A significant difference has been made to Lochgelly which has only been possible due to partners’ commitment to the Town”.

Judges from across Scotland visited Lochgelly to see first-hand the work that has been carried out in the town over a number of years. The winner of Scotland’s Most Improved Town award will be announced in December 2016.

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