Media Release: Gatehouse of Fleet and the Glenkens in the running to receive a Creative Place Award

Shortlist announced for Scotland’s celebration of creative endeavour taking place within smaller communities

Winners to be announced at Awards Ceremony:

The Byre Theatre, St Andrews, Wed 23 Jan, 2013

CREATIVE Scotland has announced the shortlist for the country’s Creative Place Awards.

Now in its second year, the awards were established to celebrate and recognise the hard work and imagination that contributes to the rich cultural life of a community, as well as its social and economic well-being.

The shortlist has been made across three categories:

* Places with less than 2,500 residents

* Places with less than 10,000 residents

* Places with less than 100,000 residents

Gatehouse of Fleet and the Glenkens have been shortlisted alongside Pathhead, Rosneath Peninsula (Cove, Kilcreggan, Peaton, Ardpeaton and Portkil) and Unst in the category for places with under 2,500 residents.  The Category winner will receive £50,000.

From Unst Fest on the most northerly inhabited island in the UK, to the stunning shores of Rosneath Peninsula, the vibrant festivals of East Lothian to the inspirational musical scene of the Pathhead Music Collective, a total of nine Scottish communities have reached the final stage and the winners will be announced at the Creative Place Awards ceremony on Wednesday 23 January, 2013 at The Byre Theatre, St Andrews.

Gatehouse of Fleet has a range of arts organisations supported by local residents. For these to thrive and benefit the wider business community, Gatehouse of Fleet aim to attract increased numbers of visitors to their small Georgian town set in a National Scenic Area. A Creative Place Award would be used to achieve this through creative programming, investment in marketing and a new Business-Arts partnership.

The Glenkens – a series of small villages with a population just over 2,000 spread over 300 square miles – is celebrated for its natural beauty but faces challenges due to its rural nature. A Creative Place Award would allow them to create new art works reflecting the area’s rural and cultural identity, these include, for example, installations and 3D images being projected onto the six local hydro dams/plants.

On being shortlisted, a spokesman for the Gatehouse Development Initiative, said: “We are delighted to be shortlisted for this prestigious Award which puts Gatehouse and its community firmly on the creative map, recognising the efforts of volunteers who work hard in venues across our town. The diverse range of arts events we offer includes, music, the literary and visual arts and  caters for all tastes and ages valuing equal opportunities for all.

“The Gatehouse Development Initiative exists to support our venues and local businesses in their efforts to increase visitor numbers in which we believe the arts play a crucial role. Should Gatehouse be successful, the award would help us raise our game regionally in terms of profile and marketing, give us additional scope and opportunities with programming, and allow us to build a more robust framework for ongoing development.”

On being shortlisted, Cathy Agnew, chair, Glenkens Community and Arts Trust, said:  “This is a great news story for people of the Glenkens. The nomination recognises the role that the Glenkens Community and Arts Trust (GCAT) has played in creating opportunities for local people and visitors to engage and enjoy the arts.

“Much of the creative activity based within our programme focuses on the Catstrand Arts and Visitor Centre in New Galloway, which opened in 2007. In the light of five successful years of attracting local, national and international artists to exhibit or perform in this rural part of south west Scotland we wish to create a new project which will reflect and brand the rural and cultural identity of the Glenkens and therefore benefit local people and attract new visitors to this stunning part of Scotland.”

Sean O’Hare, general manager, Glenkens Community and Arts Trust, said: “GCAT is one of many arts organisations in Dumfries and Galloway who are now working in effective partnerships to develop a regional arts strategy and this nomination recognises the growing strength of this creative, vibrant and professional sector and what it brings to the region.”

Finalists have been selected for the wide involvement of the whole community, as well as the track record of their existing plans. The winner of each category will receive a cash prize which will enable them to enhance and promote their future activity.

For places with under 2,500 residents, the five finalists are Gatehouse of Fleet, The Glenkens, Pathhead, Rosneath Peninsula (Cove, Kilcreggan, Peaton, Ardpeaton and Portkil) and Unst.  The winner of this category will receive £50,000.

For places with under 10,000 residents, the only shortlisted nominee is Huntly.  The prize money for this category is £100,000.

For places with under 100,000 residents, the finalists are Kilmarnock, Orkney, and East Lothian. The winner of this category will receive £150,000.

Iain Munro, director of creative development for Creative Scotland, said: “The awards offer a chance to celebrate and reward creativity within Scotland’s diverse communities. Congratulations to all of the shortlisted places – we were extremely impressed by the creative vitality and energy which is taking place across Scotland. The shortlist offers a terrific example of how embedding arts and culture within the foundation of a community strengthens and improves people’s lives.”

The Creative Place Awards judging panel is made up of individuals with expertise across the arts, media, tourism and community development including: Marie Christie, international events director, culture, EventScotland; Andrew Dixon, CEO, Creative Scotland (chair of Jury panel); Janice Forsyth, broadcaster; Pat Kane, writer, musician and activist; Fiona Logan, CEO Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and Andy Milne, CEO, SURF – Scotland’s Independent Regeneration Network.

Fiona Logan, CEO Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park, and one of the judges, said: “I’m always hugely impressed by the amount of drive and passion shown by communities to showcase the very best of their local area and it’s great that we have such a wide range of applications to consider. I’m delighted to be involved and hope other communities take some inspiration from what has been achieved.”

Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 23 January 2013 at The Byre Theatre, St Andrews.

St Andrews received a 2012 Creative Place Award. Commenting on the impact the award has had, project director, Jacqueline McKay, said: “The award has provided a real focus for the arts in St Andrews and has brought festivals together to work in partnership to tell our creative stories with enhanced impact. We now have a Creative hub that projects and festivals can work out of, and we’ve attracted additional support for our year round calendar of projects. Importantly we’ve established new opportunities to collaborate with the business and tourism community and are confident that this way of working is here to stay.”

For more information about the Creative Place Awards visit:


Notes to editors:

The Creative Place Awards aim to celebrate the value of creativity to the social and economic wellbeing of smaller communities across Scotland, and to reward the hard work and imagination of such places.

Shortlisted nominees have been selected for the wide involvement of the whole community, as well as the creativity of their existing plans.

Category winners will receive a cash prize enabling them to enhance their activity further. The awards were not open to the nation’s cities.

This is the second year of the awards which will run until 2014.

The awards are part of the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, a year-long celebration of Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths.

Details of each shortlisted nominee can be found below:

There are three award categories:

* For places with under 2,500 residents (cash award: £50,000)
* For places with under 10,000 residents (cash award: £100k)
* For places with under 100,000 residents (cash award: £150k)

Shortlisted applicants will be invited present to the judging panel on Monday 03 December. The panel will then discuss each shortlisted place in relation to the key criteria and agree winners in each of the three categories. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in January.

The Creative Place Awards application deadline was 20 July 2012. Applications were assessed against the criteria outlined below and recommendations put forward to the shortlisting panel.

Applications criteria:

* Track record of distinctive creative programme.Plans to enhance and promote programme in 2013.
Evidence of community collaboration.

* Track record of attracting visitors and appropriate marketing plans for 2013.

* Evidence of collaboration between cultural organisations and local business/ tourism organisations.

* Monitoring and evaluation.

The Creative Place Awards are taking place as part of The Year of Creative Scotland – a Scottish Government led initiative in partnership with EventScotland, VisitScotland, Creative Scotland and VOCAL.

The Year of Creative Scotland began on January 1, 2012 offering a platform to showcase, celebrate and promote Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths.

Creative Scotland has distributed around £8m National Lottery funds to support arts and cultural activity throughout the country in celebration of the Year of Creative Scotland.

More information about the programme can be found at:

Creative Scotland is the national lead and development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries.

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Contact: Sophie Bambrough
Phone: 07747606146