Media Release: Peebles wins a Creative Place Award



PEEBLES wins Creative Place Award

Winners announced at evening ceremony:

The Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock

Wednesday 29 January, 2014

THE communities of Peebles, Helmsdale and Falkirk have each won Creative Place Awards.

The awards were announced to a packed audience at this evening’s ceremony (Wednesday 29 January, 2014), which took place at The Palace Theatre, Kilmarnock.

Peebles has been awarded £100,000 in the category for places with under 10,000 residents.

Peebles community would use the award to support an imaginative set of activities, events and installations featuring art and artists within the context of work, study, tourism, leisure and play; the enhancement and extension of the existing festival programme and the development of a marketing strategy in collaboration with tourism and business sectors.

Caroline Adam, general manager at Eastgate Theatre & Arts Centre, said: “This is a wonderful recognition of the creative energies that make Peebles so special; and a great opportunity to make the town better, brighter and busier than ever.”

Representatives from the three communities received the awards at tonight’s ceremony hosted by broadcaster Dougie Vipond. The winners of each category have received cash awards to enable them to enhance and promote their creative activity throughout 2014.

The Creative Place Awards celebrate and recognise the hard work and imagination that contributes to the rich cultural life of Scotland’s smaller communities, as well as their social and economic well-being. The initiative focuses on creative programmes in areas out with Scotland’s main cities.

Twenty applications from a range of organisations, across 12 local authority areas were received for the 2014 Creative Place Awards. From the entries, nine nominations were shortlisted across three categories:

* Places with less than 2,500 residents

* Places with less than 10,000 residents

* Places with less than 100,000 residents

Nominees were selected for the wide involvement of the whole community as well as the track record of their existing creative programmes.

The Creative Place Awards winners were chosen by a panel of judges made up of: Janet Archer, CEO, Creative Scotland, (chair of jury panel); Malcolm Roughead, OBE, chief executive and director of marketing, VisitScotland; Jackie Kay, writer; Emma Halliday, architecture curator and programme director for Access, Architecture and Design Scotland; and Geoff Fagan, CEO, CADISPA (Conservation and Development in Sparsely Populated Areas).

Responding to this evening’s announcement, Janet Archer, chief executive, Creative Scotland, said: “Congratulations to the winners of this year’s Creative Place Awards. I look forward to visiting Helmsdale, Peebles and Falkirk to see how this money has boosted the creative spirit and enriched the cultural lives of each community.

“We received an extremely high calibre of applications for this year’s awards and the judges had a difficult decision selecting the winners. It is great to see how invested communities are in allowing creativity to flourish within their areas.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, commented: “The Creative Place Awards celebrate all that is best about Scotland and our communities. These shortlisted nominations demonstrate the vibrant culture and heritage of our communities and vividly illustrate how culture and creativity can enrich, empower and shape our communities.

“We are committed to ensuring communities across Scotland are encouraged and supported to participate in these awards, ensuring the hard work and imagination that contributes to the cultural life of our communities is recognised and rewarded. My congratulations to all those shortlisted tonight.”

Rhona Corscadden, senior events manager, EventScotland, said: “The calibre of the applications for this year’s awards is extremely high, and they highlight the strength of the creative industries across Scotland. These awards showcase the breadth of creative talent we have in our communities and each of the applicants should be congratulated for their achievements to date.”

Mike Cantlay, chair of VisitScotland, said: “The Creative Place Awards are a fantastic way of promoting and celebrating Scotland’s wealth of creative talent. I would like to congratulate Helmsdale, Peebles and Falkirk on their outstanding achievements, and hope it leads to more visitors coming to see what these ‘Creative Places’ have to offer in the year that Scotland welcomes the world.”

Commenting on East Ayrshire’s hosting of the 2014 Creative Place Awards and how winning an Award in 2013 has had a positive impact across Kilmarnock, Councillor Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, said: “It has been an honour for Kilmarnock to host this year’s Creative Place award ceremony.

“Last year, Kilmarnock scooped the top award which allowed the Council, with our partners from local theatre group Centrestage, to bring a range of new activities and experiences right into the heart of the town centre by opening The Hub and The Studio within two empty shop units, which supported workshops, street theatre and cabaret performances.

“Last year was a fantastic year for culture in Kilmarnock, which was thanks in no small part to the support from Creative Scotland and winning the Creative Place award. I am sure this year’s winners will also grasp the opportunities made available to them with both hands.”

Speaking from this evening’s ceremony, Provost Jim Todd of East Ayrshire Council, said: “I am delighted to be attending the ceremony and to speak at the evening reception held within the Palace Theatre and Grand Hall complex. I also took the opportunity to personally congratulate each of the winners and discuss their plans to develop culture in their area in the coming year.

“Kilmarnock is a thriving arts and culture venue, and I am very proud of the exceptional year round calendar of events, which include music and book festivals, outdoor theatre performances and art exhibitions, available to our local community.”

Fiona Lees, chief executive, East Ayrshire Council, said: “The Creative Place awards 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. We know first-hand that the arts can transform lives and can encourage sustainable regeneration.

“Kilmarnock stands tall alongside the art and culture offer of any city in Scotland and we are committed to further improving our creative programmes throughout East Ayrshire.”


Notes to editors

The purpose of the Creative Place Awards is to enhance and promote the creative activities and programmes of smaller, specific communities in Scotland. They aim to recognise achievements and ambitions in using these activities, both for the benefit of local communities, and to attract visitors.

Shortlisted nominees were selected for their track record in delivering a high quality programme of work, the quality of their plans to enhance their programme and for the involvement of the wider community. Category winners receive funding to enable them to enhance their activity further. The Awards were not open to the nation’s cities.

Information on all shortlisted projects

Under 2,500 residents (£50,000)


Kingussie has developed a year round programme of events called ‘Little Town of Festivals’ whereby the town hosts a festival with an arts or cultural theme every month of the year. The ‘Creative Together’ strand would enhance the programme by enabling experts to be invited to give performances and talks, educational workshops, master classes and training courses, and would bring the festivals to the High Street with creative local menus in the restaurants and cafes, themed art exhibitions in the galleries, live music in the pubs and festival-themed shop window displays.


Ullapool community would like to use an award to create a Creative Ullapool marketing campaign and to enhance and add value to existing events. They are also keen to work in partnership to develop a series of new commissions and programming ideas; offer a new workshop programme for the community; support individual artists to collaborate with artists across different artforms; hold a ten-day creative showcase and introduce a winter Film Festival.


Helmsdale is looking to run an additional programme alongside their planned Paradigm North project in 2014. This will be called Serendipitous North and will map the creative connections that exist within the remote community. Making visible the often unseen and unrecognised creativity of Helmsdale’s inhabitants while supporting the development of significant new work across multiple art forms by established creative practitioners, the project will celebrate and activate creativity within the community. Financial support and developmental assistance will be made available to participating community members and groups in order to harness the momentum it generates.

Under 10,000 residents (£100,000)


The award would be used to engage professional arts practitioners to work with individuals and groups on the island; improve access to the arts for all sectors of the community; improve marketing skills and to nurture excellence by providing support for those with exceptional talent.


Peebles community would use the Award to support an imaginative set of activities, events and installations featuring art and artists within the context of work, study, tourism, leisure and play; the enhancement and extension of the existing festival programme and the development of a marketing strategy in collaboration with tourism and business sectors.

Rosneath Peninsula: Cove, Kilcreggan, Rosneath, Clynder, Garelochhead

An award would enable communities within the area to enrich and expand some existing activities with a number of new events. These include a chamber music weekend whose programme will be reflective of the environment; a film festival; a Book Festival; a pop up gallery and a Parkour event. The award would also be used to help attract an enhanced programme of visiting artists.

Under 100,000 residents (£150,000)


Falkirk community would use the award to support a project called Acts Of Discovery aimed at offering audiences a fresh look at the area and its cultural offering. Based on the themes of people, routes and pathways, Acts Of Discovery will build on and complement Falkirk’s cultural offering by enhancing the existing 2014 cultural activity.


For Dumfries, the award would be used to support the commissioning of new, cutting-edge work by key arts organisations; deliver a community approach to marketing the arts and develop creative approaches to signage, land marking and orientation in the town.


Orkney has a number of flagship organisations such as the St Magnus International Festival, the Pier Arts Centre, Orkney Folk Festival and world-renowned jewellery, textile and craft industries such as Sheila Fleet, Tait & Style and Hume Sweet Hume, which are recognised nationally and internationally. New organisations and festivals have emerged recently such as the Papay Gyro Nights Art Festival, the Orkney Storytelling Festival and the West Side Cinema. The award would be used to support a showcase of Orkney arts activities in Edinburgh; a landmark creative international conference; a series of creative projects in existing local activities and a special Winter Festival involving the main festivals and creative industries.

There were 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

Judges biogs:

Janet Archer

Janet Archer became CEO of Creative Scotland on 1 July 2013. Prior to taking up her post at Creative Scotland, Janet spent six years at Arts Council England as director, Dance, working as part of the national strategy team. She has a broad knowledge of the wider arts and creative industries having been involved in developing Arts Council England’s ten-year framework for the arts: Achieving Great Art For Everyone. During her time at the Arts Council, she also led the team that delivered the State of the Arts 2012 conference: Artists Shaping the World. Before joining Arts Council England, Janet’s 16 years with the Newcastle-based National Dance Agency, Dance City as chief executive and artistic director were instrumental to the organisation’s growth, and included the project management of a large scale capital development working with a Scottish design team led by Malcolm Fraser Architects. Janet’s work in Scotland includes chairing the artist-led organisation, The Work Room, supporting the British Council in programming their showcases in Edinburgh and as a former dancer, choreographer, founder and artistic director of the Nexus Dance Company, touring into Scotland as well as attending the Scottish Youth Dance Festivals held in Stirling in the 1980’s.

Malcolm Roughead OBE

A graduate in Modern Languages from the University of Glasgow in 1981, Malcolm joined VisitScotland in 2001 from Guinness World Records, where he was global sales and marketing director. Prior to that he held a number of senior marketing positions with Diageo over a 17-year period in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and North America. 
Malcolm has been responsible for the repositioning of Scotland as a leading tourism destination. A Fellow of The Institute of Direct Marketing, he was chair of the Marketing Society (Scotland) from 2007 to 2010. In March 2004, Malcolm was awarded Scottish Marketer of the Year at the Scottish Marketing Awards. In the January 2006 Honours List he was awarded an OBE for services to Tourism. In September 2010 Malcolm was appointed chief executive of VisitScotland.

Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. THE ADOPTION PAPERS (Bloodaxe) won the Forward Prize, a Saltire prize and a Scottish Arts Council Prize. FIERE, her most recent collection of poems was shortlisted for the COSTA award. Her novel TRUMPET won the Guardian Fiction Award and was shortlisted for the IMPAC award. RED DUST ROAD (Picador) won the Scottish Book of the Year Award, and the LONDON BOOK AWARD. It was shortlisted for the JR ACKERLEY prize. She was awarded an MBE in 2006, and made a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002. Her book of stories WISH I WAS HERE won the Decibel British Book Award. 
She also writes for children and her book RED CHERRY RED (Bloomsbury) won the CLYPE award. She has written extensively for stage and television. Her most recent plays MANCHESTER LINES (produced by Manchester Library Theatre) and THE NEW MAW BROON MONOLOGUES (produced by Glasgay) were a great success. Her most recent book is a collection of stories, REALITY, REALITY. She is currently working on her new novel, BYSTANDER. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Newcastle University.

Emma Halliday

Emma is exhibition director for the Access to Architecture programme at Architecture and Design Scotland. Based at The Lighthouse in Glasgow the team deliver a programme of exhibitions, events and workshops that inform, inspire and educate the public on Scottish architecture and place-making.

Emma has been involved with many projects, events, festivals and exhibitions that promote the value of architecture, design and place-making both in the UK and internationally. Previously she was programme director at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture and Design, directed the Six Cities Design Festival’s public programme in 2007 and was curator for a series of touring architectural exhibitions. Prior to this she worked for the Science Museum in London and Glasgow 1999: UK City of Architecture and Design. Emma is also very active in her local area running community events in Hayburn Playpark and is currently developing facilities within the park.

Dr Geoff Fagan Ed D; M Ed, ADE, Cert Ed. FRSA, FHEA 

Geoff Fagan was trained at University of Oxford, Culham College of Education and qualified in both teaching and Community Work with a Distinction in both. He spent five years as a Community Tutor in Leicestershire Local Authority, went back to Nottingham University for a year in 1975 (to read Freire, Rogers and research methodology). He was appointed to work on a joint Local Authority/Home Office initiative researching local responses to criminal damage before being recruited to the University of Strathclyde (then Jordanhill College of Education) in 1978.

Geoff spent 31 years at the university, running the Scottish Centre for Sustainable Community Development until July 2009 when the centre was re-established external to the University as an independent Trust. He is now CEO of the CADISPA Trust.
 Geoff joined the CADISPA Project at the university in its earliest moments in 1986 to take responsibility for the community development element within it.

In 1995, he became director and initiated, developed, monitored and financed CADISPA’s development into the future whilst it expanded across the EU and, more recently into China and Tibet. At this time the field work element of CADISPA has a value of over £30 million of local activity within it – all being raised and managed by local people. 
In 1996, Geoff was invited to sit on President Clinton’s Task Force on Sustainable Development and on the White House ‘University Leaders for a Sustainable Future’ initiative.

After five years as a board member of IAP2 and chair of the research committee, he became the President of this international association in 2009. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He is a member of the Scottish Sustainable Development Forum, and is on the editorial board of the International Journal for Public Participation and was on the editorial board of the Scottish Community Work and Development Journal prior to its closure.

In 2012, the CADISPA Trust was awarded UN RCE status (United Nations Regional Centre of Expertise) in partnership with the University of Edinburgh.

Run by Creative Scotland and supported by EventScotland the awards encourage cultural organisations, community groups and/ or local authorities to represent their village, town or other community, and bid for an award that recognises its achievements in using its creative activities and programmes to promote the identity of the place.

Creative Scotland is the national organisation that funds and supports the development of Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries. Creative Scotland has four objectives: to develop and sustain a thriving environment for the arts, screen and creative industries; to support excellence in artistic and creative practice; to improve access to and participation in, arts and creative activity; and to deliver our services efficiently and effectively. In 2013/14 we will distribute over £100m in funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information on Creative Scotland please visit 
Twitter: @creativescots Facebook:

EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews. EventScotland is part of VisitScotland, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland.

For information on previous Creative Place Award winners:

For further press information please contact:

Helen Sim

Media Relations & PR Assistant

Creative Scotland


T: 0131 523 0019

M: 07801 226605

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