SURF e-bulletin November 2022
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SURF's November e-bulletin: All the latest news

Hello <<First Name>>. Welcome to the November e-bulletin. We hope you will: take a look at SURF's research into barriers to community-owned energy projects; be interested in the SURF Awards and Dinner; highlight a service, support or fund in the SURF Cost of Living Bulletin series; read SURF's response to the Land Reform Consultation; read the next two SURF Journal blogs; and keep up-to-date with the latest news & events in Scottish community regeneration.

SURF Research

SURF Research on barriers to community-owned energy projects in Scotland

SURF has had the pleasure of working with Kiera Dignan, a student on the University of Edinburgh’s MSc in ‘Global Environment, Politics and Society’.

Kiera has been on a dissertation placement researching barriers to community owned energy projects in Scotland. SURF introduced Kiera to our members who she surveyed and subsequently interviewed on knowledge of, and participation in, the heat decarbonisation agenda. 

The key themes identified as barriers to community-level energy participation are: ‘Funding’, ‘Capacity’, ‘Community Engagement’, ‘Communication’, and ‘Divergence: Urban and Rural Challenges’. Read more on our website.

Cost of Living Crisis

Over the last couple of months, SURF have been involved in a number of partner discussions, and engaged with SURF members, around the cost of living crisis

One issue that was highlighted was a lack of knowledge around what services were available in communities and what resources and funding was available to grassroots organisations. 

For the past few weeks SURF have put together a cost of living bulletin to highlight the work going on in communities throughout Scotland, and also funding and resources available to help sustain these services.

You can read previous copies HERE

If you are running a service, providing or highlighting resources or delivering funding please get in touch, providing at least 300 words on what you are doing/providing, and we will feature you in a special bulletin. 

Please email with any contributions or queries. 

SURF Journal

Alan Leslie summarises the key points from SURF’s conference but notes a trend that could be seen as a return to a top-down approach and calls for investment in community development.

There’s a lot of reading in Community Wealth Building (CWB) and Levelling Up, as each paragraph draws you inexorably into the Wellbeing Economy, Inclusive Growth, Progressive Procurement, The Preston & Cleveland Models and much more. Before you know it, you’re half way to a Masters degree. But, as Martin Avila noted wryly on the day, this is information we all need to populate our funding applications, so this conference was timely – and merciful, sparing us from having to navigate the more tortuous explanatory texts.

In the morning session, devoted to CWB, after a useful summary of the government position from Tom Arthur, we were treated to some illuminating thoughts from Martin Avila (CEIS), followed by some helpful “real world” examples. 

Read More

  • Cost of living & the #RunningCostsCrisis (link);
  • Fair funding: It's time to abandon the spin (link);
  • Nationwide equity assessment of the 20-min neighbourhood in the Scottish context: A socio-spatial proximity analysis of residential locations (link);
  • Langholm Moor buyout completion called a moment of history (link);
  • Event - Lessons & Learning from the Gaelic Communities Fund (link);
  • Event - Nourish Scotland Event Series (link);
  • Making Community Events Greener (link);
  • National Emergencies Trust to pilot disaster fundraising programme with local community networks (link);
  • Vacancy - Young Quines Emerging Creative Practitioner at Stellar Quines (link);
  • Anxious wait for Wanlockhead village land buyout hopes (link);
  • Tackling racism in Scotland (link);
  • Event - SCVO AGM (link);
  • Responding to immediate need (link);
  • Health Inequalities in Scotland: Trends in the socio-economic determinants of health in Scotland (link);
  • 100 charities, economists, businesses and unions call for urgent transition to a Wellbeing Economy (link);
  • Do creative industries generate multiplier effects? Evidence from UK cities 1997-2018 (link);
  • Glassmaking in Scotland facing a fragile future, businesses warn (link);
  • Urban planning is now on the front line of the climate crisis. This is what it means for our cities and towns (link);
  • Appointment of new Chair and Trustees at Arts & Business Scotland (link);
  • Consultation - Fair Work in the Voluntary Sector Survey (link);
  • Winter and the Cost of Living (link);
  • Four community organisations share £63,000 thanks to Clashindarroch Wind Farm Community Fund (link);
  • Glasgow prioritises office-to-residential conversions to kickstart a struggling core (link);
  • “It’s hard work being poor” Women’s Experiences of the Cost-of-Living Crisis in Scotland (link);
  • Funding - Youth Link Scotland Funding Directory (link);
  • Emergency budget response - SCVO letter to Deputy First Minister (link);
  • It's time to make the real Living Wage a reality for Scotland's voluntary sector workforce (link);
  • Vacancy - Assistant Fèis Coordinator at Fèis Phàislig (link);
  • Vacancy - Museums, Galleries & Archives Team Leader at Angus Alive (link);
  • Vacancy - Marketing Assistant at The Stove Network (link);
  • Get with the plan - parliamentary inquiry into community planning (link);
  • Tender - Digital Planning Good Practice Portal (link);
  • Culture Counts has established two Scottish Parliament Cross-party groups (CPGs) for 2021-26 (link);
  • Grow Food, Grow Dunoon - Locally Produced Film shows the story so far (link);
  • Funding - 'Surviving to Thriving' Business Support Programme - APPLY NOW FOR 2023! (link);
  • First community housing guide launched in Scotland (link);
  • Consultation - Community Planning inquiry (link);
  • Collectively we will make the difference that’s needed (link);
  • Funding - The Listening Fund Scotland (link);
  • A roadmap to decarbonisation (link);
  • RTPI Scotland Response to Revised Draft National Planning Framework 4 (link);
  • BEFS Policy Spotlight: Revised Draft National Planning Framework 4 – in brief! (link);
  • Culture Counts response to the new National Planning Framework 4 draft (link);
  • Pre-Budget Scrutiny 2023-24: Scotland's Public Finances in 2023-24 and the Impact of the Cost of Living and Public Service Reform (link);
  • Making data work (link);
  • Bernera buyout bid "cannot wait" (link); 
  • Funding - Funding for self-build homes (link);
  • New help announced for communities to register an interest in buying land and property (link);
  • Wellbeing economy toolkit for local authorities (link);
  • New easy mapping tool for community councils (link);
  • Tenement retrofit project wins Glasgow Institute of Architects sustainability award (link);
  • Vacancy - Two vacancies at Foundation Scotland (link);
  • Event - VAT opportunity for museums and galleries (link);
  • Community Landowners and the Climate Emergency (link);
  • Inquiry into Retail and Town Centres in Scotland (link);
  • Action needed to halt town centre decline - MSPs (link);
  • Government urged to ensure planning framework delivers Scotland’s housing needs (link);
  • Legislation to suspend local connection homelessness rules to come into force (link);
  • Another step to strengthening rights (link);
  • Learning by doing – our experiences of Strengthening Collaboration (link);
  • Green light for 71 homes in Cambuslang (link);
  • A view from the floor: Democratising the climate debate (link);
  • Vacancy - Operations Manager at Calvay HA (link);
  • Student accommodation plans updated at former Glasgow nightclub site (link);
  • In turbulent times, our leaders must address the systemic causes driving our mental health problems and prioritise wellbeing (link);
  • Vacancy - Customer Services Manager at Barrhead Housing (link);
  • Reduce the cost of running your business (link)
The SURF e-bulletin is not membership of SURF. Why not Join SURF

SURF Awards Dinner

The 2022 SURF Awards Presentation Dinner will be held in the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow, Ballroom on the evening of Thursday 8th December 2022.

We are delighted to confirm Scottish Government Minister for Public Finance, Planning and Community Wealth, Tom Arthur MSP, will be in attendance to announce the winners on the night, and our After Dinner Speaker will be Storyteller, Facilitator and Writer Shona Cowie. 

Further details, and an event programme, can be downloaded from the SURF website: HERE 

And should you wish to attend a booking form can be downloaded also. This should be completed and returned via email to
View the Shortlist HERE

Land Reform

SURF has formally responded to a Scottish Government consultation on Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation.

The consultation explores perspectives on Scottish Land Commission policy recommendations around diversifying land ownership patterns, while enhancing community empowerment and addressing climate change.The proposals seek to further progress policy aspirations set out in the Land Reform Acts of 2003 and 2016, and the Community Empowerment Act of 2015.

SURF’s submission outlined views on proposed new obligations for ‘large-scale’ landholdings, highlighted the different rural and urban dynamics in land reform, and argued that policy-makers should take more action to implement the Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement in practice.

SURF network feedback indicates the Statement is perceived as a valuable resource for delivering better outcomes for community empowerment and sustainable economic development across Scotland, but its potential is held back by low awareness and lack of use.

SURF Journal

Jocelyn Cunliffe unpicks what CWB means in particular from her perspective working in the historic environment and touches on the tensions that can arise when communities within a place have divergent views.

Reflections on the conference content, what challenges and opportunities lie ahead – things SURF’s Community Wealth Building Network should explore over the next year

What does Community Wealth Building mean at a community level? Who are the community? 

My comments are coloured by my professional background, as a conservation architect whose first projects involved community-based housing associations, a housing co-operative and the rehabilitation and conservation of a variety of nineteenth century tenements. Later I worked on tenement common repairs where the flats in the stairs had a mixture of owner categories
Read More

  • The Scottish Living Locally Data Portal (link);
  • National Planning Framework 4: revised draft (link);
  • Scotland’s poorest families’ income deducted to cover debts to public bodies (link);
  • Heat in Buildings Strategy: 2022 update (link);
  • Creative Placemaking and How it is Being Implemented Within The Scottish Cultural Sector (link);
  • Consultation - National Park consultation (link);
  • Land Reform Bill – Opportunity for joined-up thinking (link);
  • PAS Guide for Community Delivery of Local Place Plans (link);
  • New directorate team appointed at Collective Architecture (link);
  • Electricity Act 1989 applications - proposed fee changes consultation: Scottish Government response (link);
  • Scottish National Investment Bank invests £15m to help tackle homelessness (link);
  • Consultation - Youth Arts Framework (DGyoUth) Survey (link);
  • Funding - Funding to help communities tackle cost of living crisis (link);
  • New Technology widens access to Youth Music Making (link);
  • Creative Scotland Future Funding for Organisations - November 2022 Update (link);
  • Funding - Youth Music Initiative Funding (link);
  • Report tracking the work of the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee 2021-22 (link);
  • Better funding deal for Scottish culture long overdue (link);
  • Consultation - What would you like to see happen in a re-furbished Egyptian Halls in Union Street (link);
  • Cowcaddens streetscape improvements to reconnect the city with Port Dundas (link);
  • Funding Application Resources (link);
  • Glasgow City Council Place Commission (link);
  • Where the European Green Deal meets cultural heritage (link);
  • Accelerating green heat delivery (link);
  • Funding - National Drugs Mission Funds (link);
  • Event - Making History Exhibition (link);
  • Chief executive of COSLA to step down (link);
  • Data is an asset, not a burden, and is key to improving services says Audit Scotland (link);
  • Scottish Government funding of voluntary organisations: a case study of voluntary sector intermediaries (link);
  • Consultation - HES Responsible Tourism Framework (link);
  • Scotland’s finance secretary unveils another £615m of spending cuts (link);
  • The 2nd Anniversary That Shouldn’t Be Happening (link);
  • Review of France’s SAFER Land Market Interventions (link);
  • Sturgeon pledges £5m climate change fund for developing countries (link);
  • Event - Transforming places with Doughnut Economics: webinar 3 (link);
  • 5-minute guides for charity trustees (link);
  • Glasgow's Byres Road to be transformed into retail, food and drink hub (link);
  • Empowering individuals to use their voices to influence positive change (link);
  • Energy crisis support update: November 22 (link);
  • Scottish social landlords could lead retrofit revolution, report finds (link); 
  • Why Be A Trustee? (link);
  • North Glasgow strategy to boost public transport and help communities thrive (link);
  • Demand for green jobs in Scotland is growing (link);
  • Consultation - Delivering our Vision for Scottish Agriculture. Proposals for a new Agriculture Bill (link);
  • Small communities can have more control over housing with the right tools (link);
  • Call for Consultant: Community Garden and Food Growing in Stranraer (link);
  • Consultation - Dunoon Ferry Terminal Consultation (link);
  • Distiller shares plans for £40m Stirlingshire whisky warehouse (link);
  • Consultation - Opportunity for feedback to help Scotland improve land reform journey (link);
  • Event - Factoring Conference 2022 (link);
  • Community Development in 60 seconds (link);
  • Skills and Learning (link);
  • Advocacy Update and Budget Timescales (link);
  • Young people creating a brighter future (link);
  • Event - Arts and Business Scotland Events (link);
  • Event - What Can We Learn from Tenant Participation? (link);
  • New design guide to transform Scotland’s approach to affordable housing (link);
  • Vacancy - Business Services Assistant - Events at SFHA (link);
  • Work starts on third phase of Laurieston housing development (link);
  • Rehabilitating Scotland: Exploring the impact of mentoring-based throughcare (link);
  • Event - National Care Service - Scottish Government Update (link);
  • Tender - rapid review of community agency and control (link);
  • First local authority planning service achieves Gold Carbon Literate Organisation Award (link);
  • Vacancy - Investment Readiness Manager at Firstport (link);
  • Winter clothing payments for Aberdeen’s youngsters (link);
  • Edinburgh eyes improving local town centres (link);
  • Work starts on Ayrshire manufacturing innovation centre (link);
  • East Lothian residents better off after claiming additional financial support (link);
  • Vacancy - ICT & Business Transformation Manager at Shettleston HA (link);
  • Widespread support for new Aberdeenshire Council plan (link);
  • Call for volunteers to host displaced people from Ukraine (link)
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