Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum: Place award
Date of award: December 2007
Our first award was the Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum (SURF) award.
SURF promotes three awards every year: People; Place; Partnerships. We won the Place award for Heart of Hawick, and were presented with our award by Stewart Stevenson, then Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and the Environment, at an awards dinner in the Radisson hotel in Glasgow on 7 December 2007.
The award recognised the large scale community impact of the projects run on the heart of Hawick campus, including what we do with the buildings we have, who we work with and what results and impact we have.
Quote from Press release below
Heart of Hawick: Winner, Place Category, SURF Awards 2007
Heart of Hawick is an arts and culture led regeneration project designed to make a substantial contribution to the social, cultural and economic regeneration of Hawick and the wider Borders region. By transforming two derelict buildings in the West End of Hawick, the project has created new, sustainable facilities that add value by creating jobs, encouraging visitors, building civic pride and promoting social inclusion.
One of the two buildings, Tower Mill, was a disused weaving mill. The project transformed this location and it now provides the following functions: a 111-seat auditorium that can be used as a cinema, theatre and conference centre; a Beanscene coffee house, creating 12 full time jobs; 10 rentable workspaces and exhibition spaces; and meeting rooms that are regularly hired by local charities and community groups. In October 2007, cinema returned to Hawick in this building for the first time in over 25 years.
The second building, Heritage Hub, became the Scottish Borders archive and local history centre providing research and archive services for a diverse range of users from international visitors and local young people to family history societies and genealogy businesses. The campus is connected by an attractive civic space that has been used as an outdoor café, a street theatre, and farmers’ markets.
The judges felt that the Heart of Hawick project had truly given ‘heart’ back to the town’s West End, creating a vibrant and exciting new facility for residents and visitors alike. The place itself, in terms of the two restored buildings and surrounding campus, is exemplary. The project has been designed in such a way that the future possibilities for its use by the community and by local industry can be innovative and imaginative and the judges were very impressed by the willingness of the Project Team to embrace this aspect and recognise the diverse demands of the local audience.
It was clear that a key success factor in delivering this project was the extent of research conducted at an early stage, and the widespread community consultation which followed and responded appropriately to the findings. The judges were further impressed by the fact that previous experience gained by Scottish Borders Council in delivering other large scale capital projects had been applied to the Hawick project, and this holistic approach had allowed the scope of the project to be widened.
The project visit allowed the judges to experience the special ambience that the place created and the fact that Tower Mill had only opened to the public six weeks earlier, and had already exceeded annual visitor number targets, secured its position against stiff competition as the overall winner in the Place category of the 2007 SURF awards.
PDF file at The Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum