Aberdeen neighbourhood earns shortlist place for national regeneration awards

Project Coordinator Helen Graham at Middlefield Community Hub.
Project Coordinator Helen Graham at Middlefield Community Hub.

An Aberdeen community has been shortlisted for a national regeneration award recognising the “most improved place” in Scotland.

Middlefield has reached the final three in the SURF awards, which highlight the role regeneration projects have had in improving the wellbeing of individuals and communities.

SURF – Scotland’s Regeneration Forum – hosts the awards in partnership with the Scottish Government across five categories: Housing, Youth Employment, Creative Regeneration, Community-led Regeneration and Scotland’s Most Improved Place.

Middlefield joins Irvine in North Ayrshire and Shawlands in Glasgow, in vying for “most improved place”.

Each area is expected to demonstrate effective community engagement, improved economy opportunities, practical achievements, physical improvements and an improvement in image, identity and “pride of place”.

Residents and politicians today hailed Middlefield’s achievement in appearing on the shortlist.

Councillor Yvonne Allan said: “This is a combination of hard work by the local community, the council and other partners and shows what can be done by all working together.”

One project that was hailed as typical of Middlefield’s regeneration was the multi-million pound extension and refurbishment of the former Lord Provost E Rae Community Centre into The Hub.

The Hub houses the Middlefield Community Project, NHS Healthy Hoose, a multi-use games area and the Lord Provost Henry E Rae Community Centre management committee and community cafe.

Project co-ordinator at The Hub Helen Graham said she was proud Middlefield had reached the shortlist for the SURF awards.

She said: “I have been working in the community for 17 years and I was involved in organising the funding to move to our new premises.

“Though we’ve moved from a smaller venue, I like to think that we’ve kept that small, community feel at The Hub.

“We’re seeing a real mixture of volunteers coming through the doors, parents coming to the nursery groups, elderly folk coming to have something to eat in the cafe and socialise.

“We’ve just introduced bingo and dancing and we’re developing adult learning classes – we’re developing at the right rate I’d say.”