Creative Place Award

Kilmarnock wins Creative Place Award 2013

Kilmarnock beat off stiff competition to win Creative Scotland’s Creative Place Award 2013. Kilmarnock was shortlisted in the category for places with up to 100,000 residents and scooped the £150,000 award.

The partnership project between East Ayrshire Leisure, Centrestage and The Town Centre Regeneration won the award due to the wide involvement of the whole community, as well as the track record and their existing plans. The cash award will allow the partnership to enhance and promote their future activity.

The team proposed a wonderful vision of the arts being embedded into the town alongside  the regeneration of the town centre including Johnny Walker Bond, The Opera House, The Palace Theatre. Adding culture to the mix brings people into the town centre and with a knock-on effect in footfall comes economic benefits for retail and business.  

The aim is to bring life back into the streets and inspire our communities, empowering communities so they feel a part of the town. Centrestage know how to do this better than anyone, working successfully with the whole community, be it offenders, pre-school children, senior citizens and challenged youngsters.

Kilmarnock and East Ayrshire have thriving arts venues and their year round series of festivals including the Kilmarnock Edition Festival, has seen many big acts performing in our venues including The View, Seth Lakeman, Amy MacDonald, Calvin Harris, The Feeling and The Saw Doctors. The town also hosts Kilmarnock Fair Festival, Summer Symphony, Harvest Festival, The Global Market and  Imprint Festival, all of which present an ambitious range of cross art form programming. The Award and funding will allow the partnership to promote and expand their festivals programmes and include new work based in vacant shops in Kilmarnock as part of ongoing work to regenerate the town centre.

Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development for Creative Scotland, said:  “Kilmarnock is a fantastic example of how embedding arts and culture within the foundation of a community strengthens and improves people’s lives, impacting the social and economic wellbeing of the community.  The Awards celebrate how arts and creativity can promote the identity and character of a place. Congratulations to all the winners and shortlisted places.  The creative vitality and energy demonstrated in this year’s shortlist is extremely impressive”