With thanks to everyone who took part in the Awards. We were delighted to celebrate the winners of our modernised and rebranded Scottish Planning Innovation Awards (SPIA) with you.

For the first time, in the history of the Awards, we switched to an online event and took the plunge to ‘live stream’ from Larbert High School, Falkirk. The reason for this location was that the School was integral to the creative re-use, and upgrading, of the Carron Dam Local Nature Reserve which sits on its doorstep. In particular, with the help of Falkirk Council, the greenspace was, cleverly, incorporated into the School’s everyday curriculums (for all ages) and designed to appeal to a vast range of interests such as growing, drama classes and sculpture.

Everyone’s outstanding work, on the project, culminated in it not only achieving the Overall Winner for the, then, Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning (2019) but also the People’s Choice Award. A double whammy first! Who can believe, however, that it’s been 5 years since that win? It felt special, therefore, for SPIA to reunite, many of us, again this year, and for Joe FitzPatrick - then Minister for Local Government Empowerment and Planning - to visit Falkirk and be able to express his thanks to all the creative people involved.

After arriving on site, the Minister participated in a quick tour, with time to enjoy some specially brewed and delivered by barista trained pupils. The reason is the School run coffee bar called ‘Capital Coffee’ where pupils volunteer and gain Scottish Qualifications Authority qualifications.

After delicious refreshments, I was then down to business to announce the 2023/24 Winners. Within 30 mins, 6 Awards in total (below) were simply summed up in 3 key words only. This was to allow time for the Winners to participate, in the proceedings, by speaking after their announcements. Another first and it was great to hear your voices!



List of the Award Winners

Overall Winner, Sustainable Category Award

Planning Aid Scotland - Live Life Morvern

3 key words

  • Rural
  • Power
  • Future
Group of people round a table at the beach

People Category Award

Fife Council - Creating Pathways into Planning

3 key words - 

  • Young
  • Skills
  • Confidence
Fife Council Award

People Award Category

Sustrans Scotland - Stobswell Pocket Places 

3 key words

  • Pocket
  • Transformation
  • Community
Stobswell Pocket Place, Dundee

People Category Award

West Dunbartonshire Council - Rediscovering the Antonine Wall

3 key words

  • Heritage
  • Partnership
  • Value
Antonine Wall

Digital Category Award

NatureScot - Using AI/Data Science to Better Manage Land Across

3 key words

  • Digital
  • Efficiency
  • Data
Tractor in a field

People’s Choice Award

Aberdeen City Council - Our Journey to the Beach: City and Beach Masterplan

3 key words

  • Children
  • Creativity
  • Investment
Aberdeen Beach Masterplan
  • Aberdeen City Council - Net Zero Aberdeen Routemap (Sustainable)
  • Stallan Brand and Partners - Clyde Place Transformation (Sustainable)
With thanks to our Judges:
  • Catrina Patterson from Inspiring Scotland with a specialism in sustainability.
  • Neil McInroy of The Democracy Collaborative who is committed to Community Wealth Building.
  • Mandy Brown Team Leader for The Helix (Home of the Kelpies) and Carron Dam Winner.
  • Paul Dodd who’s been working on the Digital built environment agenda for Scottish Futures Trust; and,
  • Sarah Purves a Planner at Fife Council and Scottish Young Planner 2023.
Overall, we are truly grateful to everyone who took the time to enter and we’d also like to offer our congratulations! Moving forward, we will look to run the Awards every other year. This will allow time to reflect. learn and maximise all the Award winning good practice. Plus, whilst we had a few tech hiccups, we had a great time!   In conclusion Mr FitzPatrick said: “The SPIA winners represent excellence in innovative planning and it is great to celebrate their success with these relaunched awards. “I am delighted at the variety of projects from across Scotland. The commitment to sustainable planning not only enriches environments but also the lives of people who use and live in these places.”     Thank you! For info. about the Awards please contact Susie Stirling.