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Success for work of Dumfries artist group

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Success for work of Dumfries artist group

AN ARTIST-led organisation in Dumfries has claimed a top Scottish award for its work helping to regenerate the town.

The Stove Network took the prize for Creativity in Regeneration Practice in the 2016 Scottish Urban Regeneration Form (SURF) Awards in Glasgow on Tuesday.
Stove curatorial team member Matt Baker said: “We’re obviously chuffed to bits. But I think the big thing is that it’s for the town, really.
“Dumfries gets a fair old kicking most of the time, and the fact that it’s getting put on the map for doing something innovative and creative and getting national recognition for that kind of work, I think that’s a huge shot in the arm for everybody here.”
He added: “It just give us more fuel to carry on and keep momentum towards some of the grassroots projects that are beginning to change the town.”
Some of the most recent work from The Stove Network has included storytelling and discussion project STORY celebrating Dumfries’ links with Norway, and their role in The Midsteeple Quarter project aimed at finding ways to bring new life to Dumfries High Street.
The Stove Network had been in shortlisted for the SURF award alongside Glasgow’s Made in Easterhouses and the Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema in Bo’Ness.
And it was Local Government and Housing Minister Kevin Stewart MSP who presented the award.
Matt said: “I’d never met him, but he knew about The Stove and knew about what it was doing in Dumfries, and that was not just through the awards.”