THREE Scottish towns are celebrating winning a total of £300,000 for being "creative places" from the Scottish arts funding body.

The communities of Helmsdale, Peebles and Falkirk won Creative Place Awards last night at a ceremony at the Palace Theatre in Kilmarnock.

This is the third time the prizes funded by Creative Scotland have been awarded, but it could be the last - the arts body is reviewing the awards this year.

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Helmsdale, in Sutherland, won the £50,000 award for communities of under 2500 residents.

Peebles, in the Borders, won the £100,000 award for places with residents of under 10,000 residents and Falkirk won the largest award, for £150,000, for places with under 100,000 residents.

Helmsdale is looking to run an additional programme alongside their planned Paradigm North project in 2014, called Serendipitous North, which will map the "creative connections that exist within the remote community".

Anna Vermehren, director at the Timespan museum and gallery in Helmsdale, said: "In Helmsdale, people seek and find. They have come here for centuries in search of gold; today they are inspired and enthused by the gems of creativity hidden in the village."

Peebles plans to use the award to support activities, events and installations featuring art and artists "within the context of work, study, tourism, leisure and play". Falkirk will use the award to support a project called Acts Of Discovery, which is aimed at offering a "fresh look at the area and its cultural offering".

Twenty applications were received for the 2014 awards.