BEFS Bulletin – Keeping Church Buildings Alive

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Events, Vacancies, Consultations And Publications In Our News Bulletin.


BEFS Chair, Graeme Purves, gave evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee on the Planning (Scotland) Bill on 14 March, alongside the National Trust for Scotland, Scottish Water, and Scottish Environment LINK. Watch the session on Parliament TV here.
You can also read BEFS written submission to the committee and a summary of responses and reactions to the Planning (Scotland) Bill from BEFS membership.
The committee also took evidence on the Bill yesterday from Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing, John McNairney, Chief Planner, Andy Kinnaird, Bill Manager, and Norman Macleod, Senior Principal Legal Officer, Scottish Government. This session can be viewed here.

Are you responsible for managing a church, or thinking about taking on the management of a former church? Join BEFS and partners, The Prince’s Foundation, Scotland’s Churches Trust, and Scottish Redundant Churches Trust, for our Keeping Church Buildings Alive – Workshop. The workshop will provide practical learning opportunities, allow groups to access expert advice and meet people from similar projects, all with a focus on maintaining the local church buildings at the heart of our communities.

Skills has been identified as a key priority for the Historic Environment sector in Scotland. Skills Development Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland have appointed EKOS to develop a Historic Environment Skills Strategy and Action Plan which sets out the main skills issues for the sector and solutions for how these can be best addressed. They are keen to hear from employers on the skills challenges facing the sector, and the main skills gaps. Find out more and get involved.

BEFS 2018 conference considered the future of Historic Environment Scotland policy both in terms of short-term pragmatism and long-term vision. Inherit was invited to deliver a short ‘provocation’ on one of the conference themes of Vision, Designation and Management. Read Director of Inherit, Chris Dalglish’s contribution: Designation & Justice.


The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee, wants to hear from you on the general principles of the Scottish Crown Estate Bill which the Scottish Government introduced on 24 January 2018. The deadline for responses is 12 noon Friday 23 March 2018.

Consultation on LBTT First Time Buyers Relief
Opened 9 Feb 2018 and closes 23 March 2018.

Call for Evidence – EU Environmental and Animal Welfare Principles
The call for written views will close at midday on Thursday 29 March 2018.

Creative Scotland – Regular Funding 2018-21 (SP 06/03/18)
The Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee is collecting views on Creative Scotland’s Regular Funding process for the period 2018-21. The closing date for submissions is Friday 30 March 2018.

Trams to Newhaven: Public consultation (EC 07/03/18)

Funding of EU Competences, Finance & Constitution Committee (SP 13/03/18)
The Committee is seeking views on the public finances issues raised for the devolution settlement arising from the Brexit process. The closing date for responses is Monday 16 April 2018.

Consultation on proposals for reviewing the current landlord registration fee structure and expanding the range of prescribed information applicants must provide to local authorities (SG 15/03/18)
Opened 15 Mar 2018 and closes 7 Jun 2018. 

A consultation on an amendment to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Group Relief (SG 19/03/18)
Opened 19 Mar 2018 and closes 13 Apr 2018.

Consultation Responses

Consultation on Fire and Smoke Alarms in Scottish Homes: Analysis of Responses (SG 18/03/18)

Young People’s Participation in Decision Making in Scotland: Attitudes and Perceptions – Research Findings (SG 06/03/18)


The Impact of Brexit on Scotland’s Growth Sectors (SG 21/03/18)

City Space Race Balancing the need for homes and offices in cities (Centre for Cities 21/03/18)

The Delivery of Public Interest Led Development in Scotland (SLC 14/03/18)

Scottish Government News Releases

Changes to (SG 21/03/18)
On Thursday at 5pm the portals (including ePlanning and eBuildingStandards) will be taken offline to undertake some changes. We’re excited to share some of the improvements to the site.

More action on affordable housing (SG 20/03/18)
£15 million increase to Charitable Bond investment programme. Investment through charitable bonds has enabled more than 1,000 new affordable homes to have been built since 2014.

Improving home safety (SG 18/03/18)
Changes to fire and smoke alarm regulations. All homes will have the highest level of protection from smoke and fire. Following a consultation on fire and smoke alarms, the existing high standard required in private rented housing will be extended to all homes.

Alternative plans at Queen Street Station made public (SG 16/03/18)
New development set to deliver increased economic benefits. A revised plan at one of Glasgow’s key rail stations is set to yield significant economic and business opportunity for the city.

New build housing completions up 5% in latest year (SG 13/03/18)
A National Statistics Publication for Scotland. There were 17,601 new build homes completed across all sectors over the year ending September 2017, an increase of 5%, or 908 homes, on the previous year.

£26 million for local regeneration (SG 12/03/18)
A total of 24 projects will be awarded funding in 2018/19 as part of the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF), which supports projects that engage and involve local communities in disadvantaged areas, tackle inequality and support inclusive growth.

News Releases

Saltire Infrastructure Awards launched (ICE 22/03/18)
The search is on for Scotland’s top engineering and construction projects with the launch of the Saltire Infrastructure Awards 2018. Part of the Institution of Civil Engineers’ (ICE) bicentenary celebrations, the Awards celebrate outstanding civil engineering achievement, innovation and ingenuity and shine a light on the hidden professionals behind transport, water, energy and flooding infrastructure. Built environment professionals are invited to nominate projects by 4pm on Friday 25th May, 2018.

Scottish Shortlist for RIAS/RIBA Awards 2018 (RIAS 20/03/18)
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has announced a 25 strong shortlist for its 2018 awards (from 75 entries).

My Place Award Winners 2018 Announced (SCT 20/03/18)
The winning and commended projects in the Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards 2018 were announced today, 20 March, by John McNairney, Scottish Government Chief Planner in The Lighthouse, Glasgow. The Awards are supported by the Scottish Government. The winning project is The Leaf Room, Dundee.

Scotland out-performs rest of UK for 6th year running (HES 16/03/18)
The annual release of visitor figures from the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA) has seen Edinburgh Castle leap four places in the rankings to be named the 12th most-visited attraction in the UK for 2017.

Connecting people to their heritage – with our new website (EWH 16/03/18)
Welcome to the newly relaunched website of Edinburgh World Heritage. We’d like to show you around…

Europe’s 7 Most Endangered heritage sites 2018 announced (EN 15/03/18)
Europa Nostra, the leading heritage organisation in Europe, and the European Investment Bank Institute have announced the most threatened heritage sites in Europe for 2018.

2018 Beautiful Scotland campaign is now open (xx/03/18)
Organised by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful, this year a new category for Business Improvement Districts, Town Centres and City Centres has been created. Beautiful Scotland is a long-established community environmental improvement campaign which KSB runs in partnership with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) under the Britain in Bloom campaign. The programme supports community groups across Scotland as they seek to improve and enhance their local environment.

Scottish Public Opinion Monitor – March 2018 (IpsosMORI 14/03/18)
As the UK government continues its formal negotiations to leave the European Union, Ipsos MORI’s new poll for STV News shows that Scots are pessimistic about the economic impact of Brexit and remain divided on Scotland’s constitutional future.

State must lead on major, public interest development argues new paper (SLC 14/03/18)
Big civic projects such as regenerating the former docklands in Glasgow and Dundee, or building affordable homes – at scale – similar to the construction projects seen post WW2, must be led by the public sector, according to a discussion paper published today.

National Museum of Scotland goes live with Google’s museum view experience (FutureScot 14/03/18)
The National Museum of Scotland has become available for exploration online via Google Arts & Culture’s museum view platform. The museum’s galleries have been captured digitally in partnership with Google, which works with institutions around the world to make cultural and historical material accessible online.

Hundreds of local people attend events to discuss the future of Rosefield Mills (PAS 09/03/18)
Hundreds of local people have attended a series of events designed to consider the future of Rosefield Mills. Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust commissioned PAS to deliver the event series and develop a report outlining the local community’s recommendations for the future direction of Rosefield Mills.

A new website for the National Trust for Scotland (NTS 06/03/18)
The new look of our website is the first glimpse of a fresh visual style that we will be rolling out over the next few months … but this website has more than a pretty face.

Opinion & Comment

Addressing Scale and Concentration of Land Ownership in Scotland (Scottish Land Commissioner, Dr Sally Reynolds 22/03/18)

Land Value Capture – what’s the big idea? (Policy Officer, Kathie Pollard, Scottish Land Commission 16/03/18) 

Public interest led development (Scottish Land Commissioner, Prof David Adams 14/03/18)

Blog: The Future of Social Housing in Scotland: the discussion so far 

Parliamentary Questions

Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Scottish Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.Questions in which a member has indicated a declarable interest are marked with an “R”.

Andy Wightman S5W-15373
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of its spending on the Affordable Housing Supply Programme for 2016-17. (SP 20/03/18)

Andy Wightman S5W-15374
To ask the Scottish Government for what reason its data regarding the Affordable Housing Supply Programme for 2016-17 records that 72% of the completed homes that were classified as “rural” were built in towns and urban areas. (SP 20/03/18)

Parliamentary Questions & Answers

Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.

Question S5W-14764: Peter Chapman, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/02/2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the progress that is being made with the development of the regional land use partnerships, which were recommended in Getting the best from our land, a Land Use Strategy for Scotland 2016–2021.
Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (06/03/2018)

Question S5W-15045: Maurice Golden, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/03/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of any diverging costs for rural and urban house builders as a result of low-carbon building standards.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/03/2018)

Question S5W-15043: Maurice Golden, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/03/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on using a single definition of “rural community” for the purposes of delivering energy efficiency programmes.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/03/2018)

Question S5W-15042: Maurice Golden, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/03/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of enforcing a minimum energy performance certificate (EPC) rating on private sector home sales, and what consideration it has given to the financial costs associated with upgrading rural off-gas grid properties to a minimum energy efficiency rating as part of any assessment.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/03/2018)

Question S5W-15040: Maurice Golden, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/03/2018
To ask the Scottish Government how many rural homes in each local authority area have received support from the Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland area-based schemes.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/03/2018)

Question S5W-15041: Maurice Golden, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 05/03/2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the progress it has made investigating possible reform of the energy performance certificate (EPC) rating system.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (14/03/2018)


For the latest information about BEFS Members’ events see our events calendar.

Conservation of all Buildings Great and Small
Date: Saturday 24th March.
Venue: Gordon Memorial Hall, Castle Douglas
Time: 14:15 – 16:30
Cost: £5 members ( £7 non-members)
This talk will be given by Robert Adams, a highly experienced chartered building surveyor, formerly of the National Trust for Scotland and now partner in the Adams Napier Partnership Ltd. specialising in historic buildings.

Dundee Conservation Lecture Series – Gardens with Water
Date: Tuesday 27th March.
Venue: Room LT2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, DD1 4EN
Time: 18:00 – 21:00
Cost: Free
Two talks will be given at this event. The first will be on the history and restoration of Ella Christie’s Japanese garden at Cowden Castle and the second will be the spirit of place, or intangible aspects of gardens and landscapes.

Battle of the Bridges, Glasgow
Date: 27 March 2018.
Venue: University of Strathclyde, Technology & Innovation Centre, 99 George Street, Glasgow G1 1RD.
Meet the engineers involved in three of Scotland’s most iconic bridges at South Queensferry and hear why they think their bridge is best before having your say with an audience vote. Members of the public are encouraged to join us as part of our Café 200 series, which shows how civil engineers transform our lives and the fascinating and rewarding career they enjoy.

Workshop on Introduction to Photogrammetry and RTI 
Date: Wednesday 28th March – 10.30am to 3pm.
Venue: St Cuthbert’s Burial Ground, Lothian Road Edinburgh.
Cost: £10
The Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) is offering a last minute opportunity to take part in a training workshop in digital recording practices. This workshop will provide you with a basic introduction to using photogrammetry and reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) within a heritage context. It will help you develop an understanding of best practice approaches to data capture and familiarise you with the leading software often used for photogrammetric and RTI models. This event is part of CIfA’s wider training programme, supported by Historic Environment Scotland. If you would like to take part in the workshop, please email Cara Jones at for further information. Booking essential with limited spaces available.

Glasgow’s Traditional Shopfronts
Date: Thursday 29th March.
Venue: Garnethill Room, Renfield St. Stephen’s Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow
Time: 19:30
Cost: £4 (students free)
Join us at 19:00 for tea and coffee before the lecture. Iain Wotherspoon, Chairman of the AHSS Strathclyde Group strolls along the city pavements, illustrating some of our finest (and most under-rated) streetscape assets: our Victorian and Edwardian shopfronts.

Loneliness and Isolation, Planning a Solution
Date: April 18th 2018.
Venue: Saracen House, Glasgow.
The Equal Opportunities Committee report on Social Isolation was the first of its kind anywhere in the world. The committee found that social isolation and loneliness was a problem in Scotland. The design and planning of public spaces and communities has the capacity to be a vital tool in tackling this issue. With this event, PAS aims to facilitate further discussion between the relevant government agencies, central government, local government, RSLs, planners, development trusts and other private, public and third sector stake holders. The outcomes from these discussions then have the capacity to help inform responses to this consultation.

Inspiring Fundraising: A National Heritage Conference
Date: 26th April 2018.
Venue: Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh.
Inspiring Fundraising, Scotland’s national fundraising conference specifically dedicated to the heritage sector, will take place on Thursday 26th April 2018 at the Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh. By attending the conference, you will have a unique opportunity to learn from leading professionals in their specialist fields to help you overcome your fundraising challenges and set you on your journey to reaching your aspirations and targets. Inspiring Fundraising will also provide you with a motivational space to develop new ideas and new ways of working and the chance to engage with more than 200 peers from different heritage organisations from across Scotland and beyond. Using interactive learning techniques, the diverse programme will cover topics ranging from Embracing Creativity and Innovation to The Voice of the Funders and from The Power of Business and Cultural Partnerships through to Telling your Story on Film.

Archaeological Research in Progress 2018
Date: Saturday 26th May.
Venue: The Engine Shed, Forthside Way, Stirling FK8 1QZ.
The national conference examining recent and ongoing archaeological projects across Scotland will take place at the Engine Shed in Stirling on Saturday 26th May 2018. This conference is supported by Historic Environment Scotland and is delivered in partnership with the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. The all-day conference gives the audience the opportunity to hear first-hand about  the most recent archaeological projects across Scotland and should not be missed. Offering great value for the full day (lunch and refreshments are included in the ticket price) there are further discounts for Archaeology Scotland and Society of Antiquaries of Scotland members. Book now to ensure your place.


Architectural Conservation CPDs in Perth – Principles and Best Practice for Traditional and Historic Buildings
If you are looking to refresh your conservation knowledge or encounter historic buildings as part of your work portfolio, but have limited knowledge of the best conservation practice to employ when approaching a project involving traditional buildings, then this is the CPD programme for you. Traditional and historic buildings are an integral part of Perth and Kinross’s built environment with many of its population centres, such as Perth, celebrated for their rich historic character. Whilst valued, historic buildings are often considered difficult to maintain, expensive to repair and their traditional methods of construction complicated to refurbish and align with modern building regulations. This series of CPDs will give you the tools to help unlock their potential. These cost £15 to attend to cover the costs associated with running the events.

Traditional Roofing Masterclass
Date: 20 April 2018
Time: 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Venue: Charlestown Workshops.
This day will look at the barriers and opportunities to preserve the character and appearance of our traditional roofs including skills and availability of materials. Join us for an alternative Masterclass with opportunities to view demonstrations of traditional roofing practices and a chance to ‘have a go’ (so don’t wear a suit!). All PPE will be supplied (except for site boots).

RTPI Training – Learning from Best Practice – The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning
Date: 25 April.
Venue: Edinburgh – Discounted places still available.
This briefing will highlight the best practice recognised in the winners and finalists of the Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning to enable others to learn. The event will provide an opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge on what they have achieved and what they would do differently – the process they went through, looking at the problem each award winner faced; the solution they devised; how they implemented this and what the result was. There are several discounted places still available.

Rubble Wall Building
Date: 5 – 6 June 2018.
Venue: Merryhill Training Centre, Fife KY11 3DR.
This practical two day course will equip you to set out, construct and finish a traditional rubble wall using a variety of building stones and traditional lime mortars. The importance of laying the stones correctly and the use of pinning stones will be emphasised so that no more than 30% of the volume of the wall is mortar! The content of this workshop provides part of the underpinning knowledge required for assessment and accreditation of SQA National Unit 3 – ‘Conservation Masonry’.

Intensive Training Week – C1,C2 & National Units
Date: 11 – 15 June 2018.
Venue: Merryhill Training Centre, Fife KY11 3DR.
This intensive week of training and assessment will combine our courses ‘C1 Making and Using Traditional Mortars’ and ‘C2 Traditional Masonry Repair’ with continual assessment to allow you to gain SQA National Units 1, 2 & 3 in Conservation Masonry within five intensive days. You require to have trowel skills to participate and be assessed.

Rendering & Harling with Lime
Date: 21 – 22 June 2018.
Venue: Merryhill Training Centre, Fife KY11 3DR.
This course will enable you to apply a variety of external lime finishes including formal ‘lined out’ work to less formal textured harled finishes to a wide range of background types including matching in to existing finishes. Attendance at this two day workshop will let you get to grips with both hand casting and mechanical application techniques to effect a range of surface finishes and is relevant for the reinstatement of traditional lime finishes and for new build applications.


Youth Programmes Manager (PAS)
PAS has received funding from the Scottish Government for a fixed term appointment of a manager to oversee our youth programmes. The post holder will head up a small team to build on PAS’s existing work by developing our successful Young Placemakers initiative into a Volunteering Programme and expanding our Bridging the Gap programme. Bridging the Gap encourages a unique sustained intergenerational partnership to give young people the skills to engage with placemaking and to learn about active decision-making from an older generation. The post holder will also deliver other existing youth programmes – IMBY® and YEP!™ as required.
Closing date for applications is midnight on Sunday 25 March. Interviews will be held on Wednesday 4 April.

Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage Seeks Researchers – Research Report Tender
Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage (RSH) is commissioning research to be completed as part of the legacy of the 4-year capacity building programme. The research will map the current funding landscape for the heritage sector in Scotland and will build on the existing evaluation work already conducted as part of the RSH programme.  The RSH Project Manager and the Head of Programmes at Arts & Business Scotland will work with the commissioned consultancy to ensure the resulting research report meets the needs of the RSH Programme, and of all partners involved.
Deadline 29th March. 

ARCH are looking to recruit a Project Officer
Archaeology for Communities in the Highlands are looking to recruit a Project Officer to work on the Regional Archaeological Research Framework for the Highlands as part of the wider ScARF project supported by Historic Environment Scotland as part of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy. The successful applicant to the post of Project Officer will need to have good research skills and a familiarity with heritage databases, archaeological publications and other sources which can help build a picture of archaeological research in the Highlands from earliest settlement through to the end of the 20th century.
Applicants for the post should submit a CV and cover letter to by 29th March 2018.

HLF Project Manager and HLF Project Officer (Dunfermline)
Dunfermline has an extraordinary heritage and is one of Europe’s fastest growing towns – increasingly a commuter town. To ensure stable growth it is important that future development is rooted in the past and the town grows with integrity, inclusion and innovation. We have recently been awarded Heritage Lottery Funding under their Great Place award and have a set out a three-year programme of works to use heritage to inspire future growth. We are currently recruiting for a Project Manager and Project Officer to deliver the Heritage Lottery Funded programme of works. The post is available with immediate effect and is funded until 31 December 2020. For full job descriptions contact Sarah Young on
The deadline for application for the positions is Friday 6 April and interviews w/c 23rd April.

Scottish Archaeological Research Framework Project Manager
The Society is seeking an exceptional candidate for the post of ScARF Project Manager. Responsible for every aspect of the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework project, from sourcing contributors and content to final publication and marketing, ensuring consistency and high academic standards throughout.  The main aims of the role are to manage and keep updated the existing Scottish Archaeological Research Framework (ScARF) project period panel reports, to create, manage and publish new regional research frameworks, and to manage the ScARF Museums Project. The post will also help develop and deliver the Society’s role within Aim 2 of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy.
Closing Date: midnight Sunday 8th April 2018.

Assistant Consultant / Consultant, Heritage
Turley Heritage is a 15 strong team involved in some of the most exciting and high profile heritage projects across the UK with teams based in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. We are looking to expand the newly formed heritage team in Scotland with the appointment of a talented and ambitious assistant or consultant to support our Director based in Edinburgh. If you would like a confidential discussion with the hiring manager, please get in touch. Or, to apply please send your CV with a covering letter, including current salary details, in confidence to: Matthew Eves, HR Advisor,