BEFS Bulletin – Tenements Today | Tenements Tomorrow

Get the latest built environment news, publications, policy developments and more.

Image © John Gilbert, Under One Roof


Most urban Scots live in flats, and we’re all aware that these buildings can pose real challenges to residents when it comes to maintenance, energy efficiency, repairs and relations with neighbours and owners. The Scottish Civic Trust, in collaboration with Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) and Under One Roof are hosting this national conference to discuss issues relating to tenements. Book now for Tenements Today | Tenements Tomorrow on 18th September at The Lighthouse in Glasgow.

Check out the latest additions to our database of Historic Environment case studiesfor inspiration, knowledge exchange and potential contacts working on similar projects and initiatives as you.

Archaeology Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Council on Archives are delighted to announce the call for contributions to Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference 2019. More details here.

The Scottish Land Commission are seeking the views of communities across Scotland about community engagement in decisions relating to land. Individual residents and community organisations in both urban and rural Scotland are being asked to complete a survey. They hope to find out how the way land or buildings are managed impacts communities, what opportunities people have to influence decisions made when land use changes and hear what type of support is needed to make engagement more effective. Complete the survey here.

Are you prepared for Scotland’s participation in September’s Wiki Loves Monuments– the international photography competition which aims to add openly-licensed pictures of listed buildings and scheduled monuments around the world to the Wikimedia Projects. Last year Scotland uploaded 4411 pictures. Can we beat that number this year?


A Consultation on Scotland’s National Transport Strategy
Opened 31 Jul 2019 and closes 23 Oct 2019.

Practical Fire Safety Guidance for existing Specialised Housing and other supported domestic accommodation
Opened 31 Jul 2019 and closes 22 Oct 2019.

Consultation on the Enhanced Heating Regimes within the new definition of Fuel Poverty
Closes 16 Aug 2019.

Call for Evidence on the Long-Term Financial Sustainability of Local Government
The closing date for receipt of submissions is Friday 23 August 2019.

Are Scotland’s Roads Funded Properly?
The deadline for submissions is 6 September 2019.

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019
Closes 13 Sep 2019.

Committee investigates environmental impact of travel and tourism
Submissions should be made by 5pm on Friday 13 September.

Consultation on the Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development
Closes 19 Sep 2019.

Consultation Responses

The Culture, Tourism, Europe & External Affairs Committee has published written evidence to its External Affairs Inquiry. Written evidence has been submitted from various organisations, including from Highlands & Islands Enterprise, Historic Environment Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and VisitScotland.


The Big Climate Conversation: community conversation pack (SG 07/08/19)

A Design Thinking Guide How to think about changes in historic places of worship (empowering design practices)

Facing the crisis: Rethinking economics for the age of environmental breakdown (IPPR 01/08/19)

Compulsory Purchase Orders: guidance for landowners (SG 31/07/19)

Practical fire safety guidance for existing specialised housing and other supported domestic accommodation (SG 31/07/19)

Current workstreams: Chief Planner letter July 2019 (SG 30/07/19)

Report on living standards for the Scottish Poverty & Inequality Commission (Resolution Foundation 30/07/19)

Compulsory purchase orders: register (SG 26/07/19)

Planning and Environmental Appeals division: annual review 2018-2019 (SG 25/07/19)

Scottish Government News Releases

European funding for low carbon and active travel (SG 29/07/19)
A third round for the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund is now open and available for applications.

News Releases

£8 million nature boost for urban communities (SNH 07/08/19)
Almost £8 million of funding has been announced to help people and nature thrive in some of the most deprived parts of Scotland.

One in ten central Edinburgh homes advertised on Airbnb (The Times 06/08/19)
Lucrative Airbnb rentals are fuelling Edinburgh’s housing crisis, with more than one in ten city centre properties being promoted on the site.

More than 80% of Scots want taxes on holiday let landlords (STV 31/07/19)
The YouGov survey, carried out on behalf of campaigners 38 Degrees, shows 84% who expressed an opinion would support the introduction of more levies.

Minister visits proposed UNESCO site in Flow Country (SNH 30/07/19)
Minister for the Natural Environment, Mairi Gougeon, visited the Flow Country’s proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site today.

RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award 2019 (RIAS 29/07/19)
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has announced a shortlist of 7 projects for its celebrated RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award.

Local Place Plans (PAS 26/07/19)
Local Place Plans are a new type of plan giving people an opportunity to develop proposals for the development and use of land in the place where they live. We’ve put some thoughts together on how they might work.

Landscape Character Assessment – Updated! (SNH 24/07/19)
The Landscape Character Assessment for Scotland has been revised and is now available from SNH’s website. Landscape Character Assessment (LCA) is the process of identifying and describing variation in character of the landscape.  Scotland, which was the first country to achieve full coverage of LCA, now has a digital map based assessment.

Opinion & Comment

Flexible working options are key in making construction a more attractive and progressive career choice for female talent, according to an RICS poll (UK Construction 06/08/19)

Long-term vision for islands needs clarity (RTPI Scotland 30/07/19)

Edinburgh is now effectively run by tourist industry (Cliff Hague 30/07/19) 

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”. 

Question S5W-24515: Maurice Golden, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 29/07/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to ensure that councils comply with their statutory duty to keep a register of 
contaminated land.

Question S5W-24516: Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 30/07/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making with its £50 million 
town centre fund.

Question S5W-24611: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 02/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to ensure that (a) tenants and (b) landlords are better informed about the 
rights of private-rented sector tenants.

Question S5W-24610: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 02/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to address the findings in the paper, 
Review of Tenancy Deposit Schemes in Scotland, that nearly half of landlords did not know about letting agent registration or the letting agent code of practices, and that over 60% did not know about the First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland.

Question S5W-24612: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 02/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how it will work with 
tenancy deposit schemes to ensure that all tenants receive their deposits back on time, in light of the finding in the paper, Review of Tenancy Deposit Schemes in Scotland, that one-third did not.

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-24286: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/07/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to all five pathfinder housing firstpilots reportedly being behind in meeting their June 2019 targets.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (05/08/2019)

Question S5W-24341: Michelle Ballantyne, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 15/07/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how the amount awarded from the next round of Coastal Communities Fund awards will compare with the previous levels.
Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (02/08/2019)

Question S5W-24358: Finlay Carson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 16/07/2019 R
To ask the Scottish Government what measures it has taken to support the work of the Scottish Land Commission since September 2018.
Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (06/08/2019)


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

Stone, Digital Documentation, and Energy Improvements
Date & time: Friday 9 August; 9.30am – 12.15pm.
Venue: The Engine Shed.
Hear from Historic Environment Scotland experts on how to source and select stone for repairs, improve energy efficiency in traditional buildings and receive an introduction to digital documentation. Run in conjunction with the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. This event is free, but booking is essential. The book your place, please visit our website.

Falkland Craft Symposium 2019
Dates: Fri. 23 Aug 2019 – Sat. 24 Aug 2019.
Location: Centre for Stewardship, The Stables, Falkland Estate, Falkland KY15 7AF.
Welcome to the fourth Craft Symposium hosted by the Centre for Stewardship on Falkland Estate. Friday’s programme is a day of lectures geared at professionals (for CPD) and anyone with a serious interest in the historic environment. Saturday’s programme celebrates the William Morris Craft Fellows and Scholars of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings and look to create a dialogue with a wide spectrum of heritage professionals in Scotland including and especially those who are working with Historic Environment Scotland, National Trust for Scotland, the team responsible for the recreation of the Glasgow School of Art and the several national, county or city heritage organisations of Scotland. We aim to create opportunities for dialogue using the historic environment of the Falkland Estate and of the Royal Burgh of Scotland as our theatre for discussion.

HTN and SCT Event: Claim that Funding!
Date & time: Wed, 28 August 2019, 09:30 – 16:00.
Venue: The Acorn Centre, West High Street, Inverurie AB51 3SA.
Members often tell us that Full Cost Recovery (particularly for those embarking on a National Lottery Heritage Fund application) is one of their biggest challenges, along with evaluating and measuring the impact of their project. Pamela Redpath will be delivering training on both topics and will be available to answer questions throughout the day. We will also hear from local heritage case studies, including the team at the Garioch Heritage Centre, whilst making sure that there is plenty of time for attendees to network, problem solve and share their news. This is a joint event run by the Heritage Trust Network and the Scottish Civic Trust, attendance is free for members of both organisations. Not a member of HTN or SCT yet? You are welcome to join us for one free event before signing up.

Monuments in Monuments 2019
Date & times: Monday 2 – Wednesday 4 September 2019; 10am – 4pm.
Venue: The Engine Shed
Full ticket: £300. Day tickets: £120
This conference explores the conservation challenges facing carved stones and objects inside historic buildings. Hear from specialists from all over the world about how traditional skills, emerging technology and conservation science are helping to overcome these challenges. You can buy full conference or individual day tickets. Student rates are available. For more information and to book, please visit our website.

Bridging the Old and the New: Casting New Light on North Bridge
Date: Thursday 5 September 2019; 3pm or 6pm.
Venue: Glenfiddich & Balvenie Suites at the Scotsman Hotel, 20 North Bridge.
As the conservation work to North Bridge approaches an important milestone, Adam Wilkinson, Director of Edinburgh World Heritage will give a new lecture on the background and significance of the original North Bridge, development and change in and around the bridge, and the radical reshaping of this part of the city at the close of the 19th century.  It will be a chance to learn more about the history of our city through the story of this important part of the World Heritage Site. The lecture will run in the afternoon and evening. Tickets are available for £6 (members) or £12 (general).

IPTW: Crafting the Future
Date: Thursday 5 – Saturday 7 September 2019
Venue: The Engine Shed
Full conference ticket: £280. Day ticket: £120. Additional conference dinner: £80.
We are delighted to be hosting the first International Preservation Trades Workshop (IPTW) held outside of the US, in partnership with The Preservation Trades Network (PTN). This unique event brings together practitioners of traditional trades to share skills, knowledge and best practice. Enjoy a packed programme with craft demonstrations from both the USA and the UK, lectures, tours and more. On Saturday 7 September, everyone from families to enthusiasts will be able to see traditional crafts up close at our free demonstrations. The event will close with a ceilidh and auction in the magnificent Great Hall at Stirling Castle. The proceeds from the renowned PTN auction are used to fund educational bursaries and specific projects.
We are looking for a variety of craft demonstrators with varying experience willing to showcase their skills. If you are interested, please fill out our application form accessible on our webpage here, and return to or

Traditional Skills Festival
Dates & time: Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th September, 11am-4pm.
Venue: Cockenzie House & Gardens, Cockenzie, East Lothian, EH32 0HY
East Lothian Council and the Cockenzie Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme are hosting a two day skills festival, celebrating the skills of East Lothian and the built heritage of Cockenzie.  Visitors can have a go at activities from stone carving, salt making, woodworking and metal casting to sketching, stitching and stained glass making. Free. Drop-in event. Some workshops are pre-bookable on the day. Parking is limited please consider using public transport. The programme will vary slightly on each day. For more information email or phone 07866 927 663.

Insight Tour: Dunkeld Cathedral 
Date: Thursday 3 October 2019
Costs: £18 Historic Environment Scotland member. £20 Non-members.
Dunkeld Cathedral is an ancient place, and was once a Pictish monastery before the cathedral was built. The construction of Dunkeld Cathedral took about 250 years, from the mid-1200s to the late 1400s. Today, the site remains in ecclesiastical use. Hear about the Cathedral’s past and current conservation works from a Historic Environment Scotland (HES) architect. Climb the scaffolding to see the masonry replacement works up close and learn more about how we have been adapting to climate change at Dunkeld Cathedral.

RIAS Convention 2019 – Climate of Opinion
Date: 4 – 5 October 2019
Venue: EICC, The Exchange, 150 Morrison Street, Edinburgh EH3 8EE
This year’s event combines the conference and Doolan Award for Best Building in Scotland. Climate of Opinion takes place in Edinburgh with a day of discussion, debate and celebration around designing for climate resilience, diversity and northern Europe. The A&DS and RIAS student awards ceremony will also take place and the students will exhibit their work. In the evening you can join our convention speakers, the Scottish Government and Doolan family in the stunning surroundings of the National Museum of Scotland to celebrate the Best Building in Scotland Award, presented by Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell. The event will be rounded off on the Saturday morning with building visits and a city tour exploring some of Edinburgh’s award winning architecture.

AHSS Lecture with Kirsten Carter McKee – Calton Hill and the Plans for Edinburgh’s Third New Town
Date & time: Monday 7th October 2019 at 6.30pm.
Venue: St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, 13 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 2PA.
Admission: £5.00 (Students free). Non-members welcome.
Dr Kirsten Carter McKee, author of a recent book on Calton Hill, will show how the architectural expression of Calton Hill has been perceived, accepted and rejected as ideas surrounding cultural identity, governance and nationalism have changed over the last two hundred years.

Future Planning: Designing Places in a Climate Emergency
Date: Tuesday 8th October 2019
Venue: University of Strathclyde Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow.
Continuing trends towards urbanisation and the pressing realities of a climate emergency require us to urgently revaluate how we plan, design and build the ways we live in and move around our urban environments. For a future-proofed, long-term approach to planning and delivery, resilience, liveability, and sustainability must become the essential building blocks of our towns and cities. This is supported by concurrent changes to the Scottish Planning Bill, on-going public health reform work, the Vacant & Derelict Land Initiative, and changing population demographics. The conference is bringing together key stakeholders and agencies across the planning, housing and built environment sectors. This event counts towards CPD provision for planners and is part of the Planning Skills Series. For all enquiries, contact Organised by the Ecosystems Knowledge Network in partnership with Scottish Natural Heritage’s Green Infrastructure Fund.


CPD: Micro-grouting as a technique to prevent water ingress in ashlar masonry
Date & time: Wed 28th August, 12-1:30pm
Venue: Glasgow City Heritage Trust, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ.
Mortar grouting as a consolidation method was successfully trialled at the Robert Burns Monument in Alloway in 2018. Kinlay Laidlaw of Laidlaw Surveying will deliver an in-depth examination of the techniques, applications, and lessons learned, including technical demonstrations.

Weekend Workshop: Gilding and Gold Leaf
Date & time: Sat 31st August, 10am-4pm.
Venue: Glasgow City Heritage Trust, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ.
For millennia, gilding has been the crowning enrichment of architectural decoration. From stone, to plasterwork, to glass, it has enduringly been the ultimate expression of luxury and opulence in buildings. Led by Frank Carty of Artisan Artworks, participants will learn the technique of gilding on different surfaces. The morning will be spent on stone and plasterwork, and after lunch the afternoon session will focus on glass-gilding, including constructing and inking letters in the style of traditional signwriting.

Live Build: Creating Victorian Mosaics
Date & time: Mon Sept 2nd-Wed Sept 4th all day
Venue: Glasgow City Heritage Trust, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ.
Take place in an actual restoration project by cutting and assembling the High Street Victorian mosaics! Join us at our offices for a unique chance to learn by doing: After a sad loss of many original mosaic entryways along the High Street, they are now being rebuilt and reinstated – it’s all happening here, and we need your help to do it!

Drawing the City: A Sketching Workshop at the Necropolis and Cathedral
Date & time: Sun Sept 8th, 2-5pm
Venue: Glasgow City Heritage Trust, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ.
Frank Boyle, former cartoonist for the Tribune and Edinburgh Evening News, will lead guided sketching instruction around Glasgow Cathedral precinct and Necropolis, with afternoon tea at the Cathedral House Hotel. Materials, seating, and afternoon tea all included.

Practical CPD: Stone Cleaning
Date & time: Wed. Sept 18th, 12-1:30pm
Venue: Glasgow City Heritage Trust, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow G1 1LQ.
We all enjoy a beautiful, clean building, but cleaning stone buildings can be a double-edged sword. Graeme Frame of the Stone Federation will lead a practical session on the appropriate and inappropriate applications of different stone cleaning methods. This session will be valuable to enthusiasts and homeowners as well as to professionals.


Learning Officer
Archaeology Scotland is the leading independent charity working to inspire communities, amateurs and professionals to discover, explore, care for and enjoy the past. We are the lead body for delivery of Aim 4 of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy which is about encouraging greater engagement. An exciting opportunity has arisen to join the team as Learning Officer.
Closing Date for Applications: 5pm on Sunday 18th August 2019.

Skills Investment Plan Manager
The Skills Investment Plan Manager is a new role within Historic Environment Scotland’s Development & Partnership directorate. Candidates should have exceptional communication and facilitation skills, a methodical approach to capturing, analysing and presenting information, strong project management and planning skills, and proven experience of effective partnership working. They will be expected to work across HES and with key partners in the historic environment sector and beyond to support the implementation and monitoring of the SIP.
Closing Date: 21 August 2019 at midday.

Glasgow City Heritage Trust is an independent charity and grant funder. Through our grant programmes we enable projects which promote the understanding, appreciation and conservation of Glasgow’s historic built environment. An opportunity has arisen for two Trustees to join the GCHT’s Board.