BEFS Bulletin – Climate Heritage Network & BEFS

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Publications, Policy Developments, Vacancies And More.


The Climate Heritage Network was launched on the 24th October in Edinburgh. This is an international network, reflected both in the attendees and the presentations skyped in from around the world. While the launch was a physical event the network is proposed to be virtual, a conduit for information sharing on the role heritage has in addressing the climate emergency. The event was live streamed and the whole day can be viewed here. However, it may be best summed up by an early comment from Alison Tickell of Julie’s Bicycle, for the need to “turn heritage from being a victim of climate change to a catalyst for climate action”.

BEFS has endorsed the Memorandum of Understanding – you can join too via their website – and BEFS is one of many organisations on the steering committee with a particular interest in contributing to discussions on the legislative imperative required at all levels of governance to address climate breakdown. BEFS Director, Euan Leitch, reflects on the main themes, challenges and BEFS hopes for the network, here.

The IHBC’s recently updated toolkit, Retrofitting of Traditional Buildings, may prove a useful resource in our endeavours to retain, use and repurpose existing building stock.

Those of you who enjoyed our Policy & Strategy Manager, Ailsa Macfarlane’s recent blog on What about wellbeing?, you may also find this research by the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property of interest: Heritage and Wellbeing: What Constitutes a Good Life?


Circular Economy: Proposals for Legislation
Opened 7 Nov 2019 and closes 19 Dec 2019.

Proposal to designate two Historic Marine Protected Areas
Opened 30 Oct 2019 and closes 27 Nov. 2019.

The Replacement of European Structural Funds In Scotland Post EU-Exit
Opened 5 Nov 2019 and closes 12 Feb. 2020.

Proposed programme for reviewing and extending permitted development rights (PDR) in Scotland
Opened 5 Nov 2019 and closes 28 Jan 2020.

Crown Estate Scotland draft 2020-23 Corporate Plan Consultation
Closes 25 Nov 2019.

Consultation on The Principles of a Local Discretionary Transient Visitor Levy or Tourist Tax
Closes 2 Dec 2019.

The role of Public Sector Bodies in tackling climate change
Closes 4 Dec 2019.

Scottish Government’s Local Energy Policy Statement – Consultation
Closes 4 Dec 2019.

Proposed Remote Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill
Consultation closes on 31 January 2020.


Understanding Land and Inequality (SLC 12/11/19)

Living with flooding: action plan (SG 11/11/19)

Empty Homes in Scotland (SP 10/11/19)

Inequality street – Housing and the 2019 general election (Resolution Foundation 09/11/19)

Homelessness in Scotland (SPICe Briefing 06/11/19)

Community right to buy: route map (SG 06/11/19)

Alternative Housing Tenures (SPICe 04/11/19)

Not under-regulated but under-enforced: A list of legislation affecting the private rented sector (RLA)

Grenfell Tower Inquiry – Phase 1 Report (01/11/19)

Scottish greenhouse gas emissions annual target report: 2017 (SG 30/10/19)

Scotland’s Churches Trust Annual Report 2019 (SCT 28/10/19)

The Contribution of Volunteering to Scotland’s Health and Wellbeing: 2020 – 2040 (Volunteering Scotland 10/19)

The Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building: The loss of a national treasure (SP 08/03/19)

Scottish Government News Releases

Tourism fund now open for applications (SG 11/11/19)
Tourist sites in Scotland’s rural areas can now apply for a share of £3 million funding aimed at helping them meet the demand of growing visitor numbers.

Flooding action plan launched (SG 11/11/19)
An action plan to help homeowners and businesses prevent damage caused by flooding has been launched.

Circular Economy Bill (SG 07/11/19)
Businesses, industry and individuals are being encouraged to seize on the nation’s talent for innovation by re-thinking how we use and reuse materials.

Tackling homelessness together (SG 07/11/19)
Universal standards for the quality of temporary homeless accommodation have been introduced by the Scottish Government.

Migration vital to Scotland’s future workforce (SG 05/11/19)
Immigration schemes can be an ‘immediate and direct’ way to tackle depopulation, an independent expert group has said.

EU funding (SG 05/11/19)
A consultation has been launched on a potential replacement to a £780 million European funding programme, if Brexit goes ahead.

Social housing to be more energy efficient (SG 05/11/19)
Tenants across Scotland to benefit from £3 million in funding.

Rural planning to be prioritised (SG 05/11/19)
The need for planning permission could be removed for certain types of rural developments to help tackle depopulation and support local economies.

News Releases

St Andrew’s Day Ticket Giveaway (HES 12/11/19)
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) have thousands of free tickets to give away to some of the country’s best-loved historic abbeys, palaces, castles and cathedrals as Ticket Giveaway returns for 2019 on Saturday 30 November and Sunday 1 December.

Call for compulsory sales orders to tackle the blight of empty homes (SP 10/11/19)
A Holyrood Committee has called on the Scottish Government to fulfil its commitment and introduce compulsory sales orders to tackle the blight of empty homes.

UK Government to protect international heritage from disasters and conflict (DCMS 04/11/19)
UK Government is extending the Cultural Protection Fund with an additional £10 million of investment.

More funding to help crack down on criminal landlords (MHCLG 04/11/19)
Additional £4 million funding for councils to tackle criminal landlords.

Blueprint for 100 multi-million pound Town Deals revealed (MHCLG 01/11/19)
Towns Fund prospectus paves the way for a new generation of Town Deals to regenerate town centres, boost businesses and improve infrastructure.

RTPI Scotland hosts Parliamentary Reception to mark 25th anniversary (RTPI 31/11/19)
The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has marked the 25th anniversary of its Scottish office by hosting a Parliamentary reception at Holyrood.

£37,712 boost for Scottish heritage projects (HES 29/10/19)
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has awarded £37,712 to heritage projects across Scotland as part of its Historic Environment Support Fund.

Applications now open for the Sustainability Scholarship for 2020 (CIC 23/10/19)
The sustainability agenda continues to evolve and develop and affects every business. Whether you are interested in the advent of carbon accounting on projects or the importance of water conservation in the future, the Sustainability Scholarship encourages a company to carry out research using one of its employees.

Opinion & Comment

Regional Land Use Partnerships (Hamish Trench, SLC 12/11/19)

Ten messages from Scotland for Planners around the World (Cliff Hague 09/11/19)

World Town Planning Day – Past, Present and Future (Craig McLaren RTPI Scotland 09/11/19)

Circular Economy Materials for Low Carbon, Healthy Buildings (Zero Waste Scotland 11/19)

Between Urbanisation and Conservation: an Edinburgh perspective (EWH 03/11/19)

Inclusive Design: Beyond Accessibility (Design Council 28/10/19)

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-26360: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to (a) meet the demand for accessible housing stock and (b) increase the use of accessible housing registers.

Question S5W-26361: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to update its policies on Housing for Varying Needs in order to improve accessibility standards for new residential properties.

Question S5W-26362: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to encourage property owners of all tenures to alter their properties to achieve better accessibility standards.

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-25890: Angus MacDonald, Falkirk East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/10/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what progress has been made toward completing the Land Register of Scotland by 2024, and what information it has regarding how many local authorities have not engaged in registering publicly-owned lands in their area.
Answered by Kate Forbes (01/11/2019)

Question S5W-25884: Colin Smyth, South Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/10/2019
To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to issue a revised climate change public engagement strategy, in line with the requirements of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.
Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (05/11/2019)

Other Parliamentary Activity

Fallling Masonry debate on 30th October 2019
Daniel Johnson (Edinburgh Southern) (Lab):
To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how many times masonry falls from housing have been reported in the past year. (S5O-03679)

Glasgow School of Art Fire debate on 30th October 2019
The Deputy Presiding Officer (Christine Grahame):
The next item of business is a Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee debate on motion S5M-19553, in the name of Joan McAlpine, on the Glasgow School of Art fire.


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

Balancing act: Collections care in historic buildings
Date & time: Friday 15 November 2019; 9.30am – 4.30pm.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling
Cost: £27. HS Member £30. Standard ticket
Join us at the Engine Shed for this one-day conference.  Find out about our collections and hear from our collections staff and a range of other organisations including the Sottish Maritime Museum, as they talk about the challenges they face looking after collections in their care. To find out more information and to purchase tickets please check our website.

Is Scotland’s Housing Fit for Purpose?
Date & time: Thu, 21 November 2019, 18:00 – 21:00.
Venue: MacLaren Stuart Room (G.159), University of Edinburgh Law School, Old College, South Bridge, Edinburgh EH8 9YL.
Scottish Ecological Design Association (SEDA) invites you to the fifth Howard Liddell Memorial Lecture: Eco Max 5. The theme is: Is Scotland’s Housing Fit for Purpose? Sandy Halliday will explore the Legacy of Sherry Arnstein, author of the seminal paper in the field of participatory decision making “Ladder of Citizen Participation”. This will be followed by Stirling Howieson discussing The Great Scottish Housing Disaster. Fionn Stevenson will then address the role of Housing and Post Occupancy Evaluation that looks forward as well as backwards, and works on the basis of empowering inhabitants through it! Andy Wightman will contribute thoughts on the subject prior to the discussion.

Roofing Mortars and Metals
Date & time: Friday 22 November 2019; 9.30am – 12.15pm.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling
Free – Booking essential
Hear from Historic Environment Scotland experts on how to carry out traditional roofing repairs, what mortars and binders to use, and the conservation of metals. This series is run in conjunction with Royal Incorporation of Architects(RIAS), and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  This event is free but please remember to book early to avoid disappointment. To find out more information and to purchase tickets please check our website.

Lundie Church Consultation
Date & time: Friday 29th November 2019, between 2pm and 7pm.
Venue: Lunchie Church
Lundie is a Category A listed church of national significance located 10 miles north west of Dundee. The church includes the spectacular neo-classical Duncan Mausoleum of 1789 designed by Robert Mylne. A new use is required to secure the future of building following its closure as a place of worship. Historic Churches Scotland is carrying out a consultation to explore interest in Lundie Church amongst a wide range of stakeholders. We are keen to identify potential uses and users of the church, together with views on the suitability of new uses and any adaptations required. As part of the consultation process we are running a drop-in event at the church on Friday 29th November 2019, between 2pm and 7pm. This will allow people not familiar with the church to see inside, get an idea of the potential it offers, and share their thoughts with us. We would warmly welcome your attendance at the event, and invite you to contribute your views either in person on the day, or by contacting us at

Custom House Leith Public Open Day
Date & time: Saturday 7th December 10.00 am – 4.00 pm
Venue: Custom House, 65-67 Commercial Street, Edinburgh EH6 6HL
SHBT are opening the doors of Custom House for further awareness raising and public consultation on future plans for this historic maritime venue. The building is now mid-way through a feasibility study led by Richard Murphy Associates which is considering ways to reconfigure and design Custom house for future use. Custom House is a significant asset in Leith’s built heritage so now is the time to visit if you haven’t already done so. There will also be opportunities to meet our creative tenants and browse maker stalls running in the venue throughout the day. Drop in – no booking is required.

Edinburgh World Heritage’s Christmas Celebration 
Date & time: 6pm-8pm, Tuesday 10 December 2019
Venue: The French Institute, West Parliament Square, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF
Please join us to celebrate the arrival of the holiday season, as well as our 20th anniversary as a charity. Enjoy an evening of music, seasonal food and drink, and a bumper Christmas raffle. Tickets are £20, which includes a raffle ticket for our prize draw, a glass of fizz, canapés, live jazz music, as well as a contribution towards our 20th anniversary fundraising efforts. We do hope you can join us for this festive celebration. The Edinburgh World Heritage Team.

Riddle’s Court Public Open Day
Date & time: Thursday 12th December, 11.00 am – 4.00 pm
Venue: Riddle’s Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG
It’s been just over two years since SHBT inaugurated the renovated Riddle’s Court as the Patrick Geddes Centre for Learning & Conservation and work to maintain this historic 16th century merchant’s house continues! Join us as we welcome Karen Dundas and colleagues from Scottish Wall Painting who are conducting some restoration work for us. This is a rare opportunity to see conservation in action and to view the innovative designs and interventions SHBT made to make Riddle’s Court accessible for all. Drop in – no booking required.


Internal & External Lime Finishes – A place for all mortars Masterclass
Date & time: 22 November 2019; 09.30 – 16.30.
Venue: Charlestown Workshops, Fife.
Cost: Special discounted rate – £140 + vat
This latest masterclass in the ‘A place for all mortars’ series aims to give context in harling practice, show case studies of worked examples of both harling and plastering, and give some steer as to how we cope going forward with harsher weather patterns. In our ever changing climate (weather and economy) as specifiers and users, we have the responsibility to safeguard our built heritage. Learning from the past and planning for the future is the most crucial for the external and internal finishes of a traditional building. As with all the masterclasses in the ‘A place for all mortars’ series, it will address all mortars and the advantages and disadvantages of various applications when modern pressures force us to look at mortars more practically.

CPD: Climate Change Impacts on the Historic Environment
Date & time: Wednesday 4th December 2019; 12.30-1.30pm.
Venue: GCHT, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow.
Climate change is one of the major threats currently facing our historic environment. David Harkin from Historic Environment Scotland will be speaking about climate change impacts on the historic environment, the climate hazards that drive these impacts, what makes historic assets vulnerable or resilient to these impacts and possible adaption measures that could be applied in light of these changes. Attendees will be able to pick up a copy of the recently released Our Place in Time (OPIT) Guide to Climate Change Impacts on the Scotland’s Historic Environment. David Harkin is Historic Environment Scotland’s Climate Change Scientist and one of the primary authors of the Guide to Climate Change Impacts on the Scotland’s Historic Environment.


Land Use Partnerships Project Manager
Reporting to the Chief Executive, the role will lead a new fixed term workstream to develop proposals for regional land use partnerships.
Closing date for applications is 5 pm on Friday 29 November 2019.

New Appointments to the Board of Historic Environment Scotland
Historic Environment Scotland are looking for up to four new members to join the Board at an exciting time for the organisation.
Closing date is Friday, 6 December 2019 (Midnight).