BEFS Bulletin – A Culture Strategy for Scotland

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


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. It 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.

The Scottish Government has published its engagement report on ‘A Culture Strategy for Scotland’, with an overview of the main themes and ideas gathered through public events, written submissions and online forums. The report will inform a draft strategy which will issue for public consultation during 2018. BEFS Director, Euan Leitch’s initial reflections on developing a culture strategy for Scotland can be found here.

BEFS, CIfA, Archaeology Scotland and ALGAO collectively responded to the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s call for evidence on EU Environmental and Animal Welfare Principles. The response emphasises the need to ensure that the protective measures currently enshrined within EU law are not lost or diluted due to Brexit. Read our full submission here.

BEFS is supporting the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage launch by Commissioner Phil Hogan in Edinburgh. The launch is designed to promote the European Year of Cultural Heritage (@2018EYCHUK #EYCH2018#EuropeforCulture) in Scotland. For further information about the year and to register your events, visit the European Commission website or the UK website.

Last but my no means least, we would like to welcome BEFS newest Associate Members, Planning Democracy.


On 29 March the Scottish Government published their updated National Outcomes as part of its broader look at the National Performance Framework. The Scottish Government is required to consult the Scottish Parliament on the proposed revisions to these Outcomes. The Local Government and Communities Committee is taking the lead. As the timescale for completing this work is very short, we are seeking views by 11 April using email, letter or by social media. 

A consultation on an amendment to Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Group Relief
Closes 13 April 2018.

A Connected Scotland: Tackling social isolation and loneliness and building stronger social connections
Closes 27 April 2018.

Petition: Permitted development rights in conservation areas
Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the permitted development rights legislation, which we consider impacts unfairly on residents of conservation areas and listed buildings in Scotland.
Closing Date for Online Petition: 08 May 2018 

Call for Evidence on Experience of Concentrated Land Ownership (Scottish Land Commission 22/03/18)
The call for evidence will be open until 23 May 2018.


Asset Transfer Policy Statement and Guidance (HES 04/04/18)

Register of Assets (HES 04/04/18) 

Home Energy Efficiency Programmes Scotland – Warmer Homes Scotland – 2016/17 Annual Review (SG 26/03/18)

Regulation of Letting Agents Monitoring Compliance and Enforcement Framework (SG 26/03/18)

Focus Magazine 2018 (Engine Shed 23/03/18)
An annual magazine showcasing technical conservation with Historic Environment Scotland and our partners. This edition focuses on traditional skills.

Land: For the many, not the few? Limitations on the Scale of Land Ownership A discussion paper (SLC 22/03/18)

Research on interventions to manage land markets and limit the concentration of land ownership elsewhere in the world (SLC 22/03/18) 

Applied Digital Documentation in the Historic Environment (Engine Shed 19/03/18)
This short guide looks at different data capture techniques that can be used in the analysis, recording, conservation and visualisation of historic objects, sites and landscapes in their present condition.

Unsuitable, insecure and substandard homes: The barriers faced by older private renters (Independent Age xx/03/18)

Scottish Government News

Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning 2018 Now Open! (SG 04/04/18)
The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning are one of the Government’s most prestigious awards. They celebrate achievements in planning, right from the detail of processing through to the bigger picture of creating places which will become the legacy of our professionalism.

Help to Buy extended (SG 04/04/18)
The Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme will be extended beyond 2019, helping more people purchase a new-build home without the need for a large deposit. From April 2019, a further £100 million will be invested over two years, helping up to 4,000 households to purchase a new home.

Certainty urged on EU research relationships (SG 25/03/18)
Minister visits Brussels to promote Scottish science and innovation. Certainty is urgently required on the UK’s future participation in EU research programmes after Brexit, Higher Education and Science Minister Shirley-Anne Somerville has said.

Sector News

HES publish Asset Transfer Policy and Guidance (HES 04/04/18)
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has today (Wednesday 4 April) published its policy and guidance on Asset Transfer under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015, which outlines our commitment to facilitating Asset Transfer Requests where they benefit communities and secure positive outcomes for the historic environment.

Saltire Infrastructure Awards 2018 (ICE 04/04/18)
The awards run in partnership with CECA Scotland celebrate outstanding civil engineering achievements. We showcase the people who design, build and maintain the infrastructure on which we depend. The awards are now open for 2018. Entries are sought for projects completed in 2017/18. We’re looking for the most innovative, creative and sustainable contributions to Scotland’s built and natural environment.

Scotland’s History Mapped Out (HES 04/04/18)
We’re proud to unveil the shiny new version of PastMap, a brilliant digital resource that brings together designations, archives and local historic environment records to help you map out Scotland’s past in one place.

Pilot scheme launched to help build sustainable future for listed places of worship (DDCMS 31/03/18)
A new scheme to help build a sustainable future for listed places of worship will be piloted in urban and rural areas in England, Heritage Minister Michael Ellis announced today.

What’s been happening with social housing rents? (SPICe 29/03/18)
Next week, at the start of the new financial year, Scotland’s 610,000 social housing tenants will begin paying a new rent for their home. Over the last few years, the Scottish Housing Regulator (the Regulator) has been emphasising that social landlords need to take into account tenant affordability when they are setting their rents.

£2m funding for rural communities to restore historic buildings (DEFRA 29/03/18)
A new grant scheme is being piloted this year in five National Parks, offering funding for land managers to restore their historic farm buildings.

Heritage Alliance publishes first ever international report (THA 28/03/18)
The Heritage Alliance has published the first ever report on the independent heritage sector’s impact overseas. The report, sponsored by the Scottish Confucius Institute for Business & Communication at Heriot-Watt University, makes recommendations for building on the success of the overall sector which already generates £21.7 billion a year.

New plan unveiled for Edinburgh’s UNESCO World Heritage Site (EWH 27/03/18)
A new plan for Edinburgh’s Old and New Towns World Heritage Site was launched today which includes commitments to improve the quality of new development, better manage tourism growth, and deepen residents’ awareness and understanding of the site among other actions.

The Alliance writes to Immigration Minister (HA 23/03/18)
Heritage Alliance Chairman, has written to Immigration Minister to set out our concerns about the impact of potential post-Brexit immigration reforms. We attached our Immigration Briefing which sets out the key issues for the sector, such as avoiding the exacerbation of existing skills shortages and ensuring that our highly skilled, but lowly paid, sector is not unduly impacted by requiring too high a salary for a visa. It also includes the results of our recent survey monkey on EU employment in the heritage sector.

Scale and Concentration of land ownership in Scotland (SLC 22/03/18)
Scotland’s land reform body is calling for evidence about the impact of concentration of land ownership in Scotland, as it publishes a report and discussion paper on the issue today Thursday 22 March, 2018. The Scottish Land Commission research report looks at international approaches to limiting scale and concentration of land ownership.

Talking Shops – a History of Scottish Shopfronts (Engine Shed 19/03/18)
The Engine Shed has launched its latest exhibition, which looks at the architecture and materials used in creating the distinctive shopfronts. If you cannot make it to the Engine Shed, you can see our video: Stories of Scotland’s Shopfronts, or for information about the conservation and maintenance of shopfronts, download our Short Guide 12: Scottish Traditional Shopfronts.

Opinion & Comment

A Lane Strategy for Glasgow City Centre (Willie Miller, Principal of WMUD 26/03/18)

City Region Deals – A Good Deal? (Craig McLaren, RTPI Scotland 23/03/18) 

People at the heart of the Climate Change Plan? (Ragne Low, University of Strathclyde, for RTPI Scotland 23/03/18)

Response to Minister Kevin Stewart MSP’s letter to the Local Government and Communities Committee on Third Party and Equal Right of Appeal in the Planning (Scotland) Bill (SAPP 20/03/18)

Access over Ownership (Stephen Miles, Director of ADP 19/03/18)

Introducing Place Purpose, and why we need it now more than ever (Joy Nazzari, Founder of dn&co and Place Press 13/03/18)

Local Place Frameworks – Unlocking the potential of People & Place (Jonathan Clarkson, Director at Urbantu – Place-making by Design 12/03/18)

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”.

Graeme Dey S5W-15699
To ask the Scottish Government when the Scottish Land Commission will lay its revised Programme of Work in the Parliament. (SP 29/03/18)

Graham Simpson S5W-15589
To ask the Scottish Government how it monitors the effectiveness of home reports. (SP 26/03/18)

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-15374: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 19/03/2018
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.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (28/03/2018)

Question S5W-15373: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 19/03/2018
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of its spending on the Affordable Housing Supply Programme for 2016-17.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (28/03/2018)


Housing (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (SP 29/03/18)
Debate on motion S5M-11350, in the name of Kevin Stewart, on the Housing (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill.
Read full debate

UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (SP 29/03/18)
Debate on motion S5M-11347, in the name of Fiona Hyslop, on Scotland’s support for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
Read full debate


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

“It’s our heritage, too” – World Heritage Day Event and Party
Date: 18 April 2018, from 6pm-8pm.
Venue: Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square, Edinburgh EH8 9AJ.
Edinburgh World Heritage invite you to join them for an evening event to celebrate the role of young people in caring for and promoting Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site. As part of Scotland’s 2018 Year of Young People, and to celebrate World Heritage Day, a group of young people from Edinburgh would like to share with you their vision for our World Heritage Site. After the event there will be a drinks reception where you will be able to meet our ambassadors as well as special guests from the heritage world.

Community Heritage Scotland – Going Forward
Date: 21st April 2018.
Venue: Birnham Arts Centre near Perth.
Do you belong to a group or organisation that connects heritage with people – independent museums, historical societies, development or buildings trusts, community archaeology groups, clan societies etc? Or you may be an individual working on your own project. Community Heritage Scotland – Going Forward is a discussion day for people involved with heritage in their communities. We will debate core questions such as how you define community heritage, discuss how to encourage new and diverse audiences and look at how a potential network would be best delivered. The day will involve a series of informal discussions, workshop sessions and plenty of cakes and biscuits.

The Scottish identity – as illustrated through recent discoveries in Scottish silver
Date: April 23 from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
Venue: National Museum Scotland Auditorium, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF.
The lecture will be given by Colin T Fraser FSA Scot, R. L. Christie Works of Art. Since the seminal exhibition ‘Silver; Made in Scotland’ held by the National Museum of Scotland in 2008 there has been a greater appreciation and understanding of the Scottish Goldsmiths craft. Over the past 10 years many new discoveries have been made and new light has been shed on previously well-known pieces. This talk aims to illustrate and discuss these new finds while placing them in a context of the wider survival of the Scottish applied arts and cultural landscape they were created. Immediately after the lecture there will be a drinks reception in the Events Space. This has been made possible thanks to Gillespie Macandrew LLP solicitors as event sponsor.

RTPI Training – Learning from Best Practice – The Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning
Date: 25 April 2018.
Location: 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.

New approaches towards tackling barriers to employability
Date: 3rd May.
Venue: The Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh.
This free half-day SURF Awards workshop event provides an opportunity to explore successful new approaches towards tackling barriers to employability with presentations from SURF Award projects and national partners.

A Repton Celebration
Date: Saturday 12 May 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Broomhall House & Valleyfield – the only Scottish landscape designed by Humphry Repton.
We have put together a super celebratory event to mark the death of Humphry Repton, the last great landscape designer of the 18th century. After coffee, Lord Bruce will welcome us and take us on a virtual tour of Broomhall House. Dr. Patrick Eyres, landscape historian and editor, will speak about Repton and his Theatrical Self-promotion through Red Books and Printed Publications. This will be followed by an illustrated talk: The Valleyfield Red Book by Christopher Dingwall. A buffet lunch is included, after which there is an optional guided tour of Valleyfield, about 20 minutes drive from Broomhall.
Book early on our website to avoid disappointment, as places are limited.

The role of creative arts in regeneration
Date: 17th May.
Venue: Barras Arts and Design (BAaD), Glasgow.
This free half-day SURF Awards workshop event provides an opportunity to explore successful approaches towards linking creative arts into regeneration initiatives with presentations from SURF Award projects and national partners.

Successful approaches to regenerating Scotland’s places
Date: 31st May.
Venue: The Portal Townhouse, Irvine.
This free half-day SURF Awards workshop event provides an opportunity to explore successful current approaches towards regenerating Scotland’s places with presentations from SURF Award projects and national partners.

ARP 2018 Conference – bookings now open!
Date: Saturday 26th May 2018.
Venue: The Engine Shed, Forthside Way, Stirling FK8 1QZ.
Cost: Archaeology Scotland/Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland £35; Non-members £40; Students/unwaged £35.
The national Archaeological Research in Progress conference will examine recent and ongoing archaeological projects across Scotland. It 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. Book now to ensure your place.

2018 CSGN Forum – Children, young people + green space = a healthy equation
Date: 14 June 2018.
Venue: Hamish Wood Building, Glasgow Caledonian Uni., 70 Cowcaddens Rd, G4 0BA.
The importance of greenspace for young people is set to be highlighted in the annual CSGN Forum which is now open to bookings. ‘Children, Young People + Greenspace = A Healthy Equation’ will be held at Glasgow Caledonian University on Thursday 14 June and will feature world-renowned experts including the multi-award winning landscape architect, Adam White and architect Hanna Johansson, who has been instrumental in creating the vision to transform Billund into Denmark’s Capital of Children. The event, timed to celebrate 2018’s Year of Young People, will explore many of the concepts being promoted through the UNICEF Child Friendly Cities and Communities initiative, the worldwide programme that puts the needs and rights of children and young people at the heart of decision-making.

Industrial Archaeology Conference
Dates: Friday 22 June 2018 to Wednesday 27 June 2018.
Venue: Wick Baptist Church, Dempster Street, Wick, KW1 5QB.
Historic Environment Scotland in partnership with the Scottish Industrial Heritage Society, and the Scottish Vernacular Buildings Working Group is pleased to host an Industrial Archaeology Conference in Caithness from 22nd June to 27th June. A series of talks, tours and site visits around Caithness and Orkney will radiate from Wick. The conference allows different options, such as starting or ending with a connecting tour from and to Inverness.


Working Towards World Heritage Status: Perception, Process and Practice
Date: Tuesday 17th April, 9.30am – 4.30pm.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling.
Price: £40
This one-day seminar and workshop will develop understanding of the roles and responsibilities of UNESCO, The UK State Party, Scottish Government and Historic Environment Scotland in the UK Tentative List and the World Heritage nomination process.  It will also highlight some of the benefits and challenges that World Heritage status brings and consider digital innovation in recording, accessing and understanding at World Heritage sites in Scotland and worldwide. The event is aimed at Local Authorities and other organisations associated with sites that have inspirations to join the UK Tentative List (reopening in 2019/20) or that are already on the Tentative List and are now seeking to take forward a World Heritage nomination. Booking essential, register for this event here.

Penicuik CARS and Carlops CA – IHBC CPD
Date: 19 April 2018
Location: Penicuik and Carlops.
IHBC’s CPD training days in 2018 aims to reflect upon 50 years since the first Conservation Areas were designated in Scotland. The first, Carlops and Skirling in Peebleshire, appeared in the Edinburgh Gazette on 19 April 1968 followed by a part of Carlops then in Midlothian. And we look forward to the latest linkage of Conservation to Regeneration through a CARS in Penicuik, hoped soon to begin by Midlothian Council.

Conservation of Surface Finishes – CPD Module
Dates: 19 April – 5 days over 2 weeks; 21 taught hours.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling.
Price: £440
This module explores the history and conservation of paints and a range of other surface finishes traditionally used on the interiors and exteriors of Scotland’s historic buildings. Taught through lectures, site visits and practical sessions. More in depth information about the module can be accessed here.
Booking essential, register for this course here.

IHBC CPD: Training Day on CA: Ayrshire
Date 11 May 2018.
Location: Ayrshire.
IHBC’s CPD training days in 2018 aims to reflect upon 50 years since the first Conservation Areas were designated in Scotland. The Ayrshire day on 11 May, will be looking at conservation area management in Ayr and Maybole. We will assess the impact of the recent THI, and look at strategic ways forward in both towns. We propose to complete the series covering East, West and North East later in the year with a day looking at Conservation Areas in Aberdeen.


Tender for Research Consultancy Services – Great Place Nations
National Heritage Memorial Fund brief on ‘the evaluation of the Great Place Scheme in Scotland, Wales and NI’ as they seek to ‘understand what the value of the Great Place Scheme in Scotland, Wales and NI has been’, with the project valued at £40,000 and closing on 16 April. 

Chartered Landscape Architects
Wardell Armstrong’s Landscape Team is a busy and we are growing! There is now an exciting range of opportunities for key posts across the practice. Have you got the flair and the enthusiasm to build and support our growing team?
Glasgow: A chartered and experienced landscape architect that knows the Glasgow market and has the ambition to support the development of one of the practices key design teams.

Business Development Officer
The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is seeking to recruit a Business Development Officer to help with the delivery of its investment objectives by attracting and delivering new lending business to the AHF and the UK’s heritage sector. The AHF presently has three lending streams (Heritage Project Fund, Community Heritage Support Fund and Heritage Mortgage) and will soon be initiating a fourth: Heritage Impact Fund. Deadline for applications – 5pm 24th April.


Information in the Bulletin is extracted from a number of websites including the Scottish Government (SG); the Scottish Parliament (SP); Architecture and Design Scotland(A+DS); Historic Environment Scotland (HES); Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); English Heritage (EH); Design Council (DC); Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG); Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS); Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); National Assembly for Wales (NAW); Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS); Scottish Government Building Standards  (SGBS); Europa Nostra (EN); Historic England (HE).

If you have any questions or comments on the above, or would like to submit information to be included, please get in touch with Saskia Smellie or tel: BEFS Office on 0131 220 6241.