BEFS Bulletin – Advocacy for the Built Environment

Get the latest historic environment events, jobs, news and publications in BEFS Bulletin.


We are delighted to introduce BEFS advocacy toolkit on BEFS new website. It is designed to provide the information you need to confidently speak up for your organisation and the built environment with politicians and councillors. It is aimed at organisations working in the built environment in Scotland, but may also be of use to individuals. The toolkit is a responsive document, which we are updating regularly with new content. So, if there is something you would like to see, do get in touch.

Ahead of the local government elections, BEFS also organised a workshop on advocacy. We invited former Labour MP for Edinburgh North & Leith and former Councillor, Mark Lazarowicz, and Museums and Galleries Scotland’s, Devon McHugh, to share their perspectives and experience. Read about it in our blog Advocacy does and don’ts.

Save the date! In partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund Scotland and the Princes Regeneration Trust, BEFS is holding a conference on Financing the Historic Environment on 29-30 March 2017 in the Grand Central Hotel, Glasgow. Programme and booking details to follow shortly.

BEFS Annual Lecture this year returned to the topic of how Scotland addresses its housing needs. We invited Thomas Aubrey, Director of the Centre for Progressive Capitalism, and Alastair Parvin, co-founder of WikiHouse Foundation, to give their perspectives. If you missed it, you can now watch it here.

Last but not least, Kilmacolm Civic Trust share why their work concerns more than the built environment, in our second blog this week.


Fixing our broken housing market: consultation (DCLG 07/02/17)
As part of the housing white paper, we are also consulting on changes to planning policy and legislation in relation to planning for housing, sustainable development and the environment.

Development Plan Consultations
Consultation on Outer Hebrides Local Development Plan: Proposed Plan and Associated Documents

Consultation on Raising Planning Fees
Closes 27 Feb 2017.

Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement: A Consultation
Closes 10 Mar 2017.

Consultation Responses

Property Condition and Energy Efficiency (STBF 08/02/17)
Scottish Traditional Building Forum’s submission of evidence to the Local Government and Communities Committee in response to the committee’s call for evidence on the Draft Climate Change Plan.


Social Tenants in Scotland, 2015 (SG 14/02/17)
Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released Social Tenants in Scotland 2015, a new Official Statistics publication that presents an overview of social tenants and social rented housing in Scotland for the year 2015 covering topic areas such as stock, household characteristics, housing flows, and rents and income levels.

Housing white paper (DCLG 07/02/17)
Housing white paper and supporting documents setting out the government’s plans to reform the housing market and boost the supply of new homes in England.

Architecture & Design Scotland – Annual Review 2016 (02/02/17)
We have recently published our Annual Review of 2016 – an exciting year which featured the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design and the Festival of Architecture.

Introduction of an infrastructure charging mechanism: research report (SG 01/17)
This independent research report identifies and assesses the options for the introduction of an infrastructure charging mechanism in Scotland – Stages 1 and 2. Produced by Peter Brett Associates, it was commissioned to inform the review of the planning system.

Planning permission in principle: research report (SG 01/17)
This independent report examines the potential of granting planning permission for sites which are allocated in the development plan. Produced by Ryden LLP, it was commissioned to inform the review of the planning system.

Strategic Environmental Assessment Environmental Report on the Draft Climate Change Plan and Draft Scottish Energy Strategy (SG 27/01/17)
A joint Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of the Draft Climate Change Plan: The Draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2017-2032 and Draft Scottish Energy Strategy: The Future of Energy in Scotland. The Environmental Report sets out the findings of this assessment.

Scottish Government News Releases

Strengthening support for creative sector (SG 03/02/17)
Creative Industry Advisory Group members and first meeting announced. Experts from across Scotland’s creative industries will meet for the first time next week to discuss how to make the sector stronger and enhance support, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said today.

History sparks tourism rise (SG 31/01/17)
International visitors drawn by Scottish heritage. Scotland is capitalising on the booming demand from international tourists who wish to explore the country’s history and heritage, Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop revealed today. Edinburgh-based Mercat Tours reported record turnover and footfall in 2016 with a 35% increase in history walking tours of the capital in December, compared to the previous year.

News Releases

Historic sites break tourism record with four million visitors (HES 15/02/17)
Footfall at Scotland’s heritage attractions up 13% year-on-year. Scotland’s staffed heritage attractions have drawn in more visitors than ever before. Over the last 11 months – from April 2016 to present – a record breaking 4,000,000 people have flocked to historic sites across the length and breadth of the country.

Professor Leigh Sparks: So you think you know Scottish Towns? (STP 15/02/17)
Deputy Principal of the University of Stirling, and Chair of Scotland’s Towns Partnership, Professor Leigh Sparks introduces the launch of the Understanding Scottish Places 2 data tool.

Place Standard nominated for prestigious planning industry award (A&DS 13/02/17)
The Place Standard is a finalist in the category for Planning for Wellbeing at the Royal Town Planning Institute’s (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2017. The RTPI Awards are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry.

£20m to build homes fit for the future (WG 09/02/17)
Communities and Children Secretary Carl Sargeant today announced a new programme to deliver innovative models of housing to help increase the number of homes built in Wales.

SPAB asks: ‘What’s your favourite old building?’ (IHBC 08/02/17)
The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) publishes a ‘National Treasure’ feature in its quarterly SPAB Magazine – what building would you like featured?

Orkney’s Skara Brae shortlisted as UK’s best heritage site (Scotsman 08/02/17)
The 5,000-year-old settlement is the only Scottish visitor attraction on the shortlist drawn up by travel writer Bill Bryson for the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards.

Government announces ambitious plan to build the homes Britain needs (DCLG 07/02/17)
The government has introduced bold new plans to fix the broken housing market and build more homes across England.

Baroness Andrews leading debate on Built Environment Report in House of Lords (IHBC 03/02/17)
Following on from the publication last year of the report of the Select Committee on National Policy for the Built Environment, it was debated in the House of Lords on Tuesday 24 January, with Baroness Andrews leading discussions.

£10 million for regeneration of town centres (WG 03/02/17)
A £10 million fund to help bring empty, underused sites and premises in town centres back into use has been announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children Carl Sargeant.

Civil society calls on EU leaders to recognise fundamental role of cultural heritage for the future of Europe (EN 02/02/17)
Ahead of the informal summit of European leaders on the future of the EU in Valletta on 3 February 2017, 40 European heritage networks that form the European Heritage Alliance 3.3 are urging EU leaders to recognise the fundamental role of Europe’s shared cultural heritage for bringing people in Europe together.

Iconic Leith flats recognised at highest listing category (HES 01/02/17)
Historic Environment Scotland have decided to recognise Leith’s iconic Cables Wynd House (aka the ‘Banana Flats’) and neighbouring Linksview House at Category A. 1960s Brutalist buildings represent integral step in Scotland’s social housing evolution.

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”.

S5W-06974 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-06198 by Kevin Stewart on 30 January 2017, whether it will provide further details of the “novel proposals” that it is assessing in relation to the building of new mid-market rent homes, and at what stage these assessments are.(SP 09/02/17)

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-06198: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/01/2017
To  ask the Scottish Government whether it has any new models planned for building new homes and, if so, what they are.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (30/01/2017)

Question S5W-05981: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 09/01/2017
To ask the Scottish Government what criteria it uses to determine whether housing can be regarded as “affordable”.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (18/01/2017)

Question S5W-06315: Gordon Lindhurst, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 18/01/2017
To ask the Scottish Government how it can work with Edinburgh City Council to bring the reported 5,000 empty homes in the city back into use in order to tackle housing shortages.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (31/01/2017)

Other Parliamentary Activity

The transcript of the Scottish Government Debate on Improving Scotland’s Planning: Improving Scotland’s Places that took place on Thursday, 26th January 2017 can be read in full here.


Motion S5M-03748: Fiona Hyslop, Linlithgow, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/01/2017
Celebrating Our Past: Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
That the Parliament recognises the contribution that Scotland’s Themed Years play in celebrating and promoting some of its greatest assets; welcomes the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology and the opportunities that it provides to celebrate Scotland’s rich and vibrant history and heritage with the people of Scotland and visitors alike, and acknowledges the social, cultural and economic benefits that can be realised by harnessing the opportunities offered by the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology to raise the profile of Scotland, both nationally and internationally, as a world-class tourism destination.
Supported by: Alasdair Allan
Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 31/01/2017

Motion S5M-03748.1: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 30/01/2017
Celebrating Our Past: Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
As an amendment to motion S5M-03748 in the name of Fiona Hyslop (Celebrating Our Past: Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology), insert at end “, and considers that adequate funding of local authorities, Historic Environment Scotland and other relevant agencies will be essential to maintain the quality and accessibility of museums, galleries and heritage sites in 2017 and beyond.”
Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 31/01/2017


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

#HHA2017 ScotlandHour 
When: Wednesday 22 February, 21:00 – 22:00
Where: Twitter
ScotlandHour is delighted to announce that Dig It! 2017 is the Takeover Host for the #ScotlandHour February 2017 chat celebrating the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Visit the website to find out how to get involved, read the questions ahead of time or learn more about the host and co-hosts.

Period Colour Today: Key Considerations for Architects & Interior Designers
When: 23rd February 2017 from 9am – 1pm.
Where: Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, Edinburgh EH1 1SR.
Please join us at the first in a series of RIAS approved Edinburgh World Heritage CPD seminars, designed specifically for a professional architecture and interior design audience. At this informative half-day session you will hear about the importance of colour in conserving the values of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site; learn about the importance of scientific paint analysis with case studies; understand the benefits of using natural paint products; gain a historical perspective based on the interior design of Scottish country houses.

Archaeology Scotland Caves and Castles Time Tour
When: Saturday 25th March 2017.
Where: across central and east Fife.
We will be touring historic and archaeological sites across central and east Fife in the comfort of a luxury bus and travelling back at least 4,000 years on this all-day excursion. Our on-board guide, Peter Yeoman, will be describing the sites and giving insight into the lives of our ancestors as we visit different sites including the Balfarg Henge, Balbirnie Stone Circle, East Lomond Hillfort, Lochore Castle, the intriguing Wemyss Caves and others sites along the way. Places are limited so call 0300 012 9878 to book your seat or email you can also book online.

CIfA2017 Archaeology: a global profession 
When: Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 April 2017
Where: Newcastle University.
Our annual conference and training event is bursting with exciting sessions, CPD workshops and networking opportunities. You can see what is on the programme on our website
Don’t forget to book your place via Eventbrite.

The Dundee Conservation Lecture series programme is now out and can be viewed here. The programme is now in its 24th year and is a joint initiative between the University of Dundee, The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland and Dundee Historic Environment Trust.


Asbestos awareness training course 
When: Wednesday 29 March between 12pm and 4pm.
Where: The College of Animal Welfare (CAW) in Edinburgh.
RSK Environment Ltd. will deliver the training. The aim of the course is to provide awareness and develop knowledge of the hazards and risks posed by asbestos containing materials (ACMs), in order that employees can conduct work safely. This course is suitable for archaeologists of all levels of experience and responsibility. Places are free for CIfA members! For more details and to book please go to our Eventbrite page.


Trusts & Events Fundraiser Part-Time
Great opportunity for someone with Trust fundraising experience who also likes to get out meeting people at events. Are you good with social media? If you can write a good case for support and are a great organiser then Archaeology Scotland want to hear from you. Grants fundraising is an important part of our funding strategy but equally important is raising awareness of our work through our events. If you think you have the right combination of skills then send us a letter of application and your CV to
Closing Date for Applications: 23rd February 2017.
Interviews will be held on the 27th February 2017 at our office in Musselburgh.

Scottish Civic Trust Project Officer – Doors Open Days & My Place Photography Competition
3 days per week, 9-5
Salary: £25-26K PA (pro rata) depending on experience.
This is a fixed-term contract, which will run to 31 March 2018.  The role may be extended beyond this period depending on 3rd-party funding.
This is a unique opportunity to help deliver two of Scotland’s most exciting architecture and heritage projects.
Closing date for applications: Friday 17 February 2017.

National Project Manager- Scottish Empty Homes Partnership-Edinburgh
Maternity cover until January 2018 – Edinburgh
Shelter Scotland is looking for an influential individual with strong project management and project development experience to join us as National Project Manager and bring strategic direction and day-to-day management to the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP).
Closing date: Tuesday 28th February 2017 at 11.30pm.

Themed Years Marketing and Communications Executive
The post of the Themed Years Marketing & Communications Executive will operate as part of the wider EventScotland/VisitScotland Communication Teams and as such will be an important conduit for information and coordination. The post holder will be responsible for day to day duties of Scotland’s Themed Years Marketing and Communications activity.
Job Closing Date : 01/03/2017.

Recruiting a part time Assistant Director
The Cockburn Association has established an Urban Design Group, the Assistant Directors manage the activities of this Group. The Assistant Directors bring together expert contributions from different professional backgrounds as a basis for the Cockburn Association’s submissions on significant planning proposals and on draft strategic plans affecting the city and its environs. We are looking for an individual committed to place-making – influencing how areas within Edinburgh can be made as attractive, sustainable, and functional as possible, so as to enrich the lives and experience of all those who live and work in, and those who visit, the city.
Deadline for applications: Friday, 3 March 2017.

Members’ News

Would you like to be recognised for your skills in community engagement? (PAS 14/02/17)
We hear a lot about the importance of community engagement in the planning system and more widely in community planning and placemaking generally – but do we really know what effective public involvement looks, or even feels, like?

We’ve launched a brand new online shop (GCHT 08/02/17)
By buying from Glasgow City Heritage Trust’s online shop you are supporting our charitable work promoting the understanding, appreciation and conservation of Glasgow’s historic buildings for the benefit of the city’s communities and its visitors, now and in the future