BEFS Bulletin – BEFS Appoints New Director

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


In Spring, BEFS will be saying a fond farewell to Director, Euan Leitch, as he takes up a new role as Chief Executive of SURF – Scotland’s Regeneration Forum. We are glad to see that Euan will be continuing his work in the built environment and wish him all the best in his new post.

Today, BEFS Board are delighted to announce that Ailsa Macfarlane has been appointed as BEFS Director from May 2021. Ailsa joined BEFS as the Policy & Strategy Manager in 2017, having previously managed the Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage project and worked for Museums Galleries Scotland. BEFS Board and Team look forward to working with Ailsa in her new capacity.

Following Ailsa’s appointment, BEFS is seeking a new Policy and Strategy Manager. The role involves engaging with BEFS members on strategic policy and legislative developments relating to Scotland’s built environment; informing members of strategic policy developments; co-ordinating views; and promoting these through consultation responses and legislative opportunities. We are seeking the right individual, who enjoys strategic thinking, the detail of policy consultations, and is highly self-motivated, to fit into a small friendly team. The deadline for applications is noon on Tuesday 6th April 2021. More details here.

A coalition of Scotland’s leading experts on the built environment, including BEFS and members, have issued a joint statement calling on new ways of working that embed resilience into how our places function and develop over time. The next Scottish Government must co-ordinate legislation, strategies and funding if its vision of a sustainable, resilient and inclusive future is to be achieved. There must be a shift from overlapping and disjointed strategies to complementarity and synergised policy making and from an opportunistic, reactive approach to development, to a planned, proactive approach. Read the full press release for more details and the joint statement here.

Applications for Round 4 of Rebuilding Heritage opens today (11 March)! Rebuilding Heritage is a UK-wide free support programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, to help the heritage sector respond to the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The programme is providing free 121 and group support for individuals and organisations (including voluntary organisations) in the heritage sector. Find out more.

The Architecture Fringe has launched its open call for self-directed work for this year’s festival under the thematic provocation of (Un)Learning. This fifth edition of the Scotland-wide festival will take place 04-20 June 2021. The (Un)Learning provocation invites contributors to reflect upon the systems and structures that we have built to bring order to our lives but which, too often, are destroying us and life on Earth. The festival asks participants to interrogate their own behaviours, beliefs and biases in order to acknowledge how the world really is to then reimagine how it could be.


Clyde Mission Call for Ideas
Opened 1 March and closes 29 March 2021.

Scotland’s Churches Trust: Helping Sustain Our Places Of Worship Survey

Petition: To create a tax incentive to favour retrofit instead of demolition and new build

Mediation in Planning
Closes 12 Mar 2021.

Draft Public Engagement Strategy for Climate Change
Closes 31 Mar 2021.

Consultation on Scottish skills requirements for energy efficiency, zero emissions and low carbon heating systems, microgeneration and heat networks for homes
Closes 30 April 2021.

Heat in Buildings Strategy
Closes 30 April 2021.


Scottish Tourism and Covid-19 (SPICe 08/03/21)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): building work verification guidance – letter from the Planning Minister (SG 04/03/21)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): duration of building warrant – guidance addendum – letter from Planning Minister (SG 04/03/21)

Community Empowerment: Taking Stock of Participation Requests and Asset Transfers Four Years On (LGCC 26/02/2021)

Council on Training in Architectural Conservation – Insight 1 The Need to Appreciate the Built Heritage Units 1-6 Learning Handbooks and Image Sets (COTAC 03/2021)

Brainstorming Report ‘Culture and the Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities’ (VoC 26/02/2021)

The Heritage Recovery Plan (HEF 10/02/2021)

Skills in Planning Publication (Partners in Planning 02/2021)

Council on Training in Architectural Conservation – Study 3 BIM4C Integrating HBIM Framework Report Illustrative Bibliography (COTAC Revised Edition December 2020)

Council on Training in Architectural Conservation – Study 4 Web-search List of UK + RoI Heritage Courses 2020 (COTAC 2020)

Global Soft Power Index 2021 (Brand Finance 2021)

Centre for Cultural Value – Resource Hub (CfCV 2021)

Togetherness – A New Heritage Deal for Europe (EIB 2020)

Scottish Government News Releases

Action on rented homes (SG 10/03/21)
A new strategy for Scotland’s rented sector will improve accessibility, affordability and standards, as part of a new 20 year route map for housing to be published next week.

FM: COP26 is our best chance to address climate change (SG 09/03/21)
COP26 is the international community’s best, perhaps only, chance to address the threat of climate change, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Scottish Parliament election (SG 02/03/21)
The safety of campaigners, election workers and the public is central to plans for the Scottish Parliament election, Parliamentary Business Minister Graeme Dey has said.

News Releases

IHBC’s Marsh Awards: Your chance to nominate ‘successful learners’ (09/03/21)
The closing date approaches for the IHBC’s Marsh Award for ‘successful learning in heritage skills’, with a prize that includes £500 and a free place at the IHBC’s Brighton 2021 Annual School, and with nominations closing on 31 March.

‘Committee on COP26’ scrutiny arrangements with COP President Designate Alok Sharma (UKP 05/03/21)
Nine cross-party select committees will scrutinise preparations for the COP26 climate summit, due to be held in Glasgow in November.

Urgent action is needed if Scotland’s ambitious climate change targets are to be met (SP 04/03/21)
Urgent action across all sectors is essential if Scotland’s ambitious climate and net zero emissions targets are to be met, according to the reports of four Holyrood Committees published today.

Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy publishes 5-year review of ground-breaking work (HES 04/03/2021)
Scottish archaeology marked a significant milestone this week as the Five-Year Review of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy was published.

Builders’ Budget plea: cut VAT on home repairs, says FMB and RICS (FMB 01/03/2021)
A VAT cut on home improvement works from 20% to 5% for a temporary five year period would generate an economic stimulus worth £51 billion and create 345,000 new jobs, according to new research by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) and the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

My Place Awards 2021 Entry Deadline Extended (SCT 03/2021)
The Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards celebrate community-led built environment projects that have transformed their locality. The Awards are a great opportunity to showcase a project’s success to the community, stakeholders and funders by receiving much-deserved exposure and media attention. Entry deadline: 29th August 2021.

The Prime Minister has appointed Dr Simon Thurley CBE as Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The National Lottery Heritage Fund (DCMS 25/02/2021)
Dr Simon Thurley CBE has been appointed as Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The National Lottery Heritage Fund for a three year period from 01 April 2021 until 31 March 2024.

Resource round-up: Climate crisis response (SCT 23/02/2021)
Our heritage and its built environment are facing serious risks as the climate emergency continues to grow. As part of our Climate Crisis Response, we release a regular round-up of newly released climate crisis resources for heritage.

New research will demonstrate benefit of culture and heritage to society (DCMS 21/01/2021)
An ambitious new programme of research to improve decision making by valuing the benefits of our culture and heritage capital to society, announced today.

Opinion & Comment

Eco-homes become hot property in UK’s zero-carbon ‘paradigm shift’ (Guardian 06/03/2021)

Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy: Five Years, Five Aims, Five Highlights (HES 04/03/2021)

Why can’t we build better quality homes in Britain? (The Times 28/02/2021)

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-35759: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/03/2021
To ask the Scottish Government what meetings it has had with the (a) energy, (b) house building, (c) environment and (d) community sectors regarding the national developments to be incorporated in the National Planning Framework 4.

Question S5W-35760: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/03/2021
To ask Scottish Government what plans it has to meet communities that might be affected by the national developments that will be incorporated in the National Planning Framework 4.

Question S5W-35724: Annie Wells, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 04/03/2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the total number of homes built under the affordable housing programme from the start of the current parliamentary session.

Question S5W-35792: Keith Brown, Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/03/2021
To ask the Scottish Government how many applications have been made to the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Hardship Fund, also broken down by how many have (a) been approved, (b) been rejected and (c) yet to be processed.

Question S5W-35797: Keith Brown, Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/03/2021
To ask the Scottish Government what the average award granted by the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Hardship Fund has been.

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-35501: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/02/2021
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the UK Government extending the Stamp Duty holiday until July 2021, what plans it has to take similar action regarding the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT).
Answered by Ivan McKee (04/03/2021)

Question S5W-35396: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 22/02/2021
To ask the Scottish Government how it will decide the criteria for national developments to be incorporated into National Planning Framework 4, and what the process leading up to that decision will be.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (01/03/2021)

Question S5W-35395: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 22/02/2021
To ask the Scottish Government how it will ensure that the process of deciding on criteria for national developments to be incorporated into National Planning Framework 4 will be participative, and whether it has considered using a citizen’s assembly to discuss the proposals for national developments.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (01/03/2021)

Question S5W-35277: Rhoda Grant, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/02/2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether it considers that ensuring that communities benefit from public expenditure on land management practises and land uses that (a) contributes to climate heating mitigation and adaptation and (b) secures the local retention of income, is a core part of ensuring a just transition to net zero carbon emissions.
Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (24/02/2021)

Question S5W-35236: Alexander Burnett, Aberdeenshire West, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/02/2021 R
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the (a) laying of regulations for minimum energy efficiency standards and (b) compliance dates which will be set out in the regulations.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (22/02/2021)


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

A Future for Your Church – Making a Start
Date & time: Tuesday 16th March, 10am-11.30am.
Heritage Trust Network and Historic Churches Scotland are joining forces to host the second event in this series for any group contemplating the future of their church building. In this event we will focus particularly on the process of making a start and building up to taking on full responsibility for the building. If you have already gone through this process, we strongly encourage you to attend and share your experiences with others.

Architecture and Design Scotland: Corporate Strategy 2021-31 Launch
Date & time: Thursday 18 March 11 am.
Architecture and Design Scotland will host an online event to mark the launch of a new Corporate Strategy. This event will outline how the A&DS strategy will help support more people working together to make decisions on the future of their places.

Taking Ownership – Experiences Shared
Date & time: Friday 19th March, 10am-12pm.
Heritage Trust Network Scotland Branch: Are you considering taking ownership of a building within your community? Not sure how to navigate the purchase from a private owner or a Local Authority? Join us on Friday 19th March to hear from those with first-hand experience. This event is open to any groups who are considering taking ownership of a building but are not sure of when is the best time to do it, what purchase price they should be paying, what responsibilities they need to be aware of etc. Come along to hear case studies from our speakers and put your questions to them.

Your Career in Conservation 
Dates & times: 22nd – 24th March | 10:30am – 4:00 pm.
Online Conference.
Join Glasgow City Heritage Trust for a three-day online conference looking at careers in conservation and take part in workshops on how to become conservation accredited. The conference is aimed at anyone working, or interested in working, within the building and heritage sectors, including architects, surveyors, conservators, engineers and consultants. Workshops will be led by: CARE, Icon, IHBC, RIAS, RICS.

Moving forward with shared transport and mobility hubs in Scotland
Date & time: 25 March 4pm – 5pm
Online: GoToWebinar – log on details available on event booking.
The event will outline the theory behind Active Travel Hubs, highlighting the elements that can be included and giving examples from Europe. It will then describe a recent application for an Active Travel Hub in Alloa, presented by the case officer. Presentations by 1) Marian Marsh Senior Development Officer (Scotland) CoMoUK (National charity for the public benefit of shared mobility), 2) Grant Baxter, Principal Planner, is the case officer for the Active Travel Hub planning application at Maple Court, Alloa (20/00273/FULL, approved 25th January 2021).

Legacy giving. Now is the time – if you do it right. Learn how to! )
Date & time: 25 March 2021, 11:00 – 15:00  **1 place remaining**
Online: via Zoom
This course is focused on how to integrate legacies into your current fundraising at little or no cost at a time when more people are making Wills than we have witnessed in decades.

Culture & Business Fund Scotland Roadshows: A source of support for COVID-19 recovery and renewal
Date & time: Tuesday 30 March 11:00am — 13:00pm
Online: via Zoom
Due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, we are taking our Culture & Business Scotland (CBFS) Roadshows online. These free webinars will give attendees from across the arts, heritage, third, public and business sectors the opportunity to learn about the fund, and how we have adapted the criteria to provide more flexible support for the sectors through a period of recovery and renewal throughout 2021 and beyond.

Mark Turnbull Travel Award Presentations– Climate Change Innovations: Food and Flood Resilience and Making Room for Social Spaces
Date & time: 6.15 -7.15pm 21st April 2021
The speakers include: 1) Samuel Cortis: Joint Winner of Mark Turnbull Travel Award: Making Room for Social Spaces; an exploration of how community focused and managed landscapes can shape development strategies for Scotland 2) Dr Amber Roberts: Joint Winner of Mark Turnbull Travel Award – Food and Flood Resilience: Climate Change Innovations – Learning from Europe 3) René Sommer Lindsay – Senior Urban Designer and Climate Resilience consultant. Placemaking infrastructure for resilient, sustainable, liveable cities and communities.

The Knights Templar and Historical Revisionism in the Modern Era 
Date & time: Monday 26 April at 6pm (UK time)
Online: Zoom (free registration via Eventbrite essential)
The Knights Templar are among the best-known elements of the medieval period. They were the first of the military-religious orders and important players in the Crusades, and their legacy has endured in films, novels, comics, and video games today. But this fame has also led to darker appropriations. In this online talk, Dr Rory MacLellan will examine why the Templars hold such a strong appeal for parts of the far-right and how pseudo-histories and myths about the order can act as an entry-point for this dark historical revisionism.

Reinventing Inverness Castle
Date & time: 6 May 4pm to 5pm
Online: GoToWebinar – log on details available on event booking
The A-listed Inverness Castle is being transformed from two court-houses into the main tourist-hub/visitor-centre/venue for the Highlands. C20 interventions are being stripped-out to expose the original layout and fabric, then the building will be sensitively re-invented for C21 flexible uses. A contemporary link building will join the two main towers and a new (all-abilities access) roof-terrace installed. Extensive re-landscaping will transform the public realm and setting to Inverness’ prime landmark building.

IHBC Annual School 2021 Brighton: Historic Places, People Places – Making the best of the places we have today, for those who live with them tomorrow
Dates: 17 – 18 June 2021.
All places have history – in landscapes, built fabric and memories – and that history shapes how people live, use and work with them, today and in the future. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, billions of pounds were being invested to support struggling urban and rural places, old and new, and their surrounding areas. Not only has the pandemic exacerbated these familiar problems, but it has also highlighted new ones. The IHBC’s Brighton 2021 School will address these and related challenges, seeking data, connecting thinking and shaping solutions.


IHBC CPD – Introducing Building Survey for Retrofit
Date & time:  29 Mar 2021 1pm-2pm
Online: GoToWebinar
John Edwards, IHBC Technical Panel Chair and Trustee, will introduce Building Survey for Retrofit.  Topics will include the following: The overall approach including the survey as part of the retrofit process; Competencies and equipment required; How condition affects performance; Examples of issues of particular importance and how to analyse them; Determining the suitability of types and levels of retrofit including materials; Making sure that heritage values are part of the process; Q&A at end.

Architectural Conservation CPD: Historic Shopfronts
Date & time: Wednesday 26 May, 12:30-13:30 (log-on from 12:15)
Online via Microsoft Teams, streamed live from Lower City Mills, Perth.
Marking 10 years since ‘The Historic Shopfronts of Perth’ was published, the second session in the 2020 CPD programme is a historic shopfront feature delivered by shopfronts expert Lindsay Lennie. Whether you are starting out in a buildings related career, looking to refresh your conservation knowledge, encounter historic buildings as part of your work portfolio, or have limited knowledge of the best conservation practice to employ on a project involving traditionally constructed buildings, this is the CPD programme for you. Sessions are recognised CPD by the IHBC and Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF).


National Covid Memorial – Commission for Artistic Engagement Process
greenspace scotland (on behalf of The Herald Covid Memorial Steering Group) is seeking to commission an artist/artistic partnership to engage creatively with communities (both geographic and of interest) to co-design an artistic statement and concept to inform the development of a National Covid Memorial in Pollok Country Park, Glasgow and that could be utilised by communities and other organisations in greenspaces across Scotland.
Expressions of interest are required by noon on Friday 19 March 2021.

Invitation to Tender: Review of Governance, Strategic Priorities and Plans
Inverness City Heritage Trust (ICHT) proposes to commission a consultancy review of its governance and management structures, financial management, operational priorities and business plans.
Deadline for receipt of tender submissions: 31 March 2021.