BEFS Bulletin – BEFS Conference 2018

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


The Our Place in Time Performance Report 2017 is now out. This report covers the first three years of the Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland – Our Place in Time, from its publication in October 2014. It sets out the progress made in delivering the Strategy and complements the narrative of the Annual Reports that were published in 2015 and 2017.

This year Historic Environment Scotland is undertaking a review of the Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement. Join BEFS for our Historic Environment Scotland Policy Statement Conference in March and influence what direction it may take. The conference will bring together the sector for an intensive workshop looking at creative and pragmatic approaches to caring for Scotland’s historic environment. Advanced booking is now open, with further information and a programme to follow soon.

The Planning (Scotland) Bill appeared in December 2017, a little over 2 years since the independent panel carried out a “game-changing review of Scotland’s planning system”. Read BEFS response and an overview of the built environment sector’s responses and reactions to the Bill.

Following the May 2016 review, a Digital Taskforce was established to explore opportunities to develop a world leading Digital Planning Service for Scotland. As part of the work to explore digital opportunities, the Scottish Government’s Digital Planning Team are keen to hear about people’s experiences of planning in Scotland. To help shape the digital future of the Scottish planning system, please take part in this short survey.

Members of the Scottish Parliament have shown an increased interest in the challenges of maintaining buildings under shared ownership, with a Parliamentary reception for the RICS ‘Tenement Health Check’ in November and a motion debating ‘Maintenance of Tenement Communal Property’ in January 2018. Join the next meeting of the Cross-Party Group on Architecture and the Built Environment, in collaboration with BEFS and RICS, which will consider how the Scottish Parliament can help find solutions to the known challenges and how stakeholders can support a cross party working group on the topic.

Booking opens today for Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage conference, Inspiring Fundraising – A National Heritage Conference, specifically dedicated to the heritage sector.

Erin Fulton, Volunteer Manager at PAS, introduces PAS’ new youth volunteering initiative and PAS Youth Volunteer Award in the Year of Young People, in our first blog this week.

Isobel Leckie tells us about the work of the Causey Development Trust, community engagement and the design for transforming The Causey in Edinburgh, in our second blog.


Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme: Second Consultation on Local Heat & Energy Efficiency Strategies, and Regulation of District and Communal Heating
Closes 20 Feb 2018.

Consultation on LBTT First Time Buyers Relief (SG 09/02/18)
Opened 9 Feb 2018 and closes 23 March 2018.

The Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform Committee agreed to launch a call for evidence on the Scottish Crown Estate Bill, with a deadline of Friday 23rd March 2018.


The Our Place in Time Performance Report 2017.
This report covers the first three years of the Historic Environment Strategy for Scotland – Our Place in Time, from its publication in October 2014.

Social Tenants in Scotland 2016 (SG 13/02/18)

The Third State of Scotland’s Greenspace Report (Greenspace Scotland 01/02/18) 

Strategic Environmental Assessment and Sustainability Appraisal (SEA/SA) (RTPI 15/01/18)
Our advice aims to help town planners to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of SEA/SA for land use plans.

Scottish Government News Releases

Social Tenants in Scotland, 2016 (SG 13/02/18)
Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released Social Tenants in Scotland 2016, the second annual statistical compendium publication on social tenants and social rented housing in Scotland, covering topic areas such as stock, household characteristics, housing flows, and rents and income levels.

LBTT consultation launched (SG 09/02/18)
Views sought before introduction of new policy. The next step towards helping more people buy their first home is underway. A consultation on the details of the first-time buyer relief from Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT) announced in the draft Scottish Budget 2018/19 is being launched by the Scottish Government.

Brexit and rural Scotland (SG 06/02/18)
Access to EU migrant workforce is vital to rural Scotland’s continued success, stability and sustainability, according to Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing. People from elsewhere in the EU make up around 3% of those employed in the rural economy. Additionally, some 10,000 people are directly employed in Scotland’s food and drink growth sector – as well as thousands more in public services such as hospitals and schools in remote and rural communities.

News Releases

Home-owners and poverty (JRF 15/02/18)
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a report examining the relationship between home-ownership, low incomes and poverty and reveals that half of all households in poverty are home-owners in the UK. The report notes that within the UK, Northern Ireland had the highest rate of home-owners in poverty and Scotland the lowest rate.

Scottish Government housing scheme criticised for ‘reviving right to buy’ (The Ferret 14/02/18)
Following an investigation by The Ferret, the Scottish Government has been accused of reintroducing Right to Buy. The report found that 131 homes for mid-market rent, financed by the National Housing Trust, have been sold off.

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2018 (ICE 14/02/18)
ICE200 is a year of events and activities showing how civil engineering transforms the way we live and promoting it as a career. Highlights include Invisible Superheroes – a real and virtual exhibition; 200 projects and people – how they were built and by whom; Explore Engineering – see or visit civil engineering in your area; Café 200 – engineers meet the public and explain civil engineering; and Pitch 200 – competition where civil engineers pitch innovative ideas in just 200 seconds. And the Global Engineering Congress – unique gathering of international engineers to agree a response to deliver five UN Sustainable Development Goals, London 22-26 October.

Historic Environment Scotland unveils new Investment Plan (HES 12/02/18)
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has today (Monday 12 February) unveiled an investment plan for some of Scotland’s most iconic historic sites. Backed by investment of £12 million in 2018/19, the plan sets out an investment programme scheduled to run until 2021/22 which will enhance the condition of sites and improve the experience of visitors.

Historic Environment Scotland reveal plan to manage historic assets (HES 12/02/18)
The Asset Management Plan outlines the steps Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is taking to maintain not just the historic properties and structures in its care, but also the modern infrastructure such as car parks, visitor facing facilities, mechanical and electrical installations that are critical to its operations.

CIfA announces the formal launch of CIfA Deutschland (CIfA 12/02/18)
CIfA is pleased to announce the formal launch of CIfA Deutschland/Germany Group. A provisional organising committee will manage the affairs of the Group until formal elections at its first AGM in Munich on 12 May 2018.

Coalition calls for urgent action on shortage of housing for older and disabled people (Age Scotland 09/02/18)
The Older People’s Housing Coalition was officially launched on Friday 9th February. The new alliance, whose members include Age Scotland, Castle Rock Edinvar and the Scottish Older People’s Assembly, has urged the Scottish Government to make housing for older people and those with disabilities an urgent priority in the Planning (Scotland) Bill.

Help the Heritage Alliance understand how Brexit will affect heritage sector employees (THA 09/02/18)
Heritage Organisations & businesses, please fill out our 5-minute survey on EU Workers to inform our Brexit work on immigration.  Do share & retweet to help us build our evidence base. @Heritage_NGOs

Europa Nostra Learning Kits (08/02/18)
At the beginning of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, Europa Nostra is proud to issue Learning Kits for heritage civil society organisations on three crucial topics: Fundraising, Awareness-Raising & Advocacy, and Citizen Engagement & Education. The Learning Kits provide innovative and practical approaches to these topics and bring together dozens of outstanding examples from 21 countries across Europe. These digital publications, which were produced with the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union, are now available online.

New online learning on professional ethics launched (RTPI 07/02/18)
The RTPI has launched a new bite-size online learning module on professional ethics to provide members with more clarity and support in this area. This supplements RTPI’s updated practice advice on professional ethics, which reiterates planners’ need to ‘act fearlessly and impartially in their professional judgement’.

IHBC’s Branch events update: Find our local CPD, across the UK (IHBC 06/02/18)
The IHBC has launched the first of its new regular NewsBlog IHBC Branches Update, so anyone can find IHBC’s local CPD events, across the UK. Practitioners also can scan local IHBC-linked events using the ‘Branches’ panel on our home page.

‘ALGAO Scotland – Latest Figures! (ALGAO 31/01/18)
Each year information about the work carried out by ALGAO Scotland members is gathered through an annual survey, the results of which are submitted to Scotland’s Historic Environment Audit (SHEA) and Measuring Success. The information from ALGAO Scotland, along with information from other organisations helps to build a picture of the Historic Environment in Scotland. The results from the annual survey for 2016/17 indicate the substantial and wide-ranging body of work carried out by the Local Authority Archaeologists and a snapshot of the impact of some of the work is highlighted in a new info-graphic available to view and download through the ALGAO Scotland webpage here.

UK puts forward Jodrell Bank Observatory as 2019 World Heritage nomination (DDCMS 29/01/18)
The Observatory, part of the University of Manchester, is a site of global importance in the history of radio astronomy and helped revolutionise our understanding of the Universe.

Impact of Brexit on the creative, tourism and digital industries (CMSSC 01?18)
The Culture Media and Sport Select Committee has released its report on the impact of Brexit on the creative, tourism and digital industries. The report notes that development of a new system of entry to the UK for EEA visitors will be a key aspect of the UK’s relationship with the EU after Brexit.

Opinion & Comment

Land value capture: why we need a system that works for all (Sally Thomas, SFHA 08/02/18) 

Power to the People! (GCHT 08/02/18)

McLeish: Involve local people earlier in planning decisions (SAPP 07/02/18)

Planning Bill lacks detail and shows modest ambition (SHN 06/02/18) 

Accreditation where it’s due – Ensuring conservation skills are retained and shared is just as important as protecting historic buildings (Bryan Dickson in RICS 31/01/18)

Thinking globally, acting locally – the case for regenerating Scotland (Graham Ross, Austin-Smith:Lord 24/01/08)

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”.

Alexander Stewart S5W-14291: To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5O-01736 by Kevin Stewart on 31 January 2018 (Official Report, c. 10), what discussions have taken place to ensure that community councils are empowered to (a) support community engagement with a) and (b) play an active role in the planning process. (SP 01/02/18)

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-13988: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/01/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take to protect the 160 historic sites that have been reported by Historic Environment Scotland as being at high risk.
Answered by Fiona Hyslop (30/01/2018):


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

World Heritage: India 
Date: Tuesday 20th February, 6.00-9.00pm.
Venue: Room LTS, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, DD1 4EN.
James Simpson is one of the founding partners of Simpson & Brown Architects, one of the UK’s leading specialist consultants in building conservation. James has retired from practise and is now devoting some of his considerable energies to researching the predominantly Scots-developed communities around the Hooghly River in West Bengal, including the modern-day city of Culcutta. His talk will include a fascinating account of the Hooghly Jute Mill, still employing some 2500 people, with 300 mechanics maintaining machinery made by Urquhart, Lindsay & Co 100 years ago in Dundee, some few 100 yards north of our lecture theatre at the Blackness Foundry in Larch Street.

Scotland’s Buildings
Date: Tuesday 27th February, 6.00-9.00pm.
Venue: Room LTS, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, DD1 4EN.
Simon Green, architectural historian with the Survey and Recording section of Historic Environment Scotland, is also president of the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland. One of his responsibilities is the Buildings at Risk Register, now an in-house function of HES, and the opportunity has been taken to look at how the effectiveness of the BAR service and the register can be developed and improved. He will discuss different ways that departments of HES contribute to the removal of buildings from the register and thereby to the enhancement of the historic built environment. His second talk will be an enthusiast’s examination of the development of the Scots Baronial style. Antiquarianism, Romanticism, Aestheticism: recording and research have all played a part in the creation and longevity of this distinctive architecture.

Geography, Funding & Heritage
Date: Wednesday 21st February 2018 from 6-8pm.
Venue: GCHT offices, 54 Bell Street, Glasgow.
There are various reasons why we protect our built heritage, including safeguarding its intrinsic values, connections to the past and its positive influence on our environment. But does our ability to do so hinge on where that building is located and the socio-economic conditions found there?

In Focus: Storytelling using Media 
Date: 22nd February.
Location: Edinburgh.
This hands-on practical session will allow you to identify your key messages and present them using video as a medium for storytelling. Identifying and presenting your key messages in an appealing and visual way can support your fundraising efforts and help you to effectively communicate the value of the work that you/your organisation does.

Talking Shops – A History of Scotland’s Shopfronts
Date: Monday 26 February 2018 from 9am – 4pm.
Venue: The Engine Shed, Forthside Way, Stirling, FK8 1QZ.
This is a one day seminar to launch our new exhibition. Leading experts in the field will delve into the current challenges facing our High Streets. The day will explore topics including researching shopfronts, architecture of Co-operatives, shop interiors and their maintenance and the future of the High Streets. It will also include case studies of renovations and support schemes currently available. This is a level 2 event for professionals, it is also appropriate for members of the public with an interest on the topic. Refreshments will be provided during the day, please let us know of any dietary requirements at the time of booking.

Tenement Maintenance and Repair
Date: 6th March 2018 at 6pm.
Venue: Committee Room 1, Scottish Parliament.
Linda Fabiani MSP, invites you to attend a meeting of the Cross-Party Group on Architecture + the Built Environment, to be chaired by Tavish Scott MSP. Members of the Scottish Parliament have shown an increased interest in the challenges of maintaining buildings under shared ownership with a Parliamentary Reception for the RICS ‘Tenement Health Check’ in November and a motion debating ‘Maintenance of Tenement Communal Property’ in January 2018. Our next meeting will consider how the Scottish Parliament can help find solutions to the known challenges and how stakeholders can support a cross party working group on the topic. Our speakers will be David Gibbon MRICS MCABE a RICS Certified Historic Building Professional from the Tenement Action Group, Professor Douglas Robertson who has spent his career researching private housing issues and the third speaker is yet to be confirmed. Their short presentations will be followed by an open discussion chaired by Tavish Scott MSP.

Landownership: Opportunities and Challenges for Urban Communities
Date: Tue 6 March 2018 from 12:00 – 16:00.
Venue: Barmulloch Residents Centre, 54 Quarrywood Road, Glasgow, G21 3ET.
Community landownership has been transformative for many rural communities in Scotland. Can it have the same impact in Scotland’s towns and cities? Come along to this event to find out about the results of our research into urban community landownership, hear inspiring case studies and take part in a discussion about the future of urban community landownership. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

Power to the People: Understanding Community Right to Buy
Date: Wednesday 14th March 2018 | 6-8pm.
Venue: Govanhill Baths, 99 Calder Street, Glasgow, G42 7RA.
The power for communities to have the right to buy abandoned, neglected, or detrimental land and buildings is soon to become available: what opportunities will it offer your community? Glasgow City Heritage Trust in partnership with BEFS invite you to join us at Govanhill Baths to find out more about this legislation, which will give communities significant power and rights to acquire land and buildings. Throughout the evening we will hear from a variety of organisations about what land is eligible, which community bodies can apply and the process for doing so. There will be opportunity for discussion and to learn from other communities that have taken on ownership responsibilities.

Impact and Opportunities of the Collaborative Economy and Disruptive Technologies: how Edinburgh should respond to short-term letting
Date: Wednesday 14 March 2018 between 2pm to 5 pm.
Venue: Methodist Church, Nicolson Square, Edinburgh.
Cost £8 for Cockburn Association members, and members of Edinburgh Civic Forum. £45 for others (£100 for block booking of 3 places).
The Cockburn Association will be holding the first in a new series of mini-conferences addressing current and emerging issues affecting the management and conservation of Edinburgh’s places and landscapes. The first will look at the impact of short term letting on the City, its role in supporting a buoyant tourism industry and the impact on residential and community amenity. Confirmed speakers include Professor Douglas Robertson – co-author of a Scottish Government scoping report on the supply and demand of short term lets in Scotland.  Professor Robertson’s research expertise focuses on sociological understanding of place, belonging and identity and examining how these influence society in relation to social and housing policies. Register your interest at

Scottish Young Planners’ Conference 2018: The Changing Face of Planning: Planning Ahead.
Date: Wednesday, 14 March, 9:30AM – 5:00PM.
Venue: Technology & Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde, 99 George St, Glasgow.
Tickets are now on sale for the Scottish Young Planners Conference 2018. This unmissable CPD for early career planners will this year tackle how advances in tech and approaches to design and construction could transform the planning system. Speakers will cover case studies of how new ways of working and thinking can help produce more joined up and productive working across sectors, disciplines and professions.  Confirmed speakers include the Minister for Local Government and Housing, Stefan Webb of the Future Cities Catapult, Liz Pringle of the Scottish Government’s ePlanning project and Kenny Steele of Pinnacle Visualisation, specialists in virtual reality software.

Scottish Plant Hunters by Anne Lindsay
Date: Thursday 15th March, 6.30pm- 8.30pm.
Venue: Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Lecture Theature, 20a Inverleith Row, Edinburgh.
Price: £9 or £6 for SGLH members of Friends of RBGE.  Tickets available on the door.
Why did so many plant hunters herald from Scotland? Anne Lindsay, author of ‘Seeds of Blood and Beauty’ will explain why so many Scots become embroiled in tales of daring-do across the globe in search of plants to brighten gardens, conservatories and lives in the 18th and 19th centuries. A joint event hosted by Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage and the Friends of RBGE.

CifA annual conference 2018: Pulling together: collaboration, synthesis, innovation
Date: 25 to 27 April 2018.
Venue: Brighton Racecourse.
Booking is open for the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists’ annual conference. This year’s theme is ‘Pulling together: collaboration, synthesis and innovation’. Sessions will feature contributors from around the archaeological sector and beyond it, and will provide an opportunity for heritage professionals to discuss, consider and learn about ways in which the archaeological profession can work together – and with others – to develop innovative and exciting projects that have wide reaching benefit and become ‘greater than the sum of their parts’. Make sure to book soon to secure the 10% Early bird discount. Bursaries are available – for more information see the website.


Introduction to Leadwork
Date: Monday 19 March 2018.
Venue: Tullos Training Ltd., Aberdeen.
Contact: Douglas Campbell, Aberdeen City Heritage Trust, 01224 522755,
Training delivered by the Lead Sheet Association, the recognised industry expert.  This is a rare opportunity for Architects, Chartered Building Surveyors, Architectural Technologists, contractors, heritage professionals and anyone involved in specifying or inspecting leadwork to consolidate and build on existing understanding of this important traditional material from the leading authority on Lead Sheet.

Leadwork: Basic Bossing and Welding
Date: Tuesday 20 to Friday 23 March 2018
Venue: Tullos Training Ltd., Aberdeen
Contact: Douglas Campbell, Aberdeen City Heritage Trust, 01224 522755,
Training delivered by the Lead Sheet Association; a hands-on, practical course.  Bossing and welding are two key skills that leadworkers need to master to be able to create the range of forms and shapes necessary to detail roofing leadwork properly.  The course is aimed at building and roofing contractors who wish to develop their skills and represents a rare opportunity to access training from the recognised industry expert in the detailing and use of lead sheet for contractors in the North East.

Maintaining Traditional Buildings
Date: 23 March 2018, from 10.00 – 15.00.
Venue: Charlestown Workshops, Fife.
A must for anyone who owns or is responsible for a traditional building.
The seminar provides the perfect starting point if you are considering undertaking some simple repairs yourself or will enable you to speak your builder’s language and be confident that you are being given the correct advice. This seminar will outline the maintenance that traditional buildings require and attendees will gain an understanding of traditional building techniques and the correct materials to use when undertaking repairs. This will also be an excellent opportunity to speak to the Scottish Lime Centre Trust’s expert tutors about your project, attendees are welcome to bring along photos and mortar samples for some specific advice.


Practice Manager (Benjamin Tindall Architects)
Benjamin Tindall Architects is a busy, well-established architectural practice located in a studio in Edinburgh’s Old Town. We are seeking an experienced Practice Manager to join our team. The vacancy is being created by the retirement of the current staff member. This is a full-time position and offers the successful candidate the opportunity to be busy but never bored. The role requires a friendly, hands-on attitude and someone with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, the ability to work collaboratively with the existing team and provide support and assistance across all business support functions as and when required. Excellent IT skills are essential including MS Office, SAGE accounting and Adobe Creative Suite. Knowledge of Archetype, the documentation system used by the practice would advantageous. Web maintenance and the use of social media is essential.   Experience of all HR requirements for a small practice is necessary.  Knowledge of and experience in managing QA systems would be desirable. Competitive salary based on experience, as well as pension and holiday entitlement will be offered to the successful candidate.
Closing date for applications: Monday 26th February.

Heritage Consultancy (Simpson & Brown Architects)
Simpson & Brown is looking for an enthusiastic, dynamic and experienced person to join the Heritage Consultancy team in Edinburgh. Working in this team requires versatility and a willingness to be involved in a variety of work relating to the historic built environment. The position would be part time, three days per week. The work primarily consists of researching and writing a variety of documents relating to the built environment. These documents include strong components of historical analysis (based on primary and secondary sources), analysis of views and setting, assessments of significance (Historic England and Historic Environment Scotland methodologies) and recommendations based on local and national planning/heritage policy.
Please email your CV with a covering letter to by close of business, Monday 26th February 2018.

Programme Manager (HES)
Based at the newly opened building conservation centre, the Engine Shed in Stirling, this post will be responsible for managing and delivering the programme of events, volunteer programme and front of house operations there. This varied and challenging role will help establish the Engine Shed as a hub for technical conservation advice, training and digital innovation with a reputation for quality and professionalism, reflecting Historic Environment Scotland’s vision.
Closing Date: 28 February 2018 at midnight.

Programme Officer (HES)
Based at the newly opened building conservation centre, the Engine Shed in Stirling, this post will be responsible for managing and delivering the programme of events, volunteer programme and front of house operations there. This varied and challenging role will help establish the Engine Shed as a hub for technical conservation advice, training and digital innovation with a reputation for quality and professionalism, reflecting Historic Environment Scotland’s vision.
Closing Date: 28 February 2018 at midnight.

Community Engagement Adviser (Scottish Land Commission)
An exciting opportunity has arisen with the Scottish Land Commission for a Community Engagement Adviser. This two year fixed term appointment will support land owners and communities in implementing effective engagement in relation to land ownership and use and advise on the implementation of the Scottish Government guidance on ‘engaging communities in decisions relating to land.’ Applications are invited by CV and covering letter. Completed applications should be submitted to
Closing date for applications is 12 noon on Friday 2 March 2018