BEFS Bulletin – Climate Change, Maintenance & Cultural Participation

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


A new guide to help manage climate change risk to historic sites has now been published by Historic Environment Scotland. BEFS was on the working group to help create A Guide to Climate Change Impacts, and hopes it will open up conversations on climate change adaptation solutions, demonstrating the resilience and adaptability of our historic environment.

The Scottish Government is considering proposals that would end planning permission requirements for developments that “radically help address climate change”. Developments such as electric vehicle charging stations or centres for generating local renewable energy could be automatically approved. The proposals also include measures to empower communities and local organisations to get involved in planning, as well as proposals to deliver more affordable homes in rural areas.

The Scottish Householder Survey 2018 was published in September and the statistics for visits to ”historic places” are commonly used as one means of evaluating success in the heritage sector. 34% of those surveyed visited a historic place, a drop of 1% over the previous year, and adults with degrees or professional qualifications were much more likely to visit. The obvious response to this is for increased efforts being made to ensure heritage reaches a wider audience but a recent article from Dr David Stevenson is thought provoking on the hierarchical assumptions currently made in cultural participation policies.

In a week when tenement maintenance is once again in the newsUnder One Roof, the information website that provides Impartial advice on repairs and maintenance for flat owners in Scotland, is seeking your views on its future.

Sticking with the theme, in our blog this week, Gavin Lindsay from Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust shares how building skills demonstrations are inspiring future generations in the skills needed to maintain Scotland’s traditional buildings.

Archaeology Scotland are delighted to announce today that the booking for the 2019 Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference is open! Now in its ninth year, the conference offers an opportunity for community heritage groups to gather, share experiences, celebrate their achievements, learn from each other and discuss, debate, and plan for the future.

Finally, a number of built environment related parliamentary questions have been answered since our last bulletin, covering topics such as listed buildings, tourism tax, energy efficiency, and the culture strategy. See below for details.


Practical Fire Safety Guidance for existing Specialised Housing and other supported domestic accommodation
Closes 22 Oct 2019.

A Consultation on Scotland’s National Transport Strategy
Closes 23 Oct 2019.

Transforming Service Delivery at Falkirk Council
Reviewing how we can deliver services differently in order to make better use of our public buildings.
Closes 31 Oct 2019.

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.

The Deposit and Return Scheme for Scotland Regulations 2020: accompanying statement and proposed regulations
Closes 10 Dec 2019.

Consultation Responses

Environmental principles and governance after Brexit: responses to consultation (SG 04/10/19)

Proposed New-Build Homes (Buyer Protection) (Scotland) Bill – Graham Simpson MSP: Summary of Consultation Responses (SP)


Scotland’s Green Investment Portfolio: call for projects (SG 09/10/19)

Local level Brexit vulnerabilities in Scotland: Brexit Vulnerabilities Index (BVI) (SG 09/10/19)

Adoption of Scottish planning policy in local development plans: research (SG 09/10/19)

A Guide To Climate Change Impacts (HES 08/10/19)

Funding Sources for Bringing Vacant and Derelict Land Back in to Use (SLC 07/10/19)

A Review of Funding Sources for the Re-use of Vacant and Derelict Land (SLC 07/10/19)

Vacant and Derelict Land in Scotland: Assessing the Impact of Vacant and Derelict Land on Communities (SLC 07/10/19)

National Planning Framework 3: monitoring report (SG 04/10/19)

Scotland’s islands: proposed national plan (SG 03/10/19)

Transforming Planning in Practice – Post-Bill Work Programme (SG 30/09/19)

First report on the operation of The Lobbying (Scotland) Act 2016 (SP 30/09/19)

Land and Communities: Beyond the Echo Chambers (SLC 26/09/19)

A&DS Annual Report and Accounts 2018/19 (A&DS 09/19)

Wealth of the Nation: Who Will Do the Jobs? (David Hume 09/19)

The Value of Maintenance? (HE 09/09/19)

Planning and Architecture Division business plan 2019-2020 (SG 09/09/19)

Past Lives of Leith: Archaeological Work for Edinburgh Trams

Scottish Government News Releases

Rural and island areas among most vulnerable to impact of Brexit (SG 09/10/19)
Interactive map displays risks of leaving the EU for communities across Scotland.

Protecting the environment after Brexit (SG 04/10/19)
Brexit threatens to have a negative impact on environmental protection, according to consultation responses published today.

Building a zero carbon future (SG 30/09/19)
Climate change top of the agenda for new planning system.

Scottish Crown Estate (SG 29/09/19)
Coastal communities are to benefit from £7.5 million of revenue generated from the Scottish Crown Estate’s marine assets in the first year of devolved management.

Scotland to become a net-zero society (SG 26/09/19)
Scotland’s contribution to climate change will end definitively within a generation under the Climate Change Bill to be voted on by the Scottish Parliament later.

News Releases

Adapt Northern Heritage Conference 2020 – call for contributions
The Adapt Northern Heritage Conference 2020 is accepting abstract submissions. The conference will explore the impact of climate change on historic places and how we are adapting to make historic places more resilient to climate change. Deadline: Thursday 17th October 2019.

Scotland’s Green Investment Portfolio: call for projects (SG 09/10/19)
The Scottish Government is leading a drive to develop a Green Investment Portfolio to select and promote market ready, investor-grade green projects that are seeking private capital, including in the built environment.

New guide to help manage climate change risk to historic sites (HES 08/10/19)
A new guide to help Scotland’s historic sites adapt to the impacts of climate change has been published today.

Derelict sites contribute to perceptions of urban decline (SLC 07/10/19)
The Scottish Land Commission this week publishes a research report on the Impact of Vacant and Derelict Land on Communities, which finds that derelict sites can affect a community’s health, environment, economy and social cohesion.

AHF invests in Scotland’s small town landmark buildings (AHF 01/10/19)
In our latest round of investment, the AHF has awarded £115,763 of grants to 14 projects across Scotland to help communities find sustainable new uses for historic buildings.

Housing Secretary unveils green housing revolution (MHCLG 01/10/19)
A new green standard for new build homes will bring an environmental revolution to home building.

Social Investment partners join forces to provide capacity-building support for heritage organisations (AHF 26/09/19)
Social enterprises and charities running historic buildings now have the opportunity to access RePlan, a new capacity-building support service available through the Heritage Impact Fund. The three-year service is funded by the Architectural Heritage Fund, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, Historic Environment Scotland and further supported by Historic England.

Enhancing place-based partnerships in public engagement (UKRI 05/09/19)
A new £500,000 funding opportunity is being made available to support research organisations UK-wide to pilot place-based public engagement partnerships and activities.

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-25585: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2019
To ask the Scottish Government whether a tourism levy will be in place by the end of the parliamentary session.

Question S5W-25586: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2019
To ask the Scottish Government whether the decision on introducing a tourism levy will be made by individual local authorities.

Question S5W-25587: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2019
To ask the Scottish Government whether the use of the resources raised by a tourism levy will be a decision for individual local authorities.

Question S5W-25588: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2019
To ask the Scottish Government whether the level at which a tourism levy is set will be a decision for individual local authorities.

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-24859: Finlay Carson, Galloway and West Dumfries, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government how much funding it has made available to local authorities to carry out SEEP (Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme) pilots since September 2016.
Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (17/09/2019)

Question S5W-24947: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 26/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making with the development of its culture strategy.
Answered by Fiona Hyslop (06/09/2019)

Question S5W-24943: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 26/08/2019
To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to consider holding an inquiry into the 2018 fire at the Glasgow School of Art.
Answered by Richard Lochhead (24/09/2019)

Question S5W-25163: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 05/09/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to extend the Empty Homes Partnership programme.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (19/09/2019)

Question S5W-25207: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2019 R
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has undertaken an assessment of which local authorities are expected to introduce a transient visitor levy when they have the power to do so and, if so, which they are.
Answered by Kate Forbes (23/09/2019)

Question S5W-25209: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2019 R
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide details of any research that it has undertaken on the potential impact of a transient visitor levy on the income of local authorities that adopt one.
Answered by Kate Forbes (19/09/2019)

Question S5W-25208: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 06/09/2019 R
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has undertaken of the potential impact of transient visitor levies on the tourism sector.
Answered by Kate Forbes (19/09/2019)

Question S5W-25253: Dean Lockhart, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 10/09/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what regulations are in place to ensure the appropriate maintenance of category (a) B and (b) C listed buildings.
Answered by Fiona Hyslop (27/09/2019)

Question S5W-25418: David Stewart, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/09/2019
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the commitment in its Programme for Government to “put in place more stringent fire safety provisions for external wall cladding systems”, what plans it has to stop the alternative route of (a) desktop studies and (b) BS 84814, which allows combustible materials onto the outside of buildings, and when it will release further details of its plans.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (30/09/2019)


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

Irving New Town: Scotland’s Lost Utopia
Date & location: Free walking tour in Irvine: 12 October. Talk in Edinburgh: 12 November.
The archaeologist Joss Durnan is organising for Saturday, 12 October, a free, guided walking tour of Irvine New Town, and will talk, for Docomomo Scotland, in Edinburgh on Tuesday, 12 November, about this fascinating new town development. Irvine was Scotland’s fifth New Town, and is the UK’s only New Town by the seaside. As a New Town, Irvine pioneered a number of visionary ideas and built on the innovations of its predecessors. What happened to the bold vision of the future that Irvine Development Corporation sought to create for Irvine, and how do the fragments of their dream hold up to scrutiny 50 years on?

Creating Scotland: Assembling a Medieval Kingdom
Date & time: October 14 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Venue: Auditorium, National Museum Scotland (Use Lothian Street entrance).
Lecture: In conversation with Hamish Torrie FSA Scot (The Glenmorangie Company), Dr Adrian Maldonado (National Museums Scotland) and Dr Heather Pulliam (University of Edinburgh). The medieval kingdom called Scotland was not a predestined or obvious outcome of the politics of the first millennium AD. Even in the twelfth century, Britain north of the Tweed was a patchwork of laws, languages and identities. Do the art and artefacts of the 9-12th century provide a different perspective on the formation of a feudal kingdom? This conversation event discusses the impact of ten years of the Glenmorangie Research Project at National Museums Scotland, and the unique perspective which comes from a focus on the material culture

Bridging the Gap: exploring the path to leadership in heritage
Date & time: Thu, 24 October 2019; 19:00 – 21:00.
Venue: The Mews, 35 Young Street North Lane, Edinburgh, EH2 4JD.
As part of Edinburgh World Heritage’s Heritage Leadership School, we’re hosting talks and discussions with heritage industry leaders. Learn about the many and varied paths to leadership – and discover the tools you’ll need to develop your leadership skills for the future. The evening will cover three main elements 1) Strategic planning 2) How to take a mission and vision and make it reality as well as how to maintain this 3) Exploring the balance of opportunity versus the vision. Confirmed speakers include Xerxes Mazda, Director of Curation at the National Museum of Scotland, and Barbara Cummins, Director of Heritage at Historic Environment Scotland.

“All in a Blaze”: The Story of African-American Freedom-Fighters in Edinburgh
Date & time: Tuesday 29 October 2019 at 6pm
Venue: Auditorium, Carrubbers Centre, 65 High Street, Edinburgh.
We are delighted that Professor Celeste-Marie Bernier will give our Black History Month lecture this year on the story of 19th-century African American authors and activists who had links to the city. Until now the stories and activities of this grass-roots movement have received little attention, and this unique lecture will provide a fresh insight into this untold aspect of Edinburgh’s revolutionary and radical history. Professor Bernier is Personal Chair in English Literature and Professor of United States and Atlantic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. She will be signing copies of her biography of Frederick Douglass and his family If I Survive after the lecture.

HTN: Business Planning and Risk Management
Date & time: Monday 4th November 9.30am – 5pm.
Venue: Spectrum Centre, Inverness.
Join us in Inverness to network with organisations working with heritage all over Scotland and to receive training on two key areas of heritage regeneration. Douglas Westwater of Community Enterprise will deliver the training on Business Planning and Risk Management drawing on his wealth of experience in the area. Analyse what you have done to date, learn how to do it better and whether you should be taking the risk. We will also hear from two local heritage case studies, including Hannah MacSween from The Muir Hub in Muir of Ord and Alison Tanner, Project Officer at Inverness City Heritage Trust, whilst making sure that there is plenty of time for attendees to network, problem solve and share their news. Members and non-members welcome.

Marine Spatial Challenge CPD Event 2019
Date & time: 8 November – 9:30am to 4:30pm
Venue: Town House, Castle Wynd, Inverness IV2 3BJ
Scotland is forward thinking when it comes to Marine Spatial Planning. With a growing interest in sustaining our planet and depictions of the crisis affecting our marine environment the MSP Challenge board game is a tool which has been used in several stakeholder engagement activities in recent years. It is a table top strategy game where a fictitious sea basin is designed on the board and different maritime activities are represented by colourful acrylate tiles. This event gives planners the opportunity to engage in and be familiarised with the process of Marine Spatial Planning.

Through the years, across the globe
Date & time: 8 November – 1:30am to 4:00pm
Venue: Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee, Old Hawkhill, Balfour Street, Dundee, DD1 4HB.
Calling all students, planners and international planners. We’d love you to join us for a celebration of the 70th anniversary of World Town Planning Day. This is a free event in collaboration with Dundee University. The afternoon will explore:
•    Scottish Planning through the years
•    Learning from the International Context, and
•    Learning from Young Planners
We’ll also have an international live-twitter feed #WTPD2019.
Limited spaces available so book yours now.

Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders Archaeology Conference
Date & time: Saturday November 16, 2019; 9:00 – 16:45.
Venue: Queen Margaret University, Musselburgh
This annual conference is organised by City of Edinburgh Council, East Lothian Council and Scottish Borders Council. It provides an important opportunity to hear and discuss first-hand accounts of the archaeological fieldwork and research being undertaken in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, and the Scottish Borders.

Heritage Transforming Neighbourhoods
Dates: 17th-19th November.
Venue: The Guildhall, Derry, Londonderry.
Join the Heritage Trust Network for our annual conference 2019, this year taking place in Northern Ireland! Our fantastic line up of speakers will focus on how to revive your High Street or Main Street, in both rural and urban areas across the UK, using a sustainable business model. There will be inspiring case studies, key guidance and interactive workshops to help your group succeed.

Futureproofing Our Towns and Cities: Embracing the Opportunities
Date & times: Wednesday 20th November 2019
Venue: The Music Hall, Aberdeen.
This year, Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Scotland’s Improvement Districts will bring together 150+ senior level stakeholders from across public, private and third sectors, working to support our towns and city districts. This is a once-a-year chance to get together with national and international place stakeholders; share challenges and opportunities; and to feel inspired and re-energised by the latest thinking, pilots and supports, funding and resources for your place.

After the dust has settled  – rediscovering the spirit of the Mackintosh – Plenderleith lecture 
Date: November 28th 2019 from 6 – 7.30pm.
Venue: The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow, G1 3NU.
It has been over a year now since the devastating fire of June 2018 and the iconic Mackintosh Building is slowly beginning to piece together a future for itself.  So much of the fabric was destroyed that the building currently exists largely in the virtual world of recordings, drawings, scholarly essays and memories.  The philosophy behind achieving a future for the building is still being developed and challenged by the project team and by the wider community. In this lecture, project manager Liz Davidson will explore the task of the reconstruction project – making the intangible tangible. The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception and is preceded by Icon Scotland Group’s AGM from 5.15 -5.45pm to which all Group members are invited.


Traditional Skills Officer- Deadline extended
An exciting opportunity has become available for an entry-level professional to support the implementation of Glasgow City Heritage Trust’s traditional skills and material programmes for the benefit of all people living and working in and visiting Glasgow.
The deadline for application submission has been extended to 11th October 2019 at 12:00 noon.

Building Repair Grants Manager
An exciting opportunity has become available for a professional to support the implementation of Glasgow City Heritage Trust’s building repair grants programme for the benefit of all people living and working in and visiting Glasgow.
The deadline for application submission is 25 October 2019 at 12:00 noon.

Fife Historic Buildings Trust – 2 posts
Thanks to generous funding support from Fife Council, Historic Environment Scotland and the National Lottery Heritage Fund we are recruiting now for two new posts. We need skilled and enthusiastic people to join our award winning team:
Inverkeithing CARS/TH Training & Development Officer
£28,000 – full time, fixed term to 31 March 2024
A new post to lead the delivery of a wide-ranging activity plan for Inverkeithing Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS) and Townscape Heritage (TH).
Project Development Officer
£30,000 – full time, fixed term to 31 March 2022
A new post for an experienced conservation professional to develop the future pipeline of FHBT projects and bring new thinking to continually improve our approach to project management.
Deadline for both applications – midnight on Monday 28 October 2019.