BEFS Bulletin – Communications & Membership Advocate

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


BEFS is delight to welcome our new Policy & Strategy Manager, Hazel Johnson, into post. Hazel has previously worked for Historic Environment Scotland and has extensive experience in both the arts and heritage. Find out more about her professional background here

As a new member joins BEFS team, an old one departs. After 5 years as BEFS Communications Manager, Saskia Smellie is off to pursue her research interests full time. Therefore, we are now seeking a new Communications & Membership Advocate. Find out details and how to apply here.

In the last few weeks BEFS has attended events that speak to the bigger actions (climate) and that consider the bigger picture (indicative Regional Spatial Strategies) for our places. The Climate Vulnerability Index, designed by specialists at James Cook University, now working with Edinburgh World Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, has meant that this innovative process is being run in an urban setting for the first time. These intense workshops look at both the outstanding values of the Old & New Town World Heritage Site and consider what effects climate change may have within that context. We look forward to sharing more thoughts once the series of events is complete. 

BEFS was also delighted to take part in the Place element of a series of Scottish Government run events on indicative Regional Spatial Strategies (iRSS) in relation to NPF4, facilitated by Kevin Murray Associates. These well attended round-tables involved rapid prototyping of specific issues related to pre-determined geographic areas (different spatial iterations being formed for events relating to Place, People, Carbon and Work); which will then inform both each other, and be considered alongside the iRSS previously submitted for consideration.

RTPI Scotland are working with Digital Planning and Ekos to examine the operating environment to embed digital planning in Scotland. They are asking people working in or with the Scottish planning system to fill out a short online survey.

Opening this June, Scotland’s only independent architecture festival the Architecture Fringe invites you to explore, interrogate and (un)learn about the world of architecture, as it could be. Returning in a new biennial hybrid format across in-person and digital platforms, the festival responds to the thematic provocation of (Un)Learning, bringing together a vibrant and diverse range of practitioners and activists from across the world. Find out more here.

Want the latest updates from world-class Scottish archaeological research? Visit the Archaeological Research in Progress (ARP)  to discover brochs, Romans, prehistoric rock art and more. The APR is a conference presenting new research findings and best practice in archaeology covering all periods from across Scotland and beyond. It is organised in alternate years by Archaeology Scotland and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

In 2016 BEFS supported research carried out by Volunteer Scotland on volunteering in Scotland’s historic environment sector. Key findings indicate that 17,100 people gave their time for free during 2015 and that 46% of organisations surveyed would not exist were it not for volunteers. It is estimated that this figure would now be higher. So, this #VolunteersWeekScot we celebrate and thank the fantastic and dedicated volunteers that work tirelessly to protect, maintain and sustain Scotland’s built and #historicenvironment for all of us to enjoy!


The Role of LABSS within the Building Standards System

RTPI Digital Skills Online Survey

Local Place Plan Regulations consultation
Closes 25 June 2021.

Petition: To create a tax incentive to favour retrofit instead of demolition and new build
Closes 8 August 2021.


Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme: Progress Report 2021 (SG 27/05/21)

AHF 2020/21 Impact Report (AHF 26/05/21)

National Outcomes: planning and architecture contribution (SG 26/05/21)

Land measurement for planning and development purposes, global guidance note, 1st edition (RICS 25/05/21)

Building Standards Self-assessment Tool for Verifiers April 2021 (SG 24/05/21)

Building Standards (Fire Safety) Review Panel 2021 (SG 05/18/21)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Impact on Scottish Household Survey and Scottish House Condition Survey fieldwork in 2020 and 2021 (SG 18/05/21)

Scottish Government News Releases

Climate campaign launches (SG 02/06/21)
A major TV, radio and digital campaign to encourage people across Scotland to come together to tackle the climate emergency has been launched ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year.Promoting tourism (SG 28/05/21)
Tourism organisations will be able to apply for funding to promote key visitor destinations in a responsible and sustainable way, helping the sector to recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Engagement on Local Place Plans proposals (SG 26/05/21)
Just before the recent Scottish Parliament election we published proposals for regulations to support the development of Local Place Plans. Accompanying the consultation paper, we published a draft ‘How to’ Guide and asked people to send us comments. You can find out more at

The Role of LABSS within the Building Standards System – Customer Survey (SG 25/05/21)
Optimal Economics is undertaking a research project for the Building Standards Division (BSD) of the Scottish Government to identify and quantify the role and contribution Local Authority Buildings Standards Scotland (LABSS) makes to the delivery of the building standards system in Scotland.

News Releases

Participate in Doors Open Days 2021 – Applications close 18 June (SCT 02/06/21/)
Is your organisation making reopening plans & excited about welcoming back visitors in the coming months? Participate in Doors Open Days in September to be part of a Scotland-wide festival that celebrates places, architecture and culture! Doors Open Days 2021 will be both in-person and online, so get in touch to find out more.Scotland’s historic environment can lead the way to net-zero (HM 31/05/21)
As the world’s attention turns to Scotland while it prepares to take centre stage for the international climate change summit of COP26 in November, at Historic Environment Scotland (HES) we want to seize this opportunity to demonstrate that the historic environment will be fundamental to achieving net-zero.

Reflecting on Black Lives Matter one year on (HES 25/05/21)
A year ago today, the murder of George Floyd in the US sparked a wave of protest under the banner of Black Lives Matter that would ripple across the globe. Here in Scotland, the movement brought into sharp focus the issues of racism and representation within our history and heritage that were crucial for us to confront.

Europe’s Top Heritage Honour 24 Exemplary Achievements from 18 Countries (EN 25/05/21)
The European Commission and Europa Nostra have just announced the 2021 winners of the European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards, the EU prize for cultural heritage funded by the Creative Europe programme.

Save Egyptian Halls (SCT 05/21)
Scottish Civic Trust is spearheading a new attempt to save Glasgow’s A-listed Egyptian Halls. The building was recently listed as one of Europe’s most endangered historic buildings by Europa Nostra, a pan-European heritage organisation. The Civic Trust is setting up a charitable body composed of developers, architects and conservation experts to investigate buying and refurbishing the building.

Helping to protect the things we love about Scotland (NTS 05/21)
By joining our new SCOTTISH HERITAGE LOTTERY you’ll not only have the opportunity to win great prizes but you’ll also be helping us to care for the things we all love about Scotland. It costs JUST £1 PER ENTRY – and each week your entry will go towards ensuring that our history always has a home and that our countryside remains unspoilt.

Rebuilding Heritage (RH 05/21)
The Rebuilding Heritage programme is providing free 121 and group support for organisations and individuals in the heritage sector. Round 5 (to receive support Jul-Aug) is now open for applications. Deadline: 11pm, Tuesday 1 June 2021.

More high streets set for funding boost as reopening accelerates (MHCLG 19/05/21)
Further 57 English high streets to receive a share of over £830 million to improve transport links, build new homes and transform underused spaces.

My Place Awards 2021 – Entries close 29 August (SCT 05/21)
The Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards celebrate community-led built environment projects that have transformed their locality. The 2021 Awards have two categories: the general Award honours recently completed projects (2018-2020); and the Sustainability Award honours projects completed between 2001 and 2011 that demonstrate continued fitness for purpose, as well as having a robust approach to climate readiness.

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 S6W-00113: Annie Wells, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/05/2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on what action it is taking to support homeowners who are facing difficulties in selling their properties due to building cladding.


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

East of Scotland Cities Update
Date & time: 03 June 2021 at 04:00 PM – 05:00 PM
Online: GoToWebinar
An introduction to Dundee’s City Centre Strategic Investment Plan will be provided by David Gray, Senior Manager in Planning, Dundee City Council. Serge Merone, Enterprise and Investment Manager at Perth and Kinross Council will also present on the Perth Smart Energy City Programme. This will be an interesting update with an opportunity for Q&A on some of the exciting work being undertaken in the cities of East of Scotland.The Big Volunteers Week Quiz
Date & time: 5 June, 12pm – 1.30pm
Online: Zoom
Short description: Does your heritage organisation involve volunteers? Celebrate Volunteers’ Week 2021 by rewarding your volunteers with a free virtual pub quiz. At this event, you can meet other heritage volunteer organisers and heritage volunteers and compete for prizes and bragging rights. This event is delivered by Make Your Mark, a new campaign to increase the number and diversity of heritage volunteers in Scotland, and the Eden Project Communities Big Lunch.

RTPI Scotland Member Drop-in: Local Place Plans
Date & time: 07 June 2021 at 04:00 PM – 05:00 PM
Online: GoToMeeting
Scottish government is consulting on secondary legislation for Local Place Plans. In introducing the paper Scottish Government say that “Local Place Plans offer the opportunity for a community led, but collaborative, approach to creating great local places. LPPs can support community aspirations on the challenges for a future Scotland such as global climate emergency and tackling inequalities. It is vital that local people have the opportunity to engage meaningfully and have a positive influence in the future planning of development in their areas”. RTPI Scotland has a member drop in to bring together planners from across sectors to explore how this can be done. The session will be chaired by RTPI Scotland Convenor Barbara Cummins who will introduce contributors from different organisations.

Addressing Inequality in Heritage
Date & time: Tuesday 8th June, 10am-12pm
Heritage Trust Network in partnership with the Make Your Mark campaign, will explore ways that our projects and organisations can promote equality and connect with new audiences. We are delighted to be joined by Lisa Williams from the Edinburgh Caribbean Association and Cat Telford from the National Trust for Scotland, who will share their experience and guidance for grassroots heritage organisations. The speakers will look at how we can all strive for best practise and make holistic changes for the better.

Business Briefing –  General Tax Update for the Culture Sector
Date & time: Wednesday, 9 June 2021 | 12:00 to 13:00.
Online: via Zoom
In this webinar, Kirsty Murray and Scott Craig from Azets will explain the tax issues and opportunities associated with new activities and highlight tax changes that will affect cultural organisations. They will cover – digital activities and online supplies, international activities, trading and subsidiaries to fundraising, partnerships, capital works and VAT savings.

Granton Waterfront – Collaboration, engagement & climate resilience – presented by AECOM and Collective Architecture
Date & time: 10 June 2021 at 12:00 PM – 01:00 PM
Online: GoToWebinar
The City of Edinburgh Council has outlined proposals to transform one of Scotland’s largest brownfield sites, Granton Waterfront, into a new coastal town with around 3,500 homes.  At this event, members of the design team will present the Vision, Principles and Strategic Development Framework for Granton Waterfront. They will cover how they collaborated and developed the Framework outlining the engagement process and addressing climate resilience in the design.

June Lecture “The Public and Private Worlds of Sir Walter Scott”
Date & time: June 28 @ 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm
Online: Lecture via Zoom
This event will be focusing on the lesser-known aspects of Sir Walter Scott – his life, career and interests, hosted by both the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Chaired by Professor Gerry Carruthers FRSE, this talk will be carried out by two speakers from the societies, Dr Iain Gordon Brown FSA FRSE FSAScot and Kirsty Archer-Thompson FSAScot, who will be discussing: “Sir Walter Scott and the Scottish Antiquarian Tradition: Mr Oldbuck in Context” by Dr Iain Gordon Brown FSA FRSE FSAScot; and “Chewing the Cud of Sweet and Bitter Fancy: Navigating the Unquiet Mind and Life Philosophy of Walter Scott”, by Kirsty Archer-Thompson FSAScot.

Culture & Business Fund Scotland Roadshows: A source of support for COVID-19 recovery and renewal 
Date & time: Tuesday, 29 June 2021, 11:00 – 13:30.
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.


Digital Heritage Workshops
Date & time: 2, 16, 23, 30 June at 1pm – 3.30pm
Online: Zoom
These free workshops offer tips on how to share heritage digitally. Whether you want to create a virtual tour, video, or podcast, these 2.5-hour-long workshops will help you with the skills you need to share your buildings, landscapes, and stories. Each session will include an overview of the technology, practical guidance, tips and tricks, and where to find free software for your project. Delivered by the Scottish Civic Trust and the Centre for Archaeology, Technology & Cultural Heritage at the University of St Andrews.IHBC CPD Circular – Continuing Professional Development opportunities and much more
As part of the IHBC’s commitment to providing our members and their networks with up to date information on continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities and information, this monthly service includes upcoming Branch and National Events, CPD opportunities, Awards, Placements, Bursaries & Scholarships, Calls for Papers and more from across the UK and beyond.

Inverkeithing Stone & Slate Survey Findings Zoom Seminar
Date & time: Jun 18, 2021 08:45.
Online: Zoom.
This Survey will give a better understanding of the condition and conservation needs of Inverkeithing’s significant architectural heritage and will identify the types of building stone and roof coverings historically used in Inverkeithing. This CPD seminar is being offered for FREE through funding grant/scheme. By registering, you agree for your personal details (Name and email address) to get passed on to FHBT for the purpose of providing evidence for their funding grant.

Architectural Conservation CPD: Timber Decay and Repair in Traditional Buildings
Date & time: Wednesday 25 August, 12:30-13:30.
Venue: Online via Microsoft Teams, streamed live from Lower City Mills, Perth.
The more technical second half of the 2020 CPD programme opens with this session on timber decay and repair. Delivered by Historic Environment Scotland’s Technical Research Manager Roger Curtis, this CPD will look at the use of timber in traditional construction, decay processes, remedial measures and repair techniques to structural and finishing timber. Sessions are hosted online with Q&A and networking opportunities and delivered using live and recorded content by industry accredited professionals and are recognised CPD by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF).


Operations Manager
We are looking to recruit an Operations Manager who will be responsible for ensuring integration and co-ordination across PAS and developing the organisation’s delivery of services in collaboration with the Chief Executive, and other members of the management team. Deadline for applications: 23.59 on Monday 14 June.

Communication and Engagement Officer
Under One Roof are looking for someone from a communication or architectural background whose skills will help expand the organisation’s reach and impact, particularly with tenement flat owners.
Applications received after noon on the 14th will not be considered.

Volunteer opportunity – Shetland Doors Open Days coordinator
Doors Open Days is looking for an enthusiastic volunteer or group of volunteers to help coordinate Doors Open Days in Shetland. This is a great opportunity to help people in your local area freely access heritage sites and events, network with professionals across Scotland’s heritage sectors, and develop skills in project management, communication and website management. You will be supported by a friendly national network of Doors Open Days coordinators.
Applications accepted on a rolling basis.