BEFS Bulletin – Community Empowerment & Landscape

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


Community Land Scotland and INHERIT have published their report, Community Empowerment and Landscape, which looks at the relationship between communities of place and landscape designations. The findings of the research have a bearing on natural and historic environment designations in rural and urban Scotland; some may recall that one of the authors, Chris Dalglish, spoke at a BEFS conference on HES policy in April. BEFS are planning a joint event with Community Land Scotland and INHERIT in the near future, which will look at the positive steps that can be taken towards more empowered participation.

BEFS is holding a workshop looking at the draft HES Corporate Plan on Friday 26th October, further details and booking here.

The Listed Property Owners’ Club has lodged a petition calling for the UK Government to reduce VAT to 5% on repairs and approved alterations to listed buildings. BEFS, like the Scottish Government and 60 other organisations, has previously been a signatory to the Cut the Vat campaign and we would encourage individuals to respond to the petition, which will at least force the UK Government to respond, at best result in a debate in Westminster. If the campaign achieves its aims this would mitigate the loss of the zero rate in 2012, but with only 47,000 buildings in Scotland being listed it would still leave the vast majority of building owners at a disadvantage. It would not apply to unlisted buildings in conservation areas nor most tenemental properties in need of maintenance, many of which are in financially challenged areas. A Parliamentary debate would allow these issues to be aired and the petition requires 100,00 signatories for this to take place.

The Local Government and Communities Committee continues to debate the Planning Bill at Stage 2, which is likely to continue through until early November. At the time of writing, the minutes from 26th Sept meeting are not yet available but the amendment to stop the removal of statutory supplementary guidance was not moved in response to assurances from the Minister that removal would not weaken environmental protections. He reported that analysis undertaken by officials had revealed over 300 supplementary planning guidelines attached to local development plans and that the proposed system would strengthen environmental protection. We have asked Scottish Government for sight of their analysis. The committee minutes will become available here and when stage 2 is complete we will provide a report of the fate of the amendments.

The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee heard from specialists on the Glasgow School of Art last week and the official report makes interesting reading. Is it perhaps premature to open this discussion before the official report on the cause of the fire is available? There seems to be a degree of conjecture in the discussion but it will perhaps help better frame questions once the cause is known.

Don’t miss the opportunity to send us your ideas and methodologies for prioritisation within built heritage, and take part in a robust and open discussion on the topic. All ideas are welcome and should be submitted by Monday 5th November 2018.

You can now read the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance on our website here.

Wiki Loves Monuments UK is part of the world’s largest photo contest. Dr Sara Thomas, Scotland Programme Coordinator at Wikimedia UK shares her enthusiasm for the competition on our blog. Submit your entries from Scotland by 30th September.

Take a look back at the success of the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017 with this short film of highlights by VisitScotland.


The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has launched a call for evidence, as part of the Committee’s on-going scrutiny of the Article 50 Negotiations, looking at the impact on Scotland’s individuals, businesses and organisations.
The deadline for written submissions is Friday 12 October 2018. 

The Finance and Constitution Committee invites written evidence on the estimated financial implications of the Fuel Poverty Bill as set out in its accompanying Financial Memorandum (FM).
The call for written views will close on 2 November 2018. 

Consultation on the Strategic Environmental Assessment for 15 proposed Special Protection Areas
Opened 14 Sep 2018 and closes 9 Nov 2018.

Scotland’s Forestry Strategy 2019-29
Opened 20 Sep 2018 and closes 29 Nov 2018. 

Delivering improved transparency in land ownership in Scotland: Consultation on draft regulations
Closes 8 Nov 2018 

Local Governance Review: Democracy Matters: Your Community. Your ideas. Your Future.
Closes 30 Nov 2018


Housing Statistics for Scotland 2018: Key Trends Summary (SG 25/09/18)

Talk of the Town – The economic links between cities and towns (Centre for Cities 24/09/18)

Living Cities: towards ecological urbanism (Scottish Wildlife Trust 22/09/18)

Reducing emissions in Scotland – 2018 Progress Report to Parliament (Committee on Climate Change 21/09/18) 

The Culture, Tourism, Europe & External Affairs Committee has published the latest SPICe Brexit update (SP 21/09/18)

Community Empowerment and Landscape (Community Land Scotland & INHERIT 19/09/18)

Working in the Public Interest (WITPI) Field Report: Edinburgh (RTPI 18/09/18)

Edinburgh City Plan 2030 Development Plan scheme (Edinburgh Council) 

New Powers, New Deals: Remaking British Towns after Brexit (Carnegie UK Trust)

Remaking British Towns after Brexit: Key Actions for Policy Makers and Planners (Carnegie UK Trust)

Town Centre Living: A Caring Place Case Studies (A&DS)

Historic Environment Scotland Annual Report 2017-18 (HES 13/09/18)

Properties in the Care of Scottish Ministers Annual Report 2017-18 (HES 13/09/18)

Scottish Government News Releases

Cupar Digital Improvement Pilot (SG 26/09/18)
Cupar will become a Digital Improvement District, a first for Scotland, fulfilling the Programme for Government commitment to fund a business improvement district dedicated to digital improvement. It will soon have town centre WiFi and act as a potential model for future small town designs.

More homes for Scotland (SG 25/09/18)
Affordable housing programme on target at halfway point. The Scottish Government is on track to meet its ambitious affordable housing target, new statistics show.

4% increase in housing supply in 2017-18 (SG 25/09/18)
Total new housing supply in Scotland increased by 4% in 2017-18, to 19,428 new housing units, or 745 more homes than the previous year, the fifth consecutive annual increase in total housing supply, and the highest annual figure since 2008-09.

News Releases

Saving Scotland’s Heritage From the Rising Seas (NYT 25/09/18)
Jim Dwyer, a New York Times reporter, and Josh Haner, a Times photographer, traveled to a Scottish archipelago in the North Atlantic to see how people are trying to save thousands of ancient structures.

Partners in Planning
A new information portal has been launched in Scotland, ‘Partners in Planning’, which aims to provide an online platform ‘to promote a single access point to the knowledge and skills that enables behavioural change in planning’.

Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street- Entries Close This Sunday! (STP 24/09/18)
Scotland’s Towns Partnership has once again teamed up with Keep Scotland Beautiful and The Herald on Sunday to find Scotland’s Most Beautiful High Street. Any organisation or individual can enter their high street, and we call on local authorities, improvement districts, development trusts, community councils and any other local group to apply.

Not so pretty vacant. Scottish Land Commission and SEPA target new uses for derelict and vacant land (SLC 21/09/18)
Two of Scotland’s leading land and environment bodies have set their sights on finding ways to bring thousands of acres of derelict and vacant land back into productive use. The Scottish Land Commission and SEPA have today launched their innovative partnership and taskforce to transform Scotland’s approach to vacant and derelict land.

New £5 million fund for Highlands & Islands tourism (SRN 21/09/18)
The new Natural & Cultural Heritage Fund, led by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) will support projects that encourage visitors to experience more of the unique nature and culture of the Highlands & Islands. The fund is part of the next phase of the Scottish Government’s European Regional Development Fund programme, which runs through to 2023.

Focus Group Field Report: Edinburgh (WITPI/RTPI 18/09/18)
Our fourth focus group took us to Edinburgh to explore planning in Scotland. The focus group, which took place at the RTPI’s Edinburgh office, represented senior levels of expertise from across the public, private and NGO/charity sectors as well as including some young planners from both public and private arenas.

Shortlist announced for Great British High Street Awards 2018 (MHCLG 17/09/18)
38 high streets across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been shortlisted in this year’s Great British High Street Awards 2018.

Call for Papers – Monuments in Monuments Conference 2019 (HES)
Are you a conservation professional? We’re inviting contributions for abstracts for our conference next year on the conservation of stone monuments and objects inside traditional buildings.

Conference Call for Papers – Women & Power: Redressing the Balance (UoO)
Organised by the National Trust and University of Oxford, the ‘Women & Power: Redressing the Balance’ conference has invited submissions for papers on a number of topics. This two-day conference will explore the research and presentation of women’s lives in public history and heritage, and reflect upon responses to the suffrage centenary anniversary in 2018.

Poll reveals strong public support for greater government investment in housing (SHN 18/09/18)
Commissioned to coincide with Scottish Housing Day, the survey shows that 46% of Scots think that the government is responsible for ensuring everyone has a home to live in, compared to 29% who think it is the responsibility of either housing associations or local authorities.

Conservation a Key Soft Power Resource, Icon Tells Heritage Minister (ICON 18/09/18)
On 4 September 2018, Icon Chief Executive Alison Richmond and Policy Advisor Anni Mäntyniemi met with Heritage Minister Michael Ellis at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in Westminster.

Entries open for RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence (RTPI 17/09/18)
Nominations for the RTPI Awards for Planning Awards Excellence are now open through to 14 December 2018. For 40 years they have rewarded the brightest talent in the profession; the teams, projects and individuals that transform economies, environments and their communities all over the UK and internationally.

Behind the scenes at the new V&A Dundee (HES 15/09/18)
A behind the scenes view from our paper conservation team as rarely seen treasures from the HES Archives are put on display at the new V&A Museum in Dundee.

European Heritage Awards/ Europa Nostra Awards – Call for Entries (EN 14/09/18)
The European Heritage Awards / Europa Nostra Awards are Europe’s highest honour in the heritage field. The Awards recognise the best conservation projects, the most impressive research; the most dedicated heritage professionals and volunteers; and the finest awareness raising, training and educational programmes. Deadline: 15 November 2018.

Opinion & Comment

Small cairns, big questions: community empowerment and landscape (Dr Calum Macleod 26/09/18)

A striking building, but at what price to urban regeneration elsewhere? (Alf Young in The Times 19/09/18)

1p per person: how local democracy is being ‘systematically eroded’ (The Ferret 19/09/18)

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-18849: Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/09/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what recent discussions it has had with local authorities to promote the use of locally sourced stone in buildings and in streetscapes.

Question S5W-19082: Claudia Beamish, South Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 26/09/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what the timescale is for the introduction of the Compulsory Sale Order power.

Question S5W-19081: Claudia Beamish, South Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 26/09/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what role the Land Commission and SEPA partnership taskforce on vacant and derelict land will have in advancing the introduction of compulsory sale orders.

Question S5W-19055: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 26/09/2018
To ask the Scottish Government how many public sector construction projects in each of the last five years have used locally-sourced stone, and how much this represented as a percentage of the overall cost of each project.

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-18312: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what modelling work it has carried out to analyse the costs of reaching energy performance certificate (EPC) (a) B and (b) C ratings for (i) domestic and (ii) residential buildings.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (11/09/2018)

Question S5W-18313: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what work it has carried out to evaluate its campaign of awareness-raising to increase the uptake of energy efficiency measures for (a) domestic and (b) residential buildings.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (04/09/2018)

Question S5W-18329: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2018
To ask the Scottish Government how many affordable homes have been built under the National Housing Trust model since May 2016.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (11/09/2018)


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

Find out more about the new Natural & Cultural Heritage Fund
Date: Tuesday 2 October 2018 – 12:00 to Wednesday 7 November 2018 – 12:00
Venue: Multiple Venues
Organiser: Scottish Natural Heritage
This Challenge Fund of £5million of ERDF money is being made available through a single competitive funding round opening in January 2019 and closing in April 2019. Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) are looking to use this money to support around 10 major projects to be delivered by 2022. Projects must be seeking an ERDF grant of a minimum of £250k .The fund can support up to 70% of project costs and therefore total eligible project costs must be a minimum of £360k.

Places for Health: Creating Healthy, Vibrant and Safe Communities
Date: Thursday 25 October 2018
Venue: COSLA, Verity House, 19 Haymarket Yards, Edinburgh EH12 5BH
This event will examine how we can work across sectors – health, housing, community planning and regeneration – to design and sustain good quality places to live and work that support our health and wellbeing.

Edinburgh and the Slave Trade: The true cost of the New Town
Date: Thursday 25 October 2018
Time: 6pm – 7pm
Location: Canongate Kirk, 153 Canongate, Edinburgh
We would be delighted if you could join us on Thursday 25 October for a groundbreaking new lecture to celebrate Black History Month. Human rights activist and Professor Emeritus in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, Sir Geoff Palmer O.B.E. will expose Edinburgh’s long and profitable relationship with slavery.

Destination High Street: restoring vibrancy to Scotland’s towns
Date:  Wed. 7 November, 09.30-17.30.
Venue: The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, 2 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, G2 3NY
This conference, organised jointly by the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) and the Scottish Civic Trust (SCT) will explore the challenges faced by Scotland’s high streets and smaller town centres. Speakers will examine projects and schemes aimed at regenerating high streets and the conference will bring together experts on the subject tackling the issue from a range of perspectives. This is a rare chance to hear from people working at the cutting-edge of practice and policy.

Edinburgh, Lothians and Borders Archaeology Conference
Date: Saturday November 17, 2018
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.

Education Buildings Scotland Conference 2018
Date: 21-22 November 2018.
Venue: EICC, 150 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8EE.
Learner participation and wellbeing by design will form two key themes at the Education Buildings Scotland conference, November 21-22 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. The focus is on highlighting design as a tool to help prevent stress and a tool to empower learner’s wellbeing. Let’s share what’s possible, co-designing better wellbeing futures for all.


Making & Using Traditional Mortars C1 – Contractor Level 1
Date: 24 – 25 October 2018
Venue: Merryhill Training Centre, Fife KY11 3DR
Our most popular two day introductory course – this practical workshop will provide attendees with a strong understanding of lime technology
The reasons for using traditional mortars on solid walls will also be explained, to allow you to better advise clients. The course will guide participants to be able to complete pointing work to traditional buildings to a high standard.
The content of this workshop provides the underpinning knowledge required for assessment and accreditation of SQA National Unit 1 – ‘Preparing and Using Basic Lime Mixes’.
Course Programme
Day 1 – Making Traditional Mortars

  • Health and Safety issues
  • Historic use of lime mortars
  • Processing lime
  • Best practice for mortar mixing
  • Inspecting masonry
  • Using the right tools

Day 2 – Using Traditional Mortars

  • Preparing masonry joints
  • Techniques of working
  • Placing of mortar for repointing
  • Joint finishing
  • Curing and protection regimes

Winter Working with Lime
Dates: 26 October 2018 and 23 November 2018.
Venue: Charlestown Workshops, Fife KY11 3EN
Join us for the ultimate guide to winter working with lime! Our hints, tips and practical advice will help you extend your season working with lime mortars successfully. The reality is that contracting is a 365 days a year business and you don’t have the luxury of picking your weather windows.
Topics include:

  • Background to the risk elements of winter working in inclement weather;
  • Creating a sensible regime for work;
  • Best site practices;
  • How temperature influences the performance of mortars;
  • The importance of detailing on a building;
  • Using additives in mortars;
  • How to achieve the successful curing of mortars;
  • Options for protecting and covering work from the elements.

Traditional Masonry Repair C2 – Contractor Level 2
Dates: 30 October – 1 November 2018
Venue: Merryhill Training Centre, Fife KY11 3DR
This 3 day workshop builds on the knowledge and skills gained on ‘C1 Making and Using Traditional Mortars’. The workshop aims to enable you to complete seamless rebuilding and repair of traditional masonry to match original work. You will gain a conservation ethic and be able to develop repair strategies suitable for a variety of traditional masonry types.
The course deals with build types from ashlar to rubble walling, as well as finishes including harling and limewashing. Participants will be able to undertake sensitive surface repairs to ashlar and profiled stone to the highest standards using indenting, part indenting and mortared surface repairs
This workshop provides the underpinning knowledge and a practical rehearsal of the assessment and accreditation procedure for SQA National Unit 2 and Unit 3.

Repairing Traditional Masonry P1 – Professional Level 1
Dates: 7 – 8 November 2018
Venue: Charlestown Workshops, Fife KY11 3EN
This is our most popular 2 day workshop for building professionals and provides an introduction to the effective conservation and repair of traditional masonry structures and buildings, for the most part using traditional lime based mortars.
By the end of the course attendees will be able to recognise vernacular and historic finishes to masonry buildings and will gain an understanding of building diagnostics in order to be able to develop specifications in relation to exposure, season, substrates and the nature of masonry repairs required.

Crowdfunding for Arts & Heritage Organisations (Edinburgh)
Date & time: Friday 9 November 2018, Registration: 09:30 | Event: 09:45 – 16:30
Location: Arts & Business Scotland, Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, E12 5EZ
This training event will provide a ‘how-to’ guide to crowdfunding for cultural organisations. The event will include:

  • The who, what and why of crowdfunding
  • Crowdfunding stories
  • Practical group exercises
  • Methodologies
  • Developing your network and target audience

This event is aimed at organisations who are considering undertaking a crowdfund and who have a project in mind and who want to understand how to plan a crowdfund.

Sash & Case Window Repairs
Dates: 10 November 2018
Venue: Merryhill Training Centre, Fife KY11 3DR
Don’t rip out your sash and case windows, did you know that in most cases you can undertake simple repairs and retain these period features?
This practical course will prove invaluable if you have a property with Sash and Case Windows. We will cover a short history of the development of windows before looking at the different components that make up a window and the issues to consider when approaching repairs. The course will allow attendees to identify and address various problems that commonly occur with sash windows. Topics covered will include window dismantling and reassembly, replacing ropes, weights, panes and putty. Various repair and improvement techniques will also be covered.

A Guide to Tax for Arts & Heritage Organisations (Edinburgh)
Date & time: Friday 16 November 2018, Registration: 09:15 | Event: 09:30 – 12:30
Location: Arts & Business Scotland, Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, E12 5EZ
This half-day seminar is a must for all financial or budget holding staff and anyone who wants to know how tax affects (and can benefit) arts and heritage organisations with charitable status in Scotland. The tax guide provides a practical summary and guidance on how tax affects the arts and heritage organisations.  The event and guide are also a great refresher and reference for those who need reminding of basic principles and want to know how different taxes interact with each other.


Communications & Events Officer
Would you like the opportunity to play a leading role in developing the Scottish Civic Trust’s communications strategy? We are looking for a Communications & Events Officer.
Deadline for applications: 5pm on 3rd October 2018.

Digital Communications Officer
RSA are looking for a fantastic Digital Communications Officer to help promote the RSA’s mission of enriching society through ideas and action across our digital communications channels.
In this role you’ll manage social media and content production for the Digital Team, working with colleagues across the organisation to ensure that the RSA’s research and Fellowship outputs are promoted as effectively as possible – reaching a diverse audience of policymakers, practitioners, RSA Fellows and others interested in a range of cross-cutting issues dealt with in our work.
The closing date for receipt of applications is 10:00am on Thursday 4th October 2018.

Natural & Cultural Heritage Fund Project & Funding Officer
Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) has been appointed by Scottish Government as the Lead Partner for the new Natural & Cultural Heritage Fund (NCHF). This is part of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Programme, which aims to increase economic activity and employment. NCHF will support major capital infrastructure tourism projects such as visitor and cultural centres, as well as digital interpretation and campaigns.
The purpose of this post is to promote the Fund, advise potential applicants to the Fund as they develop their project ideas, and then support grantees to get projects up and running.
Closing date: midnight 14 October 2018. 

Heritage Lottery Fund / National Heritage Memorial Fund Trustee for Scotland
The Heritage Lottery Fund / National Heritage Memorial Fund (HLF/NHMF) Chair and up to 14 Trustees are appointed by the Prime Minister. The Board operates within laws made by Parliament and directions given by Government. Their decisions about individual applications and matters of policy are made entirely independently. The HLF/NHMF Board set the strategic and policy framework within which grants to benefit the heritage of the UK are awarded. The Board determines the Strategic Framework and annual Business Plan, which sets out the activities which enable the HLF/NHMF Funds to deliver their strategies.
The Trustee for Scotland presents an exciting and challenging opportunity for an individual with a strong commitment to, and enthusiasm for Scotland and rest of the UK’s diverse heritage, to make a lasting contribution.
The deadline for completed applications is 12:00pm (midday) 24 October