BEFS Bulletin – Cultural Heritage Advice on Coronavirus

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


BEFS has compiled an overview of advice sites regarding the Coronavirus from across the cultural heritage funding landscape, heritage and built environment organisations and stakeholders. As the situation changes and develops, the information will likely change. However, this overview of guidance and announcements should provide an indication of where to find support for you and your organisation at this challenging time. More details can be found here. If there is relevant information we have not included, do please get in contact.

The National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) are gathering sector wide data to gauge the impact of the pandemic and we would encourage you to complete the survey ASAP, whether or not you are the recipient of an NLHF grant. The NLHF are looking for responses by tomorrow (Friday 27th March).

The Third Sector Resilience Fund (TSRF) was announced on 18 March 2020 by Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government Aileen Campbell. It will support organisations across the third sector who are at risk of closure due to a sharp decrease in income or that are unable to deliver their services during this difficult period. The fund will distribute £20m of emergency funds over the coming months. It will support charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises that already deliver services and/or products but that find themselves in financial difficulties directly as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. The funding’s primary intention is to help these organisations to stabilise and manage cash flows over this difficult period. More information about this fund is available here.

Given the ongoing situation, we have had to cancel our joint event ‘Conservation Areas – Now and Tomorrow’ on 30th April at the Engine Shed. We will be re-exploring the possibility of holding this event with our partners the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland in the Autumn.

For more details regarding cancelled or postponed events, including new dates as and when they become available, please check our online events calendar regularly. You will also note that a number of running consultations have extended their closing dates.

Finally, are you finding yourself looking ever-longingly out the windows of your home? Why not join in Scottish Civic Trust’s #WhatsOotMaWindae social media campaign! It’s a great way to connect with the built heritage community and beyond during this difficult period of self-isolation and social distancing.

Like everyone else, BEFS team is working from home but we all remain contactable via the usual means.


How does the way we own and use Scotland’s land affect you?

Review of the ban on the use of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings (England)
Closes on 13 April 2020.

Energy Efficient Scotland: Improving energy efficiency in owner occupied homes consultation
Closes 9 April 2020.

European Territorial Cooperation programmes 2021-2027: consultation
Closes 24 April 2020.

Planning for Scotland in 2050: National Planning Framework 4 – Call for Ideas
Call for Ideas runs until 30 April 2020.

Consultation Responses

Marine social attitudes: survey findings (SG 19/03/20)


COVID 19 Planning and Environmental Appeals Division Guidance note (SG 24/03/20)

Climate Challenge Fund: projects funded 2020 to 2022 (SG 23/03/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for private landlords and letting agents (SG 20/03/20)

High Rise Inventory: questions and answers (SG 20/03/20)

Fire safety in high rise buildings: campaign materials (SG 20/03/20)

Coronavirus – relaxation of enforcement where public houses and restaurants offer a takeaway service: Chief Planner letter March 2020 (SG 19/03/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): letter from Housing Minister to RSLs and local authorities (SG 18/03/20)

Annual population survey: results for year to 31 December 2019 (SG 18/03/20)

Planning for the future – Policy Paper (MHCLG 12/03/20)

Coronavirus: handling of planning conditions for retail deliveries and store opening times: Chief Planner letter March 2020 (SG 11/03/20)

CSGN Annual Review 2018/19 (CSGN 10/03/20)

Films for Teaching Planning Theory: A resource list

Scottish Government News Releases

Call for action to help self-employed (SG 24/03/20)
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop and Finance Secretary Kate Forbes have written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for the Jobs Retention Scheme he announced last week to be expanded to include the self-employed.

£1 billion Business Support Fund opens (SG 24/03/20)
Businesses can now apply for grants to help them deal with the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Fire safety guidance for high-rise properties (SG 20/03/20)
Posters encouraging residents of high-rise properties to keep common areas clear of anything that could be a fire risk are being issued to building managers across the country.

Helping communities affected by COVID-19 (SG 18/03/20)
An additional £350 million will go to those most affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell has announced.

£2.2 billion for business (SG 18/03/20)
Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop has addressed the Scottish Parliament on the economic impact of COVID-19 in Scotland.

£320 million package of support for businesses (SG 14/03/20)
New measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the business community in Scotland have been announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes.

News Releases

Emergency funding needed for cultural organisations affected by coronavirus closures, says Committee (DCMS 23/03/20)
The DCMS Committee has called for urgent Government support for cultural organisations amid closures and uncertainty for sporting events affected by the coronavirus outbreak. The charitable sector and tourism should also be given extra support.

National Planning Framework 4 – Extension to Call for Ideas deadline (SG 19/03/20)
We are extending the closing date for our National Planning Framework 4 Call for Ideas from 31 March to 30 April.

New on-line exhibition tells the story of saving heritage at risk (EWH 11/03/20)
We are today launching a new on-line exhibition to document a recently completed project which aimed to protect heritage at risk in two historic Turkish cities near to the Syrian border.

RIAS/RIBA Awards 2020 – Shortlist Announced (RIAS 11/03/20)
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) has announced an 18 strong shortlist for its 2020 awards (from 80 entries).

Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Young Scot Launch New Partnership (STP 05/03/20)
Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Young Scot have joined forces to ensure that young people have more chances to participate effectively in the future planning of their town centres.

Opinion & Comment

Coronavirus: Respond at Scale, Build Bridges to the Future (RSA 21/03/20)

“Think Local First” During Coronavirus Crisis (STP 18/03/20)

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-28037: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/03/2020
To ask the Scottish Government what assistance it will provide to third sector organisations that experience a substantial decline in fundraising income due to the cancellation of large-scale income-generating events as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Current Status: Expected Answer date 20/04/2020

Question S5W-27992: Oliver Mundell, Dumfriesshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 17/03/2020
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the advice that it is issuing to help control the spread of COVID-19, what action it is considering in relation to the planning system for large-scale projects, such as wind farm developments, where public consultation might be curtailed.
Current Status: Expected Answer date 31/03/2020

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-27851: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/03/2020
To ask the Scottish Government by what date it will publish the final version of the Scottish National Review on the Sustainable Development Goals.
Answered by Kate Forbes (23/03/2020)

Question S5W-27767: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/03/2020
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to support small home builders to deliver carbon neutral/negative housing in order to meet its climate change targets.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (17/03/2020)


Head of Land Rights and Responsibilities
This fixed term post offers an exciting opportunity to join the Scottish Land Commission’s management team and shape the development of a key part of the Commission’s remit and delivery.
Closing date for applications is 5 pm on Friday 3rd April 2020.

Help needed to maintain and host Doors Open Days website – paid contract!
We’re looking for help to maintain and host our Doors Open Days website. This is a paid contract! Check out the brief below or download it here. Please circulate to anyone you think may be interested!
The deadline for a response is 9am Friday 3 April 2020.

Dig It! Communications Manager
We’re looking for a candidate to fill this exciting role for the Dig It! project and help us bring Scotland’s archaeological stories to life. Working as part of a small project team within the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, this is an excellent opportunity for a self-starter wishing to blaze their own trail, engage new and existing audiences, and work in partnership with organisations across the country.
Deadline for applications: Noon, Monday 6 April 2020.