BEFS Bulletin – Culture Strategy for Scotland

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Consultations, Publications And Vacancies.


The Scottish Government’s programme for 2016-2017 gave a commitment to developing a culture strategy for Scotland. The ball started rolling at an event in June and the Scottish Government is now collecting ideas and views for the proposed strategy. Read BEFS initial response to the discussion and the development of the strategy.

The Barclay Review on Non-Domestic Rates has two proposals with direct implications for owners of listed buildings: the existing 100% vacant listed building rate relief limited to 2 years but expanding the categories of properties that can qualify for Fresh Start relief (50%) so that all listed property can benefit. SCVO and RICS both discuss the report in more detail below.

At a time when we are witnessing the catastrophic impact of storm Harvey across the pond, Community Resilience Manager Paul Laidlaw from the Scottish Flood Forum tells us about the challenges we face in managing flood risk in Scotland, in our first blog this week.

Shaz Morton, Common Weal Skye Coordinator, and Andrew Prendergast, a rural development practitioner, describe the key aspects of community-led housing and look at two initiatives in the Highlands & Islands, in our second blog this week.

Scottish Archaeology Month is back this September, promoting hundreds of events taking place all over Scotland. There are free talks, tours, exhibitions, workshops and hands-on events to help you discover some of the amazing history, heritage and archaeology on your doorstep.

There are a range of interesting conferences, training and events coming up this autumn, so do check out the events section below.


The Socio Economic Duty
Closes 12 Sep 2017.

Climate Change Bill
Closes 22 Sep 2017.

A Culture Strategy for Scotland – What does culture mean to you?
SG are having conversations with individuals, artists, cultural organisations, communities and other sectors across Scotland. These conversations are helping to create a strategy that will set out future priorities for culture in Scotland.
Submit your views and ideas by 5pm on Friday 27 October 2017.

Guidance for Local Authorities when carrying out their new duties and functions under Part 9 of the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 
This consultation, developed in partnership by a Tripartite Group consisting of local authorities, the Scottish Allotments & Gardens Society and Scottish Government, represents the next phase of our journey to updating the legislation on allotments.
Opened 25 Aug 2017 and closes 17 Nov 2017. 

Crofting Consultation 2017
This consultation seeks views of crofters, and those with an interest, on the pathway of any potential new legislation to reform crofting law.
Opened 28 Aug 2017 and closes 20 Nov 2017.


Review of the community-led regeneration approach as delivered via the People and Communities Fund (SG 30/08/17)

Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland 2016-17 (SG 23/08/17) 

Report of the Barclay Review of Non-Domestic Rates (SG 22/08/17)

Practical Fire Safety Guidance for Existing Non-Residential Premises (SG 18/08/17)


Park of Keir planning decision (SG 30/08/17)
Ministers to grant permission in principle. The Scottish Government intends to grant planning permission in principle for a proposed tennis and golf centre at Park of Keir in Dunblane.

Increased support for Govanhill tenants (SG 29/08/17)
Powers granted to tackle housing conditions in private sector. Additional powers have been given to Glasgow City Council to tackle problems in the private rented sector in Govanhill.

Future of Crofting 9SG 28/08/17)
A consultation on the priorities for future crofting law has been launched by Rural Affairs Secretary Fergus Ewing. The public consultation seeks opinions on the form of new legislation and priorities for legislative change to ensure crofting law is fit for the 21st century.

No EU deal is ‘unthinkable’ (SG 28/08/17)
Call for UK Government to commit to remain in Single Market.

Extra £10m for Edinburgh Festivals (SG 27/08/17)
Five-year programme to maximise cultural and economic impact. The Edinburgh Festivals will receive a £10 million boost over the next five years, the First Minister has confirmed.

Queensferry Crossing – a bridge to economic resilience (SG 27/08/17)
£245 million under budget bridge set to open. The Queensferry Crossing will welcome its first traffic on Wednesday morning (30 August), marking the culmination of a momentous journey.

Amendments to UK Brexit Bill will be proposed (SG 22/08/17)
First Ministers of Wales and Scotland agree actions to counter serious risks to devolution. First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones and First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon today agreed to work together on amendments to the UK Government’s EU Withdrawal Bill.

One stop shop for iconic bridges (SG 18/08/17)
Driver info for Queensferry Crossing available. With the countdown underway for the Queensferry Crossing opening, a new website for the Forth Bridges was launched today by the Minister for Transport Humza Yousaf.


Fire safety of your building: advice for tenants and residents (DCLG 30/08/17)
Advice if you have concerns about the fire safety of your building.

Charity Sector Set to Adopt Brexit Positions (SCVO 28/08/17)
With Brexit negotiations between the UK Government and Europe leaders now underway, Scotland’s charities and voluntary organisations now face the daunting task of ensuring Brexit has the least negative impact possible on Scotland’s communities.

Building Safety Programme (DCLG updated 25/08/17)
A co-ordinated national response to the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Rare Scottish seal matrix at risk of leaving the UK (DDCMS 25/08/17)
Arts Minister John Glen has placed a temporary export bar on a Scottish two-part seal matrix to provide an opportunity to keep it in the country.

Heritage Impact Statements in Wales (IHBC 25/08/17)
From 1 September 2017 a Heritage Impact Statement will be required to support any application for listed building or conservation area consent in Wales. The Heritage Impact Statement will replace the Design and Access Statement in the application process for listed building consent.

Housebuilding soars to highest levels in almost a decade (DCLG 24/08/17)
The number of new build homes that have started to be built has surged to the highest level since 2008, as shown by figures released today (24 August 2017).

UK outlines proposals for shared approach on data protection (DDCMS 24/08/17)
The Government has set out its plans for arrangements that could ensure personal data would continue to move back and forth between the UK and the EU in the future in a safe, properly regulated way.

What does the Barclay Review of Business Rates mean for charities in Scotland? (SCVO 22/08/17)
Report out today calls for changes to non-domestic rates. Earlier today, the Barclay Review of Business Rates released the report of their findings and recommendations.

Cyber Security in Charities (DDCMS 21/08/17)
The Government has carried out research with UK registered charities to explore their awareness, attitudes and experiences around cyber security.

The role of culture, sport and heritage in place shaping (DDCMS 18/08/17)
This research explores the role of culture, sport and heritage assets, and investment in driving positive economic and social outcomes at the local level.

Apply for EU Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards 2018 (EN 18/08/17)
The European Union Prize for Cultural Heritage / Europa Nostra Awards is Europe’s top honour in the heritage field. It recognises the best achievements in conservation, research, dedicated service as well as education, training and awareness-raising.

Open Call for Proposals: Scotland + Venice 2018 (A&DS 16/08/17)
Creative teams are invited to submit proposals for a project to celebrate architecture and Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018, with the potential to show the project at one of the most prestigious architecture events in the world – the Biennale Architettura, Venice in 2018. To find out more, please follow this link.


Developing Trailblazer Apprenticeships (ICON 30/08/17)
Our CEO Alison Richmond wrote earlier this year of the opportunities presented by apprenticeships for the conservation sector. Since then much work has been happening in the background – read on for more on what we’ve been up to!

Open Letter to the Lord Provost (AHSS, EWHT, SCT & Cockburn Association 29/08/17)
The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland in collaboration with the Cockburn Association, Edinburgh World Heritage Trust and the Scottish Civic Trust, have today submitted an open letter to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, urging that the application be refused.

Countdown to Doors Open Days 2017 with 50 Favourite Scottish Doors! (SCT 29/08/17)
To celebrate the launch of Doors Open Days 2017 and its own 50th anniversary, the Scottish Civic Trust has invited writers, artists, architects, academics and members of the public to nominate theirfavourite Scottish door.

IHBC on ‘Fire’ and ‘Thatch’: New ‘Guidance Note’ out on IHBC’s ToolBox (IHBC 29/08/17)
The IHBC has launched a new Guidance Note (GN2017/5) on ‘Thatching, chimney stacks and fire’, exploring a single issue that brings together the most fundamental considerations in conservation practice: material, construction, design and risk.

Barclay Review: A welcome addition to the debate (RICS 23/08/17)
We welcome the publication of the Barclay Review of business rates as “a welcome addition to the debate” surrounding Scotland’s competitiveness in the global marketplace.

In The Footsteps of Geddes (PAS 22/08/17)
In The Footsteps of Geddes is a Heritage Lottery funded project, focused on connecting young people from backgrounds facing various challenges with their places and heritage through Geddesian visual education, using modern technology and the Place Standard tool.


  • Parliamentary recess ends on  03/09/2017 at 5pm.


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

RSA Fellows’ Borders Network event: “Our Economy: What next?”
When: Wed 6 September 2017, 17:30 – 19:00.
Where: Scottish Borders Council Headquarters, Newtown St Boswells TD6 0SA.
The meeting, which will comprise a Presentation and a Q&A Session with William Dowson, Bank of England Agent for Scotland, will be held under the Chatham House Rule. The RSA thanks Scottish Borders Council for consent to use the Council Chamber for this meeting, and to publicity partners for relevant promotion assistance.

Paisley: Past, Present, Future
When: 21 September 2017, 7-9pm.
Where: Paisley Methodist Church Hall.
Paisley, Scotland’s largest town and once the flourishing centre of the weaving industry, rich in beautiful architecture and civic pride, is now a shadow of its former self. However, with recent improvements to the public realm and key buildings and a new sense of optimism around the bid to become UK City of Culture in 2021, now is a good time to look afresh at the town. Where have we come from, where are we now, and where are we going? Free.

The Scottish Planning & Environmental Law (SPEL) Conference 2017
When: Thursday 21 September.
Where: Edinburgh.
The 26th SPEL Conference ‘Anticipating and Preparing for Change’ takes place in the run up to the publication of the Planning White Paper towards the end of the year. Although the precise nature of change is not yet known, we can speculate where it may happen and what the consequences might be.  As we anticipate what a future planning system is going to look like, planning reform is not the only driver of change.  he process of Brexit will also impact on planning. A number of high profile speakers will consider how change is likely to shape their various areas of expertise and its likely impact on planning in Scotland.

European dark sky places conference
When: 20-22 September 2017.
Where: Gatehouse of Fleet, Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland.
Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, in partnership with Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park and with the support of the International Dark Skies Association are delighted to announce the first European Dark Skies Conference. The conference takes place in one of the very best places to observe the night sky– Galloway in South West Scotland and in the heart of the UNESCO Galloway and Southern Ayrshire Biosphere, a world-class environment designation awarded to places that promote and demonstrate a balanced relationship between people and nature. #darkskies2017

Patrick Geddes Learning Festival
When: Thu, 28 Sep 2017, 09:30 – Fri, 29 Sep 2017, 17:00.
Where: Patrick Geddes Centre, Riddle’s Court, 322 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PG.
Following on from the success of the 2016 PAS conference; “Outlook: Exploring Geddes in the 21st Century” and in light of growing international interest in the work of Sir Patrick Geddes, PAS will host a follow-on conference this September. PAS is excited to say that we are working in partnership with the Patrick Geddes Learning Centre for the two-day conference.

RTPI Scotland Annual Conference: Planners as Visionaries, Facilitators and Enablers
When: Tuesday 3 October 2017.
Where: COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh.
The planning system in Scotland is undergoing a significant review and a Planning Bill is scheduled to be published before the end of the year.  At the same time UN Habitat III in Quito has published the new urban agenda which outlines how planners and planning have a vital role in improving the quality of life for people by creating inclusive, successful and sustainable places. The conference will look at the key issues we face in Scotland to develop an agenda for change. It will hear about opportunities, challenges faced and the new thinking and doing required from inspirational and forward thinking people.  Conference delegates will have the opportunity to discuss these with others and help develop and agree the way forward.

Old and New Icons: The Role of Landscape Architecture
When: 12th of October from 6:00pm.
Where: CCA in Glasgow.
Landscape institute Scotland are pleased to announce the next Reflections series talk “Old and New Icons: The Role of Landscape Architecture.” A talk that explores how landscape architecture is playing a pivotal role in the revival of old icons, and the development of the new. Rolf Roscher from erz will be discussing their work for the famous post-war masterpiece, St Peter’s Seminary at Cardross. Ben Palmer from Open will present Open’s contribution to the new V&A in Dundee – the first ever dedicated design museum in Scotland.

Perth: Past, Present, Future
When: 26 October 2017, 7-9pm.
Where: Royal George Hotel, Perth
Perth: the fair city in the heart of Scotland. Once a thriving hub of enterprise large and small, has Perth now lost its way? A key event to highlight the joint 50th anniversaries of the Scottish Civic Trust and Perth Civic Trust, this seminar considers Perth’s history and heyday, its current issues and challenges, and what can be done to encourage a more positive future, with a particular emphasis on retailing in the city centre. There will be plenty of opportunities for discussion and questions. Free.

SCT CONFERENCE 2017: 50 Years of Conservation Areas
When: 27 November 2017.
As part of our 50th anniversary celebrations and recognising that the Civic Amenities Act was passed in 1967, the Scottish Civic Trust’s next annual conference, in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and The Institute of Historic Building Conservation, will tackle the theme of “Fifty years of conservation areas” – what has been learned, what has been lost, and what are the threats and opportunities in the future. The conference will take place on Monday 27 November at the Trades Hall, Glasgow. SAVE THE DATE! Email to register your interest. Booking information will be available soon.


Transform your approach to community engagement – Training event 
When: 28th September.
Where: Inverness (afternoon/central location).
PAS is running a workshop next month in Inverness aimed at developing skills in community engagement and relevant for anyone who would like to become recognised as a community engagement practitioner. Previous participants have come from local authorities, planning consultancies, third sector organisations, academia and community groups, as well as the energy and communications sectors.The cost of the programme is £250 per person. We are also experienced in delivering SP=EED Verification as in-house training. Please contact for more details.

Heritage project management- A to Z from the IHBC – An IHBC ‘Unique Learning Experience’ 
When: 18-19 October 2017.
Where: Auckland Castle and Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham.
On 18-19 October 2017, the IHBC, including the IHBC’s North Branch, is partnering with national and local interests in and around Bishop Auckland, to offer unique, first hand insights into current practice and principles in heritage project management across a £90 million suite of projects inspired by private philanthropy and faith, from inspiration and inception to development and implementation.

Information in the Bulletin is extracted from a number of websites including the Scottish Government (SG); the Scottish Parliament (SP); Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS); Historic Environment Scotland (HES); Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); English Heritage (EH); Design Council (DC); Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG); Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS); Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); National Assembly for Wales (NAW); Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS); Scottish Government Building Standards  (SGBS); Europa Nostra (EN); Historic England (HE).

If you have any questions or comments on the above, or would like to submit information to be included, please get in touch with Saskia Smellie or tel: BEFS Office on 0131 220 6241.