BEFS Bulletin – Heritage & Sustainability Film, Events, & Training

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


BEFS new film, made in collaboration with the Scottish Traditional Building Forum, Heritage & Sustainability: A Journey Down One Historic Street was launched at the Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival 2021. BEFS Policy and Strategy Manager Hazel Johnson is joined by special guests from Architectural Heritage Fund Scotland, SURF, Under One Roof and Edinburgh World Heritage for a meander down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile as she explores how the buildings and places that make up part of the Old Town of Edinburgh play an important role in the city’s sustainable future.

The 9th Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival has now wrapped up after another year of fascinating online talks and virtual events. In a new blog post, John McKinney of the Scottish Traditional Building Forum reflects on the key themes of this year’s event.

BEFS attended the launch of Doors Open Days 2021 earlier this month at the Scottish Maritime Museum. The programme for their first ever hybrid festival, with both in-person and online events, is now live.

It was good to hear from Scotland’s Towns Partnership at the latest meeting of the Historic Environment Working Group (HEWG) about the potential support available for heritage projects under town centre regeneration and place-based investment funding streams. STP highlighted the potential for multi-year funding available through funds such as the Scottish Government Scotland Loves Local Fund, the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, and the Place Based Investment Programme, which is administered through local authorities (more info from SG available here). Members were encouraged to consider how their projects and assets might make use of these opportunities.

Also at HEWG, the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers shared that new CIRIA guidance Archaeology in construction: good practice guidance (C799) is now available. The guide offers practical advice applicable to construction projects of all scales and is relevant to all stages in the construction and development life cycle.

Scottish Civic Trust is looking for speakers for a digital lecture series on the intersection of heritage, equity and sustainability. The lecture series will consist of pre-recorded sessions that will be broadcast during COP26, 31 October – 12 November. Possible topics include inequitable funding of historic building refurbishment, community-led approaches to sustainable heritage and engaging children and young people with heritage and the climate crisis. Expressions of interest are due by 14 September.

Institution of Civil Engineer members are being invited to mark the 200th anniversary of the death of civil engineer John Rennie by contributing to a special commemorative project.

The Scottish Government has this weekend reached agreement with the Scottish Green Party on formal cooperation. BEFS notes the draft Shared Policy Programme, which includes commitments to:
–        to take forward the recommendations of the Scottish Parliament working group on tenement maintenance;
–        to embed the concept of twenty minute neighbourhoods within NPF4;
–        to ensuring that our existing and potential workforce has the support, skills and retraining needed to realise the significant economic opportunities from refurbishing our building stock.
–        to enable local government and housing associations to provide whole home retrofits where needed, helping to upgrade the most inefficient and expensive to heat social homes to the highest possible standard in one leap.


HES Grants Refresh Consultation
Closes 6 September 2021

Funding for Culture – Call for Views
Closes 8 September 2021

The Heritage Alliance Diversity and Inclusion Survey
Closes 10 September 2021

Domestic Energy Performance Certificates Reform Consultation
Closes 8 October 2021

Home Energy Efficiency: Equity Loan Pilot – Call for Evidence
Closes 8 October 2021

Scottish Building Regulations: Proposed changes to Energy Standards and associated topics, including Ventilation, Overheating and Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
Closes 15 October 2021

UK Government Review of Architects Regulation: Call for Evidence
Closes 8 November 2021


To support the consultation and enable designers and developers to assess what the changes mean for building projects, updated consultation versions of the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) and Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) have now been released.

David Hume Institute: Scottish Parliament consultation response: Public Finances in 2022-23

IEMA Principles of Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment – in partnership with the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) and the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) (20/07/21)

RTPI Scotland: Response to Scottish Government’s call for evidence on the development of the National Economic Transformation Strategy (26/08/21)

Achieving net zero in social housing – The Zero Emissions Social Housing Taskforce Report (SG 31/08/21)

Scottish Government News Releases

Short-term lets: letter from Cabinet Secretary on revised licensing legislation plans (SG 20/08/21)

Support to Protect Scotland’s Coastlines (SG 27/08/21)

Making a Quality Building Warrant Application – What you need to know
(SG 27/08/21)

Patrick Harvie appointed Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights (SG 30/08/21)

News Releases

New Research says ‘Cathedrals Matter’ (Association of English Cathedrals)

Opinion & Comment

Forget shops: how one UK town ripped up the rule book to revive its high street (Observer 21/08/21)

Insight: The detrimental impact short-term lets are having on urban and rural Scotland (Scotsman 22/08/21)

The recent SURF conference closed with a specially commissioned poem by Jo Gilbert. (27/08/21)

Scotland’s isles ‘would benefit’ from Faroes-style tunnels (BBC 30/08/21)

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 ref. S6W-02389 Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 23 August 2021
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the commitment in the Scottish National Party election manifesto, what action it is taking to ensure that Scotland’s historic estate meets its net zero obligations.

Question S6O-00093: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour
Date Lodged: 25/08/2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will commit to enshrining a rule in the National Planning Framework 4, where, for every new building, 1% of the cost is given to the arts.

Question S6W-02465: Kenneth Gibson, Cunninghame North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/08/2021
To ask the Scottish Government when proposals for the introduction of Compulsory Sales Orders will be brought forward.

Question S6W-02556: Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date Lodged: 30/08/2021 R
To ask the Scottish Government whether it has prepared an Island Communities Impact Assessment in relation to its proposed short-term lets Licensing Order, and, if so, whether it will publish it.

Parliamentary Questions and Answers

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-01909: Liam Kerr, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/07/2021
To ask the Scottish Government how many off-gas grid homes it estimates are not suitable for the installation of heat pumps, and what its position is on what alternative low-carbon heating systems they are able to install.
Answered by Michael Matheson (20/08/2021)

Question S6W-01904: Liam Kerr, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/07/2021
To ask the Scottish Government what measures it will put in place to support owner-occupiers of off-gas grid homes to achieve EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) Band C by 2025.
Answered by Michael Matheson (20/08/2021)

Other Parliamentary Activity

The UK Parliament is in recess 22nd July 2021 – 6th September 2021

Affordable Housing: The Local Government, Housing & Planning Committee has published a letter from Shona Robison concerning funding for affordable and social housing. (15/07/21)

Session 6: The Local Government, Housing & Planning Committee has published a letter from the Scottish Government about priorities for Session 6 that are of interest to the committee, including the local governance review and local democracy bill, funding formula for local government, housing and planning. (30/07/21)


Doors Open Days 2021
Date: Weekends in September
Scotland’s largest free festival of places, history and culture will return this September! Doors Open Days offers free access to hundreds of sites across Scotland, and aims to make the country’s built and cultural heritage accessible to all.

Scottish Geology Festival
Date: 1 September – 17 October
Online, Outdoor, and Indoor Events
A packed programme of activities from Stranraer to Shetland that will showcase and celebrate Scotland’s geology. Events range from coastal walks to fossil hunting to online talks and even boat trips.

An Introduction to the Heritage Trust Network
Date & Time: 2 September 09.30am –
A webinar to introduce partners, funders, new members and other organisations to the work of Heritage Trust Network.

SoAoS: Orkney Brochs to Iron Age Villages, The Ness in Rock and Stone, and The Mathematics of the Neolithic.
Date & Time: 5 Sept 3:30pm – 6pm, 7 Sept 11:30am – 12:15pm.
Online: YouTube Live.
Three memorial lectures in collaboration with Orkney International Science Festival, to attribute three late Fellows, John Hedges, Raymond Lamb, and Euan MacKie. Several of the speakers are Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland who will be hosting and highlighting the session.

LIS: Countdown to COP – Sustainable Landscapes
Date & Time: 9 September, 12pm–1pm
Online: Zoom
In association with the GIA – the first of the Landscape Institute Scotland COP26 events around climate change & sustainability. Join Karen Esslemont of OPEN for ClimatEvolution: Place-based transition to climate resilience in East Lothian; Duncan Maclean of LUC on Claypits Park, Glasgow & Greg Meikle of LDA on Sighthill: Regeneration at Scale.

Why Do Historic Places Matter? Emotional Attachments to Urban Heritage
Date & Time: 17 September, 3:30pm – 5pm
This event to launch the final report of the Why Does The Past Matter? research project brings together leading figures from the heritage and built environment sectors to discuss the reasons why historic places matter emotionally to a range of individuals including developers, investors, planners, campaigners and residents.

Edinburgh World Heritage: A Miracle in Stone – A lecture to celebrate 50 years of conservation
Date & Time: 9 September, 6pm
Location: St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, George Street, Edinburgh.
Or Online
In 1971, the New Town Conservation Committee, which subsequently became Edinburgh World Heritage, set out on its mission to ‘save the New Town.’ Fifty years later, EWH invite you to join them in celebrating what has been called the ‘greatest achievement of the conservation movement in post-War Britain.’

SPAB: Conservation on the Edge: The Northern Lighthouse Board
Date & Time: 22 September, 6pm
The Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) has been providing Marine Aids to Navigation in Scottish and Manx waters for over two centuries, protecting lives, property and the environment. This talk aims to give an overview of the role and function of the modern service and, through a series of case studies, explore the considerable challenges associated with caring for historic buildings located on the edge of Scotland and the Isle of Man.

A&DS at V&A Dundee:  What if… /we lived in places of small distances?
Date & Time: 30 September, 6:15pm
Join an expert panel to explore the concept of the 20-minute neighbourhood: a way to radically reconsider space, with meeting the needs of citizens at its core. How might this work rurally, where communities are sparse and have different needs? How can this be applied to different socio-economic situations? And how can we continue to improve our urban spaces to better meet the needs of a constantly changing world?

RIAS: Andy MacMillan Memorial Lecture 2021 – Dr Jos Boys
Date & Time: 23 September, 6pm–7pm
Online: Zoom
Join us for the Andy MacMillan Memorial Lecture 2021 and to celebrate the A&DS and RIAS Scottish Student Awards shortlist announcement. This year’s Andy MacMillan Memorial Lecture will be given by Dr Jos Boys, The Bartlett / Co-founder of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project.

RIAS Convention 2021: Draw Together
Date: 28 September – 1 October
Join us for our virtual architecture and built environment conference – four days packed with talks from our international line up of over 20 speakers, CPD, debate, discussion, sustainability speed mentoring (delivered in partnership with RIBA) and more! Draw Together will bring architects, built environment professionals and the wider public together to show how change is already happening to tackle our climate goals and targets, with spotlight on work across Scotland as well as UK and international examples. View the full programme here.


RTPI: Making NPF4 work for Scotland’s diverse regions
Date & Time: 2 September 4pm–5pm
With Scotland’s widely varied geographical locations, how will NPF4 ensure diverse regions can benefit?
Main speaker: Fiona Simpson, Interim Chief Planner, Planning & Architecture, Scottish Government. Fiona will provide progress update on NPF and views on implications and highlights on H&I Region.
Regional Speakers from Dundee City Council, NatureScot, Community Land Scotland, and Highlands & Island Enterprise will provide a geographical and work-related perspective on their own urban and rural areas, including their specific interests – diverse areas and expertise.

RTPI: Climate Ready Ken Project + Adaptation Issues in Planning
Date & Time: 9 September 4pm-5pm
In June 2020, the community around Loch Ken was selected to be part of the Climate Ready Localities programme, run by Adaptation Scotland.  The Climate Ready Ken project will look at the practical actions that individuals and communities need to take to understand and prepare for the inevitable impacts of a changing climate. This project forms part of the wider work of the Loch Ken Trust to build the Loch Ken Plan, a 10-year sustainable community plan, based around the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Under One Roof: Private Landlord Webinar Programme 2021-22
Date & Time: 14 Sept 6pm-7pm, then Monthly to June 2022
Under One Roof, with generous support from SafeDeposits Scotland Charitable Trust, is excited to release this year’s full webinar programme for private landlords and letting agents. Register now for the one-hour sessions, where you’ll be able to ask experts about general issues related to tenement buildings, and specific issues related to your flat. Future webinars will cover topics such as funding repairs, energy efficient tenement buildings, and how to set up an Owners’ Association. CPD certificates are also available to professionals who take part in the webinars.

Advertising Volunteer Opportunities with Mark Your Mark
Date & Time: 14 Sept 2pm–3pm or 15 Sept 6pm–7pm
Scottish heritage organisations are invited to attend an informal information session to learn more about the Make Your Mark campaign and how you can use our free volunteer portal to recruit and manage your volunteers.

Traditional Building CPD – Modified Lime Mortars
Date & Time: 14 September, 12.00pm – 4.00pm
Location: Balnain Glen Urquhart, Inverness
Practical workshop for professionals and stonemasons to explore hot lime mixes with addition of linseed oil to modify durability and resistance to rain penetration.

RIAS Lunchtime CPD: Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals
Date & Time: 16 September, 12pm-1pm
Online: Zoom
In March 2021, ICOMOS published a new policy document on Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals, which aims to advocate and localize the UN 2030 Agenda and SDGs from the perspective of heritage. In this presentation, Linda will briefly discuss the Policy Guidance and the SDGs, before focusing on SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) and the relevant Case Study: Lauriston Place in Edinburgh, to then explore SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and SDG11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities) as examples on how the PG might be localised here in Scotland considering recent policy developments.

RTPI: Meeting our targets in a time of climate crisis
Date & Time: 28 September 4pm-5pm
The need to meet Scotland’s climate change targets is ever more apparent. To achieve this, a mix of new renewable technologies and expansion of existing technologies will play a vital role. Scottish Renewables will discuss the form these new technologies will take – from battery storage to hydrogen, and re-powering – and the extent of the land use challenges these present. Neil Collar (Brodies) will then provide a critical reflection on how the planning system has managed planning for renewables so far and how well equipped it is to meet these challenges and opportunities in future.

RTPI: The role of women in placemaking
Date & Time: 30 September, 4pm-5pm
This event looks at the representation of women in the planning profession, current issues and views on the design of the public realm. It discusses influencing placemaking in UK and international contexts. There will also be an undergraduate student dissertation discussion.

Arts & Business Scotland: Introduction to being a Board Member
Date & Time: 16 & 23 November, 4pm-7pm
Online: Zoom
Designed for new Trustees, the essential Introduction to being a Board Member online course runs over two sessions to cover duties of charitable trustees/board members, roles and responsibilities of board members and staff, meeting management and decision making, advocacy and fundraising, strategic planning, and finances.


Edinburgh World Heritage: Communications Officer
Edinburgh World Heritage is looking to appoint an ambitious and creative Communications professional who is looking to further develop a wide range of key communication skills, from classical PR/media management, to extending the reach and impact of EWH’s large digital footprint, as well as helping design and promote heritage-themed events and other city-wide initiatives.
Closing Date: 17 September 2021