BEFS Bulletin – HES 2020 Grants

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


This month Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has introduced a new expressions of interest process for anyone wishing to make an application to one of their grant programmes. The purpose of the short form is to ensure that applicants receive consistent advice regarding suitability for funding, appropriate grant programmes and the timing of applications. If you are interested in making an application to HES, submit an expression of interest via their grants website, and a member of the grants team will provide a response within 10 working days.

The following updated grants deadlines for 2020 have now been published on the grants website. If you are interested in applying this year, take note as there are a few changes from last year’s schedule.

2020 Grant Application Deadlines

  • Historic Environment Repair Grants – 31 May, 31 December
  • Historic Environment Support Fund – 31 March, 31 July, 30 November
  • Organisational Support Fund – 31 August
  • Archaeology Programme – 30 September

The 2018 Scottish House Condition Survey reports 75% of all dwellings have some degree of disrepair and disrepair to critical elements stood at 57%, an increase of 7% for both since 2017. 73% of Scotland’s traditionally built homes (pre-1919) are not wind and watertight. BEFS Director, Euan Leitch, reflects on these findings in the context of the work of the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group for Tenement Maintenance and the Scottish Government’s response to the group’s recommendations report.

At the invitation of the Scottish Government’s NPF4 planning team, BEFS was asked to invite its members to a roundtable discussion event. This was an informal opportunity to hear a little of where thinking sits currently and to consider opportunities for engagement. Read the report here.

BEFS responded to the Scottish Government’s consultation on their Proposed Work Programme, and associated Sustainability Appraisal (SA) report, for reviewing and extending permitted development rights (PDR) in Scotland. Read the response on our ’Consultations & Briefings’ page.

Nominations for the Archaeology Training Forum award are now open. The Archaeology Training Forum Award recognises excellence in the fields of learning, best practice in training and professional development and is open to archaeological organisations, individuals, partnerships and collaborative projects throughout the United Kingdom, whether paid or voluntary. Closing date for nominations is the 13th March 2020 and more information can be found on the ATF website.

BEFS Vice-Chair, Professor Ian Baxter, muses on the meaning of ‘place-keeping’ for the historic environment sector, in our first blog this week.

BEFS Policy & Strategy Manager, Ailsa Macfarlane, reflects on the recent Wealth of Nations 2.0 Conference and place as part of the wellbeing economy agenda, in our second blog.


Review of the ban on the use of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings (England)
Opened on 20 January 2020 and closes on 13 April 2020.

Fire safety: risk prioritisation in existing buildings – a call for evidence (England)
Opened on 20 January 2020 and closes on 17 February 2020.

Proposed Remote Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill
Consultation closes on 31 January 2020.

Law Society of Scotland’s call for views: Consultation on aspects of planning obligations
Closes Monday 3 February 2020.

Scottish Forestry Corporate Plan Consultation
Closes 5 February 2020.

The Replacement of European Structural Funds In Scotland Post EU-Exit
Closes 12 Feb. 2020.

Planning Performance and Fees
Closes on 14 Feb 2020.

Housing to 2040: consultation on outline policy options
Closes on 28 Feb 2020.

The practice of cash retention under construction contracts
Closes on 25 Mar 2020.

Energy Efficient Scotland: Improving energy efficiency in owner occupied homes consultation
Closes 26 March 2020.

Planning for Scotland in 2050: National Planning Framework 4 – Call for Ideas
Call for Ideas runs until 31 March 2020.


Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation 2020 (SG 28/01/20)

Affordable Housing Supply Programme Out-turn Report 2018-19 (SG 28/01/20)

Local Place Plans -Challenges and opportunities: A framework for draft guidance (SCDC and Nick Wright Planning 27/01/20)

English Housing Survey 2018 to 2019: headline report (MHCLG 23/01/20)

Heritage and the Economy 2019 (HE 23/01/20)

RTPI Corporate Strategy 2020-2030 (RTPI 22/01/20)

Scottish house condition survey: 2018 key findings (SG 21/01/20)

Short-Term Lets Regulation (SG 21/01/20)

Planning and Architecture business plan 2019 to 2020: in-year review (SG 21/01/20)

Grenfell Tower Inquiry Phase 1 report: government response (MHCLG 21/01/20)

Challenges facing small housing developers: survey (SG 20/01/20)

Scottish Infrastructure Commission Report (ICS 20/01/20)

Building safety advice for building owners, including fire doors (MHCLG 20/01/20)

Local Place Plan Guide (PAS 16/01/20)

Scotland’s City Region and Growth Deals (Audit Scotland 16/01/20)

Technical Conservation Guidance and Research (HE 11/19)

Scottish Government News Releases

Climate Change Plan (SG 28/01/20)
Members of the Scottish Parliament, academics, industry and environmental organisations will explore options and priorities for updating Scotland’s Climate Change Plan.

Health and wellbeing as fundamental as GDP (SG 22/01/20)
Scotland is leading the way in creating an economy in which wellbeing is as fundamental as GDP (Gross Domestic Product) when measuring success, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Scottish House Condition Survey: 2018 Key Findings (SG 21/01/20)
The Chief Statistician has released figures on fuel poverty, energy efficiency, the condition of housing, the Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) and other key descriptors of the occupied housing stock in Scotland.

Homeowners protected (SG 20/01/20)
Apex Property Factor removed from the official register for failing to meet minimum standards of practice.

£100m milestone for Building Scotland Fund (SG 14/01/20)
Housing, regeneration and industrial and commercial developments are being supported by investments of £100 million through the Building Scotland Fund (BSF).

News Releases

Tesco Bags of Help open for applications in 2020! (Greenspace Scot 28/01/20)
Community groups and charities across Scotland are being invited to apply for funding through the Tesco Bags of Help scheme. Three groups will be awarded grant amounts of £2,000, £1,000 or £500 every three months in a total of 75 funding areas that cover the whole of Scotland from Shetland to Stranraer.

Green MSP launches online tool to monitor scale of Airbnb-style lets (Commonspace 23/01/20)
Locals will be able to report short-term holiday lets in their area using a new tool launched by Andy Wightman.

England’s Heritage Worth £31 Billion To Economy Reveals New Report (HE 23/01/20)
New research shows that heritage is an important sector which contributes to economic prosperity and growth through jobs in the heritage and construction sectors and from tourism.

Lack of guidance from Scottish Government putting homes at risk (SLE 22/01/20)
A lack of guidance and leadership from the Scottish Government on the incoming changes to the energy efficiency of homes is putting unnecessary pressure on Scotland’s vital private rental sector.

Three out of four homes need repair as fuel poverty rises (The Times 22/01/20)
Three quarters of Scotland’s 2.6 million homes have some form of disrepair, a substantial increase on the previous year, a report has revealed.

Scotland’s City Region and Growth Deals (Audit Scotland 16/01/20)
City deals have been positive for Scotland’s economy, but the government does not have a plan to measure their overall long-term success, say public spending watchdogs.

Open for Entries: RIAS/RIBA Awards for Scotland 2020
Now in their 9th year, the combined RIAS/RIBA Awards continue to demonstrate the quality and breadth of current architectural endeavour in Scotland. Submissions should be made via our online entry form. Submission deadline: Thursday 20th February 2020 (an early bird discount of 10% is available until Thursday 6th February 2020).

My Place Awards and My Place Photography Competition 2020! (SCT 16/01/20)
One month left to submit entries…we look forward to receiving your entries! The closing date for both the My Place Awards and the My Place Photography Competition is 11:59pm, Sunday 16 February 2020.

Plunge In! Coasts and Waters Community Fund (SNH)
SNH has launched a new fund for #YCW2020 – Plunge In! The Coasts and Waters Community Fund – which creates new opportunities for communities to connect with their coasts, seas and freshwaters. The fund offers grants to help community groups participate in and celebrate #YCW2020 in their own way. The fund will open for applications between 7 January and 28 February 2020.

54 historic places of worship restored thanks to government pilot scheme (DCMS 13/01/20)
The Taylor Review pilot scheme, a £1.8 million scheme to help listed places of worship, has provided grants towards repairs at 54 historic buildings since launching in September 2018 until March 2019.

Construction Recovery Needs a VAT Cut (FMB 13/01/20)  
The upcoming Budget must slash the rate of VAT on repair and maintenance work and invest in the construction sector in order to maintain the industry’s recovery, according to the Federation of Master Builders in response to the ONS construction output data published today.

Place Planning for Decarbonisation (A&DS 01/20)
To support the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackle climate change and achieve a target of net-zero carbon by 2045, Architecture and Design Scotland is working with the Scottish Government Climate Change Division. Through this work, we will be initially supporting a small number of selected Local Authorities to develop spatial plans for places which prioritise this agenda.

Opinion & Comment

Pioneer female archaeologist Christian MacLagan as building patron in Stirling (Morag Cross 28/01/20)

When Historic Preservation Hurts Cities (NYT 26/01/20)

Working towards an economy that is focused on wellbeing (Dr Katherine Trebeck, Herald 22/01/20)

ICE Scotland director Hannah Smith discusses the Scottish Infrastructure Commission report on the key infrastructure priorities (ICE 20/0120/)

VAT chance: Can tax reforms spur a retrofit renaissance? (AJ 06/01/20)

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-27033: Iain Gray, East Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/01/2020
To ask the Scottish Government what level of funds remain in the Scottish Land Fund.

Question S5W-27034: Iain Gray, East Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/01/2020
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to relaunch the Scottish Land Fund beyond March 2021.

Question S5W-27149: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 27/01/2020
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-22988 by Kevin Stewart on 16 May 2019, in light of the minister’s comment that “work to finalise the revised code will take place over the course of 2019”, whether it will confirm by what date it will publish the revised code of conduct for property factors.

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-26907: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/01/2020
To ask the Scottish Government how many planning (a) practitioners have been employed and (b) applications have been decided by each local planning authority in each year since 2012-13.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (17/01/2020)

Other Parliamentary Activity

Portfolio Questions: Culture, Tourism & External Affairs – Wednesday 22 January
1. Margaret Mitchell – Historic Environment (Preservation of Buildings and Landmarks)
2. Ruth Maguire – Year of Coasts and Waters
3. Alison Johnstone – Edinburgh festive celebrations
4. Jeremy Balfour – Edinburgh summer festivals 2020
5. Peter Chapman – traditional culture


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

Energy efficiency seminar
Dates & times: Thursday 6 to Friday 7 February, 1pm – 5pm.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling
Cost: £20 – £50.
This is a two-day programme which looks at practical energy efficiency measures for Scottish homes and the wider technical and policy issues in their refurbishment. This is in partnership between Historic Environment Scotland and other organisations and the Task59 project (Historic NZEB).

Glasgow Potteries and the British Empire
Date & Venue: February 10 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Auditorium, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh.
Date & Venue: February 11 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm, Meston Building Lecture Theatre One, University of Aberdeen.
A Society of Antiquaries of Scotland lecture given by Graeme Cruickshank MA AMA FMA FSAScot.
For more information on the Society’s full event programme and to book a place on a lecture visit the website.

William Morris: Preserving Monuments of Art & Civilisation
Date & time: 26th Feb 2020 – 1800 – 1900.
Venue: Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LT.
Join us for a lecture from Scottish Officer, Tyler C. Lott, BA, MSc on the legacy of William and his daughter May Morris in the SPAB and the impact SPAB has had on Britain’s Built Heritage as well as top tips for a positive and practical approach to building conservation in the 21st Century. Includes entry into to the May Morris Art & Life Exhibit on the day of the event.

Women in housing Scotland Conference
Date & time: 6 March from 9:30 am – 4:00 pm.
Venue: Hilton Glasgow.
This brand new event for 2020 is aimed at ALL women working or volunteering in the housing sector. The event is a celebration of achievements and the impact women have had and continue to have on the sector. The day will be full of inspirational and motivational women speakers from the housing sector and beyond.

3D Documentation of Heritage Artefacts: Introduction to Photogrammetry
Date & time: Wed, 18 March 2020, 10:30 – 16:30.
Venue: Scottish Maritime Museum, Linthouse Building, Harbour Road, Irvine, KA12 8BT.
Photogrammetry is a photography-based 3D imaging technique for documenting a variety of objects. From archaeological finds and intricately carved stonework to works of art or large-scale collections. By combining the data from many images of the object, photogrammetry produces a digital 3D model of it. Marta Pilarska (@M_Pilarska), digital heritage specialist at the Scottish Maritime Museum (@Scotmaritime), will introduce course participants to methods of 3D digital documentation of historic objects, encouraging them to explore 3D documentation techniques.

Your Career in Conservation: The Purpose and Process of Accreditation 
Date & Time: 26th March | 9:30-17:00
Venue: Reid Building, Glasgow School of Art- 164 Renfrew St, Glasgow G3 6RQ
GCHT is holding a one-day conference on conservation accreditation within the heritage and built environment sectors. Attendees will hear from leading conservation accreditation bodies about the value of accreditation for conserving our historic environment, how the application process works, and how being conservation accredited can open new career paths. There will also be workshops for getting specific guidance on applications. There will be speakers and workshop leaders from CARE, Icon, IHBC, RIAS and RICS, as well as Historic Environment Scotland and the Glasgow School of Art. Liz Davidson, Senior Project Manager for the Mackintosh Restoration at GSA, is our keynote speaker.

Visit to Union Chain Bridge
Date & time: 04 April 2020.
Venue: Chain Bridge Honey Farm, Berwick Upon Tweed, TD15 2XT.
On the 200-year anniversary, join The Friends of Union Bridge and SPAB Scotland on a visit to the Union Chain Bridge. Following successful campaigning and fundraising missions, the 1820 wrought iron suspension bridge is undergoing extensive repair works involving the complete dismantling and rebuilding of the bridge. With a guided tour by a member of The Friends, we will hear about how the structure was built, the repair progress and proposals, the challenges that the campaign faced, and the desires for the future of Captain Samuel Brown’s Union Chain Bridge.  This is a child-friendly event!

Humble Heritage Workshop – Cement Removal and Hot Lime Pointing
Date & time: 17 April 2020 – 19 April 2020.
Venue: Moffat Old Churchyard, Moffat, DG10 9EB.
Our Humble Heritage workshops are a new series designed to give delegates a thorough theoretical and technical basis of knowledge about a subject, reinforced with guided practical, hands-on experience. During the two days of hands-on training, we will focus on the techniques of removing harmful cement renders, using like-for-like repair that will demand either earth-lime or hot mixed lime mortars, or a combination of both. CPD Certificates Available!

Saving the Gable Working Party
Date & time: 20 April 2020 – 22 April 2020.
Venue: Moffat Old Churchyard, Moffat, DG10 9EB.
Join the SPAB for a community-based working party based in the Old Churchyard in the town of Moffat focusing on a historic monument, the sole surviving gable of the pre-reformation C15th Parish Church and surrounding boundary walls. We plan to carry out removal of cement pointing and vegetation, consolidation and re-pointing of the gable, and of the whinstone rubble boundary wall of the surrounding Churchyard. Help us save this important monument, securing its future as a key illustration of the town’s development and reducing any further damage to the carvings. Accommodation, materials, lunch, and refreshment is included.

Adapt Northern Heritage conference 2020
Dates & times: 
Tuesday 5 May – Thursday 7 May, 9am – 5pm.
Venue: Surgeons Quarters, Edinburgh.
Cost: £200.
The Adapt Northern Heritage Conference will explore practices and research on the impacts of climate change in the historic environment, engaging communities, adaptation measures, and managing loss.


Skills Training and Outreach Officer
Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust are looking for a historic building conservation professional to appoint as Skills Training and Outreach Officer on a one-year fixed-term basis to help us deliver our exciting traditional building skills training projects (including roadshow) and to lead on co-ordinating the regional programme of the Doors Open Days architectural festival.
Closing date: 5pm on Friday 7 February 2020.

CSGNT Board Members
Central Scotland Green Network Trust (CSGNT) is currently looking for up to three new board members. To expand the range of skills CSGNT currently has on its board, it is seeking applicants with backgrounds in one or more of the following:  finance and governance; work in the third/community sector; housing (private and social) and strategic partnership working. The board is committed to increasing its own diversity and applications are particularly welcome from currently under-represented perspectives.
Closing Date for applications is Friday 28th February.