BEFS Bulletin – Historic Environment Policy for Scotland

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


Historic Environment Scotland has published its new Historic Environment Policy for Scotland (HEPS) to help guide and inform decision-makers such as local authorities and asset owners. This policy has been in development for a number of years, with public and sector wide engagement. BEFS Policy & Advocacy Lead, Ailsa Macfarlane, provides a summary of the new policy and accompanying documents here.

We welcome the training that Historic Environment Scotland are already making available before the new policy is due to be formally adopted on the 1st May 2019. HEPS was launched in conjunction with HES’ new Corporate Plan 2019 Onwards: Heritage for All.

In anticipation of the publication of the revised Historic Environment Policy for Scotland, BEFS decided to undertake an analysis of how existing historic environment policies are utilised within the planning system. Read the analysis here.

BEFS responded to the Scottish Government’s ‘Scotland’s Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-2024’ Consultation. This response was brief and related to the important role and place of the historic environment within the Programme – including within high-level outcomes, as well as how the qualities of buildings within the historic environment were described within the consultation.

If you are involved with heritage in your local community in any way then this is for you! Join the Scottish Community Heritage Alliance (SCHA) for a discussion day about Scottish Community Heritage. The University of St Andrews, the National Library of Scotland and Ergadia Heritage have teamed together to organise a series of 12 community heritage research workshops around Scotland, funded by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. They will be talking about networks, sharing ideas about how a new national network might look, and what it could do for community heritage.

Peter Burman is stepping down as Vice-Chair of BEFS Board. Peter will continue in his capacity as a Trustee and Chair of the Historic Environment Working Group (HEWG) and we thank him for his expertise and support of the team. We hope that the time freed up will allow Peter to fully enjoy his forthcoming wedding. We would like to welcome our new Vice-Chair of the Board, longstanding BEFS Trustee, Ian Baxter.

We are delighted to promote such a fantastic array of events, CPD and training opportunities, and vacancies from across the built environment sector again this week. Do check out the sections below for details!


Consultation on adding new categories to the definition of a House in Multiple Occupation
This consultation proposes adding new categories to the definition of HMO.
Opened 18 Apr 2019 and closes 8 Jul 2019.

DCMS Committee seeks evidence on the contribution of gardens to UK’s economy and tourism
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee is launching a short inquiry to explore how gardens contribute to UK tourism, the economy and to our national heritage.
The deadline for submitting evidence is Tuesday 7th May at 5pm.

Local Government Committee investigates empty homes
The Local Government & Communities Committee has launched an inquiry into empty homes and how they can be brought back into use.
The call for written views will close on Friday 17 May.

MSPs call for evidence on business rates reform
The Local Government & Communities Committee has asked for written views on the Non-Domestic Rates Bill introduced on Monday 25 March.
The call for evidence closes on Thursday 30 May.

Community Engagement Baseline Survey for Owners and Managers of Land
The Scottish Land Commission is working with communities and with people who own and manage land to make sure that all people in Scotland have the opportunity to be involved in decisions about land that significantly affect them.
The survey will be open for responses until the end of May 2019.

New-Build Homes (Buyer Protection) (Scotland) Bill
Graham Simpson has lodged a proposal for a New-Build Homes (Buyer Protection) (Scotland) Bill, intended to establish standard missives for the sale of new-build homes, including redress for purchasers in respect of defects in construction.
The deadline to respond to the consultation is Thursday 27 June.


Brexit uncertainties masking longer term challenges to the Scottish economy (FAI 17/04/19)

Simplified planning zone housing pilots: update April 2019 (SG 16/04/19)

Social Tenants in Scotland, 2017 (SG 16/04/19)

Planning (Scotland) Bill: Revised Explanatory Notes (SG 15/04/19)

Community ownership: case studies (SG 08/04/19)

Historic Environment Policy for Scotland (HES 04/04/19)

Historic Environment Scotland Corporate Plan 2019 Onwards (HES 04/04/19)

The future of seaside towns (HoL 04/04/19)

News Releases

Notre Dame Tragedy: a personal loss for every European (EN 16/04/19)
Europa Nostra, the Voice of cultural heritage in Europe, wishes to express its deepest sympathy and immense sadness following yesterday’s fire that devastated Notre Dame of Paris.

Capital’s concrete concert hall plans backed before crunch hearing (Scotsman 16/04/19)
Proposals to build the first new concert hall in Edinburgh for more than 100 years have been backed by planners ahead of a crunch hearing.

Calls for new property tax to boost Scottish council funds (Scotsman 15/04/19)
A new system of property tax and environmental charges should be introduced to boost Scottish council funding, according to a report.

Scotland from the Sky returns for a second series (HES 15/04/19)
Three-part BBC1 Scotland series reveals Scotland’s hidden ancient past through aerial photography held in the Historic Environment Scotland (HES) archives.

IHBC’s newest Context out: – Featuring Scotland’s ‘Highlands and Islands’ (IHBC 12/04/19)
The latest issue of IHBC’s membership journal Context is now out, themed around practice issues relating to conservation in Scotland’s ‘Highlands and Islands’, including the challenges and achievements of working in diverse rural areas.

Scottish Land Fund grants more than £500,000 for community ownership projects (SHN 11/04/19)
A Highlands residents association is one of four community groups to receive financial support from the Scottish Land Fund to transfer ownership of local projects to the hands of local people.

Brexit impasse continues to challenge the market (RICS 11/04/19)
The housing market remained subdued in March, a picture that has been evident in the sales market for several months now, according to our latest UK Residential Market Survey.

New House of Commons Library Note on VAT and Churches: from reforms to grants (IHBC 09/04/19)
The House of Commons Library has issued a new Briefing Note that examines how construction work for churches is treated for VAT in the UK; proposals for reform in this area, and the changes made in Budget 2012, removing the zero rate of VAT which had applied to alteration work on listed buildings, while also giving details of the current grant scheme for church repairs.

Over £4 million investment for Scotland’s historic heartlands (HES 05/04/19)
A £4.4 million funding boost for regeneration projects in Scotland’s historic heartlands was announced today by Historic Environment Scotland.

New Learning Section (Engine Shed) 
We have been making improvements to our website and have recently launched our brand new Learning Section. Take a look and explore the Engine Shed’s learning offering. Whether you are looking for formal learning opportunities, some Continuing Professional Development (CPD), or summer courses, we have something to suit all styles and levels of learning. Please get in touch if you have any feedback for us at

Opinion & Comment

‘Notre Dame and Glasgow Art School disasters have similar sense of horror and loss’ (Herald Scotland 16/04/19)

Why is Britain so bad at planning cities? (David Rudlin in the Guardian 11/04/19)

We Recycle Bottles. Why Don’t We Recycle Buildings? (SOM 03/2019)

Barcelona does What Terrifies Most Mayors: It Punches Parasitic Vacant Building Owners (Revitalisation 01/04/19)

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-20978: Bill Bowman, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 14/01/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the Scottish Retail Consortium’s call for local authorities to be able to use a portion of the town centres fund for reducing non-domestic rates.
Answered by Derek Mackay (23/01/2019)

Question S5W-20977: Bill Bowman, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 14/01/2019
To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish details of its proposed town centres fund, and what its position is on the Scottish Retail Consortium’s call for business improvement districts and other organisations to be eligible to bid for funding.
Answered by Derek Mackay (29/01/2019)


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

Rhind Lectures 2019, Hadrian’s Wall: A Study in Archaeological Exploration and Interpretation
Date & time: 6pm Friday 10th May @ 6:00 pm until 4pm Sunday 12th May
Venue: auditorium, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, EH9 3EL
The six lectures will be given over the course of a weekend by Professor David Breeze OBE, BA, PhD, Hon DLitt, FSA, Hon FSA Scot, FRSE, Hon CIfA. Hadrian’s Wall was written about even when it was still in use as a frontier. Interest continued through the next 1000 years, but it was the spirit of enquiry generated by the Renaissance which led to more focussed study. Once archaeological excavations started, the pace quickened. Now we have an enormous data base even though only about 5% of the Wall has been examined. The 2019 Rhind Lectures are organised by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and are sponsored by AOC Archaeology Group.

People Powered Planning: Putting Communities on the Front Foot
Date & times: Saturday 11th May 2019 10 – 4.30pm
Venue: Trades Hall, Central Glasgow G1 1UH.
We know there are many people in Scotland who feel baffled, alienated and disenfranchised by the planning system. Others have gained some understanding, learnt to navigate and decode the systems and others have taken ownership and grabbed what opportunities there are to shape their local environments and fulfill community aspirations. We hope that this conference will link people up, provide some information about where to go for help and give some handy tips on how to successfully engage in planning. Importantly we also hope the conference will help to create a sense of a movement of people who are willing to campaign for change to make the planning system more responsive to people who want the best for their local areas.

RICS Rural Mid-Session Conference
Date & time: 16 May 2019, 9:00-16:45
Venue: SNH Battleby , Redgorton, Perth, PH1 3EW.
This conference will equip you with the right knowledge to leverage current opportunities for growth and resilience in the sector, so you can be better prepared to mitigate any risks to your business. Covering vital sessions such as environmental risks and global valuation, private water supplies and unlocking the potential of water, this conference will bring together rural professionals from across the region to discuss challenges and share industry expertise specific to Scotland. Further sessions will take a closer look at best practice when it comes to the valuation of rural properties, agriculture rent review process, the Scottish Beaver Migration Scheme and resulting environment implications.

Play, Social Justice and Urban Space – Perspectives from India and Scotland
Date & time: Sat, 18 May 2019, 09:30.
Venue: Bellfield, 16B Bellfield Street, Portobello, Edinburgh EH15 2BP.
Play, Social Justice and Urban Space is an exciting international event exploring children’s use of space. How do children navigate their local environments? How do they claim space, making child-friendly environments in contested urban space? What role do adults have? The programme includes a rich mix of speakers from Scotland and India, music, art and dialogue. Light refreshments.

Scotland’s Housing: More than Just Numbers
Date & Time: Wed, 22 May 2019, 09:30 – 16:45.
Venue: Radisson Blu Hotel, 80 High St, Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1TH.
Over the last 60 years housing in Scotland has been dominated by a drive for quantity rather than quality. However, in the last 20 years dissatisfaction with the lack of affordable, environmentally benign and future-proofed housing in Scotland has been growing and we are beginning to see some positive signs of change. Inspiration is being taken from many places, including Germany and Switzerland. However, the innovations they illustrate are often perceived as “too difficult” to achieve in Scotland. The event will address this perception – that “it would never work here” – by providing a forum in which to debate the institutions, mechanisms and actors that need to be put in place to overcome the current barriers and to progress with the best possible advice and experience.

Lime Burning on Lismore – Scottish Working Party
Date & time: 23-27 May 2019, 9am-5pm each day
Venue: Park Lime Kilns, Lismore, Oban
SPAB Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and the Building Limes Forum invite you to the Scottish Working Party 2019 on the beautiful island of Lismore. This popular annual event attracts volunteers ranging from heritage and architectural professionals, to those with an informed amateur interest in buildings and history. Volunteering at the Working Party is a unique opportunity to learn from some of the country’s leading craftspeople in a relaxed setting. On Lismore we will be building a lime kiln, slaking and testing the lime, repairing the B listed kiln, and investigating the archaeology of the island.  Deadline for applications is 23 April 2019.

RICS Dilapidations Conference, Scotland
Date & time: 30 May 2019, 08:45-17:00
Venue: The Studio, 67 Hope St, Glasgow, G2 6AE
The conference will provide a comprehensive update and expert guidance on the current and future issues impacting commercial landlords and tenants, building surveyors and valuers. Delivered by leading speakers at the forefront of dilapidations issues, the programme addresses all crucial areas and offers practical guidance to better your day-to-day practice. Bringing together the combined expertise of surveyors, valuers and legal professionals, the event will provide a roundup of recent case law and analyse the impact it will have on your day-to-day practice. The programme will also provide an update on technical issues such as, building services, leases and supersession.

Making more of what we’ve got – repurposing unused and underused spaces
Date & Time: Thu, 6 June 2019, 09:00 – 16:30.
Venue: Hamish Wood Building, Glasgow Caledonian University.
This year’s Central Scotland Green Network Forum conference is presented in partnership with the Scottish Land Commission to explore the theme of repurposing unused and underused sites. Over 9,000 hectares of the CSGN area is classified as vacant and derelict; this accounts for 78% of Scotland’s total. It holds huge potential to help make better places that support health and wellbeing, help boost the economy and mitigate against the challenges of climate change. In addition, we also have large areas of land associated with housing, business and transport which have little or no function. By rejuvenating these areas communities stand to benefit from increased engagement and empowerment, tackling social inequalities while increasing local pride and ownership.

Bright Sparks: Shining a Light on Museum Learning
Date & Time: Mon, 17 June 2019, 09:30 – 16:30.
Venue: The Engine Shed, Forthside Way, Stirling, FK8 1QZ.
Does your work with schools need some stimulation? Are you looking to re-invigorate your learning programmes or develop your learning practice? Do you want to know more about the Curriculum for Excellence? Perhaps you’re just interested in exploring new ways of working strategically and operationally in formal learning…Our Bright Sparks one-day learning symposium will be filled with inspiration from industry leaders on topics such as policy, practical methods for dialogue with schools, STEM, how to build a learning programme, innovative models for learning, and work-based learning.

RICS Annual Dinner 2019, Scotland
Date & time: THU 27 JUN 2019, 07:00 PM – 11:00 PM.
Venue: Radisson Blu , 301 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8DL.
Join fellow property professionals for the RICS Annual Dinner 2019, Scotland – an opportunity to network with professionals in the region. The dinner will provide the ideal setting to entertain clients, socialise with colleagues and generate new business contacts. Ian Fergusson, RICS Chairman for Scotland looks forward to welcoming guest’s to this year’s Annual Dinner. Set to be held at the prestigious Radisson Blu in Glasgow, with return of this highly anticipated black-tie event, also comes your opportunity to meet up with fellow members, friends and business partners old and new. We have an evening of superb food, entertainment and networking lined up, so put the date in your diary and secure your place now to avoid missing out.

Scottish Living History Festival – Save the Date! 
Date: Saturday 31st August and Sunday 1st September.
Location: Callendar House, Falkirk.
As part of our 75th anniversary celebrations Archaeology Scotland are planning a special weekend family orientated free event for all – the Scottish Living History Festival will launch this year’s Scottish Archaeology Month. Two full days of interactive hands-on activities, digital experiences (such as recreating archaeological sites in Minecraft) locally sourced high quality food vendors, period musicians, engaging talks from experts, popular talks linking archaeology to Game of Thrones, Outlander and Outlaw King, ancient craft workshops, re-enactment groups including the Antonine Guard and guided walks will all be on offer. There will be displays of skills in leather working, jewellery making, kilt making, metal working and promotion of artisans and craftspeople as well as many hands-on activities for children (simulated excavations, finds sorting, ancient writing, exploring artefact investigation kits, archaeological detective work, archery, marching with Roman soldiers and life as a Viking). We also plan to recreate a Roman milestone where young people can try out stone carving under expert supervision. More details on the website in due course.

Monument in Monuments – Conference
Dates: Monday 2 – Wednesday 4 September 2019
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling
Cost: Early bird ticket: £125-250 (until Friday 19 April). Full Conference: £300. Day ticket: £60-120.
Our inaugural conference, Monuments in Monuments 2019, brings together conservation practitioners, students and professionals to investigate the challenges facing monument conservation. From Monday 2 – Wednesday 4 September 2019, hear from specialists and experts from around the globe, and explore how traditional skills, emerging technology and conservation science are helping to overcome these challenges. For more information and registration options, visit our website. Our early bird ticket discounts end on Friday 19 April. Student tickets are also available.


CPD: Conserving Concrete 
Date & time: Weds. 24th April 2019 | 12:30-1:30pm.
Venue: 54 Bell Street. Glasgow.
As the architectural heritage of the first half of the 20th century continues to age, an understanding of its more modern materials and methods is crucial to conserving our interwar and post-war buildings. Peter Drummond, FRIAS RIBA and director of Peter Drummond Architects, will present a session on conservation and repair approaches to architectural and decorative concrete. £10 per person / £5 for students, including light lunch.

Conservation 101
Date & time: Friday 3 May 2019, 9.30am – 12.15pm.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling
This course is the first in a series of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) events which will be held quarterly in Stirling in partnership with RIAS and RICS. Hear from Historic Environment Scotland’s experts covering a wide range of topics in conservation. For further programme information and to register check our website. If you can’t attend this event in person, you can also register for our webinar. This event is free. Booking essential.

CPD: Damp in Traditional Buildings
Date & times: Weds. 8th May 2019 | 12:30-1:30pm.
Venue: 54 Bell Street, Glasgow.
When buildings become damp, either from external water ingress or from internal humidity and condensation, their materials decay faster and their occupants can be exposed to health hazards. Georgina Allison, conservation architect and lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, will remind us how traditional buildings are designed to deal with damp, and what conservation issues and solutions damp buildings may present. £10 per person /£5 for students, including light lunch.

Repair and Maintenance of Masonry Arch Bridges
Date & time: 24 May 2019, 09.30 – 16.30.
Venue: Charlestown Workshops, Fife.
Cost: £190 + vat …… Remember if you are a BLF, IHBC, RICS or RIAS member you are eligible for 20% discount on this seminar. Please just give us a call with your member number.
This one day masterclass looks at all aspects of masonry arch bridge construction and the materials utilized to determine the most appropriate repair schemes. It is suitable for building professionals, contractors, engineers and others involved in heritage work.

RICS Commercial Property Conference, Scotland
Date & time: THU 6 JUN 2019, 10:00 AM – 04:00 PM.
Venue: Radisson Blu, 80 High Street, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH1 1TH.
The commercial property market is in transition and joining fellow professionals from across the sector to network, discuss and analyse key issues and opportunities, is as important as ever. The RICS Commercial Property Conference returns to Scotland to cover the latest policy, market and technological changes to help you stay ahead. This year’s programme will bring together agents, occupiers and investors to strengthen your understanding of the current economic outlook, latest occupier trends, growth opportunities, and risks to the commercial property sector. Whether you are in retail, leisure or office, there will be a session to update you on the current market outlook.
Attend this conference to be at the forefront of what is happening in the industry.
4 hours formal CPD. Link to Programme.

Summer School
Dates: Monday 3 – Friday 7 June 2019
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling.
Cost: full week £450 or per day £100
Join us for an exciting and varied week of seminars, workshops and day trips in building conservation. This course is the perfect introduction to building conservation, and is a key event in our annual programme. Each day will focus on a different topic. If you cannot commit to a full week, we offer day tickets so you can attend the days that are most relevant to you. For more information about the programme or to book a place, visit the Summer School page on our website.

RICS CPD Day, Aberdeen 2019
Date & time: THU 20 JUN 2019, 08:30 AM – 05:10 PM.
Venue: Hilton Hotel Aberdeen Treetops, 161 Springfield Road, Aberdeen, AB15 7AQ
Enhance your capabilities and knowledge around today’s ever-changing market trends, legislation, and technical guidance. Learn from leading industry professionals and take away practical solutions which can be implemented into your daily practice – benefiting both your business and personal professional development. Everyone has different topics they are interested in, which is why this conference offers a choice of 18 breakout sessions to allow you to tailor the day specifically to your personal CPD needs. Choose from a range of practical breakout sessions, ensuring that the CPD you are set to gain will best meet your needs. 6 hours formal CPD. Link to Programme.

Rock to Roof
Location: Mount Stuart, Bute
Historic Environment Scotland in partnership with the Mount Stuart Trust, have extracted a small quantity of slate block from the historic quarry at Ardmaleish point. SPAB Fellow Richard Jordan, will be delivering a series of workshops and demonstrations in the grounds of Mount Stuart estate on splitting slate block into roofing slate. Scotland has a long history of slate quarrying. Slate from the Isle of Bute was recorded as early as 1445 when 130,000 slates produced from the quarry at Ardmaleish Point were used to repair the roof of the King’s Castle at Dumbarton.  By the 1880s, slate production on Bute had all but ceased until the Hilton quarry was temporarily re-opened to provide roofing slate for Wester Kames Castle. It closed soon after in 1920. Event details and booking instructions will follow shortly. For any enquiries, please contact


The Society is recruiting for a new ScARF Project Officer
The Society of Antiquaries of Scotland is seeking an exceptional candidate for the post of ScARF Project Officer. The post will help deliver the Society’s role within Aim 2 of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy. The successful candidate will assist the ScARF Project Manager with the development and updating of the Scottish Archaeological Research Framework. Work will include helping to co-ordinate projects to create and publish new regional research frameworks as well as updating existing frameworks. The role will also build on the success of the recent ScARF Museums project to help encourage and build capacity for research on archaeological collections in museums.
Closing Date: Monday 22nd April 2019.

Planning Vacancies at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority
Do you have skills or experience in Development Management, Design, Built Heritage, or Conservation Architecture? If so, read on! Following recent changes with staff moving to promoted roles, and our planning team set to be as busy as ever with lots of planning applications in the pipeline, we have exciting opportunities to join the award-winning Planning teams at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority. These three roles provide a rare chance to be part of a high performing team within an ambitious organisation delivering significant benefits within Scotland’s first National Park and beyond. Our focus is on getting the right skills and experience for these roles so we are happy to talk flexibly about working hours.
Closing date is: Tuesday 23rd April 2019 @ 12noon.

Advocacy & Communications Officer
Are you passionate about the Heritage Sector? Do you want to work at the heart of heritage, shaping the future of The Heritage Alliance? The Heritage Alliance is the heritage sector’s umbrella organisation and advocacy body and we are seeking an outstanding person to take up the key role of Advocacy and Communications Officer. The successful candidate will join the Alliance’s small, busy team based in offices in Southwark, just behind the Tate Modern.
The closing date for applications is 1st May 2019 with interviews expected a week later.

Development & Membership Manager
Are you passionate about the Heritage Sector? Do you want to work at the heart of heritage, shaping the future of The Heritage Alliance? The Heritage Alliance is the heritage sector’s umbrella organisation and advocacy body and we are seeking an outstanding person to take up the key role of Development and Membership Manager. The successful candidate will join the Alliance’s small, busy team based in offices in Southwark, just behind the Tate Modern.
The closing date for applications is 5th May 2019 with interviews expected a week later.

Vacancies at A&DS
Architecture and Design Scotland is looking for 4 people to join our team. If you would like to help deliver good architecture and successful places, collaborate with others and promote the value of good design, then we’d love to hear from you.

  • Principal Design Officer (B3)
  • Senior Design Officers (B2)
  • Design Officers (B1)

Closing date: Midnight Monday 6 May 2019.

Appointment of Chair of Trustees
Edinburgh World Heritage is seeking an individual with drive and enthusiasm to replace Dr Brian Lang CBE, FRSE, in chairing its energetic and professional Board of Trustees, working with them and the Director to take the organisation forward during a time of change.
Closing date: by 5pm on Monday 27th May 2019.

Commissioner Roles at Historic England
We are currently recruiting three people to join our Commission, the group of experts that make up our governing body. We are seeking candidates with backgrounds in architecture, archaeology and heritage-based tourism. Find out more about these roles and how to apply