BEFS Bulletin – New Policy & Strategy Manager

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


BEFS is delighted to welcome Hazel Johnson into the role of BEFS Policy & Strategy Manager. From late May Hazel will be joining the team having previously worked for Historic Environment Scotland. Her broad range of sector knowledge, experience, and policy work makes her a fantastic addition to BEFS. We look forward to letting Hazel introduce herself once she starts – for now we’ll just say a big HELLO from the whole team.

BEFS has undertaken an overview of policy commitments that would have implications for Scotland’s built environment found in the manifestos of political parties ahead of the Scottish parliamentary elections, with some yet to the published. The most significant change to previous manifestos is that most are giving significant attention to the climate emergency. Read more here.

BEFS has also collated manifestos produced by heritage and built environment organisations. The most recent additions include contributions from the National Trust for Scotland and the Cockburn Association. For advice on becoming an advocate for the built environment check out our Advocacy Toolkit.

BEFS is delighted to share that its application to Rebuilding Heritage was successful. Members of BEFS team will be attending the Rebuilding Leadership Training and the Inclusion in the Workplace Training. The Rebuilding Heritage programme provides invaluable training, free resources and webinars and BEFS would encourage heritage and built environment organisations to apply when round 6 opens in July 2021.

BEFS, Museums Galleries Scotland and greenspace Scotland are delighted that the ‘Surviving to Thriving’ Business Support Programme kicks off next week. To celebrate the programme starting, and our Scotland wide action towards increasing the resilience of the sector, we’d love to hear what resilience looks like to you and your organisation. Find out what participating organisations have to say about resilience on social media and share your thoughts on Monday 26th April with #Thriving and by tagging @MuseumsGalScot@TheBEFS@greenspacescot.

BEFS responded to Historic Environment Scotland’s (HES) consultation on the draft ‘Talking About Heritage’ guidance, which closed mid-December 2020. HES are now in the process of incorporating the feedback they received, with a view to publishing the final guidance as an online resource later this year. You can find a summary of the feedback, and an update on what they plan to do next, online at We Asked, You Said, We Did.

HES, Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIFA) and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) have joined forces to support heritage organisations to create new jobs for young unemployed people though the KickStart programme. They are looking for heritage organisations of all types including third, public and private sector that can offer six months of meaningful work to a young unemployed person. Kickstart will cover minimum wage salary up to 25 hours a week and NIC’s, an additional £1000 will be available for the employer to spend on training or equipment needed as part of the programme. The programme will run until December 2021 and jobs can start anytime within this period.

BEFS extends condolences to all those mourning the sudden passing of Peter Ainsworth. We know our colleagues at many organisations, but particularly The Heritage Alliance who were privileged to have him as their Chair, will feel his loss keenly. A heritage giant has been lost and our thoughts go out to his family and friends.


Scotland’s Churches Trust: Helping Sustain Our Places Of Worship Survey

Consultation on Scottish skills requirements for energy efficiency, zero emissions and low carbon heating systems, microgeneration and heat networks for homes.
Closes 30 April 2021.

Heat in buildings strategy – achieving net zero emissions: consultation
Closes 30 April 2021.

Inquiry: Local government and the path to net zero
You can submit evidence until Friday 30 April 2021.

Working On and Near to Scheduled Monuments
Closes 6 May 2021.

Local Place Plan Regulations consultation
Closes 25 June 2021.

Petition: To create a tax incentive to favour retrofit instead of demolition and new build
8 August 2021.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance (SG 16/04/21)

Scottish Planner – The Journal of RTPI Scotland (RTPI Scotland 04/21)

European Cultural Heritage Green Paper – Full Paper (EN 22/03/21)

European Cultural Heritage Green Paper – Executive Summary (EN 22/03/21)

News Releases

UK enshrines new target in law to slash emissions by 78% by 2035 (DBEIS 20/04/21)
The UK’s sixth Carbon Budget will incorporate the UK’s share of international aviation and shipping emissions for the first time, to bring the UK more than three-quarters of the way to net zero by 2050..

Tesco Community Grants open for applications! (GS 20/04/21)
Tesco Community Grant scheme will award grants to charities and community organisations to fund local good causes whose focus is on supporting children and families.

Apply now for the Scottish Charity Awards 2021! (SCVO 19/04/21)
The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) is calling for charities and individuals across the country to apply for its annual charity awards.

Call on politicians to protect battlefields (NTS 16/04/21)
We’re calling on politicians to support Culloden’s bid to become a recognised World Heritage Site and increase protection for Scotland’s historic battlefields.

SPAB Receives Culture Recovery Fund Award (SPAB 12/04/21)
We are absolutely delighted to announce that the SPAB is one of the 476 heritage organisations who will share £44M from the Culture Recovery Fund.

Preserving Cultural Heritage, Supporting the Green Transition (ICON 12/04/21)
Icon Chief Executive, Sara Crofts, offers some reflections on amplifying messages about the need to mainstream climate action into cultural heritage.

Placing People at the Heart of Heritage for the Week of World Heritage Sites (EWH 11/04/21)
Europe’s historic cities are individually unique and beloved for their original architecture, varied settings, and distinctive history and heritage. But they face increasingly common problems.

Scottish finalists unveiled for RTPI Awards 2021 (SCN 08/04/21)
Projects, individuals and teams from across Scotland are in the running to win at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2021, it has been announced.

Europa Nostra and EIB Institute announce Europe’s 7 Most Endangered heritage sites 2021 (EN 08/04/21)
Europa Nostra – the European voice of civil society committed to cultural and natural heritage – together with its partner, the European Investment Bank Institute, this morning announced the List of 7 Most Endangered monuments and heritage sites in Europe for 2021.

The Arts and Cultural Impact Fund calls for more applicants (NLHF 07/04/21)
The Arts and Culture Impact Fund was established to provide loans which will help organisations in the arts, cultural and heritage sectors to build financial resilience and sustainability and support local communities.

How Europe’s World Heritage Cities are tackling common challenges (EWH 04/21)
From the effects of over-tourism, and the need to better conserve our valuable ancient buildings, to addressing the challenges post-COVID-19, there is clearly an opportunity to better manage our historic cities by learning from each other and sharing best practice.

Putting Europe’s shared heritage at the heart of the European Green Deal (EN 22/03/21)
Tackling climate change is this generation’s defining task and Europe’s rich and diverse cultural heritage can help.

Opinion & Comment

Steven Tolson: Housing to 2040 – a dream or promise for real deeds? (SHC 16/04/21)

Urbanistica Podcast: The making of smarter and more livable cities

Putting Town Centres First Podcast Series: Alison Harvey, from the Heritage Council, speaks with Jamie McNamara, Chair of SPAB Scotland


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

Icon Scotland Group: Take 5 Webinar, Spring Sessions
Date & time: 5 May 2021, 16:00-17:00.
Online: Via Zoom.
A new instalment of Icon Scotland Group’s ideas-sharing events, with 5 new 5 minute presentations by conservators of different disciplines about some of their recent projects: 1) Senses Working Over Time: tactile engagement for written heritage, by Victoria Stevens ACR; 2) Conservation of an Iranian Tile Panel at the National Museums of Scotland, by Holly Daws; 3)Learn by doing: the casting, finishing and patinating of bronzes, by Heleen van Santen; 4) Conservation Live: public engagement from a digital distance, by Lesley Stevenson ACR FIIC; 5) Conditional Confusion: considering variations in language used for object documentation, by Beth Gillions.

Date & time: 6pm, Thursday 13 May 2021
Online: Zoom
Victorian Edinburgh was a melting pot of industry and people. The industrial revolution created new work, attracting migrants searching for a better life. The reality however was often different, with many families having no choice but to live in the filthy, disease-ridden, overcrowded slums of the Old Town. In our latest online event, Edinburgh World Heritage is delighted to welcome Richard Rodger of the University of Edinburgh as he explores the terrible slum conditions of Victorian Edinburgh and the extraordinary work of Dr Henry Littlejohn.

IHBC Annual School 2021 Brighton: Historic Places, People Places – Making the best of the places we have today, for those who live with them tomorrow
Dates: 17 – 18 June 2021.
All places have history – in landscapes, built fabric and memories – and that history shapes how people live, use and work with them, today and in the future. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, billions of pounds were being invested to support struggling urban and rural places, old and new, and their surrounding areas. Not only has the pandemic exacerbated these familiar problems, but it has also highlighted new ones. The IHBC’s Brighton 2021 School will address these and related challenges, seeking data, connecting thinking and shaping solutions.


Architectural Conservation CPD: Historic Shopfronts
Date & time: Wednesday 26 May, 12:30-13:30 (log-on from 12:15)
Online: via Microsoft Teams, streamed live from Lower City Mills, Perth.
Marking 10 years since ‘The Historic Shopfronts of Perth’ was published, the second session in the 2020 CPD programme is a historic shopfront feature delivered by shopfronts expert Lindsay Lennie. Whether you are starting out in a buildings related career, looking to refresh your conservation knowledge, encounter historic buildings as part of your work portfolio, or have limited knowledge of the best conservation practice to employ on a project involving traditionally constructed buildings, this is the CPD programme for you. Sessions are recognised CPD by the IHBC and Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF).

Architectural Conservation CPD: Statutory Protection and Managing Change to Listed Buildings Presenter: Elizabeth McCrone
Date & time: Wednesday 30 June, 12:30-13:30 (log-on with light refreshments from 12:15)
Online: via Microsoft Teams, streamed live from Lower City Mills, Perth.
The third session in the 6-part CPD programme focuses on listed buildings and the legislative framework that protects them. Delivered by HES’s Head of Designations Elizabeth McCrone, this session will cover the role of designation, recent reviews, applying for listed building consent and general approached to managing change to listed buildings with examples. Whether you are starting out in a buildings related career, looking to refresh your conservation knowledge, encounter historic buildings, or have limited knowledge of the best conservation practices, this is the CPD programme for you. Sessions are recognised CPD by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF).


Volunteer Co-ordinator
PAS are looking to recruit a Volunteer Co-ordinator (on a fixed-term contract until 31 October 2021) to co-ordinate volunteers to support PAS’s activities and to assist with general office support.
Closing at 9am on Tuesday 4 May 2021.