BEFS Bulletin – Scottish Historic Environment Audit

Get the latest historic environment events, jobs, news and publications in BEFS Bulletin.


Stakeholders provided feedback on the draft 2016 Scottish Historic Environment Audit (SHEA) headline statistics at a workshop organised by BEFS and HES. Stakeholders valued the impartial reporting of the SHEA as a factual description of the amount and state of the historic environment, which complements current efforts to measure its benefits in terms of people’s wellbeing. Stakeholders were keen to see greater consistency in data sources, additional contextual information supporting the data and use of digital opportunities. Read the full SHEA workshop report.

The name and remit of the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee has changed to include culture and tourism matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Relations. The committee’s new name is Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee.

The Scottish Household Survey 2015 statistics have been released and report that visits to historical or archaeological places are up 5 percentage points (28% to 33%) on 2012.

The Scottish Government held a two-day workshop in mid-September as part of the planning reform agenda and a list of participants in the 6 working groups is now available. A summary of the outcomes is yet to be published.

Ross Martin, Chief Executive of Scottish Council for Development and Industry, reflects on the connection between place and productivity in BEFS latest thought-provoking blog.

Good to see the launch of Under One Roof, the new free website designed to help the half million plus private flat owners in Scotland with the complex and important task of carrying out repairs to their shared properties.


Consultation on proposals for regulations and policy supporting the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016. (SG 03/10/16)
The Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Act 2016 creates the new private residential tenancy which will replace current assured and short assured tenancies. The purpose of the new tenancy is to improve security of tenure for tenants balanced with appropriate safeguards for landlords, lenders and investors.
Runs from 3 Oct 2016 to 25 Dec 2016

Brexit impact on creative industries, tourism and digital market examined (BP 09/16)
The Culture Media and Sport Parliamentary (CMS) Committee is calling for written submissions on creative industries, tourism and the digital markets, with a deadline of Friday 28 October 2016.


The Economic Implications of Brexit (SP 06/10/16)
The Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) were commissioned by the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee to undertake economic modelling work to explore the long-term implications of Brexit for Scotland. This briefing summarises the results of this economic modelling.

Planning Performance Statistics, 2016/17, Q1 (SG 05/10/16)
This report presents the latest summary statistics on planning decision-making and timescales for April to June 2016 (Quarter 1), as well as historic data going back to quarter one of 2012/13. It is based on data collected by the Scottish Government from Local and Planning Authorities as part of the Planning Performance Framework (introduced in 2012).

DCMS Statistical Handbook (DCMS 28/09/16)
This release summarises Official Statistics relevant to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Scotland’s People Annual Report: Results from the 2015 Scottish Household Survey (SG 27/09/16)

Heritage Counts 2016: Heritage and the Economy
This fact sheet provides a summary of the key figures available from existing research which show the economic benefits of the historic environment. The document describes how heritage drives growth by attracting international tourism, boosting local economies and providing thousands of jobs. It also introduces new research: the Heritage Economic Impact Indicator Workbook 2016.


Planning decision times published (SG 05/10/16)
Latest quarterly statistics show faster average decision times for local developments but slower average decision times for major developments compared to the previous quarter and previous year. Statistics on quarterly planning performance in Scotland have been released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

Green Space Funding (SG 03/10/16)
£8.25 million EU green infrastructure fund announced. A multi-million-pound fund to develop green spaces in some of Scotland’s most deprived areas has been announced by Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Keith Brown. The money – which comes from EU funding – will support projects like new nature reserves and parks and green spaces in urban areas, benefiting communities across Scotland.

Reassurance for registered social landlords (SG 29/09/16)
Housing Bill to be introduced. Legislation which will help support the delivery of 50,000 new affordable homes is to be introduced by the Scottish Government. By ensuring Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) can be classified as private bodies, the bill will ensure that RSLs can borrow money privately in addition to the Scottish Government’s committed investment of £3 billion in affordable housing.

Life for people in Scotland in 2015 (SG 27/09/16)
The majority of people in Scotland rate their neighbourhood as a good place to live and have a strong sense of belonging to their neighbourhood. Most people also participated in sport and exercise and engaged in some type of cultural activity in 2015, whilst around a quarter volunteered. Around a half of households were positive about their finances. These are just some of the findings from the wide-ranging 2015 Scottish Household Survey.

Loans to help make warmer homes (SG 21/09/16)
More people will be able to make their homes warm and water-tight through a new £10 million fund. The pilot scheme in Glasgow, Argyll and Bute and Perthshire will provide equity loans of up to £40,000 to home owners on low incomes to help them make essential repairs to leaking roofs and building structures. This work is often necessary before energy efficiency measures like solid-wall insulation can be installed.


Scotland’s Towns Week 2016 (STP 06/10/16)
Scotland’s Towns Week officially launched in the Scottish Parliament yesterday (5th October 2016) during an evening reception which celebrated the diversity of Scotland’s small and rural towns, ahead of Towns Week which runs 7th – 13th November, Scotland-wide.

‘Queer histories’ recognised by Historic England (IHBC 01/10/16)
The Pride of Place project being conducted by Historic England has led to new listings and a greater recognition of the importance of LGBTQ heritage.

Scotland’s thatched buildings recorded for the first time (HES 29/09/16)
All 305 of Scotland’s historic, traditional thatched buildings have been recorded for the very first time as part of a unique field work project, which lasted 18 months.

SNH pledges commitment to empowering communities (SNH 29/09/16)
A set of good practice principles designed to improve the way organisations and groups engage with local communities has been firmly backed by Scottish Natural Heritage. SNH has added its support to the National Standards for Community Engagement, launched today (Thursday) by Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government and Housing.

Progress on the creation of Historic Wales (WG 29/09/16)
Ken Skates, the Cabinet Secretary with responsibility for Culture, has reiterated his commitment to the creation of new body, Historic Wales and announced he has asked the Director of the National Trust Wales to chair a steering group to progress the next phase of this work.

New Site Could Save Owners “Hundreds of Millions!” (RIAS 21/09/16)
Under One Roof, a major new free website designed to help the half million plus private flat owners in Scotland with the complex and important task of carrying out repairs to their shared properties, has been launched by Scottish Government Housing Minister, Kevin Stewart MSP at an event in Glasgow. Written by Annie Flint and John Gilbert, the authors of the acclaimed Tenement Handbook originally published by the RIAS over 20 years ago, the site contains over 100 articles on flat owners’ legal responsibilities towards their co-owners and over 70 technical information articles that enable owners to identify repair problems and understand quotations from builders. The site has over 100, specially commissioned, drawings, 200 photographs and a Repair Symptoms Checker to help owners pin down what is affecting their building’s health. Downloadable model letters will make the whole process easier for owners. Advice on dealing with owners who refuse to participate in critical repairs is also provided.

WG introduce Land Transaction Tax: 1st Wales’ own in 800 years (IHBC 21/09/16)
The Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes (Wales) Bill is to be introduced in the latest legislative programme of the Welsh Government (WG), and its first Welsh tax in almost 800 years.

European Year of Cultural Heritage proposed for 2018 (EC 20/09/16)
The European Commission has published its long-awaited proposal for the European Year of Cultural Heritage in 2018, which includes a ‘Call for ideas’.


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”.

S5W-03377 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to
encourage the private sector to build more homes to alleviate housing shortages. (SP 03/10/16)

S5W-03378 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on extending the Scottish Housing Quality Standard to (a) the private rented sector and (b) tied housing. (SP03/10/16)

S5W-03171 Mark Ruskell: To ask the Scottish Government what action it takes to overcome barriers in (a) getting agreement and (b) securing finances for communal work on multi-tenanted properties (SP 27/09/16)


Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.

Question S5W-02272: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 01/09/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the call on 30 August 2016 from the Existing Homes Alliance for the forthcoming programme for government to set an objective for a national infrastructure programme that supports every home to reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C by 2025.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (20/09/2016)

Question S5W-02271: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 01/09/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the call on 30 August 2016 from the Existing Homes Alliance for the forthcoming budget to significantly increase public investment in home energy efficiency measures.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (15/09/2016)

Question S5W-02270: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/09/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to improve the provision of maintenance and repairs for social housing.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (20/09/2016)

Question S5W-02267: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/09/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to improve the condition of the current housing stock.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (20/09/2016)

Question S5W-02263: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/09/2016
To ask the Scottish Government how many homes have received support from the Rural Poverty Task Force.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (15/09/2016)

Question S5W-02262: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/09/2016
To ask the Scottish Government how it is using its powers under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 to improve the standard of private sector housing.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (20/09/2016)

Question S5W-02438: Oliver Mundell, Dumfriesshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/09/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what the average cost per unit was for new social housing built by local authorities for (a) one-, (b) two- and (c) three-bedroom properties in each year since 2007.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (20/09/2016)


S5M-01693 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Names and Remits of Mandatory Committees—That the Parliament agrees, under Rule 6.1, that the names and remits of the following mandatory committees be amended—

Name of Committee: European and External Relations Committee
New name: Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee
Remit: To the remit set out in Rule 6.8 shall be added—
Culture and tourism matters falling within the responsibility of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Relations. (SP 29/09/16)


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

When: 27 October 2016 from 9am – 4.30pm.
Where: Haddo House, Methlick, Ellon, Aberdeenshire
Through a combination of inspiring case studies and expert testimony, this conference celebrates how opportunities have been identified in the creative re-use of Aberdeenshire’s built heritage; sharing knowledge and ideas on how projects can be funded, solutions found and challenges overcome. Conference Chairman: Andrew P K Wright OBE. Speakers: Richard Murphy OBE, Tom Duff, Paul Higson, David Narro, David Chouman, Ian Davidson, David W Walker and Alan Marshall.
There is also an evening event on Thursday 27th October, and site visits planned for Friday 28th October. Tickets can be purchased for the various elements of the conference, and a student discount is offered.
Contact: Twitter: @NESPTconference #CastlestoClockTowers.
For more information and to book tickets visit the .

Scotland’s Towns Conference
When: 9th November.
Where: Kirkcaldy.
Bookings are open for the Annual Scotland’s Towns Conference. The Conference will centre around how we can further unlock the potential of Scotland’s towns. Book before 14th October to be in with a chance to attend for free! All bookings made before 14th October, 5pm will be entered into the draw. Scotland’s Towns Conference 2016 comes at a key moment for Scotland’s towns. The hosting of the first ever World Towns Leadership Summit in Edinburgh this summer highlighted that Scotland is leading the way in town transformation and partnership working across sectors – and even borders. Join leading practitioners, policy-makers, and other key stakeholders to discuss how our towns can flourish through local strategies with partnership and innovation at their core.

Celebrating Civic Pride – Booking Open!
When: Tuesday 15th November 2016, 10am – 4pm.
Where: Linlithgow Burgh Halls.
The next Scottish Civic Trust annual conference will showcase and celebrate the work of local civic trusts, amenity societies and heritage volunteers. The people that make up these groups work tirelessly to promote and protect local heritage, places and spaces. The conference will provide them with a platform to show what they have achieved, explain why they do it and set out the challenges and difficulties they face.

19th Annual Plenderleith Lecture: “Antiquities trafficking – 21st century developments”
When: 24th November 2016. Lecture: 6-7pm/Icon Scotland Group AGM: 5.15-5.45pm/Drinks reception: 7-8.30pm.
Where: St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art, Castle St, Glasgow G4 0RH.
The Scottish Conservation sector’s keynote annual Plenderleith lecture for 2016 will address a controversial and highly topical subject – the global trafficking of antiquities and other cultural objects. Icon Scotland Group is pleased to welcome this year’s speaker – Doctor Neil Brodie, Senior Research Fellow, Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa Project at the University of Oxford. A separate free CPD event is being planned for the afternoon of the day, from 2-4pm based around the GSA Mackintosh fire recovery project.


Measuring Performance: Evidence to inform strategy in your place
Date: 12 October 2016. Time: 2pm – 4.30pm.
Location: Architecture and Design Scotland, Edinburgh.
Learn more about Understanding Scottish Places Toolkit, the Place Standard Tool and the Town Centre Toolkit in this very practical half day workshop. Experts will guide you to use, connect and develop these tools for your own place and to build an evidence base to inform strategy.

Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage: training
There are places available on upcoming fundraising training, including a brand new ‘in focus’ event ‘Storytelling using media’ which will help you articulate your case for support using film. Also a dedicated seminar for Trustees – ‘the Role of the Board in Fundraising’, and an in focus session on applying to Trusts and Foundations, with a one-to-one fundraising surgeries as part of the event as well. All events cost just £25 + VAT for small organisations (or £50 + VAT for larger organisations). There are also travel bursaries available.


Call for new SRCT Board Members
A charity caring for nationally important churches is looking for dynamic new trustees to join the board at an exciting time of change for the organisation. Many of Scotland’s historic places of worship face an uncertain future and the SRCT is gearing up to respond to the challenge. We are seeking additional board members to play a vital role in the transition of the SRCT to a more entrepreneurial and financially resilient organisation: achieving our objective of safeguarding Scotland’s religious heritage by working with local people to conserve, regenerate, and put historic churches back at the heart of communities.

The Scottish Redundant Churches Trust (SRCT) is a charitable trust (SC024407) founded in 1996. Having acquired 7 former churches of national significance and won awards for our conservation work, we are breaking new ground with an innovative £2.4 million project at the A-listed ‘at-risk’ St Margaret’s Church, Braemar.

New Trustees will assist in driving forward the transition process and the shaping and resourcing of the organisation to meet the changing needs of the religious heritage sector. They will also support the raising of the profile of the sector and its cultural and social value. We’re looking for people who support the objectives of the Trust and can offer skills or experience in some of the following areas:
finance or business; property management; tourism or arts; marketing, PR or media; fundraising; law; And who think strategically, enjoy working collaboratively with colleagues and are interested in the heritage sector.

Applications should be by CV and a covering letter explaining why you are interested in the role and how you think your skills and experience relate to our work. If you would like to know more please contact our Director, Victoria Collison-Owen on or 0131 563 5135. Scottish Redundant Churches Trust, 15 North Bank Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2LP. Scottish Charity SC024407. A Charitable Company Limited by Guarantee SC162884

Scottish Civic Trust are recruiting National Casework Volunteers
National Casework Volunteers assist with SCT planning casework across Scotland. Specific tasks would include:
1.    Planning applications monitoring: This would involve reviewing lists of planning applications across Scotland to identify appropriate cases for SCT to comment on. This would also include inputting the details of applications into the SCT casework database.
2.    Case review: This would involve reviewing case details/drawings, and drafting responses to planning applications from SCT in consultation with the Director.
Further details can be found here.


IHBC welcomes its first Vice President: Mike Brown IHBC (IHBC 23/09/16)
Following formal agreement by IHBC trustees in April to extend capacity at the highest levels of the organization, the Board is delighted to announce the election of its first Vice President, Mike Brown, who takes up this annual, renewable, portfolio-led post linked first to ongoing sector discussions with England’s Historic Environment Forum, HEF.

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.