BEFS Bulletin – Policy & Strategy Manager Vacancy

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


BEFS is seeking a new Policy and Strategy Manager. The role involves engaging with BEFS members on strategic policy and legislative developments relating to Scotland’s built environment; informing members of strategic policy developments; co-ordinating views; and promoting these through consultation responses and legislative opportunities. We are seeking the right individual, who enjoys strategic thinking, the detail of policy consultations, and is highly self-motivated, to fit into a small friendly team. The deadline for applications is noon on Tuesday 6th April 2021. More details here.

Ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections on 6th May 2021, BEFS has collated a list of manifestos produced by heritage and built environment organisations. The manifestos outline information on specific strategic issues, facts and details, and the corresponding language and messaging that can be adapted, adopted and supported by you. For advice on becoming an advocate for the built environment, including how to contact your local politicians, click through our Advocacy Toolkit. You may also wish to register for SURF’s Scottish Election Question Time on 15th April 2021 or the SCVO’s National Hustings on 8th April 2021.

The Scottish Government has published Scotland’s first long-term national housing strategy, Housing to 2040. The strategy outlines plans to deliver 100,000 affordable homes by 2032, with at least 70% available for social rent. Other priorities include: tackling high rents in the private sector through a Rented Sector Strategy and Housing Bill; decarbonising heat in homes; establishing a new fund to bring empty homes back into use; supporting development in rural and island areas; and undertaking an audit of current housing and homelessness legislation to understand how best to realise the right to adequate housing. Plans for a new Housing Standard to apply the same set of standards to homes of all tenures, whether owned or rented, will also be published.

BEFS is delighted to see that the Tenement Maintenance Working Group’s recommendations have been included in the Housing to 2040 strategy, and that the proposed universal housing standard aligns with the recommendations and a research paper BEFS commissioned from Douglas Robertson, ‘Why Flats Fall Down’.

The Just Transition Commission has published its report A National Mission for a fairer, greener Scotland. The Commission started work in early 2019, with a remit to provide practical and affordable recommendations. This report sets out their view of the key opportunities and challenges for Scotland and recommends practical steps to achieving a just transition.

The Scottish Government has pushed Scotland’s Third Land Use Strategy. It sets out the Government’s vision, objectives and policies to achieve sustainable land use. The strategy covers the next five years and aims to provide a more holistic understanding of land, the demands we place upon it and the benefits we get from it.

A new report published by Community Land Scotland states that 20% of all community owned assets are now urban, and not just rural. This change came about following the Community Right to Buy extended to cover urban areas in 2016 and is a remarkable achievement in that short time.  Almost £7m of funding was provided by the Scottish Land Fund to enable these buy-outs. The report can be found here.


Local Place Plan Regulations consultation
Opened 15 March 2021 and closes 25 June 2021.

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

Clyde Mission Call for Ideas
Opened 1 March and closes 29 March 2021.

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

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

Climate Change – Net Zero Nation: draft public engagement strategy – consultation
Closes 31 Mar 2021.

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.

Consultation Responses

Housing to 2040: consultation analysis


Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage Spring 2021 Newsletter (03/21)

Land use – getting the best from our land: strategy 2021 to 2026 (SG 24/03/21)

Town centre action plan – review report: interim joint response (SG 24/03/21)

Just Transition Commission: A National Mission for a fairer, greener Scotland (SG 23/03/21)

National islands plan: annual report – 2020 (SG 23/03/21)

Engaging communities in decisions relating to land – guidance: review (SG 23/03/21)

Vacant and Derelict Land Investment Programme (VDLIP): application form (SG 23/03/21)

Technical Paper 35: Moisture Measurement in the Historic Environment (HES 23/03/21)

Energy Efficiency of Existing Homes – Fourth Report of Session 2019–21 (HoC 22/03/21)

Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH): guidance for social landlords March 2021 (SG 22/03/21)

Chief Planner letter: stakeholder update – March 2021 (SG 22/03/21)

Local place plans: literature review and final report (SG 22/03/21)

European Cultural Heritage Green Paper (EN, ICOMOS & CHN 22/03/21)

European Cultural Heritage Green Paper – Executive Summary (EN, ICOMOS & CHN 22/03/21)

VAT reduction on refurbishment and renovation: letter from Housing Minister (SG 22/03/21)

Scottish Land Fund: evaluation (SG 22/03/21)

Architecture and Design Scotland Corporate Strategy 2021-31 (A&DS 18/03/21)

Democracy Matters – local governance review: phase 2 (SG 18/03/21)

Democracy Matters – local governance review: phase 2 – easy read (SG 18/03/21)

Energy strategy: position statement (SG 16/03/21)

Housing to 2040 (SG 15/03/21)

Housing to 2040: vision and principles (SG 15/03/21)

Values of Conservation Research Report (ICON 10/03/21)

Attitudes to land reform: research (SG 05/30/21)

Heritage and the Sustainable Development Goals: Policy Guidance for Heritage and Development Actors (ICOMOS 03/21)

Scottish Government News Releases

£25 million for tourism recovery (SG 24/03/21)

Holiday vouchers, discounts for days out and a marketing fund are included in a new £25 million tourism recovery programme.

Scotland’s Creative Digital Initiative (SG 23/03/21)
A new £1 million digital support programme for creative and cultural businesses has launched.

Local Place Plans – next steps (Planning & Architecture, SG 22/03/21)
LPPs can support community aspirations on the big challenges for a future Scotland, such as responding to the global climate emergency and tackling inequalities, and help shape local planning policies contained in the Local Development Plan.

Supporting rural tourism (SG 19/03/21)
More seasonal rangers, temporary toilets, car parking and campervan facilities will help rural areas to welcome back visitors when coronavirus restrictions are eased.

Tackling cladding issues (SG 19/03/21)
Homeowners whose flats have external cladding will be offered free safety assessments to determine which properties have material needing to be removed.

Supporting Gypsy and Traveller communities (SG 18/03/21)
This funding, part of Scotland’s first long-term national housing strategy, will enable local authorities to improve existing sites and expand provision over the next five years. This builds on £2 million allocated to site improvement in 2020-21.

Targeted support for cities and regions (SG 17/03/21)
Cities and regions can apply for additional funding to help them recover from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Helping communities through the pandemic (SG 17/03/21)
A combined total of £1 billion has been allocated to help local communities through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and to build resilience in public services in the past year.

Croft house grants awarded (SG 17/03/21)
Grants to improve or build new homes in some of Scotland’s most remote and marginal communities have been awarded to 10 crofters.

100,000 more affordable homes (SG 15/03/21)
Plans to deliver 100,000 affordable homes over the next decade are set out today in a 20-year housing strategy.

A new standard for housing (SG 14/03/21)
Plans for a new legal requirement for all homes to meet the same standards will be included in a major national housing strategy to be published this week.

News Releases

Scotland’s Climate Assembly Sets Out Goals for Tackling Climate Emergency (SCA 24/03/21)
The interim report of Scotland’s Climate Assembly will be laid in the Scottish Parliament this morning. It sets out 16 goals for tackling the climate emergency. These goals cover a broad range of issues including domestic heating, emissions, land use, taxation and the economy.

Funding boost for repairs to Scottish heritage structures (HES 23/03/21)
Projects include Scotland’s last surviving historic steam-powered slipway which provides a crucial link for the Maid of the Loch.

Scottish Parliament to host an international summit of parliamentarians on climate change (SP 23/03/21)
One of the largest gatherings of international parliamentarians to discuss the climate emergency will take place at the Scottish Parliament in November, it has been announced today.

Society Grants over £26,000 to Support Research into Scotland’s Past (SoAoS 23/03/21)
The Society Council Trustees have awarded £26,319 to fifteen projects examining a wide range of topics from manuscript research to excavations investigating Mesolithic activity in the highlands.

AHF publishes its updated Environmental Policy (AHF 22/03/21)
Following a joint statement of intent with other heritage funders in 2020, the AHF is today publishing its Environmental Policy to set out the organisation’s commitments to addressing climate change.

£4.5 million investment for Scotland’s historic towns and cities (HES 18/03/21)
Over £50 million has been invested since 2007 through the CARS scheme which encourages communities to preserve built heritage and stimulate economic regeneration.

HES welcomes growth deal for Orkney, Shetland and the Outer Hebrides (HES 17/03/21)
HES has welcomed investment in the future economic prosperity of Scotland’s Island communities as representatives of the UK and Scottish governments today (Wednesday 17 March) joined Leaders of Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, Orkney Islands Council, and Shetland Island Council to sign the Heads of Terms for the Islands Growth Deal.

Museums warn pandemic risks jeopardising collections and historic buildings (Herald 13/03/21)
MUSEUM bosses have warned the continued impact of the coronavirus pandemic risks jeopardising collections, endangering historic buildings and “devastating staff”.

Opinion & Comment

Podcast: Objectivity and Neutrality in the Archive (John Pelan SCA 23/03/21)

Land reform is happening (SLC 22/03/21)

Tackling land market failures is essential to getting more homes built in Scotland (SLC 18/03/21)

Podcast: Reflecting Value: a new podcast (Centre for Cultural Value 17/03/21)

Scotland’s Land Market: Time to Reform (SLC 16/03/21)

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-35724: Annie Wells, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 04/03/2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the total number of homes built under the affordable housing programme from the start of the current parliamentary session.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (11/03/2021)

Question S5W-35759: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/03/2021
To ask the Scottish Government what meetings it has had with the (a) energy, (b) house building, (c) environment and (d) community sectors regarding the national developments to be incorporated in the National Planning Framework 4.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (12/03/2021)

Question S5W-35760: Neil Findlay, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/03/2021
To ask Scottish Government what plans it has to meet communities that might be affected by the national developments that will be incorporated in the National Planning Framework 4.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (12/03/2021)

Question S5W-35797: Keith Brown, Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/03/2021
To ask the Scottish Government what the average award granted by the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Hardship Fund has been.
Answered by Kate Forbes (22/03/2021)

Question S5W-35792: Keith Brown, Clackmannanshire and Dunblane, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/03/2021
To ask the Scottish Government how many applications have been made to the Creative, Tourism and Hospitality Hardship Fund, also broken down by how many have (a) been approved, (b) been rejected and (c) yet to be processed.
Answered by Kate Forbes (22/03/2021)


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

Moving forward with shared transport and mobility hubs in Scotland
Date & time: Thursday 25 March 4pm to 5pm
Online: GoToWebinar, available on booking.
The event will outline the theory behind Active Travel Hubs, highlighting the elements that can be included and giving examples from Europe. It will then describe a recent application for an Active Travel Hub in Alloa, presented by the case officer, see below. Presentations by: Marian Marsh Senior Development Officer (Scotland) CoMoUK (National charity for the public benefit of shared mobility). CoMoUK is playing a leading role in the UK’s transition to integrated mobility solutions designed for the public good. CoMoUK supports the development of shared modes of transport including car clubs and bike share. Grant Baxter, Principal Planner, is the case officer for the Active Travel Hub planning application at Maple Court, Alloa (20/00273/FULL, approved 25th January 2021).

Herring, Linen and Scotland’s Built Heritage
Date & time: Mon, 29 March 2021, 18:00 – 19:15.
How can we recognise the legacy of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and Empire within Scotland’s Industrial heritage? Exploring Scotland’s role in Empire in the industries that were established within Scotland during the 18th Century. Papers from: Cathy Dagg, Archaeologist and Independent Researcher: Scotland’s North West Coast: Empire, Slavery and the Industrial Revolution; Dr Sally Tuckett, University of Glasgow: Scotland, Linen and Clothing Enslaved People; and Dr Peggy Brunache, Beniba Centre for Slavery Studies, University of Glasgow: Black Women and Caribbean Cultural Resistance During the Slavery Era.

Culture & Business Fund Scotland Roadshows: A source of support for COVID-19 recovery and renewal
Date & time: Tuesday 30 March 11:00am — 13:00pm
Online: via Zoom.
Due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, we are taking our Culture & Business Scotland (CBFS) Roadshows online. These free webinars will give attendees from across the arts, heritage, third, public and business sectors the opportunity to learn about the fund, and how we have adapted the criteria to provide more flexible support for the sectors through a period of recovery and renewal throughout 2021 and beyond.

Date & time: 6pm, Thursday 15th April 2021.
Online: Zoom.
We are delighted that Loyd Grossman, internationally renowned heritage figure, will be delivering the World Heritage Day lecture for 2021. Loyd will discuss the heritage dilemma faced by Edinburgh, where the cost of conserving the heritage rich environment is rising, while revenue from tourism has dropped dramatically.

The Road to COP26 Glasgow: What difference can planners make?
Date & time: 15 April 4pm to 5pm.
Online: GoToWebinar, available on booking.
The global challenges which COP26 will grapple with translate into important challenges for planners. COP26 is billed as the last chance to take climate action. Related to this, spatial planning must support sustainable economic recovery while tackling inequality, accelerate progress towards net zero carbon, build resilience, and reverse habitat and biodiversity loss. As Glasgow prepares to host COP26, this event brings together two speakers: Kit England (Climate Ready Clyde Manager) is currently leading on the development of Glasgow City Region’s first Climate Adaptation Strategy (CAS). Gerard O’Brien (Architecture & Design Scotland Senior Design officer) has worked across Scotland on the ADS Designing for a Changing Climate: Creating Carbon Conscious Places programme.

Archaeology in Schools: An interdisciplinary approach. Prehistoric Rock Art CPD session
Date & time: Wednesday 21 April, 4.00pm – 5.30pm.
Online: Microsoft Teams.
An online CPD event suited to teachers, educators, YAC leaders, youth group leaders, community archaeologists and hertiage education professionals. This session aims to support participants in using archaeology as an inspiration for interdisciplinary learning projects for children and young people – both inside and outside the classroom. You’ll hear from professional archaeologists, school teachers and the Archaeology Scotland learning team, who’ll guide you through resources, case studies and practical activities you can use with second and third level pupils – all linked to prehistoric rock art.

Reinventing Inverness Castle
Date & time: 6th May 4pm to 5pm.
Online:  GoToWebinar, available on booking.
The A-listed Inverness Castle is being transformed from two court-houses into the main tourist-hub/visitor-centre/venue for the Highlands. C20 interventions are being stripped-out to expose the original layout and fabric, then the building will be sensitively re-invented for C21 flexible uses. A contemporary link building will join the two main towers and a new (all-abilities access) roof-terrace installed. Extensive re-landscaping will transform the public realm and setting to Inverness’ prime landmark building.

Scotland’s first community owned Passivhaus scheme, Closeburn
Date & time: 20th May 4pm to 5pm.
Online: GoToWebinar, available on booking.
Nith Valley Leaf Trust, a Community Development Trust, has delivered three passive certified houses with the support of South of Scotland Community Housing (SOSCH). The presentation will explain how the project was planned, delivered and outcomes achieved, ensuring that identified local needs and objectives were translated into affordable, energy efficient homes in community ownership. The project recently won the SURF award for Best Practice in Community Regeneration in the “Housing and Regeneration” category. Speakers are Mike Staples from South of Scotland Community Housing and Jackob Kaye from Nith Valley Leaf Trust.


The Need for Old Buildings to Breathe Re-Examined (David Wiggins)
Date & time: 12noon 27th April 2021. £25.
Online: zoom webinar.
This CPD session is aimed at experienced conservation professionals and practitioners. David Wiggins will examine the response of traditional solid masonry walls to moisture, probing the issue of the ‘breathability’ of old buildings. Sacrificial weathering will be unpacked as a process, and modern mortars critically evaluated for compatibility against hot-mixed lime mortars. Practical specification guidance will be given on lime mortar for exposed conditions.

Architectural Conservation CPD: Design and Retrofit on the Gannochy Estate
Date & time: Wednesday 28 April, 12:30-13:30 (log-on with light refreshments from 12:15).
Venue: Online via Microsoft Teams, streamed live from Lower City Mills, Perth.
The first session in a 6-part CPD programme provides a local example of retrofitting traditional properties for the 21st Century in-line with conservation guidance and principles. Delivered by The Gannochy Trust’s Estates Manager Andy Duncan, this session also includes Gannochy’s new build housing projects where traditional design philosophies are inspiring the next generation of social housing. 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, 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).


Invitation to Tender: State of Glasgow’s Historic Environment Snapshot Study and Community Engagement Activities
Glasgow City Heritage Trust wishes to engage a suitable Scotland-based professional to update our Snapshot studies into the state of Glasgow’s historic built environment, assist with raising awareness of the city’s Buildings at Risk, and engage with communities about their perceptions of the city’s built heritage and the challenges and opportunities it presents.
Deadline to submit: 9am, 26th March 2021.

Research Officer
Historic Environment Scotland are seeking a Research Officer. The Research Officer post sits within the organisation’s Development & Partnership directorate, which has a remit that includes strategy and policy development, research, international working, community engagement, fundraising, and delivery of Our Place in Time – a strategy that sets out a 10 year vision for the historic environment of Scotland to 2024.
Closing Date: 31 March 2021 at midday.

World Heritage UK seeks new General Manager
Are you the person to take the UK’s World Heritage Sites forward? World Heritage UK is an organisation set up in 2015 to undertake networking, advocacy and promotion for the UK’s 32 outstanding World Heritage Sites. The post arises out of a recently completed resilience project funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and will provide an opportunity for someone who has a background in heritage and business development to manage the day-to-day operations and help shape the organisation for a secure future.
Closing date for applications is midday 8th April, 2021.