BEFS Bulletin – Resource Spending Review

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


On Tuesday 31st May the Scottish Government published a Resource Spending Review, the first since 2011. In this Bulletin’s blog, BEFS Director has given a brief overview of the potential places to look for resource change which may impact the sector most broadly. There are big changes across the public sector landscape mentioned in the Review, and first glance shows significant reductions to some finance pots. We may not have the full extent of the picture until the next Budget, and there may well be more detail to come.

Historic Environment Scotland have launched new Talking About Heritage guides, designed to empower people and communities to explore their heritage, to understand it, to celebrate it, and to ensure it’s recognised.

Having attended a recent roundtable on stonemasonry skills, and traditional skills shortages more generally, BEFS notes with interest the launch of a new skills portal for careers in the built environment.  Over the past few months BEFS has explored the access and availability of data relating to our existing built environment with David Hume Institute, and notes some similar and related challenges highlighted in this new report commissioned by the DCMS.

Culture Counts have written to Neil Gray MSP Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development with recommendations on the Culture Strategy, reflecting the reports formed through sector wide discussions at the National Partnership for Culture Fora. 

The 2022 SURF Awards will launch on 9th June, with categories in Supporting Youth Employability, Creative Regeneration, Community Led Regeneration, Housing & Regeneration and Improving Scotland’s Places. We also pass on congratulations to SURF’s new Chair, Brian MacDonald. Congratulations also go to the winners of the Scottish Civic Trust 2022 My Place Awards and My Place Photography Competition.

Historic England’s newly published Wellbeing and Heritage Strategy sets out approaches aimed at improving delivery, enhancing the social impact of programmes, highlighting inequities that heritage can challenge, and communicating the value of heritage. The Heritage Alliance has published their UK Shared Prosperity Fund Prospectus – Briefing for Heritage.

On 20 May 2022, the General Assembly of Europa Nostra – the European Voice of Civil Society Committed to Cultural and Natural Heritage – has enthusiastically appointed Cecilia Bartoli, the world-renowned opera star, as the new President of the organisation, for an initial mandate of five years.



Improving access to the heritage sector
Historic Environment Scotland
Opened 11 May
Closes 10 June

Share Your Views On Cumbernauld Town Centre
Historic Environment Scotland
Opened 12 May
Closes 12 June

Built Environment Carbon Database
Phase 1 consultation, looking at the data structure of the entity-level section
*new* Closes 24 June 2022

Proposed Domestic Building Environmental Standards (Scotland) Bill: Consultation by Alex Rowley MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife Region
Closing date: 27 July

Review of permitted development rights – phase 2 consultation
Scottish Government
Opened 11 May
Closes 3 August

Delivering Scotland’s circular economy: a consultation on proposals for a Circular Economy Bill
Scottish Government
*new* Closes 22 August



Talking About Heritage (Historic Environment Scotland, 30/4/22)
The new guidance from HES is available in four parts: Investigate Heritage; Understand Heritage; Celebrate Heritage; Care for Heritage.

Exposed: The Collapse Of Green Space Provision In England And Wales (New Economic Foundation, 3/5/22)
Neighbourhood green space provision has declined by one third in 21st-century developments, resulting in 9m fewer trips to green space every year.

Major study calls for tax powers to be devolved to Scotland’s biggest cities (23/5/22)
Scotland’s Urban AGE 2022’ is a sequel to a 2018 report and outlines what has changed (and what has not) in light of the pandemic and the accelerating net zero carbon agenda. The report calls for retrofitting to the built environment ‘on an industrial scale’.

Action for Climate Empowerment: A guide for galleries, libraries, archives and museums (Curating Tomorrow)
This short guide aims to help cultural and educational institutions, community organisations and others to understand how they can contribute to and support the new Glasgow Work Programme on Action for Climate Empowerment.

Understanding Scotland: A New Survey For Scotland (Diffley Partnership, 05/2022)
Understanding Scotland is a new quarterly survey tool measuring the most important facets of our lives and decision-making in Scotland: our society, economy, and environment.

Local government in Scotland: Overview 2022 (Accounts Commission, 05/2022)

Wellbeing and Heritage Strategy (Historic England, 19/5/22)

Rural Land Market Insights Report: A report to the Scottish Land Commission (April 2022)

Carbon Markets, Public Interest and Landownership in Scotland: A discussion paper (May 2022)

Circular Economy Bill Policy Paper Circular Communities Scotland (May 2022)


Scottish Government Publications

Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey 2021 (24/5/22)
The Scottish Vacant and Derelict Land Survey (SVDLS) is a data collection undertaken to establish the extent and state of vacant and derelict land in Scotland.

Resource Spending Review (31/05/22)


UK Government Publications

Better data on the cultural economy, scoping study (DCMS May 2022)


News Releases

RICS Governing Council establishes strategic oversight group for DEI (23/5/22)
The Governing Council of RICS has established a strategic oversight group to steer Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives focused on building a culture of accountability and belonging, and ensuring the membership and profession better reflect the societies they serve.

Young Scot card holders get access to 600 historic sites for only £1 (Press & Journal, 24/5/22)
The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland and Historic Houses Scotland are all offering their properties for the scheme.

Historic Argyll township attraction to re-open after earthquake damage (The Scotsman, 23/5/22)
Following emergency repairs and ongoing conservation work, Auchindrain will re-open for the summer after an earthquake caused damage last November.

New skills portal launched to boost career opportunities in Scotland’s built environment (Project Scotland, 24/5/22)
Officially known as the Built Environment Workforce Development Portal, the resource will provide a breakdown of re-skilling and up-skilling courses by theme, occupation and region.

Archaeologists begin dig to recover remnants of Glasgow Garden Festival (STV News 25/5/22)
A team from the University of Glasgow started work on the project on Monday, using a geophysical survey to identify what remains of the much-loved event.


Opinion & Comment

David Cole: Bolder steps are needed if Scotland’s infrastructure is to be decarbonised (The Scotsman, 10/5/22)
Chair of ICE Scotland, David Cole, summaries five key recommendations from a recent report, which concluded that more leadership and funding and an improved planning and regulatory system are required.

Emily Tracey: Scotland’s historic environment can be the keystone of our green recovery (Holyrood, 24/5/22)
Historic Environment Scotland’s Head of Estates Strategy, Emily Tracey, argues our historic places should be seen as a solution, not a problem.

Luing, a second chance for Scottish slate (HES 26/05/2022)

Susan Mansfield: What if…?/Dundee – what happened next? (Scotland + Venice, 24/5/22)
Hosted by the V&A’s learning team, ‘What if… Dundee’ focussed on the North East and East End wards of the city, where a major new campus, which would include two secondary schools and a community hub, was being planned.

Matthew Adams: Neighbourhood green space is in rapid decline, deepening both the climate and mental health crises (The Conversation, 18/5/22)
Routine access to nature has become an equality and justice issue.

Is hybrid working here to stay? (Office for National Statistics, 23/5/22)
Almost half of working adults were working from home at times during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but what will business as usual look like with restrictions lifted?

Elgin Marbles Row Deepens (Herald 30/05/2022)


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”.

S6O-01168: Jackie Dunbar, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/05/2022
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the condition of school buildings.
Due in Chamber on 01/06/2022


Parliamentary Questions and Answers

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”.

S6W-08458: Mercedes Villalba, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date lodged: 11 May 2022
To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made on making it possible for communities to take ownership of unproductive land for projects that contribute to climate action, in light of the recommendation by Scotland’s Climate Assembly.
Answered by Mairi McAllan on 19 May 2022

Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/05/2022
S6W-08482: Home Energy Efficiency Programmes for Scotland (HEEPS)
S6W-08487: reform of EPC ratings for fabric efficiency standard R
S6W-08488: new minimum energy efficiency standards R
S6W-08489: whether fabric efficiency regulations will require compliance at specified points in the building lifecycle R
Answered by Patrick Harvie on 23 May 2022
S6W-08508: Housing to 2040 – review of adaptations.
Answered by Shona Robison on 25 May 2022

S6W-08514: Monica Lennon, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/05/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to ensure that the decarbonisation of infrastructure will be complete ahead of the 2045 net zero target.
Answered by Michael Matheson (24/05/2022)


Other Parliamentary Activity


Community Wealth Building – Delivering Transformation in Scotland’s Local and Regional Economies
Motion For Debate
S6M-04580 Tom Arthur
Due in Chamber 25/5/22


Listed Buildings (Consultation)
Scottish Parliament on 26th May 2022
(S6O-01135) Gillian Mackay (Green)
To ask the Scottish Government how Historic Environment Scotland ensures that communities are adequately consulted when considering whether a building should be listed.
Answered by Neil Gray, Culture Minister



For the full list of BEFS Members’ upcoming events see our events calendar.

HES: Community Heritage Conversations: Your Voice and Place-Making
Date & Time: 8 June, 10:00
Learn about how to promote and celebrate your heritage in decisions about place. During this ‘Community Heritage Conversations’ event, speakers from Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Planning Aid Scotland (PAS) and the Coalfields Regeneration Trust will explain the different ways of exploring and recognising your most valued places.

Icon Scotland: Conservation at the Rosslyn Chapel
Date & Time: 10 June, 10.30 – 12:30
Location: Rosslyn Chapel, Chapel Loan, Roslin, EH25 9PU
Join Icon Scotland for a visit to the Rosslyn Chapel including an introduction by Ian Gardner, Director of the Rosslyn Chapel Trust, and talks by expert conservators. Alex Kelly of Eden Conservation will explore ongoing stone conservation at the chapel. Rob Thomson, Preventive Conservator, will discuss relative humidity control in the chapel.
Tickets are £4 for Icon members, £3 for Student Icon members, and £6 for non-members.

SoAoS Rhind Lectures: Unearthing the African Diaspora
Date & Time: 10 – 12 June, various times
Augustine United Church, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL and Online
African Diaspora Archaeology studies people of African descent in the Americas and elsewhere. This research began in mid-20th century on the sites of enslaved and liberated communities. Today it is one of the fastest growing study areas in the archaeology of the modern world. In this lecture series, Professor Theresa Singleton discusses this developing archaeological discipline using her own projects as case studies beginning with her introduction to diaspora studies as a graduate student, to her current research on self-liberated and other free communities.

SHBT: Technology and the Country House – Understanding Design and Materiality with Drones, LiDAR and 3D Scanning
Date & Time: 15 June, 18:00
Part of SHBT’s spring lecture series, New Perspectives on the Country House. Dan Bochman explores the use of drones, LiDAR and 3D Scanning to better understand the design and materiality of country houses.

Archaeology Scotland’s Field School – Investigating Cathkin Park 
Date & Time: 15 June – 26 June
Join Archaeology Scotland this summer to excavate one of Scotland’s most iconic sporting sites – Cathkin Park. You will be part of a team of archaeologists and will gain experience in a range of archaeology techniques and skills including community archaeology, excavation, creative interpretation, and digital recording.

GCHT: A Bird’s-Eye View of the Development of Glasgow University: The Gilbert Scott Building
Date & Time: 22 June, 19:30
Taking Thomas Sulman’s 1864 bird’s-eye view of Glasgow as a starting point, this talk will explore a pivotal period in the history of development of both the city and the University. Using contemporary 19th-century photographs, engravings and paintings, Nick Haynes will guide us around the extraordinary complex of 17th-, 18th- and 19th- century buildings in the Old College, and set the scene for the construction of Scotland’s largest Gothic building on Gilmorehill.

RICS: Land Use and Community Wealth Building with the Scottish Land Commission
Date & Time: 23 June, 13:00
SLC’s guidance makes the link between the Scottish Government’s Land Rights and Responsibilities Statement and the land property pillar of community wealth building, and sets out actions that can be taken in the short and long term to support an inclusive, sustainable, and empowered local economy. Gemma Campbell, Land Rights and Responsibilities Manager, and Kathie Pollard, Policy and Practice Lead, will provide an overview of the guidance and share examples of good practice from across Scotland, followed by a Q&A session.


Training and Conferences

Heritage Digital Academy
Heritage Digital Academy are offering free online training events on all things digital for heritage organisations across the UK. These sessions are design to help individuals develop new digital practices and build key skills that can be brought back to their organisation.

  • 8th June – Webinar: What is a data protection officer, and why does your organisation need one?
  • 9th June – Webinar: Copyright and creative commons
  • 23rd June – Workshop: Copyright considerations for digital services
  • 28th June – Workshop: Building and growing your audience with digital
  • 5th July – Workshop: Understanding Data Protection and making a plan to stay compliant

IHBC Annual School 2022 – Aberdeen
15-18 June
Offering a variety of delegate options:
Heritage MarketPlace virtual: 15 June
Day School hybrid (in-person & virtual): 17 June
Full School includes in-person tours and events: 16-18 June
The IHBC’s 2022 Aberdeen School explores how practitioners in the 21st Century can and should manage conservation and heritage that is, in different ways, ‘on the edge’.



National Trust for Scotland: Conservation Maintenance Surveyor (x4)
Pay Band: £36,523 – £40,238
Contract: Permanent / Full Time
The National Trust for Scotland is seeking 4 Maintenance Surveyors to support their work across the country, embedded in regional teams. As the Regional Building Maintenance Specialist, you will work closely with the Regional Building (conservation) Surveyor to advise and support Operations Teams, putting the Trust’s Conservation Principles into practice through planned and reactive maintenance of all built structures.  This is a new role and you will be instrumental in shaping the way the Trust manages the conservation maintenance of its buildings, helping to build maintenance plans for each building and dealing with backlog maintenance projects.
Closing date: 10:00, Friday 3 June

Assistant Project Officer, Maybole Regeneration Project
28 hours / week, temporary role for 12 months
£26,922 – £29,361 per year
As Maybole’s Town Centre Regeneration gathers pace an exciting opportunity has arisen to join our team for 12 months.  As Assistant Project Officer you will have the opportunity to contribute to an ambitious town centre regeneration scheme which places community at its centre. We are looking for someone with experience in project management and/or interest and experience in community led regeneration, placemaking , development, historic environment and working with communities. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop skills and experience in a complex regeneration project that is set to transform Maybole’s historic town centre while working closely with strategic and local partners.
Closing date: 7 June

Scottish Civic Trust: Doors Open Days Communications Officer
Part-time: 16 hours/ week, £25,000 pro rata
Fixed term to 31 March 2023, with the possibility of extension
Doors Open Days welcomes almost 100,000 visitors each September from across the world. For many of our visitors, our online and print presence will be their first introduction to the festival. This role will play an important role within the Doors Open Days team and the continuing development of the festival. Acting as a liaison between Doors Open Days, our visitors and the media, the Doors Open Days Communications Officer will ensure that our public image,  brand and messaging remain strong and consistent.
Closing date: 10 June

Edinburgh World Heritage: Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Specialist
Full time to 31 March 2025 (part time may be considered)
Salary: £28,840-£30,900
EWH are looking for an enthusiastic Energy Efficiency (Retrofit) Specialist to deliver innovative energy efficiency projects, carry out targeted research and produce guidance aiming to reduce carbon emissions of historic buildings – while preserving their historical and architectural significance.
Closing date: 12 noon, Monday 27 June 2022


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