BEFS Bulletin – Seeking your views, Awards news, and Events

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



Autumn was traditionally a busy time across the sector, and it seems like 2021 is proving this to be true. Surveys, awards, and events aplenty fill this edition of the Bulletin.

After two surveys in 2020 HES are asking ‘How are you doing, heritage sector?’ 18 months into the pandemic, and as restrictions ease – they’re seeking a new snapshot of the sector. Find the full survey – here.

Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy want to know about your experience of Open Access Publications – the short survey will support Aim Two of the strategy. Full information, and the survey can be found on this page.

GCHT are looking for contributors to share their thoughts and memories for their new podcast series, If Glasgow’s Walls Could Talk, which explores the relationships that exist between Glasgow’s historic buildings and places and the city’s communities.

The Scottish Government National Performance Framework (NPF) team is looking for feedback on the use of the NPF. They’d like to find out how you currently use the National Performance Framework (or don’t), and what could make it more useful. Their short survey will be open until 20 October.

There are several vacancies across the sector this month (see Vacancies below) – but of note in terms of the related research project is the HES research projectinvestigating the British Empire connections of the Properties in Care. We look forward to seeing the final reports!

HES and partners Heritage Trust Network and Scottish Council on Archives are asking members of the public to help tell Scotland’s climate story via Visions of Climate Heritage competition – full details can be found here.

We’re delighted to see that BEFS Members Historic Houses Scotland met with Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth recently.

ICE and the Rochester Bridge Trust have launched a new website about one of the greatest engineers of his age, John Rennie. Explore his life and work through this new website.

It’s awards season!
Winners have been announced for the A&DS and RIAS Student Awards for Architecture 2021, along with the winners of the Scottish Civil Engineering Awards, organised by CECA Scotland and the Institution of Civil Engineers Scotland.

Meanwhile, the shortlist for the 2021 Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award was announced by RIAS, and the SPAB have opened nominations for their Heritage Awards (their John Betjeman Award includes a category specifically for conservation of Scottish faith buildings of any denomination). The Scottish Civic Trust My Place awards and the Scotland’s Towns Partnership Scotland Loves Local Awards are both coming up in November, so there is much to look forward to.

And finally – there are still a few places left in some of the FREE training courses being provided as part of the Surviving to Thriving programme led by MGS and in partnership with BEFS and greenspace scotland. Please look for the City of Glasgow College October workshops on MGS upcoming events page.

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Local Government, Housing & Planning Committee Licensing Scheme for Short-Term Lets
Closes 29 October

*NEW* HES Covid-19 Survey – Closes 31st October 2021

UK Government Review of Architects Regulation: Call for Evidence
Closes 8 November 2021

Scottish Building Regulations: Proposed changes to Energy Standards and associated topics, including Ventilation, Overheating and Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure
*Deadline Extended* Closes 26 November 2021


Consultations Responses

Local Place Plans – proposals for regulations: consultation analysis (SG 30/09/2021)

Energy efficiency, zero emissions and low carbon heating systems, microgeneration and heat networks – skills requirements: consultation analysis (SG 7/10/2021)



Flats: Management, Maintenance and Repairs (SPICe, 09/09/2021)

Welsh Government, local planning authorities and developers to direct development away from areas at risk of flooding and coastal erosion. (Welsh Govt 27/09/2021)

The SURF Awards: Learning from Success – An outcomes report from a series of SURF workshops in 2021 (SURF, 01/10/2021)

Wellbeing Economy Alliance report on failure of economic growth model (WEAll Sept 2021)

ASVA – Survey of Scottish Visitor Attractions: Current Business Performance and Prospects, and Recovery Prospects (ASVA Sept 2021)

UNESCO – Using digital technology to innovate in heritage research, policy and practice.(UNESCO 7/10/2021)

The National Monument Audit, produced by Monument Lab in partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, assesses the current monument landscape across the United States.  (Monument Lab Sept 2021)


Scottish Government News Releases

Heat in Buildings Strategy – achieving net zero emissions in Scotland’s buildings (SG 7/10/2021)

Renewable and zero emissions heating systems in affordable housing projects: evaluation (SG 7/10/2021)

Scottish Government announces first projects to fast-track net zero infrastructure (SG 8/10/2021)

Short-term lets licensing order changes: letter to stakeholder working group (SG 8/10/2021)

Local Place Plans – A big step closer (SG 7/10/2021)


News Releases

Europe’s first ‘smart canal’ wins Scotland’s top civil engineering award (ICE, 30/09/2021)

Nationwide heritage upskilling project launched by Industrial Museums Scotland
(Museums & Heritage Advisor, 05/10/2021)

Sweet music brings end to Royal High School saga (Scottish Construction Now 07/10/2021)


Opinion & Comment

PLANET PAPERS: Cities to the rescue (The Herald, 04/10/2021)


Parliamentary Questions & 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”.

Question ref. S6W-02978 Miles Briggs, Lothian, Date lodged: 14 September 2021
To ask the Scottish Government for what reason it has only recently begun its consultation, Building standards (fire safety) – external wall systems, on the introduction of a ban on the use of combustible cladding and insulation on the external facades of certain residential high-rise buildings, in light of such a ban being introduced in England in 2018.
Answered by Shona Robison on 29 September 2021

Question S6W-02867: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/09/2021
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-02205 by Michael Matheson on 8 September 2021, what percentage of Scotland’s GDP is spent on infrastructure.
Answered by Michael Matheson (30/09/2021)

Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/09/2021
To ask the Scottish Government, on the proposed National Towns of Culture scheme:
Question S6W-03093: launch date – Answered by Jenny Gilruth on 29/09/2021
Question S6W-03094: aims and objectives – Answered by Jenny Gilruth on 29/09/2021
Question S6W-03095: funding – Answered by Jenny Gilruth on 29/09/2021

Question ref. S6W-03065 Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20 September 2021
“To ask the Scottish Government, in relation to the actions set out in Annex A of the Draft Heat in Buildings Strategy from February 2021, what the (a) timescale for delivery, (b) current status and (c) expenditure to date is for each of the actions.”
Answered by Patrick Harvie on 4 October 2021

Question ref. S6W-03159 Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20 September 2021
“To ask the Scottish Government what (a) number and (b) percentage of domestic and non-domestic buildings taller than 11m have external wall systems with combustible insulation and/or cladding (i) in total and (ii) that required a BS 8414 certificate, and what work it has undertaken to establish centrally held estimates of these figures.”
Answered by Shona Robison on 29 September 2021

Question ref. S6W-03022 – 03027: Rachael Hamilton, Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20 September 2021
Short term lets – several.
Answered by: Shona Robison on 1 October 2021

Question S6W-03142: Liz Smith, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/09/2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on whether it plans to introduce a high street voucher scheme similar to that in Northern Ireland.
Answered by Tom Arthur (01/10/2021)

Question S6W-03140: Liz Smith, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/09/2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to publish a response to the review of the Town Centre Action Plan.
Answered by Tom Arthur (01/10/2021)

Question S6W-03146: Liz Smith, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/09/2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to publish the conclusions and recommendations of its City Centre Recovery taskforce.
Answered by Kate Forbes (04/10/2021): 
We will publish the conclusions and recommendations of the City Centre Recovery Task Force this autumn.

Question S6W-03150: Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/09/2021 R
To ask the Scottish Government how it will update its strategy, Housing to 2040, in light of the commitments in its shared policy programme with the Scottish Green Party, and how it plans to review progress against the strategy.
Answered by Shona Robison (04/10/2021)

Other Parliamentary Activity

FMQs 30 September: Miles Briggs asked for a response to reports that, in the last year, ministers overturned almost 50% of planning applications. Nicola Sturgeon refuted this claim and said local authorities had granted over 25,000 planning applications in the last year, with only 135 of them being referred to and determined by government planning reporters. Miles Briggs then expressed concerns from local authorities about further centralisation of powers over drug and alcohol partnerships and child services, along with claims the government would further centralise planning powers through NPF4. Nicola Sturgeon refuted claims of further centralisation of powers and that the government worked to support local authorities.


Motion ref. S6M-01418
Fraserburgh Shortlisted for Regeneration Award
Submitted by: Liam Kerr, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
Date lodged: Thursday, September 30, 2021
Supported by: Alexander Burnett, Sharon Dowey, Meghan Gallacher, Maurice Golden, Stephen Kerr, Douglas Lumsden, Paul Sweeney, Tess White

Motion ref. S6M-01499
Glasgow’s Smart Canal Wins Greatest Contribution to Scotland Award
Submitted by: Paul Sweeney, Glasgow, Scottish Labour.
Date lodged: Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Motion ref. S6M-01500
Glasgow Queen Street Station Wins Best Building Award 
Submitted by: Kaukab Stewart, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Supported by: Stephanie Callaghan, Bob Doris, Jackie Dunbar, Annabelle Ewing, Kenneth Gibson, Bill Kidd, Rona Mackay, Ruth Maguire, John Mason, Stuart McMillan, Paul Sweeney


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

Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society: 50th Anniversary Exhibition
Date & Time: 1st October 2021 – 15th January 2022
Location: Museum of Edinburgh, Cannongate, Edinburgh
Don’t miss this great opportunity to go along and see what Edinburgh Archaeological Field Society have been doing over the last 50yrs. Access is free.

Countdown to COP Exhibition – Ian McHarg: Scottish Environmentalist and Author: A Celebration of Influence and Legacy
Date & Time: 12th – 24th October
Location: Mitchell Library main foyer, Glasgow
The third of the Landscape Institute Scotland COP26 events around climate change & sustainability. This exhibition hopes to raise awareness of the Scot, Ian McHarg, his great positive influence within the wider narrative of the Scottish environmental tradition and his legacy that continues with the current work of landscape professionals in tackling climate change and creating resilient communities leading up to and beyond the COP26 Climate Change summit in Glasgow November 2021

Managing Imperial Legacies: Empire, Community and Scotland’s built environment
Date & Time: 15 October, 12:30 – 14:00
This online talk will discuss the work of community organisations who are highlighting stories of Empire within Scotland’s built environment. Speakers from the Edinburgh Caribbean Association, West of Scotland Regional Equality Council (WSREC) and The Birse Community Trust will discuss their recent projects, and how further support and engagement can help better address conversations on race through Scotland’s built heritage.

HES: Climate Resilience Heritage Summit
Date & Time: 27 October, 10:00 – 16:00
Join HES and partner organisations for an interactive day of discussions, presentations and workshops focussing on climate risk and resilience of UK heritage. Public sector bodies and charities are working together to understand the impacts of climate change on the places in their care. This event will bring together academics and practitioners, regulators and charitable bodies to discuss and present their efforts to explore the exposure, vulnerability and impacts of climate hazards on the historic environment.

Cupar & District Annual Lecture 2021 – Environmental Shocks and Resilient Communities, Prof. Sir Ian Boyd.
Date & Time: Wednesday 27th October, 7pm
Sir Ian will address the challenges facing small communities, and the opportunities they have. Communities, being local and collaborative, can contribute to solving mankind’s greatest crisis. They can also meet the needs of their own communities in these post-Covid times.

The Cockburn Association: ‘By leaves we live’ – seeding grassroots climate strategies in Edinburgh – Conference
Date & Time: Saturday 30th October from 11am
After a century and a half of discussion, planning and apparently endless piecemeal strategies about environmental ambitions the current climate emergency demands immediate achievable actions.
This latest one-day FREE online Cockburn Conference on Saturday 30 October will discuss some of the many well-intended environmental and sustainability schemes, policy documents and political initiatives that have been produced over the last few decades and seek to identify some long overdue actions that will have the grassroots support necessary to make a difference. It is time to dig in where we stand!

Scottish Civic Trust: My Place 2021 Exhibition
Date & Time: 1 – 26 November, Mon – Fri 09:00 – 17:00
Location: South Block, 60-64 Osborne Street, Glasgow, G1 5QH
Come celebrate the winners and entrants of Scottish Civic Trust’s My Place Awards and My Place Photography Competition! The My Place Awards celebrate community-led built environment projects that have transformed their locality and the My Place Photography Competition is a Scotland-wide built environment photography competition for school age young people (4-18).

EWH: Witch-Hunting in Edinburgh with Professor Julian Goodare
Date & Time: 7 November, 18:00 – 19:00
Scotland in the 16th and 17th centuries was indelibly marked by witch-hunting. With the advent of the Reformation, and the development of the modern state, people acted on ancient fears and superstitions and persecuted thousands of largely innocent women, many of whom were burned at the stake. In his new talk on this fascinating subject, Professor Julian Goodare of the University of Edinburgh will explore the Edinburgh’s role in the great witch-hunt, painting a picture of the panic and superstition which haunted the streets of the capital during this dark period in its history.

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland: Culduthel: An Iron Age craftworking centre in North-East Scotland
Date & Time: 8 November 18:00 – 19:30
Online & In Person at NMS, Edinburgh
The Iron Age craftworking site of Culduthel was identified near Inverness in 2005. The results of this excavation have now been published and reveal a vivid picture of an Iron Age community engaged in developed and sustained production of iron, bronze and glass objects between the late First Millennium BC and early First Millennium AD. Dr Candy Hatherley will take us on a tour of the site and discuss what Culduthel means for Iron Age studies in Scotland and beyond.

AHSS & SGLH: Roads, bridges, landscapes and new towns on the Highland Circuit 1720-1830
Date & Time: 8 November 18:30
Landscape historian Christopher Dingwall will describe the intensive programme of road building which took place in the Southern Highlands of Scotland between the completion of Wade’s military roads in the 1720s and the arrival of the railways in the 1830s.  With the help of previously unpublished archival material, Christopher will illustrate the developments which occurred at the four great Highland landscapes associated with Inveraray Castle, Taymouth Castle, Blair Castle and Dunkeld House.


Arts & Business Scotland: Culture & Business Fund Scotland – Online Roadshow
Date & Time: 26 October 11:00 — 13:30
Designed to give attendees from across the arts, heritage, third, public and business sectors the opportunity to learn about the fund, the session will explain how the new CBFS COVID-19 Recovery & Renewal strand provides more flexible support through a period of recovery and renewal over the next three years. This session includes changes to the criteria and guidelines that potentially increases the levels of match funding over that period. CBFS Case studies and a walk through the online application process will also provide participants with the necessary knowledge on how to develop and submit a successful application.

ICON Scotland Group: Introduction to Photogrammetry
Date & Time: 29 October, 14:00 – 17:00
Learn about this 3D imaging technique, and how it can be used to record historic artefacts. This event will introduce participants to methods of 3D digital documentation of historic objects. The session will cover basic data capture procedures, to create an understanding of the requirements, capabilities and limitations of the technology, and will show the possibilities of 3D documentation for a range of objects and materials.

Mark Your Mark: Green Volunteering Knowledge Share
Date & Time: 5 November, 10:00 – 13:00
As the impacts of climate change increase and threaten our buildings and places, it is critical that we all work together to build a more sustainable future. At this free event for volunteer-involving heritage organisations, speakers from across the UK heritage sector will discuss developing digital and home-based volunteering roles, supporting volunteers to use sustainable travel methods to get on-site, involving volunteers in activities around sustainability and the environment and more! Organised by Make Your Mark, a campaign to increase the number and diversity of heritage volunteers in Scotland.

Heritage Trust Network: Recovery, Sustainability, Wellbeing
Date & Time: 11 November – Online, 19 and 20 November – Coventry
Join Heritage Trust Network for our annual Conference in the 2021 City of Culture and online. We’re still recovering from the effects of the last year and we think you are too! So this year our speakers will focus on how we can develop our projects and approaches to heritage regeneration whilst thinking about our environmental impact, our people and our long term survival. Join us at the in-person event for a day of interactive workshops, followed by a day of walking tours and building visits.

IHBC: COTAC Conference 2021 – Protecting our World, Protecting our Heritage
Date & time:  23-24 November, 10.00-13.00 both days
Online:  GoToWebinar
Day 1 will explore the expected impact of climate change on the built heritage, and the potential impact of climate change mitigation on the built heritage.  Day 2 will explore ways to support development of the training, skills, and expertise needed to protect the built heritage and reduce emission of greenhouse gases.


Fife Historic Buildings Trust: Project Officer
A new full-time fixed term post, funded by Historic Environment Scotland. FHBT are a Building Preservation Trust whose mission is to create viable futures for heritage buildings and their communities, by inspiring and enabling visionary conservation projects across Fife. Bring your skills and to deliver new historic environment regeneration projects in Fife, principally the restoration and re-use of historic buildings at risk.
Closing date: 17:00 on 18 October 2021

Stirling City Heritage Trust: Membership & Marketing Officer
Stirling City Heritage Trust are seeking a Membership & Marketing Officer for the Traditional Buildings Health Check. You will administer and market the service and be the first point of contact for the service. Your role will involve the day-to-day management of the service and will be expected to deliver a high quality, efficient and informative service to members. You will also work proactively on broader aspects of the service such as its marketing strategy and database.
Closing date: Noon – 25th October 2021

HES: Research Project – Properties in Care and the British Empire
Historic Environment Scotland is seeking an individual or group of researchers to undertake an 18-month commission to investigate and understand the imperial connections of the 336 Properties in Care (PICs), by situating the historical landowners within the activities of the British Empire, including the transatlantic slave economy and other colonial activities.
Closing date: 12:00 on 27 October 2021

RIAS: Head of Marketing and Communications
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland is looking for a Head of Communications to work with the CEO, RIAS President, senior staff, RIAS members (individually and through committees) to deliver the RIAS Marketing and Communications Plan.
Closing date: 31 October

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