BEFS Bulletin – State of Heritage & Budget 2021-22

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

© Church of Scotland


BEFS held a well attended webinar on The State of Heritage 2021-22 last week with excellent contributions from leaders across the sector discussing the financial, employment and organisational outlook for this coming year. A summary report and comment on the event from BEFS Policy & Strategy Manager Ailsa Macfarlane is now available on our website here. The webinar included headline details from the Scottish Budget 2021-22 that have implications for the built environment and the funding of Historic Environment Scotland, also now available on this link.

BEFS, Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS), and greenspace scotland welcome the 40 organisations who will participate in the 18-month NLHF funded Business Support Programme, ‘Surviving to Thriving’ (StT). More details.

In June 2020 the Scottish Government launched an independent collaborative review of the progress and scope of the 2013 Town Centre Action Plan. The Review group was asked to build on the town centre first approach and develop a refreshed vision for Scotland’s towns and the means to achieve it. Scottish Towns centre action plan review group’s report has now been published here.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and Adaptation Scotland are working together on a range of projects. One of them is about identifying what climate data and information people need. Complete this short survey to help provide a snapshot of what climate data and information is needed to understand climate change.

The heritage sector is currently grappling with a changing landscape, not only in relation to the pandemic but also with regards to Brexit. It is within this context that we would recommend a recent webinar on Brexit, Data Protection and Heritage by Heritage Digital. The webinar provides a succinct overview of how Brexit effects our data protection policies and what heritage organisations should be looking out for.

As the initial consultation on Scotland’s fourth National Planning Framework (NPF4) draws to a close, BEFS former Chair, Graeme Purves, compares approaches being taken by Wales and Scotland to highlight some strategic planning challenges in this week’s blog.


Consultation on Scottish skills requirements for energy efficiency, zero emissions and low carbon heating systems, microgeneration and heat networks for homes
Opened 5 Feb 2021 and closes 30 April 2021.

Heat in Buildings Strategy
Opened 5 Feb 2021 and closes 30 April 2021.

The Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme – Call for Evidence to Support Development of Future Programme
Opened 8 Feb 2021 and closes 30 April 2021.

Covid-19: Government support for charities – Call for evidence
You can submit evidence until Monday 8 March 2021.

Strengthening Scottish Charity Law Survey
Closes 19 Feb 2021.

National Planning Framework: Position Statement
Closes 19 Feb 2021.

New Build Heat Standard – Scoping Consultation
Closes 3 Mar 2021.

Mediation in Planning
Closes 12 Mar 2021.

Draft Public Engagement Strategy for Climate Change
Closes 17 Mar 2021.

Consultation Responses

Energy Efficient Scotland: Improving energy efficiency in owner-occupied homes. Analysis of responses to the public consultation exercise (SG 05/02/21)

Analysis of Responses to Consultation on the Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26 (SG 04/02/21)


A National Mission with Local Impact: Infrastructure Investment Plan for Scotland 2021-22 to 2025-26 (SG 04/02/21)

Investing for jobs: Capital Spending Review 2021-22 to 2025-26 (SG 04/02/210)

Legislative proposals to address impact of Scotland’s concentration of land ownership (SLC 04/02/21)

Environment and climate change: Climate Change Plan update (SG 04/02/21)

A New Future for Scotlands Town Centres (SG 03/02/21)

Scotland’s carbon footprint: 1998 – 2017 (SG 02/02/21)

SURF’s COVID Sector Connector Service Events Outcomes Paper (SURF 02/21)

Architecture & Design Scotland – 2020 Annual Review (A&DS 01/21)

Housing Needs of Minority Ethnic Groups: Evidence Review (SG 29/01/21)

Budget 2021-22: a budget for unprecedented times (SPICe 28/01/21)

Affordable Housing Supply Programme: process and procedures MHDGN 2020/02 (SG 28/01/21)

Historic England Annual Report and Accounts 2019-2020 (HE 25/01/21)

Written Submissions Received on the Impact of COVID-19 on Scotland’s Culture and Tourism Sectors (CTEEAC 01/21)

Scottish Government News Releases

Reaching net zero (SG 05/02/21)

Plans to ensure all buildings in Scotland are warmer, more efficient and reach zero emissions by 2045 have been launched.

£33 billion investment in Scotland’s future (SG 04/02/21)
Significant capital investment in healthcare, education, transport and the environment over the next five years has been set out.

Scotland’s Carbon Footprint: 1998-2017 (SG 02/02/21)
This publication provides estimates of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions on a consumption basis; that is emissions that are associated with the spending of Scottish residents on goods and services, wherever in the world these emissions arise, together with emissions directly generated by Scottish households.

Budget to support net-zero transformation (SG 01/02/21)
The Scottish Government will invest a record £1.9 billion in tackling climate change and creating good, green jobs in 2021/22.

Rebuilding the economy (SG 01/02/21)
Supporting people into employment and equipping them with skills they need will be at the heart of the economic recovery, backed with £1.1 billion of investment under the proposed Scottish Budget 2021-22.

£11.6 billion for local councils (SG 01/02/21)
Details of how £11.6 billion of funding from the Scottish Government will be distributed to individual local authorities in 2021-22 have been published.

Scottish Budget 2021-22 (SG 28/01/21)
Significant new investment to drive economic recovery, bolster public services and support families underpins the Scottish Government’s spending and taxation plans for the coming year.

News Releases

Scottish Empty Homes Awards winners announced (SHN 03/02/21)
Aberdeen City Council, an Inverness-based building company, a community housing project in Dumfries & Galloway and a Fife Council officer were the winners in the 10th Scottish Empty Homes awards sponsored by Fraser & Fraser Genealogists and International Probate Researchers.

RTPI Scotland welcomes town centre review report (RTPI Scotland 03/02/21)
The Royal Town Planning Institute in Scotland has welcomed recognition in a government commissioned review that urban planning plays a crucial part in the revival of Scottish town centres.

New research will explore how public are interacting with collections online (MA 02/02/21)
Three research projects have received funding to explore how the public are engaging with heritage virtually during the pandemic and what lessons can be learnt for future digital provision in the sector.

HES welcomes grant in aid from Scottish Government budget (HES 29/01/21)
Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has welcomed grant in aid funding of £75.9 million as part of the Scottish Government’s 2021-2022 Budget.

Vital role of planning missing from climate change plan, MSPs told (RTPI Scotland 27/01/21)
More consideration needs to be given to the location of new buildings in Scotland in the battle against climate change, says Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Scotland.

Communities must be empowered to reimagine their neighbourhoods post-Covid (RTPI Scotland 26/01/21)
RTPI Scotland is calling on the Scottish government to provide support for communities to help them shape where they live in the wake of Covid-19.

New research will demonstrate benefit of culture and heritage to society (DCMS 21/01/21)
An ambitious new programme of research to improve decision making by valuing the benefits of our culture and heritage capital to society, announced today.

Opinion & Comment

20-minute neighbourhoods & Local Place Plans – new tools for a healthier, greener Scotland (Nick Wright 08/02/21)

Podcast: How Scotland’s construction industry is becoming more sustainable (The Scotsman 05/02/21)

Podcast: Stuccoed in Time (99% Invisible, Architecture 02/02/21)

Anybody home? Uncover your house history (EWH 19/01/21)

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-34992: Gordon MacDonald, Edinburgh Pentlands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/02/2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its Heat in Buildings Strategy.
Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (05/02/2021)

Question S5W-34233: Stuart McMillan, Greenock and Inverclyde, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/12/2020
To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish its Heat in Buildings Strategy.
Answered by Paul Wheelhouse (23/12/2020)


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

Scotland’s Community Heritage Conversations 20/21: #3 Youth Empowerment
Date & time: Sat, February 13, 2021; 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM.
We are delighted to be able to announce the 3rd of our Community Heritage Conversations, which is a half-day event on Youth Engagement. It’s not a secret that young people are under-represented in terms of engagement with heritage. It’s an issue that our sector has been trying to tackle for many years. This session will look at how community heritage organisations are approaching youth engagement, and their efforts to involve young people in all aspects of heritage work.

“A New Future for Scotland’s Town Centres”, with Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell MSP
Date & time: Thursday 18th February, 2.30-3.30pm.
Online: Zoom.
The Town Centre Action Plan Expert Review Group has published its report: ‘A New Future for Scotland’s Town Centres’. Following consultation across sectors and with the public, the report offers a vision for how Scotland’s town centres can play a central role in ensuring fairer, greener and healthier communities. Scotland’s Towns Partnership invites you to a webinar to present the report’s vision and recommendations, and examine next steps to put the enhanced policy direction for our towns into practice. We will hear from Communities Secretary, Aileen Campbell MSP, as well as Professor Leigh Sparks, who chaired the independent review group.

Mapping the City with Dr Christopher Fleet
Date & time: 6pm, Thursday 26th February 2021
Online: Zoom
Please join us for a fascinating evening as we explore the history of the World Heritage Site through the National Library of Scotland’s outstanding map collection, with Dr Christopher Fleet, Curator of Maps and author of ‘Mapping the City’, published by Birlinn. The National Library’s collection of Edinburgh city views and maps stretches back to the 17th century, and, seen together, they allow us to follow the development of the city from the time of Mary Queen of Scots to the present day.

Delivering More Homes and Better Places in Scotland
Date & time: Fri, 5 March 2021; 10:00 – 12:00.
Delivering more, high-quality homes and better places is fundamental to Scotland’s economic recovery from COVID-19. It is a cross-cutting thread that runs through the four themes of the NPF4 position statement: to plan for net-zero emissions, resilient communities, a wellbeing economy, and better, greener places. This webinar builds on recent research on new housing supply, design quality, land assembly and placemaking. A set of pre-recorded presentations summarises the findings from this research, while the three live panel discussions focus on the practicalities of delivery.

Your Career in Conservation
Dates & times: 22nd March – 24th March | 10:30am – 4:00pm.
Interested in a career focused on the historic built environment? Or learning more about how to improve your knowledge and expertise about conserving our built heritage? Join Glasgow City Heritage Trust for a three-day online conference looking at careers in conservation and take part in workshops on how to become conservation accredited. The conference is aimed at anyone working, or interested in working, within the building and heritage sectors, including architects, surveyors, conservators, engineers and consultants.

Connecting Nature Innovation Summit
Dates: 23-25 March.
From 23-25 March the Innovation Summit will bring together an international audience to explore how we shift to sustainable, greener cities that deliver for their citizens using nature-based solutions. It will share the learning from the community of cities involved in Connecting Nature and introduce the innovative tools and methods being developed through the project. This free event is co-hosted by greenspace scotland and Glasgow City Council, the full Connecting Nature Innovation Summit registration will open later in Feb 2021.

The See-Through House
Date & time: Monday 5th April 2021; 6:30pm.
Online: via Zoom.
We are delighted to have Shelly Klein discussing with Colin McLean and Simon Green her recently published book on life in the modernist house designed by Peter Womersley. Join Shelley Klein in conversation with photographer Colin McLean and architectural historian Simon Green as she discusses her recently published book, The See-Through House. The book is based on life in High Sunderland, her family home in the Borders, designed in 1957 on an open-plan grid with colourful glass panels by modernist architect Peter Womersley for Shelley’s father, textile designer Bernat Klein.


Webinar: Getting started with creating video content
Date & time: 16th February, 10:00 – 11:30am.
Want to make videos for your heritage organisation but not sure how to get started? Would you benefit from an overview of the equipment, software and some top tips for how to start making your own video content for websites and social media? Join Heritage Digital and Nick Street of Street Films for a webinar on getting started with creating video content – suitable for those looking to create videos using mobile phones and/or basic cameras. This workshop is FREE as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported Heritage Digital programme.

Workshop: Creating cut-through videos
Dates & times: 24 Feb, 9:30-11:30am.
Join Nick Street of Street Films for a morning in-depth workshop on creating cut-through videos. Whilst the introductory webinar on 16th February will provide an overview and some top-tips, these half-day sessions will guide participants through how to gain confidence in making videos, with tools, storyboarding and rights management considered. There will also be chance for Q&A with Nick, an experienced video-maker for heritage organisations. This workshop is FREE as part of the National Lottery Heritage Fund supported Heritage Digital programme.

Free training for Community Councils – the Circular Economy and the planning system 
At the end of last year we announced our intention to run a number of training sessions on the circular economy and its relation to the planning system, in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland. We now have four confirmed dates. Each session will run for 1.5 – 2 hours. Please sign up for your preferred session via the links below or contact David Wood ( for more information.

IHBC CPD – Introducing Building Survey for Retrofit
Date & time: 29 Mar 2021 1pm-2pm.
Online: GoToWebinar.
John Edwards, IHBC Technical Panel Chair and Trustee, will introduce Building Survey for Retrofit.  Topics will include the following: The overall approach including the survey as part of the retrofit process; Competencies and equipment required; How condition affects performance; Examples of issues of particular importance and how to analyse them; Determining the suitability of types and levels of retrofit including materials; Making sure that heritage values are part of the process; Q&A at end.

The Need for Old Buildings to Breathe Re-Examined
Date & time: 27 April 2021.
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.


Chief Executive
The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) is to appoint a Chief Executive. The role, designed to support the profession at a time of significant change, will be based in Edinburgh at the RIAS headquarters.
Closing date for formal applications: 9am, Monday 1st March 2021.