BEFS Bulletin – Strategies, Case Studies & Consultations

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


The Scottish Government has now launched its Culture Strategy. The strategy sets out a vision underpinned by three main ambitions: strengthening culture; transforming through culture; and empowering through culture. The strategy places culture as a central consideration across all policy areas including: health and wellbeing, economy, education, reducing inequality and realising a greener and more innovative future. Scotland’s Tourism Strategy, Scotland Outlook 2030, has also now been launched, an equal partnership between the Scottish Government, VisitScotland, Scottish Enterprise, HIE and Skills Development Scotland.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is encouraging organisations with community-based projects to apply for its new Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund, which is launching this week for the Year of Coasts and Waters. Grants between £3,000 and £20,000 will be available for projects which help communities to protect, promote or engage with Scotland’s coastal or waterways. This includes projects which are developing measures to enhance resilience to climate change. While community groups are encouraged to apply, the scheme is open to all organisations. Applicants should demonstrate how their project will benefit the local community, through developing traditional skills, stabilising historic or marine structures, hosting community outreach and educational activities, or increasing people’s understanding of Scotland’s coasts and waters heritage. The Fund is a one-off, competitive fund to celebrate Scotland’s themed year and applications close on Sunday 31 May. Expressions of interest must be made by Thursday 30 April. Further details here.

It is that time of year again! We are looking for projects and initiatives undertaken between April 2019 and March 2020 to feature in our Historic Environment Case Studies database and the Our Place in Time (OPiT) performance report 2020. This is an opportunity to showcase your work within the national strategy for the historic environment. Further information and how to submit your project here.

Join us for our upcoming event in partnership with the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland, Conservation Areas – Now and Tomorrow, on 30th April at the Engine Shed. This event will be an opportunity for local authorities, advocacy groups, policy makers and decision makers to get together and talk about what is most important to them for good place-making.

BEFS responded to the Scottish Government’s Housing to 2040 consultation. BEFS is glad to see the inclusion of maintenance in the Scottish Government’s vision but emphasises concerns over a lack of connections across policy areas and highlights the continuing challenges of EPCs with regards to traditionally built properties.

The Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance, of which BEFS is the secretariat, also responded to the Housing to 2040 consultation, which can be found here. Historic Environment Scotland also submitted an excellent response.

Matt Ritchie, Forestry and Land Scotland Archaeologist, reports on how natural and cultural heritage can be used to share and shape ethos and values in our blog this week, Archaeology as Soft Power.


How does the way we own and use Scotland’s land affect you?

The practice of cash retention under construction contracts
Closes on 25 Mar 2020.

Energy Efficient Scotland: Improving energy efficiency in owner occupied homes consultation
Closes 26 March 2020.

European Territorial Cooperation programmes 2021-2027: consultation
Closes 27 Mar 2020.

Planning for Scotland in 2050: National Planning Framework 4 – Call for Ideas
Call for Ideas runs until 31 March 2020.

Review of the ban on the use of combustible materials in and on the external walls of buildings (England)
Closes on 13 April 2020.

Consultation Responses

Local Energy Policy Statement: consultation analysis (SG 09/03/20)


Heritage-Based Regeneration: A SURF Event Outcomes Paper (SURF 11/03/20)

Energy efficiency in social housing: guidance for landlords – revised 2020 (SG 11/03/20)

Central estate: strategy (SG 11/03/20)

Delivery Plan for the National Strategy for Scotland’s Museums and Galleries 2020 – 2022 (MGS 03/20)

Planning Circular 1/2020: Changing Places Toilets Regulations (SG 06/03/20)

National Planning Framework – Housing Technical Discussion Paper (SG 05/03/20)

Scotland Outlook 2030: Responsible Tourism for a Sustainable Future (STA 04/03/20)

Culture in the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda (Culture21 03/20)

A Culture Strategy for Scotland (SG 28/02/20)

Culture Strategy: vision and summary of actions (SG 28/02/20)

Scottish Government News Releases

COP26 update (SG 10/03/20)
Scotland will work with all parties to deliver a successful COP26 in Glasgow, Climate Change Secretary Roseanna Cunningham has said.

More homes available (SG 10/03/20)
According to the latest figures, 9,317 affordable homes were delivered in 2019, an increase of more than 25% since 2016, helping to provide more people with a warm, safe place they can call home.

New build homes started increased by 24% (SG 10/03/20)
The latest quarterly statistics on new housebuilding and affordable housing supply have been released by Scotland’s Chief Statistician.

Heat Networks Bill (SG 03/03/20)
Scotland will be the first country in the UK to legislate on the development of heat networks to help meet climate change targets and tackle fuel poverty.

Helping homeowners maintain tenements (SG 02/03/20)
A project that offers tenement homeowners free advice to tackle problems over communal upkeep will receive an extra £50,000.

A Culture Strategy for Scotland (SG 28/02/20)
Culture’s ability to transform lives and empower people is the focus of A Culture Strategy for Scotland, published today.

News Releases

Up to £200,000 funding available for coasts and waters heritage projects (HES 09/03/20)
We are encouraging organisations with community-based projects to apply for our new Coasts and Waters Heritage Fund which launches today (Monday 9 March) for the Year of Coasts and Waters.

Arts & Culture Impact Fund (nesta 03/20)
The Arts & Culture Impact Fund is a new £20 million impact investment fund for the UK’s arts, culture and heritage social enterprises. The fund offers loans between £150,000 and £1 million repayable over a period of up to ten years.

IHBC Marsh Awards – Nomination deadline extended (IHBC 06/03/20)
Know a great learner? Congratulate with an IHBC Marsh Award nomination – closing 31 March.  IHBC’s Marsh Awards celebrate retired members and new heritage learners: £500 & a free place at the IHBC School for winners.  Anyone can nominate!

Edinburgh Council develops repairs app for shared properties (UKAuthority 05/03/20)
City of Edinburgh Council is developing an app to support residents in shared properties in keeping their buildings in good condition.

28 Professional bodies jointly pledge to tackle climate change (CIC 03/03/20)
They have issued a joint statement that recognises that the breakdown in global climate and biodiversity is the most serious issue of our time and that the built environment is a major contributor.

Cultural heritage in Action – Call to join our community of good practice! (EUROCITIES 25/02/20)
We are thrilled to launch Cultural Heritage in Action, a peer-learning programme for local and regional policy makers to exchange knowledge on cultural heritage, with a focus on participatory governance, adaptive reuse and quality of interventions on heritage. Deadline: 27th March.

Opinion & Comment

An Accelerator Under-Used? New Report Explores the Place of Culture in SDG Implementation (IISD 03/03/20)

Four futures of work: consequences for the Scottish skills system (RSA 03/20)

The miracle new sustainable product that’s revolutionising architecture – stone! (Guardian 04/03/20)

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”.

Question S5W-27851: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/03/2020
To ask the Scottish Government by what date it will publish the final version of the Scottish National Review on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Question S5W-27767: Pauline McNeill, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/03/2020
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to support small home builders to deliver carbon neutral/negative housing in order to meet its climate change targets.

Other Parliamentary Activity


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

Going Digital: Tools and ideas for a successful project
Date & time: Tue, 17 March 2020; 09:30 – 15:00.
Venue: Maryhill Burgh Halls, 24 Gairbraid Avenue, Glasgow G20 8YE.
Join us for an HTN Scotland Members’ Meeting to learn how boost your project using online platforms and digital technologies. Our theme for the event will be ‘Going Digital’ ideas and examples of how you can use online tools and digital visualisations, to promote and enhance your project. As with all our events, this will be a great opportunity to share updates on your own project, troubleshoot challenges and connect with new people who may be able to help.

Why Do Historic Places Matter? Emotional Attachments to Urban Heritage
Date & time: Wed, 25 March 2020 from 13:00 – 17:00.
Venue: The Royal Scots Club Edinburgh, 29-31 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh EH3 6QE.
This afternoon conference brings together leading figures from the heritage and built environment sectors to discuss the reasons why historic places matter to a range of individuals including developers, investors, planners, campaigners and residents.

Master Builders: Working with Stone 
Date & time: Saturday 28 March, 1pm – 3.30pm.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling. Free, drop-in.
Try your hand at building our drystone wall model using stones or building a broch from LEGO. Explore the archaeology of Mousa Broch through virtual tours and use 3D models as we launch a new interactive iBook. In partnership with CodeBase, try our VR headsets as part of Metafest. Activities suitable for ages 7+. Parental/guardian supervision is required.

Designing for a Changing Climate – Climate, Health and Place
Date & time: Thu, 2 April 2020, from 11:00 – 15:00.
Venue: Perth Concert Hall (Norie-Miller Studio), Mill Street, Perth PH1 5HZ.
On the 2nd of April, Architecture and Design Scotland invites you to explore how to plan places to make a step change in responding to the climate crisis and meeting the national carbon reduction targets. During the event we will take a creative look at how we can use design and collaborative placemaking to shape places that are climate ready, healthier, happier and support low carbon lifestyles.

Light Science Day
Date & time: Saturday 4 April, 10am – 3pm.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling. Free, drop-in.
Learn about the science of light through some amazing fun and practical events in partnership with the Light Lab Project. Explore the Ultra-Violet Image Tent, the Infra-Red Thermal Room and learn about how scientists use light to aid the conservation of buildings.

Thermal Detectives
Date & time: Monday 6 April to Friday 10 April, 1pm – 3.30pm.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling. Free, drop-in.
Become a Thermal detective this Easter! Use thermal cameras to see differences in temperature within the Engine Shed and find out how these cameras can help us spot problems in buildings. Create your own thermal image with marbling pens and paper.
Suitable for ages 6+ and parental/guardian supervision is required for the duration of the activity

Date & time: Monday 13 April – Friday 17 April, 11am – 4pm.
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling. Free, drop-in.
This spring holiday we are excited to welcome Tinkertown to the Engine Shed. Join us to construct a scrap timber town right outside the Engine Shed. This is a free event for children and families to design, build and play as they like with hammers, saws and pallets!

2020 SURF Debate – ‘Transport in a Climate Emergency’
Date & time: 23rd April, 12pm-4pm
Venue: Glasgow Women’s Library (Bridgeton)
All on board for a sustainable and inclusive Scotland? Yes, but how are we going to get there? In the urgent context of a global climate emergency and corrosive inequalities, what type and scale of transport investments and connections are necessary for a sustainable and inclusive Scotland? How should we balance national infrastructure and local facilities for optimum accessibility, efficiency and cohesion? A cross sector audience of regeneration practitioners, policymakers and academics will debate the best route to ensuring that future transport investments successfully link with aspirations and assets in the presently less well connected communities across Scotland.

RIAS Inclusive Design Seminar
Date & time: Tue, 28 April 2020 from 13:15 – 17:00.
Venue: Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh EH8 8BG.
For everyone to be involved in the social life of a community and contribute to the local economy, we need management and building design that provides for the varied user requirements of the public at large. In terms of our human rights, we should be enabled to be as independent as possible, allowing us to participate equally in social and economic activities. Join RIAS for this seminar which will look at planning for inclusivity at the outset to deliver high quality environments. Our speakers will cover a range of topics relating to inclusive design and how we can produce external spaces, buildings, interiors and products that are as accessible as possible for a diverse population.

The Mark Turnbull Travel Award Presentation & LIS AGM
Date & time: Wed, 29 April 2020, 18:00 – 19:45
Venue: Hunter Lecture Theatre, Hunter Building, Edinburgh EH3 9DF.
Mark Turnbull was one of the country’s most eminent Landscape Architects, winner of the Landscape Institute’s Gold Medal Award and recognised for the contribution that overseas learning and experience from his training and work in the USA brought to his practice in Scotland. The Award focusses on using overseas travel to gain insight into best and innovative landscape practice to address some of the current landscape challenges facing Scotland. The award will benefit future generations of graduate landscape architects in Scotland as well as practice of Landscape Architecture by bringing overseas experience and knowledge back to the country.

IHBC Annual School – Old Towns: New Futures
Dates: 18-20 June (Day School 19 June).
Location: Brighton.
The IHBC’s 2020 Brighton School and conference takes a timely and forensic look at how the planning, heritage and related sectors can make the most of the opportunities on offer, help players learn from colleagues and others, and broaden understanding of the drivers, barriers and responses.  This unique learning opportunity from the IHBC – in Brighton, from 18-20 June 2020 – will ensure that practitioners can uncover new solutions to some surprisingly historic challenges.


Traditional Buildings Repair
Date & time: Friday 3 April, 9.30am – 12.45 pm
Venue: Engine Shed, Stirling. Free.
Continuing our CPD series in conjunction with RIAS, RICS, RPTI, this half day session will examine issues with common repairs in tenements, principles of working with and specifying lime mortars and how to undertake sash and case window repairs.

Conservation and Repair of Stonework
Date & time: Tue, 21 April 2020, from 09:30 – 16:30.
Venue: The Centre for Stewardship, The Stables, Falkland Estate, Falkland KY15 7AF.
This seminar/workshop is suitable for those involved in the repair of traditional and historic buildings, particularly those who specify and/or supervise such work; surveyors, architects, conservation/planning officers, structural engineers, clerk of works, project managers/ supervisors etc. It may also be suitable for contractors looking to enhance their knowledge and understanding of working with traditional and historic buildings, or owners of older properties with some background building/construction knowledge. We assume attendees will have some background knowledge and experience in relation to traditional and historic buildings.

The Structural Repair of Historic Buildings
Dates & time: 24 April 2020 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Venue: Charlestown Workshops
Price: £195.00 + VAT
The aim of this seminar is to provide professionals with a sound understanding of the philosophy of conservation and a better understanding of the relationship between structural engineering and conservation, of safety issues and of the aesthetics of conservation based structural repairs. This seminar, led by Ian Hume is suitable for anyone involved in the structural repair of historic buildings, conservation officers, architects, engineers, site managers and others would find this seminar helpful. The course will consist of lectures, case studies and group activities.

Architectural Conservation CPD: Design and Retrofit on the Gannochy Estate
Date & time: Wednesday 29 April, 12:30-13:30 (light refreshments from 12:15)
Venue: Lower City Mills, West Mill Street, Perth, PH1 5QP.
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. Sessions are delivered in Perth by industry accredited professionals and are recognised CPD by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF).

RICS CPD day Glasgow
Date & time: 20 May 2020 from 08:30 AM – 05:10 PM.
Venue: Glasgow Marriott Hotel, 500 Argyle St, Glasgow, G3 8RR
6 hours formal CPD.
Hear the latest updates and technical guidance across built environment, land and property. Our highlighted sessions include: Fire safety engineering: Scotland strengthens standards; Repair and maintenance of historical and listed buildings; Modern methods of construction: Examining the growing trend.

Architectural Conservation CPD: Historic Shopfronts
Date & time: Wednesday 27 May, 12:30-13:30 (light refreshments from 12:15)
Venue: Lower City Mills, West Mill Street, Perth, PH1 5QP
Marking 10 years since ‘The Historic Shopfronts of Perth’ was published, the second session in the 2020 CPD programme is a historic shopfront feature delivered by shopfronts expert Lindsay Lennie. 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 of the best conservation practice to employ on a project involving traditionally constructed buildings, this is the CPD programme for you. Sessions are delivered in Perth by industry accredited professionals and are recognised CPD by the Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC) and Scottish Traditional Building Forum (STBF).


Graveyards Engagement Officer
Edinburgh World Heritage is looking to appoint a Graveyards Engagement Officer to play a key role in engaging audiences in one of our five historic burial sites in the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site.
Closing date Friday 20th March at 5pm.

Project Development Officer
A new full-time fixed term post, funded by Historic Environment Scotland, to work with the Fife Historic Buildings Trust team to develop new historic environment regeneration projects in Fife, principally the restoration and re-use of historic buildings at risk.
Deadline for applications: 10am on Monday 6 April 2020. Interviews: Tuesday 28 April 2020.