BEFS Bulletin – Surviving to Thriving

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


Applications are now open to the NLHF funded Business Support Programme, ‘Surviving to Thriving’, developed by Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS), Museums Galleries Scotland and greenspace scotland to support heritage organisations in Scotland to develop sustainable business models. The programme will deliver a comprehensive resilience and leadership training programme free of charge to approximately 40 heritage organisations across Scotland. Information and application form can be found here. To have a chat about the programme and application, join us at surgeries throughout November. Book a place .

Tender opportunities are also now live for the procurement of training provision and evaluation of the Business Support Programme. Full details .

The UK Collaborative Centre for Housing Evidence (CaCHE) and the Land Commission Scotland have published a new report ‘Delivering More Homes and Better Places’, co-produced with the Housing and Place Delivery Forum (HPDF), of which BEFS is a member. This report examines five housing developments in Scotland to extract lessons for future housing and place delivery. The report provides some clear and constructive lessons on how the way land is assembled for development can deliver more homes and better places. A summary of the report can be found here.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has published its 6-month Action Plan until March 2021. The Plan comes in response to Covid-19 in place of an Annual Operating Plan and sets out how HES will prioritise and continue to resume its core activities over the next six months.

The Climate Heritage Network (CHN), of which BEFS is a member, is running Culture x Climate, a virtual forum designed to unite leaders, practitioners, activists, researchers, and experts, all sharing how arts, culture and heritage can help drive transformative climate action in our communities. Running from 12 October through to 27 November, Culture x Climate features CHN-sponsored webinars, weekly themes and affiliated events from CHN members and allies. Find out more about upcoming events.

This year Scotland’s Community Heritage Conference has been re-imagined as a new series of Community Heritage Conversations. The first Conversation will be a half-day event on the morning of Saturday 14th November, under the banner ‘Celebrating Resilience’, and speakers will be from community groups who have pushed forward with their projects during this oh-so-challenging year. More information here and save the date!

BEFS is delighted to welcome its newest member The Ridge Foundations CIC (TRF), a construction company and social enterprise, part of the Ridge SCIO charity. Find out more about the invaluable work they do in providing high quality training in traditional skills and supporting employment in their local community in this week’s blog.


Island Communities Impact Assessments Guidance and Toolkit
Opened 12 Oct 2020 and closes 9 Nov 2020.

Fair Rents (Scotland) Bill
Opened 12 Oct 2020 and closes 7 Dec 2020.

Talking About Heritage
Opened 22 Sep 2020 and closes 15 Dec 2020.

Emerging from lockdown survey – Museums Galleries Scotland

H2020 SHERPA project welcomes your opinions on the challenges, opportunities and vision for rural areas of Scotland to 2040. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): supporting people and communities – call for ideas
Closes 23 October 2020.

External wall systems – advice note: background, consultation questions and response form
This targeted consultation will be completed on 25 October 2020.

Proposed Changes to Pre-Application Consultation Requirements in Planning
Closes 6 Nov 2020.

Programme for Reviewing and Extending Permitted Development Rights (PDR) in Scotland – Consultation on Phase 1 Proposals
Closes 12 Nov 2020.

Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan – 2021-22 to 2025-26
Closes 19 Nov 2020.

Consultation Responses

DASH SURVEY RESULTS 2020 – Describing the digital attitudes, skills and organisational support of people working across the UK heritage sector


HES Action Plan 2020-21 – Mid Year Update (HES 20/10/20)

Heritage Now – How Heritage Can Support National Recovery (THA 10/20)

Backing the Bedrock 2020 – Five Heritage Fiscal & Funding Priorities 2020 (THA 10/20)

HES publishes its annual reports for 2019-20 (HES 15/10/20)

COVID-19 & BEYOND: Challenges and Opportunities for Cultural Heritage (EN 15/10/20)

Learning from lockdown – 12 steps to eliminate digital exclusion (CUKT 15/10/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for retail, tourism and hospitality customers (SG 09/10/20)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): tourism and hospitality sector guidance (SG 08/10/20)

Delivering More Homes and Better Places: Lessons from Policy and Practice in Scotland (CaCHE 08/10/20)

The Scottish Government’s Programme for Reviewing and Extending Permitted Development Rights (PDR) in Scotland – Consultation on Phase 1 Proposals – An Overview (SG 10/20)

Go Big. Go Local. The UK2070 Report on a New Deal for Levelling up the United Kingdom (UK2070 Commission 10/20)

Pride in place – The RSA Heritage Index 2020 (RSA 10/20)

The House of Good – The economic and social value of church buildings to the UK (NCT 10/20)

Scottish Government News Releases

New grant for local projects (SG 18/10/20)
A new £1 million ‘Scotland Loves Local’ fund will provide grants of between £500 and £5,000 to hundreds of projects to promote town centre and online businesses.

Scotland’s Green Recovery (SG 09/10/20)
Fast-tracked funding to help local communities drive their green recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been announced.

News Releases

Planning for the future (HES 21/10/20) 
We believe that Scotland’s past can lead the way to a green recovery and an energy efficient future – after all, the greenest building is the one that already exists.

£1m Scotland Loves Local Fund Open for Applications (STP 20/10/20)
A new £1 million ‘Scotland Loves Local’ fund will provide grants of between £500 and £5,000 to hundreds of projects to promote town centre and online businesses.

HES has published its 6-month Action Plan until March 2021 (HES 20/10/20)
The Plan comes on the back of HES’ first 6-month Action Plan, which was produced in April in response to Covid-19 in place of an Annual Operating Plan and sets out how we will prioritise and continue to resume our core activities over the next six months.

HES publishes its annual reports for 2019-20 (HES 15/10/20)
HES reflects on the past year with the publication of its Annual Report and Financial Statements 2019-20 and Properties in Care Report.

RSA Heritage Index reveals the UK’s heritage hotspots (NLHF 14/10/20)
The 2020 report highlights the UK’s best areas for heritage and puts forward the case for heritage as a means of recovery in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Free holidays in historic buildings for charities (TLT 10/20)
This programme offers fifty midweek (four nights) and weekend (three nights) breaks in March, at selected Landmarks across England, Wales, Scotland and even a trip by helicopter to the island of Lundy.

Help for heritage organisations to build better businesses (NLHF 10/20)
Apply now to take part in workshops and training to boost skills and confidence and improve your organisation’s leadership and management.

Past Protectors are Prize Winners! (PAS 09/10/20)
Participants in a PAS project have won first prize in a national archaeology competition, after showing off their presenting and filming skills in the Council for British Archaeology run Festival of Archaeology.

My Place Awards 2020 Winners Announced (SCT 08/10/20)
The winning, highly commended and commended projects for the My Place Awards 2020 were announced on 8th October. The My Place Awards celebrate community-led built environment projects that have transformed their localities and are supported by the Scottish Government.

Free Membership Form of Europa Nostra (18-30 years old) (EN 10/20)
Are you aged between 18 and 30 years old? You can apply for free membership. Would you like to be part of the largest heritage network in Europe? Do you think you can contribute to our mission through your experiences, creativity and skills?

The Kickstart Scheme – Expressions of Interest (MGS 10/20)
The UK government has introduced the new Kickstart Scheme, a £2 billion fund to create hundreds of thousands of high-quality work placements. To enable MGS to apply for the Scheme, we must ensure there is sufficient demand from the museums and galleries sector.

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-32595: Liz Smith, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 15/10/2020
To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish the Scottish Land Commission Report on regional land use partnerships.

Question S5W-32616: Angus MacDonald, Falkirk East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/10/2020
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has for an awareness campaign on the implementation of changes to the Housing (Scotland) Act 1987 to ensure that homeowners, landlords, and those responsible for complying with the new regulations are aware of their responsibilities before 1 February 2021.

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-31673: Maurice Golden, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/09/2020
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-31438 by Fiona Hyslop on 3 September 2020, how many awards from the culture and heritage support package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have been allocated in each local authority area toward each of the 13 purposes set out in the response, also broken down by the (a) largest, (b) smallest and (c) average size of award.
Answered by Fiona Hyslop (22/09/2020)

Question S5W-31693: Willie Coffey, Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/09/2020
To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the recent announcement that the culture and heritage sectors are to receive a £59 million funding package to protect jobs and help the industry weather the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, when access to this funding package will be available; how this is being communicated to local cultural organisations; whether individuals can apply to the fund; how the fund will be disbursed; who will consider the bids, and how it will ensure the equanimity of awards so that all cultural communities will benefit.
Answered by Fiona Hyslop (18/09/2020)

Question S5W-31751: Colin Smyth, South Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/09/2020
To ask the Scottish Government how the £275 million regeneration fund announced in the Programme for Government will be allocated; when this funding will become available, and over how many years it will be spent.
Answered by Aileen Campbell (25/09/2020)

Question S5W-31745: Colin Smyth, South Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/09/2020
To ask the Scottish Government whether it still aims to have zero or ultra-low emission city centres by 2030.
Answered by Michael Matheson (24/09/2020)

Question S5W-31815: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 15/09/2020
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the comment by the Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning on 8 January 2020 that “we will review the tax treatment of short-term lets to ensure that they make an appropriate contribution to the communities that they operate in” (Official Report, c.37), what progress has been made with this review, and when the results will be published.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (29/09/2020)

Question S5W-31843: John Finnie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 16/09/2020
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the Member’s letter of 4 August and its reply of 3 September 2020, whether it will provide an answer to the request for it to commission independent research into the social and environmental impact of tourism.
Answered by Fergus Ewing (30/09/2020)

Question S5W-31866: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 17/09/2020
To ask the Scottish Government what lessons it can learn from the roll-out of Spaces for People regarding the need for effective and accessible community consultation, which can be applied to other initiatives.
Answered by Michael Matheson (29/09/2020)

Question S5W-31963: Edward Mountain, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2020
To ask the Scottish Government when the Scottish Tourism Recovery Task Force will publish its report on the recovery of the industry.
Answered by Fergus Ewing (06/10/2020)


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

Heritage and the Urban Environment: Whose Heritage is it Anyway  
Date & time: Thursday 29th October 2020, 15:00- 16:30.
Venue: live online Zoom seminar.
Historic Environment Scotland is the lead public body for the historic environment in Scotland – what does that mean in practice? What does HES do and how does that reflect how a 21st century population views heritage. HES has been undertaking ground-breaking research both in Scotland and internationally and opening up the conversation about heritage to different audiences. There has been controversy in the press around contested heritage through the Black Lives Matter campaigns; how does this fit with HES role and what does it mean for how we tell Scotland’s story in future? Who gets a say in what gets recognised in Scotland? HES has also been at the forefront of climate research and its impact on the historic environment, what will this mean for sites and monuments around Scotland in the future and how might that affect all of us?

A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again
Date & time: 29 October 2020; 18:00 – 19:00.
Online event.
“A city so beautiful it breaks the heart again and again” – Alexander McCall Smith
Painters, past and present, have depicted Edinburgh in countless different ways as both a backdrop and as the subject of great art. In this live event, our panel will talk about some of their favourite Edinburgh paintings, and discuss why the city has been such a potent muse for artists of all ages. Special guests include Scottish watercolourist Hugh Buchanan, RSA New Contemporaries 2020 exhibited young artist Lyndsey Mackenzie and Chief Curator of European and Scottish Art & Portraiture, National Gallery of Scotland, Patricia Allerston.

Architecture Fringe 2021 | October Open Meet-Up
Date & time: 29 October 2020; 19:00 – 20:30.
We’re off and running for the Architecture Fringe 2021! Join us for our first monthly open meet-up for an evening of good ideas, good chat and good people. Got a project idea or need some help? Our monthly meet-ups are for participants to share ideas, get feedback and get some help for self-directed work being put towards the Architecture Fringe 2021 Open Programme. We’ll be online via Zoom* on Thursday 29th October 2020, 7pm-8:30pm with a warm and facilitated evening of inspiration, information and support. Each meet-up will kick off with a short provocation on a different topic in context to next year’s theme of (Un)Learning. For October, we’re delighted to be joined by award-winning architect, academic, author and recent RIBA Presidential candidate Sumita Singha.

Loudoun Castle and Landscape Design in Scotland c.1700
Date & time: 2 Nov 2020, 18:30.
Online event.
Join Margaret Stewart for a presentation and screening of a film about landscape design in Scotland. Architectural historian Margaret Stewart introduces a short film entitled Loudoun, a documentary about landscape design in Scotland around 1700, and follows the screening with a talk on the making of the film. This is our annual joint lecture with Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage. Our online Winter Lectures are hosted on Zoom. We recommend downloading Zoom before the start of a talk. Instructions on how to join a lecture will be sent by email on the day of the event.


CPD: The Circular Economy with Katie Carter and Roger Curtis, HES
Date & time: Tuesday 27th October 2020 | 12.30-1.30pm.
GCHT Zoom Meeting.
The philosophy of the circular economy is to work towards zero waste operations, in which we maintain, repair, upgrade, repurpose, reuse and recycle everything we use in a continual loop. At a time when climate change and sustainability are at the top of the agenda for all of us, the studies into the circular economy are crucial to forging sustainable and responsible working solutions in the building conversation and construction sector. GCHT are therefore delighted to present this exclusive CPD lecture by two leading experts, Katie Carter and Roger Curtis from HES; Katie will provide an overview of the circular economy, followed by a look into some case studies with Roger.

RIAS Conservation Challenges 2020 – Autumn Seminar
Date & time: Tue, 27 October 2020; 13:00 – 16:30.
Online Event.
Join RIAS online for the Autumn Conservation CPD seminar chaired by Jocelyn Cunliffe, Convenor of the RIAS Conservation Committee. Presentations will include conservation theory, principles and challenges; stories of tenement improvements and deterioration; traditional window repairs; VAT rules and existing buildings; and conservation and the circular economy.

CPD: The Sustainable Renovation Guide with Chris Morgan
Date & time: 11th November 2020 | 12.30-1.30pm.
GCHT Zoom Meeting.
The ‘Sustainable Renovation Guide’, created by Chris Morgan in association with SEDA and The Pebble Trust, describes ten ways in which those involved in the retrofit and renovation of Scotland’s homes can improve upon current practice, achieving better energy performance while simultaneously gaining wider sustainability benefits. GCHT is delighted to collaborate with Chris to present this CPD, based upon the ‘Sustainable Renovation Guide,’ which will be of interest to anyone working with existing buildings, from those working in government, housing associations and councils, as well as architects, surveyors, builders and those wanting to refurbish their own homes.


Tender Opportunities: Training Provision & Evaluation
Tender opportunities are now live for the procurement of training provision and evaluation for our new NLHF-funded Business Support Programme – ‘Surviving to Thriving: Supporting Sustainable Scottish Heritage Businesses’ with Museums Galleries Scotland, Built Environment Forum Scotland and GREENSPACE SCOTLAND.
Deadline for tenders 30 Oct 2020.

Chief Executive at Scotland’s Regeneration Forum (SURF)
SURF is seeking an outstanding leader to build on our success and actively promote better understanding and practical cooperation between all regeneration partners, sectors and perspectives. You will have the opportunity to bring fresh thinking, creativity and ultimately make a difference for communities across Scotland.
Shortlist meeting (Livingston James and SURF): w/c 30th November.