BEFS Bulletin – Upcoming Events & Consultations

Get the latest historic environment events, jobs, news and publications in BEFS Bulletin.


BEFS Chair, Graeme Purves, reflects on the challenges and opportunities for the built environment sector in 2017 in his new year message.

Less than a week until our event ‘Cracking the Housing Nut’, with Thomas Aubrey and Alastair Parvin. Do not miss this timely discussion on addressing the housing challenge, at the National Galleries Scotland. Book your ticket here.

BEFS is holding a workshop (Thursday 9th February 10-1pm) on the Scottish Government’s consultation on the future of the planning system – Places, People and Planning. Join us to hear directly from Chief Planner John McNairney and discuss key themes within the consultation document. Book your place here.

Follow the Scottish Parliament debate on Improving Scotland’s Planning: Improving Scotland’s Places live this afternoon from 2.30pm on Parliament TV. We are also anticipating a Scottish Parliament debate on Celebrating Our Past: Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology on Tuesday, 31st January 2017.

BEFS Heritage Data Seminar on the 2016 Heritage Index, Understanding Scottish Places, Town Centre Review and the SHEA 2016 results, is also just around the corner. The event is free but do book a place.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has recently published an interim policy on how it will facilitate Asset Transfer under The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 and would like to hear your views. Read more about it in BEFS news.

The national heritage agencies – HES, Historic England and Cadw in Wales – have commissioned Landward Research to undertake a new survey of specialists in the study of the historic environment. The project aims to find out more about the distribution of specialists. If you are an archaeological, buildings history or garden history specialist or scientist, complete the questionnaire.

Check out the training offered by Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage for upcoming courses on effective copyrighting (31st January), fundraising strategies (8th February) and full cost recovery (22nd February) – all tailored to the heritage sector.

Visit Scotland have now created social media and web banners to promote your activities as part of #HHA2017. They are available to download from the #HHA2017 Business Toolkit at


Draft Climate Change Plan RPP3 – ECCLR Call for Evidence (SP 01/17)
The Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee has agreed to review the Scottish Government’s draft Climate Change Plan (third Report on Proposals and Policies – RPP3) as part of a collaborative scrutiny approach with the: Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee, Local Government and Communities Committee and Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee.
The deadline for responses is 10 February 2017.

Consultation on a Scottish Energy Strategy: The future of energy in Scotland (SG 24/01/17)
A consultation on a draft Scottish Energy Strategy, which sets out the Scottish Government’s vision for the future energy system in Scotland, to 2050.
Consultation closes on 30 May 2017.

Consultation on Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SG 24/01/17)
The Scottish Government has designated energy efficiency as a National Infrastructure Priority, the cornerstone of which will be Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) – a 15 to 20 year programme.
Consultation closes on 30 May 2017.

Consultation on Heat and Energy Efficiency Strategies, and Regulation of District Heating (SG 24/01/17)
The Scottish Government designated energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority in June 2015, covering energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation of both domestic and non-domestic buildings.
Consultation closes on 18 Apr 2017.


National Infrastructure Priority for Energy Efficiency – Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme (SG 24/01/17)
Scotland’s Energy Efficiency Programme will operate over 15 – 20 years and make our homes, shops, offices, schools and hospitals warmer and easier to heat. By reducing energy demand it will help to tackle fuel poverty, help businesses improve their energy productivity and competitiveness and release savings in the public sector for front line services. We are now formally consulting and seeking your views on these different options for programme and policy design.

Asset Transfer under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015: Guidance for Community Transfer Bodies (SG 23/01/17)
A step-by-step guide for community bodies setting out who can make an asset transfer request; how to get information about suitable properties; how to make a request and how the relevant authority will deal with it. It also covers review and appeal procedures.

Asset Transfer under the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015: Guidance for Relevant Authorities (SG 23/01/17)
A step-by-step guide for relevant authorities on the requirements for dealing with asset transfer requests, including who can make a request; registers of land and provision of information; procedures for processing requests and matters to be considered in making a decision. It also covers review and appeal procedures.

Brexit: What Scotland Thinks – major study published by Holyrood’s European Committee (SP 20/01/17)
A major parliamentary report detailing the views and concerns around Brexit of more than 150 Scottish organisations and individuals is published today.

Draft Climate Change Plan – the draft Third Report on Policies and Proposals 2017-2032 (SG 19/01/17)
This document is a draft of the Climate Change Plan, the third report on proposals and policies (RPP3) for meeting Scotland’s annual greenhouse gas emissions targets that the Scottish Ministers must lay before the Scottish Parliament in accordance with the requirements in section 35 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

Evidence Review of the Potential Wider Impacts of Climate Change Mitigation Options: Built Environment Sector (SG 19/01/17)
This review summarises the evidence of potential wider impacts arising from Climate Change mitigation measures in the Built Environment sector.

Scottish Government News Releases

European links under threat (SG 25/01/17)
Brexit impedes cultural and tourism opportunities. Membership of the EU Single Market and free movement of people is critical to the health of Scotland’s culture, tourism and creative sectors.

Greater power for Scotland’s communities (SG 23/01/17)
Community Empowerment Act. A new law will make it easier for communities in Scotland to take over land or buildings that are currently in public ownership. The asset transfer section of the Community Empowerment Act (Scotland) 2015 has come into force today.

Tacking Climate Change (SG 19/01/17)
Draft plan represents ‘a new level of ambition.’ Detailed proposals to achieve a 66% reduction in Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions have been published by Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham.

Homelessness and Housing Options Statistics Published (SG 17/01/17)
Scottish Local Authorities received around 17,100 applications for homelessness assistance during April to September 2016, 3% lower than in the same period in 2015. However, the number of children in temporary accommodation increased by 826 children (+17%), comparing figures at 30 September 2016 with the same date one year ago.

£29 million to build fairer Scotland (SG 16/01/17)
First Minister opens new funding for communities and third sector. Community and third sector projects that try new ways to tackle poverty and improve people’s lives can now apply for a share of £29 million funding, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

News Releases

What’s Your Heritage? Campaign seeks local groups to help change future policy (HES 25/01/17)
Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the heritage body in charge of listing buildings in Scotland, has today unveiled a toolkit to help local groups across the country answer the question ‘What’s Your Heritage?’

Archaeological Research in Progress 2017 – Call for Papers (SoAoS 25/01/17)
Scotland’s national annual Archaeological Research in Progress (ARP) conference will take place on Saturday 27 May 2017 at the National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh. The Society and Archaeology Scotland hosted event aims to cover archaeological research in progress from around Scotland covering all periods. For 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we will also invite colleagues from beyond Scotland to share their exciting research too.

The role of HES under the Community Empowerment Act (2015) – Asset Transfer Request comes into force (HES 24/01/17)
As of Monday 23 January, Part 5 of The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015 – relating to Asset Transfer Requests (ATRs) – comes into force.

LAUDF: Delivering Place Quality in Housing (A&DS 20/01/17)
The latest meeting of the Local Authority Urban Design Forum (LAUDF), was held at the Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation on 8th Dec 2016. The Forum focussed on the topic of Delivering Place Quality in Housing.

An exciting new network has been launched – Urbanistas (PAS 20/01/17)
Urbanistas is a network of local chapters for women working in the built environment and has just started up in Edinburgh. Interested in finding out more? Please follow on twitter @UrbanistasED or go to the website.

Partnership primed to capitalise on Scotland’s expertise (HES 19/01/17)
Scotland’s £2.4billion heritage sector is set to benefit from an ambitious new educational partnership which will promote and develop expertise in managing Scotland’s heritage assets, as well as providing new training opportunities from apprenticeships to post graduate level qualifications.

£10 million contributed to local economies during England’s 2016 Heritage Open Days festival (IHBC 18/01/17)
The Heritage Open Days (HODs) 2016 Impact Report shows the huge numbers of people that explored England’s heritage for free in September 2016 – with an estimated 3 million visitors attending 5293 events.

Parliamentary review into local government archaeology services evidence published (CiFA 18/01/17)
The evidence which supported a parliamentary review into the Future of Local Government Archaeology Services has been published online (link is external).

International: First round of Cultural Protection Fund projects announced (British Council 18/01/17)
The British Council has announced the initial projects to be supported by the Cultural Protection Fund, which will protect heritage overseas.

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”.

S5W-06315 Gordon Lindhurst: To ask the Scottish Government how it can work with Edinburgh City Council to bring the reported 5,000 empty homes in the city back into use in order to tackle housing shortages. (SP 19/01/17)

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-05981: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 09/01/2017
To ask the Scottish Government what criteria it uses to determine whether housing can be regarded as “affordable”.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (18/01/2017)

Other Parliamentary Activity

Scottish Government Debate on Improving Scotland’s Planning: Improving Scotland’s Places
Thursday, 26th January 2017

Kevin Stewart: S5M-03612
Improving Scotland’s Planning: Improving Scotland’s Places
That the Parliament recognises that improving Scotland’s planning process will require making the planning system more plan-led and accessible, increasing the influence of local people on decisions about the future of their communities and ensuring the delivery of the high quality homes and infrastructure that Scotland needs; agrees that, together with developing skills, smarter resourcing and digital transformation of the planning service, as well as removing any unnecessary procedures and practices that do not add value, planners can focus on delivering great places for people to live and work, and notes the publication of Places, people and planning: A consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system, which includes steps being taken to ensure that the planning system plays a proactive and positive role in attracting investment and creating great places in Scotland.

Graham Simpson S5M-03612.1
Improving Scotland’s Planning: Improving Scotland’s Places
As an amendment to motion S5M-03612 in the name of Kevin Stewart (Improving Scotland’s Planning: Improving Scotland’s Places), leave out from “which includes” to end and insert “and urges the Scottish Government to put greater emphasis on protecting green spaces in its final proposals, noting their importance to the environment, quality of life, health and wellbeing.”

Alex Rowley S5M-03612.4
Improving Scotland’s Planning: Improving Scotland’s Places
As an amendment to motion S5M-03612 in the name of Kevin Stewart (Improving Scotland’s Planning: Improving Scotland’s Places), leave out from “recognises” to end and insert “believes that the central purpose of the planning system is to regulate the use of land in the public interest; values transparency, efficiency and openness in all aspects of the system and welcomes steps to improve the experience of all interested parties, including applicants, developers and communities; notes the publication of Places, people and planning – a consultation on the future of the Scottish planning system, which includes steps being taken to ensure that the planning system plays a proactive and positive role in attracting investment and creating great places and homes in which to live in Scotland; believes that the operation of the statutory planning system has been undermined by cuts to local government; recognises concerns about the barriers facing individuals and communities to fully engage in the planning process, despite a shift towards frontloading, and notes their limited rights to challenge decisions, and believes that reforming the system is an opportunity to put communities and people at the heart of decision-making and that the proposed planning bill presents an opportunity to help tackle inequality and improve public health.”


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

Painting the past: using geological techniques to identify artists’ pigments in Roman archaeology – Edinburgh
When: February 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Where: Auditorium National Museum Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
Dr Ruth Siddall, University College London, will present a lecture entitled “Painting the past: using geological techniques to identify artists’ pigments in Roman archaeology”.

‘A more collaborative planning system – what can a mediation approach offer?’
When: Tue 21 February 2017 from 09:45 – 16:00.
Where: PAS, 3rd Floor, 125 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH2 4AD.
PAS and Scottish Mediation would like to invite you to their first joint conference. With the recent Independent Planning Review having referenced mediation in three of its recommendations, PAS and Scottish Mediation are looking to explore how this can be facilitated to improve engagement within planning. The conference will include a number of plenaries, collaborative exercises and case studies which will give participants the opportunity to consider the wider use of collaborative approaches in the planning system and to hear from professional planners and mediators.

CIfA2017 Archaeology: a global profession
When: Wednesday 19 to Friday 21 April 2017
Where: Newcastle University
A full timetable is now available on our website. Book here.


Resourcing Scotland’s Heritage is delivering a series of training courses and events across Scotland.
Our training is best suited to registered charities and constituted community groups. Take a walk through our simple question and answer page to determine which course is right for you. We have two main training courses and a series of ‘In Focus’ events. If you are interested in any particular event or fundraising topic, please do get in touch – we may be able to bring an event to your area

Traditional Building Skills Training
Scottish Lime Centre Trust offer a wide range of vocational and professional courses combining theory and practical working sessions designed to ensure that there are courses to suit everyone.


Scottish Civic Trust Project Officer – Doors Open Days & My Place Photography Competition
3 days per week, 9-5
Salary: £25-26K PA (pro rata) depending on experience.
This is a fixed-term contract, which will run to 31 March 2018.  The role may be extended beyond this period depending on 3rd-party funding.
This is a unique opportunity to help deliver two of Scotland’s most exciting architecture and heritage projects.
Closing date for applications: Friday 17 February 2017.

Communications Officer
Edinburgh World Heritage is looking to appoint an ambitious and creative Communications professional to this important role within our team. Specifically, the role will build awareness of Edinburgh World Heritage among designated target audiences in Edinburgh and beyond, deliver leadership levels of positive news coverage which accurately capture our vision, mission and strategic key messages, extend the reach and impact of our Social Media and digital channels, improve effectiveness and efficiency of our website as well as drive overall traffic and repeat usage, and provide support for advocacy activities with a range of key stakeholders. Deadline: 5PM, Friday 27th January 2017.

Community Engagement Officer
An exciting opportunity has become available for an entry-level professional to support the implementation of Glasgow City Heritage Trust’s educational heritage grants programmes. Using social media, publicity, outreach and learning, events, seminars, conferences, print, website development, interpretation, promotional activities, exhibitions and partnerships you will be expected to promote the understanding and appreciation of Glasgow’s historic environment and the work of Glasgow City Heritage Trust. You will be reporting directly to the Heritage Outreach Officer. Closing date Tuesday, 31 January 2017 at 12:00 noon.

Vacancies at NTS
There are a number of vacancies on the NTS site just now. A few may be of particular interest to members with a gardens and landscape remit.

Members’ News

Conservation Areas 50th anniversary Parliamentary Debate (IHBC 25/01/17)
The IHBC has warmly welcomed the Parliamentary Debate on the 50th anniversary of Conservation Areas, supported by Robert Jenrick MP, scheduled for 26 January and inspired by Civic Voice’s ‘Big Conservation Conversation’, with the IHBC submitting data on the decade-long, 35%+ decline in England’s conservation services as well as its own ‘5-point plan’ for their survival.

Stunning Artwork Launches Scottish Archaeology Celebrations (SoAoS 19/01/17)
A Glasgow-based artist has brought new life to six stories from the Mesolithic to Victorian era as part of Dig It! 2017. Dig It! 2017, the year-long celebration of Scottish archaeology, commissioned the artwork as the centrepiece for their event programme. The printed teaser programme features 49 events and is available across Scotland, while the online listings feature over 80 events – with hundreds more to be added throughout the year.

RIAS Awards 2017 Launched (RIAS 17/01/17)
Submission to the RIAS Awards entitles entrants to be considered for the following awards:
•    RIAS Awards (including RIAS/ Forestry Commission Scotland/Wood for Good Timber Award, RIAS/Historic Environment Scotland Conservation and Climate Change Award, the RIAS/Saint-Gobain Emerging Architect Award, RIAS/Scottish Government Scotland’s Client of the Year Award) and RIAS/Zero Waste Scotland Resource Efficiency Award,
•    RIAS Andrew Doolan Award
•    RIBA Awards (including National Award, Client of the Year Award, RIBA House of the Year, Stephen Lawrence Prize)
•    RIBA Stirling Prize

RICS Awards 2017 – deadline extension (RICS 01/17)
The RICS Awards showcase the most inspirational regional initiatives and development in land, property, construction and the environment. This is the prime opportunity for surveyors, property developers, engineers, planners and architects, to showcase their talent.
Entry deadline extension: 27 January 2017.

Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards 2017: final call for nominations (SCT 19/01/17)
Call for nominations deadline: 31 January  2017.
Don’t forget to make your nomination for the Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards, and to encourage schools to enter the My Place Photography Competition.

Scottish Civic Trust to launch Civic Day in Scotland (SCT 19/01/17)
Civic Day is an initiative first implemented by Civic Voice in England in 2011. It’s a day for local groups to engage with their members and the wider public to explore and celebrate the places they live. This year, we will be teaming up with Civic Voice to bring Civic Day to Scotland. It’s very easy to get involved.
•    Save the date – Saturday 17 June 2017
•    Brainstorm activities you could organise on this day
•    Join in the conversation #CivicDay
For more information or to discuss ideas, contact Gaby Laing at Scottish Civic Trust – 0141 221 1466 or email

Information in the Bulletin is extracted from a number of websites including the Scottish Government (SG); the Scottish Parliament (SP); Architecture and Design Scotland (A+DS); Historic Environment Scotland (HES); Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH); Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO); English Heritage (EH); Design Council (DC); Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG); Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS); Department of Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); National Assembly for Wales (NAW); Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS); Scottish Government Building Standards  (SGBS); Europa Nostra (EN); Historic England (HE).

If you have any questions or comments on the above, or would like to submit information to be included, please get in touch with Saskia Smellie or tel: BEFS Office on 0131 220 6241.