BEFS Bulletin – What’s Your Heritage?

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


Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has announced an ambitious national campaign to find out what heritage really means to the people of Scotland as part of the 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. ‘What’s Your Heritage?’ is a multi-channel project that asks members of the public to reveal which of Scotland’s places, buildings and monuments they want to see recognised and celebrated.

In light of the HES campaign, Euan Leitch, Director of BEFS, reflects on how it complements other research on the understanding of social value, how it can be incorporated within built environment policy and what it means for the role of experts, in the first of two blogs this week.

The Heritage Index 2016 has now been launched. The index covers 120 indicators, with local data available for all 390 local authority areas in the UK’s four nations. It aims to give people a richer understanding of their place, so that they are inspired to get involved in shaping their place into the future.

We would also like to draw your attention to BEFS member RTPI Scotland’s publication Repositioning Planning: Building a Successful and Sustainable Scotland, which outlines 14 “gamechangers” they have suggested to the Scottish Government for inclusion in the Planning White Paper.

Bill Pagan, Board member of BEFS and founding Board member of Cupar Development Trust, reports on progress following Cupar’s CharrettePlus, in the second of our blogs.


Digital Transformation: Next Steps (SG 30/11/16)

Registers of Scotland (RoS) is developing a variety of new digital services. Part One of the consultation sets out detailed proposals for the introduction of these new services and the necessary changes to the Land Register Rules that would be required to facilitate them.
Runs from 30 Nov 2016 to 22 Feb 2017

Building Warrant Fees (SG 15/11/16)
The purpose of this consultation is to seek views on increasing building warrant and other associated fees to make the building standards system achieve full cost recovery and place it on a sustainable footing for the future.
Runs from 15 Nov 2016 to 9 Jan 2017

Improving transparency in land ownership in Scotland: a consultation on controlling interests in land (SG 11/09/16)
A consultation on proposals for regulations to require the disclosure of persons with controlling interest in landowners and tenants in a register to be held by the Registers of Scotland.
Consultation closes on 5 Dec 2016!


Repositioning Planning: Building a Successful and Sustainable Scotland (RTPI 24/11/16)
Fourteen “gamechangers” the RTPI Scotland has suggested to the Scottish Government for inclusion in the White Paper.

Small Housing Developers in Scotland: Views on outputs & future prospects; obstacles and solutions to building and Help to Buy Schemes (SG 21/11/16)
This is a report on a survey of small and medium sized enterprises in the building trade. It sets out their expectations for business in the future which are optimistic and the barriers they expect to face and how these could be addressed.


Call for reassurance over European City of Culture (SG 29/11/16)
Brexit must not harm Dundee’s opportunity to host 2023 title. The UK Government must give urgent reassurance that its Brexit plans will not harm Dundee’s opportunity to bid to become the 2023 European Capital of Culture, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said today.

Discretionary Housing Payments – over 86,000 awards support housing costs during April to September 2016 (SG 29/11/16)
An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland. Statistics released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician show that during the period 1 April to 30 September 2016, Local Authorities in Scotland made over 86,000 Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP) awards. The average award value was £512, typically to cover shortfalls in housing costs through to 31 March 2017.

Brexit impact on research discussed (SG 24/11/16)
Roseanna Cunningham meets research institutes to discuss concerns. Discussions were held today over the possible consequences of Brexit on the Scottish Government’s main rural, agricultural and environmental research institutes. Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, met with directors and chairs from Scotland’s Main Research Providers to address how Brexit may impact non-UK EU employees and future access to EU funding.

Backing for city deal (SG 21/11/16)
UK Government should commit to City Region Deals. Economy Secretary Keith Brown has called on the UK Government to commit to a Tay Cities and Stirling and Clackmannanshire City Region Deal in the Autumn Statement. The Scottish Government has been working with local authorities to develop proposals for the city region deals which would stimulate economic growth in the area.

£250m Aberdeen City Region Deal (SG 21/11/16)
Signing completes agreement. The Aberdeen City Region Deal was launched today with the official signing of the £250million agreement. The terms of the deal commit both the UK Government and Scottish Government to jointly investing up to £250m while Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council and local partners are committed to investing up to £44m over the next decade.


Stirling Castle crowned winner at new awards initiative (HES 30/11/16)
Stirling Castle has claimed the title of Scotland’s Best Visitor Attraction at the inaugural 2016 Scottish and Outdoor Leisure Awards. The centuries-old stronghold, which welcomes around 460,000 visitors through its iconic gates each year, was voted for by members of the public and visitors alike before being fully researched and reviewed by an independent judging panel.

The pros and cons of crowdfunding architectural projects (IHBC 25/11/16)
A CLAD magazine feature discusses how crowdfunding can help get projects started and allow architects to be proactive. The article gives advice on choosing the right crowdsourcing platform, raising the full amount needed and reaching out to the right audience.

Make planners statutory consultees in strategic local decisions, Scottish Government told (RTPI 24/11/16)
Strategic decisions by local authorities in areas such as economic development or education are often taken in isolation from planning departments and this needs to change, RTPI Scotland has told the Scottish Government.

Protecting the Stones of Worship (FCS 24/11/16)
Damage caused by a Pagan bonfire to the stone circle of Na Clachan Aoraidh – set high on the limestone ridge of Cnoc na Craoibhe above Loch Tummel in Tay Forest District – was turned into an opportunity to investigate and record the site in detail.

Every city in Scotland to share in multi-billion pound rebuild programme after Stirling award (Herald Scotland 24/11/16)
EVERY city in Scotland has now been awarded a City Deal with the announcement in the Autumn Statement that Stirling and Clackmannanshire are to receive the multi-million pound building boost.

Homeless village to be built in Edinburgh (BBC 24/11/16)
Scotland’s first village for homeless people is to be built in Edinburgh next year. Social Bite said 10 homes would be built in Granton to provide a low cost, safe environment for up to 20 people. The social enterprise said it wanted to create a model to end the “vicious cycle” of homelessness. Work on the village is expected to begin in early 2017, with the first residents expected to move into their homes by the summer.

Historic Environment Scotland Apprentices Scoop UK Awards (HES 24/11/16)
Two Scottish stonemasonry apprentices have taken Gold and Bronze respectively, in a UK-wide competition to find the country’s most talented construction apprentices. The SkillBuild Final – organised by the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) – saw 78 competitors from across the UK, compete across 10 different trades, including bricklaying, wall and floor tiling, and painting and decorating.

Scottish councils spent £750m on temporary housing in last five years (Scottish Housing News 21/11/16)
Local authorities is Scotland have spent more than £750 million on temporary accommodation for homeless families in the last five years, according to new statistics. The data was obtained by the BBC as part of a wider investigation which found that the amount spent on temporary accommodation by councils across Britain was over £3.5 billion over the same period.

Local authorities praised for response to Syrian refugee crisis (Scottish Housing News 18/11/16)
Scotland has welcomed more than 1,200 Syrian refugees since the first flight arrived in Glasgow one year ago, according to the Scottish Government. With 29 local authorities receiving Syrian refugees to date, equalities secretary Angela Constance praised the country’s quick response to the humanitarian crisis as “phenomenal”.

Who is using Place Standard and for what? (A&DS 11/16)
Throughout November we have published a series of articles where we explore ways in which Architecture and Design Scotland has helped organisations to test, develop and apply the Place Standard. This has been part of our partnership work in jointly leading development of the tool with Scottish Government and NHS Health Scotland.


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-05145 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Government (a) when and (b) how it will consult on the appointment of building standards verifiers. (SP 30/11/16)

S5W-05147 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether local authorities are sufficiently resourced to provide the building standards verification service. (SP 30/11/16)

S5W-05149 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether local authorities have improved the quality of the building standards verification service since 2011. (SP 30/11/16)

S5W-05150 Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the impact of delays in obtaining building control consent on (a) the industry and (b) its housing targets. (SP 30/11/16)

S5W-05007 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government whether it will allow Housing Infrastructure Fund loans to be used from 2017-18 to support the provision of community infrastructure, such as schools, that is required as a result of new housing development. (SP 25/11/16)

S5W-05008 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish the Strategic Housing Investment Plans that were submitted to its More Homes Division. (SP 25/11/16)

S5W-05010 Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Government how many units were proposed in the Strategic Housing Investment Plans that were submitted to its More Homes Division (a) in total and (b) from each local authority. (SP 25/11/16)


Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.

Question S5O-00344: Gordon Lindhurst, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 09/11/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what impact Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site status, and the built heritage within it, has on visitor numbers to the city.
Answered by Fiona Hyslop (16/11/2016)

Question S5W-04642: Bruce Crawford, Stirling, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/11/2016
To ask the Scottish Government what recent assessment it has made of the (a) housing needs of older people and (b) demand for retirement housing.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (18/11/2016)

Question S5W-04641: Bruce Crawford, Stirling, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/11/2016
To ask the Scottish Government how its forthcoming white paper on planning will take account of the housing needs of older people.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (22/11/2016)


The Parliament has agreed the following parliamentary recess dates:

  • 24 December 2016 to 8 January 2017 (inclusive)
  • 11 to 19 February 2017 (inclusive)


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

Workshop: Stained Glass 
When: 3rd December 2016 from 10am – 4pm.
Where: 54 Bell Street, Glasgow.
Discover the art and craft of stained glass through a practical exploration of the techniques and materials used. Learn about the history and development of the craft along with the challenges facing conservation and restoration for the future. Then put what you’ve learnt into practice by developing and making a stained-glass panel which you can take home at the end of the day.

Furnishing the Tower House
When: Monday 5th December, 6.30pm.
Where: St Andrew’s & St George’s West Church, Edinburgh, £5.
Michael Pearce talks to us about the nobles, lairds, merchants and craftsmen who designed the interiors of Scotland’s Tower Houses.
AHSS Forth & Borders Group Winter Lecture Series.

Mapping the City: a new approach for the Digital Age – Edinburgh
When: Monday December 12 from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm.
Where: Auditorium National Museum Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF.
Richard Roger, Professor of Economic and Social History, and Project Director MESH – Mapping Edinburgh’s Social History, University of Edinburgh, presents “Mapping the City: a new approach for the Digital Age”. The lecture considers how space is often overlooked when considering the nature of cities. (The lecture is repeated the evening afterwards in Aberdeen).

Christmas Party in the Advocates’ Reading Room
When: Tuesday 13th December, 7pm.
Where: Parliament House, Edinburgh, £15.
Members and Non-members are invited to join the AHSS Forth & Borders Group Christmas Party. Booking required.

Selling Scotland: The Kelvingrove Exhibitions 1888, 1901 & 1911
When: Thursday 19th January 2017.
Where: Adelaides, Glasgow, £4.
Fergus Sutherland discusses the impact of the Great Exhibition.
AHSS Strathclyde Group Winter Lecture Series.


Making and Using Traditional Mortars C1-Contractor Level 1
When: 24 – 25 January 2017 from 09.30 – 16.30.
Where: Merryhill Training Centre, Fife
Our most popular two-day introductory course – this practical workshop will provide attendees with a strong understanding of lime technology. The reasons for using traditional mortars on solid walls will also be explained, to allow you to better advise clients. The course will guide participants to be able to complete pointing work to traditional buildings to a high standard.
The content of this workshop provides the underpinning knowledge required for assessment and accreditation of SQA National Unit 1 – ‘Preparing and Using Basic Lime Mixes’.

Mortar Analysis Explained
When: 9 March 2017 from 09.30 – 12.30.
Where: Charlestown Workshops, Fife
The Mortar Analysis Explained seminar will help you gain an understanding the component parts of historic mortars, plasters, renders and harling through a variety of analysis techniques – key information to developing a repair specification that will perform as a compatible replacement. Choosing the wrong mortar could endanger the very fabric of the building that you are trying to conserve. For just £ 15 plus VAT (£ 18 in total) gain 2.5 hours of CPD and get to talk to our expert Building Materials Analysts.

Stone Analysis Explained
When: 9 March 2017 from 13.30 – 16.30.
Where: Charlestown Workshops, Fife
Top up your CPD hours and come and learn something crucial for prolonging the life of our built heritage environment. The vast majority of our heritage buildings are built with natural stone, some more durable than others. So understanding the importance of the variety of analysis techniques at our disposal for revealing the nature of our building stones and how they might be replicated with currently operating quarries is a vital step in the building conservation process. Choosing the wrong stone could accelerate the decay of surrounding historic masonry, the very opposite of what we want to achieve. For just £ 15 plus VAT (£ 18 in total) gain 2.5 hours of CPD and be better informed for your building conservation projects.


PAS Volunteer opportunity 2017
PAS is planning a school project in Galashiels from February to October 2017, which will involve our IMBY, YEP and Young Placemakers programmes.  If you are interested in volunteering for this please contact Robert Pickles.

PAS project “In the Footsteps of Geddes”
PAS project “In the Footsteps of Geddes” is gearing up for workshops in Glasgow as the next part of its project.  These are likely to take place on Wednesdays and Fridays, in school time. Volunteers interested and able to get involved, please contact Robert Pickles.


Call for nominations (SCT 11/16)
Scottish Civic Trust is calling for community groups to nominate favourite new buildings, conservation projects and people in annual Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards.

IHBC supports members in crisis: 1 year IHBC fee-free and fuss-free, if you’ve lost your job or face serious sudden troubles! (IHBC 25/11/16)
Lost your job and problems finding new work?  Or are you facing a crisis that seriously affects your conservation career or income?  IHBC is here to help, with our ‘fee-free year’ supporting you in your time of need. Just let us know and we’ll sort out your fee for a year, free of fuss and bother.  You can then focus on getting back on your feet, knowing that your professional body is still there for you.

IHBC’s Conservation Area anniversary celebrations fund update: Check out some of the ideas already coming in from civic trusts! (IHBC 23/11/16)
Take a look at some of the great ideas already received from local Civic Trusts on they can use the IHBC’s £2500 allocation to help local communities celebrate the 50th anniversary of Conservation Areas in 2017.

“Scotland’s Royal Collection” at Brodick Castle Awarded National Significance (NTS 23/11/16)
The unique collection at the National Trust for Scotland’s Brodick Castle on Arran has been Recognised as Nationally Significant to Scotland. Tucked away on the island of Arran in Brodick Castle is a collection that gives a unique insight into the social and private lives of one of Scotland’s leading noble families. The award is made by Museums Galleries Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government. This announcement brings the total of Recognised Collections in Scotland to 47.

Summary of recent PAS projects (PAS 11/16)
PAS has produced a number of short summaries from recent projects. These range from community-led charrettes and community land use plans to development plan engagement and youth engagement.

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.