BEFS Bulletin – Young People & Placemaking

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Events, Vacancies, Consultations And Publications In Our News Bulletin.


The next meeting of the Cross-Party Group on Architecture and the Built Environment will focus on young people and placemaking. We will be joined by representatives from projects that have taken place during the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People, including: The Happenstance, Scotland’s contribution to the 16th international Architecture exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia, A Town Hall for All, a project by Penicuik school pupils, Lord, part of The Art of Happenstance, and Young Landscape Architects Knowledge Exchange. Book your place here.

On 27th August 2018 David Stewart of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations organised a visit to the offices of Dunedin Canmore for members of the Scottish Parliamentary Working Group on Tenement Maintenance. This included a short tour of tenements undergoing repairs in Gorgie and Tollcross in Edinburgh and learning about the challenges housing associations face in handling maintenance in tenements where they are not the majority owner. The presentation from Stuart Pendreich of Dunedin Canmore is available here.

BEFS has responded to the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee’s call for views on the content of the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill. The response calls for a commitment to work towards zero net emissions by 2050.

Planning and design specialist Barton Willmore is calling on planners and developers to help influence the Planning (Scotland) Bill by completing a survey to help formulate a “robust” industry response.

Doors Open Days, Scotland’s largest free festival that celebrates heritage and the built environment and offers free access to over a thousand venues across Scotland, kicks off in September. Find out what is going on in your area.

Scottish Archaeology Month also begins in September. Find hundreds of events taking place all over Scotland from the Shetland Islands to the Scottish Borders, including free talks, tours, exhibitions, workshops and hands-on events to help you discover some of the amazing history, heritage and archaeology on your doorstep.


CIfA Annual Review 2017/2018 (CIfA 30/08/18)

The Invisible Land: The hidden force driving the UK’s unequal economy and broken housing market (IPPR 28/08/18)

Heritage Counts – Heritage and Society 2018 (Historic England 08/18)

Current workstreams: Chief Planner letter (SG 24/08/18)

A SPICe briefing on the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Bill

Scottish Government News Releases

Financial support for V&A Dundee (SG 26/08/18)
An extra £361,000 is being provided to support the new V&A Dundee in its first year of operation. The Scottish Government was an early supporter of the plans for V&A Dundee as a fantastic addition to Scotland’s world-class museums and provided £38 million towards the construction of the building, which is set to open to the public on 15 September.

People’s Choice Award (PCA)
The People’s Choice Award allows anyone to vote for their favourite shortlisted Scottish Awards for Quality in Planning 2018 entry. The idea is that this Award gives everyone a chance to get involved and express their support for whatever they consider to have been a great project in 2018. You can find all the projects on the map above. You can vote for your favourite project here. The poll will be open until late September.

News Releases

Engine Shed announces festival showcasing digital innovation in the heritage sector (HES 29/08/18)
Scotland’s dedicated building conservation centre will host programme highlighting the use of ground-breaking technology to preserve and explore the past. DigiFest will also incorporate two-day international conference featuring high-profile industry experts from across the globe.

Gaelic and Scots in the Historic Environment (HES 28/08/18)
To help us launch our new Gaelic Language Plan, we commissioned poet Daibhidh Eyre to write a poem in Gaelic and Scots. In conjunction with Double Take Projections, we then created a visual spectacle by projecting the poem in Gaelic and Scots onto 8 historical sites across the length and breadth of the country.

‘A full blown crisis’: Calls to speed up introduction of rent controls as study highlights housing benefit freeze impact (CW 28/08/18)
A Tenants’ Union has called on the Scottish Government to immediately introduce a cap on rent prices, as a new study reveals that many low-income households can now not even afford the cheapest private rented housing, as the effect of the UK Government’s housing benefit freeze bites.

The Young Landscape Architects’ Knowledge Exchange (LIS 24/08/18)
On Friday the 24th of August, ECA hosted the first Young Landscape Architects’ Knowledge Exchange with support from the LIS and sponsorship from AECOM and TGP Landscape Architects. The day was spent talking prospective landscape architects through day to day life in practice, informing them about different routes into the profession and giving them a crash course on design principals and place making.

Inspiring Impact secured for next three years by Big Lottery Fund grant (Civil Society 22/08/18)
The Inspiring Impact programme, which aims to improve impact measurement in the charity sector, has awarded £600,000 through the Big Lottery Fund. The funding means that the programme, which started in 2012, has been secured until 2021. It has also been supplemented by £15,000 from City Bridge Trust.

RIAS Presidential and Council Elections (RIAS 22/08/18)
The RIAS is delighted to announce that there are two Presidential Candidates for the upcoming election.

Jeremy Wright speech to Edinburgh International Culture Summit (DCMS 22/08/18)
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright welcomed ministers and cultural leaders from across the world to the Summit at the Scottish Parliament.

Nimbyism (Radio 4 16/08/18)
On Thursday 16th August Loyd Grossman, Chair of The Heritage Alliance, was on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Sweet Reason’ to discuss nimbyism (‘not in my back yard’) in relation to heritage and development. He appeared alongside Lord Adonis, former Transport Secretary, and Sarah Stein Lubrano, Head of Content at the School of Life.

Opinion & Comment

Creating cities where citizens can thrive (RICS 29/08/18)

What would cities look like if they were designed by mothers? (Christine Murray, Guardian 27/08/18)

Pens, Singe Use Plastics and Modern Construction (glm 24/08/18)

Making Public Places Better for Everyone (Lucy Richards, Studio LR for A&DS)

A Caring Place – Designing in Kindness (Zoe Ferguson, Carnegie UK for A&DS)

Have Bus Pass, Will Travel! (Scotland’s Churches Trust 21/08/18)

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-18273: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 17/08/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the (a) use and (b) value of properties renovated through the (i) Town Centre Housing Fund and (ii) Empty Homes Loan Fund; how many properties renovated through each fund (A) are and (B) are not classed as affordable, and what information it has on the subsequent rental and sales value of each property that received funding.

Question S5W-18275: Alex Cole-Hamilton, Edinburgh Western, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 17/08/2018
To ask the Scottish Government how many vacant and derelict town centre buildings have been brought back into use as affordable housing through the Town Centre Housing Fund in each year, broken down by how many people each property accommodates.

Question S5W-18313: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what work it has carried out to evaluate its campaign of awareness-raising to increase the uptake of energy efficiency measures for (a) domestic and (b) residential buildings.

Question S5W-18312: Graham Simpson, Central Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what modelling work it has carried out to analyse the costs of reaching energy performance certificate (EPC) (a) B and (b) C ratings for (i) domestic and (ii) residential buildings.

Question S5W-18329: Andy Wightman, Lothian, Scottish Green Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2018
To ask the Scottish Government how many affordable homes have been built under the National Housing Trust model since May 2016.

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-17945: Oliver Mundell, Dumfriesshire, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 01/08/2018
To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has made of the effectiveness of Energy Performance Certificates.
Answered by Kevin Stewart (17/08/2018)

Question S5W-18054: Donald Cameron, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 08/08/2018 R
To ask the Scottish Government how many communities (a) each year and (b) in the last 12 months have (i) registered an interest in acquiring and (ii) acquired land under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, also broken down by how much funding it has made available to support these communities.
Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (28/08/2018)


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

SPAB Scotland – Historic Bar Socials (Aberdeen & Edinburgh)

Date: Thursday 6th September.
Location: The Ensign Ewart, 521-523 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2PE.
The Ensign Ewart sits at the heart of Edinburgh’s old town at the top of the royal mile. With a history dating back to 1680 and is named after Charles Ewart, who fought at the battle of Waterloo. The cellars of the building are dated to 1603 but the current building is said to largely resemble the form taken when its construction was completed in 1690.

Date: Thursday 20th September.
Location: The Grill, 213 Union Street, Aberdeen, AB11 6BA.
The Grill, Aberdeen is notable for it’s fine plasterwork interior, and a splendid mahogany veneer gantry behind the bar which we hope to admire. The bar occupies the ground floor of a typical granite 1830s building, and started out as a restaurant of the same name in 1870. The present bar was refurbished in 1925, and includes the unusual oxided-bronze fascia panels which are so distinctive externally.

Date: Thursday 4th October.
Venue: The Guildford Arms, 1 W Register Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AA.
The Guildford Arms sits at the south east corner of the New Town, with ornate faience externally, the golden age of Victorian pub design is continued to the interior that has an elaborate Jacobean painted ceiling, and plasterwork of fine Victorian Rococo, the ornate bar fittings are modern reproductions and date only from 1970.

Flood Risk & The Planning System
Date: Saturday 8th September from 11am to 1400.
Venue: Perth Community Fire Station.
The Scottish Flood Forum (SFF) will be holding another networking event. Delegates from across Scotland will come together to share success, create solutions and share their experiences on flood risk and the planning system. The theme for this event is: Flood Risk & The Planning System, benefits, challenges, frustrations and opportunities for flood risk communities. Representatives from local authorities and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency will deliver talks on their roles and responsibilities concerning the planning system and flood risk communities. Planning Aid Scotland are also attending to outline how they can provide support and give an update on the new Planning (Scotland) Bill. If you are interested in taking part in this community networking event or would like more information contact:

Scottish Planning and Environmental Law Conference 2018
Date: Thursday 13th September 2018.
Venue: COSLA Conference Centre, Edinburgh
The 28th SPEL Conference takes place in Edinburgh this year and will focus broadly on two key themes – the Planning Bill and wider environmental matters. In May, the Stage 1 Report on the Planning (Scotland) Bill was released. As we anticipate what a future planning system is going to look like, planning reform is not the only driver of change. The Energy Strategy, climate change, and the 2021 Landfill ban will also impact on planning. Against this background, a number of high profile speakers will consider how change is likely to shape their various areas of expertise and its likely impact on planning in Scotland. Widely regarded as the foremost annual planning law event in Scotland, the SPEL Conference attracts key speakers and senior figures from a range of backgrounds and affords the opportunity to engage in high level discussion and debate.

Community Heritage Scotland – Going Forward in Oban
Date: Sat, September 15, 2018, 10:00 – 4:00.
Venue: The Rockfield Centre, Stevenson Street, Oban PA34 5N.
Are you involved with heritage in your community? You might be an organiser or you just might enjoy participating, but either way we would like you to join us for a discussion day talking about how communities manage their heritage, and how we should go forward with new ideas for positive change. Community Heritage Scotland is co-hosting the discussion day with CHArts, who are delivering a major networking project covering all aspects of culture in Argyll. We will also be joined by a team from University of St Andrews who are working on international community heritage, particularly in Latin America. We will be especially delighted to welcome Samuel Franco from Guatamala, who founded his own museum of Mayan music and is a specialist in intangible cultural heritage.

Changing Perspectives: Wester Hailes – Films of NewTown Utopia
Date: 18th Sept 6-8pm.
Venue: Wester Hailes Library.
Join WHALE Arts and Tower Block UK for an evening filled with film and conversation about high-rise and new town living. The evening will include screenings of documentary feature film New Town Utopia and several short films representing life in Wester Hailes, a chance to see the Tower Block UK travelling exhibition, and opportunities to discuss and share memories of living in this area.

Perth Traditional Building Skills Roadshow, King Edward Street, Perth, PH1 5UT
Dates: Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 Sept 10:00-16:00.
Location: Kind Edward Street, Perth.
Come and see traditional stone carving, slating, joinery, and painting & decorating demonstrations. Members of the Fife and Tayside Traditional Buildings Forum, apprentices, lecturers and building professionals will be on hand to answer questions and demonstrate the skills used to maintain historic buildings in Scotland.

What’s the point of Listing Buildings?
Date: Thursday 27th September 2018 | 6.30-8.30pm.
Venue: tbc
There are over 1,800 listed buildings in Glasgow. The main criteria for listing are: age and rarity; architectural or historic interest; close historical association. This is the latest in our series of quarterly debates called ‘The City Talks’. As opposed to the more traditional format of our monthly lecture series, The City Talks are two-way debates between a specially selected panel of experts and the audience. Our panel will consider whether these designations fully reflect what the city and its people value about the historic built environment. Should we be trying to save historic buildings which are unlisted and outside of conservation areas? Who might they be valuable to?

Icon Scotland Group: Plenderleith Lecture on Museum Lighting
Date: 29th November this year at 6 pm.
Venue: Discovery Point, Dundee.
Icon Scotland Group is delighted to announce that this year’s lecturer will be David Saunders. Dr Saunders was recently Keeper of Conservation, Science and Documentation at the British Museum and previously, Principle Scientist the Scientific Department of the National Gallery, London. He is presently writing a major work on Lighting in museums and galleries, which is expected to be published later this year. David Saunders will discuss how our understanding of the effects of light on collections and the lighting needs of our visitors have changed. He will explore how new approaches and developments in museum lighting affect practices and strategies for both display and conservation.


A Guide to Tax for Arts & Heritage Organisations
Date & time: Wednesday 12 September 2018, Registration: 12.45 | Event: 13:00 – 16:30.
Venue: Scott-Moncrieff, 25 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, G2 6NL.
This half-day seminar is a must for all financial or budget holding staff and anyone who wants to know how tax affects (and can benefit) arts and heritage organisations with charitable status in Scotland. The tax guide provides a practical summary and guidance on how tax affects the arts and heritage organisations.  The event and guide are also a great refresher and reference for those who need reminding of basic principles and want to know how different taxes interact with each other.

Telling It Like It Is – Effective Copywriting
Date & time: Tuesday 25 September 2018, Registration: 10.15 | Event: 10:30 – 16:30
Venue: A&BS, Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh E12 5EZ
This one-day training session is aimed at all individuals, regardless of their existing skills or experience, who need to develop a case for support for their project or cause. Offering a combination of project-based, hands-on writing exercises with tips, techniques and critical theory, the training session explores the five stages of the copywriting process in the context of putting together an effective case for support.

Icon Scotland Group: Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) – Training Course
Date: 28th September 2018.
Venue: Stirling Castle
Fee: £8 – £10
This practical one day course will take attendees through taking RTI-compatible photographs and then processing them on their own computers to create a 3D effect of the virtual surface structure. Of interest to Archaeologists, Conservators and anyone working with artefacts. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own objects to work with and the fee includes lunch, tea & coffee.  The course will be led by Marta Pilarska of Historic Environment Scotland.