BEFS Bulletin 344: Tangible and Intangible – Community and National : built environment news at all scales

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Policy Developments, Publications & Consultations


Happy New Year to all our readers. BEFS hope that January is treating you well and you’re managing to implement whatever resolutions you made for yourselves or your organisations. Speaking of which, as you read down you may notice that we have changed the way we present the parliamentary question section. BEFS team have been working on making this section more streamlined and interactive, allowing you to view the most recent and archived parliamentary questions that may be of interest to you. They can now be accessed via this live google sheets link which will be posted in all future bulletins. This new format means you can easily search by MSP name or constituency, as well as date.

The Intangible Cultural Heritage Scotland Partnership, involving Museums Galleries Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, TRACS (Traditional Arts & Culture Scotland) and Creative Scotland, welcomed the UK Government’s announcement of their intention to ratify the 2003 UNESCO Convention for the safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage. The partners look forward to continuing to collaborate to support understanding and recording of ICH and to extending that work as ratification is further explored.  The UK Government Press Release on Scotland’s ICH can be read here.

After the successful launch of other Place Standard Tool lenses focussed on climate change and air quality, Historic Environment Scotland have launched a pilot version of The Your Historic Place lens supported by the Place Standard Implementation Group. The pilot phase will run for approximately 6-9 months and HES are inviting those involved in place-making related projects to try it out; all feedback will be used to refine the final version of the lens.

Planning Aid Scotland have published their Guide for Community Delivery of Local Place Plans, designed to offer comprehensive support to communities who are in the process of developing a Local Place Plan. A full set of resources can be found here.

Across the Third Sector there remain challenges. The Executive Summary of the Scottish Third Sector Tracker – Waves 1-6 has been published, providing an overview of the key insights found, from August 2021 to April 2023. Trends relating to key challenges, financial health, service delivery, staffing and volunteering, and emerging needs have been identified, as well as insights into how organisations dealt with the crises that have affected the sector during this period.

Between January and March 2024, as part of the Heritage Sector Resilience Plan, the Historic Environment Forum (England) are publishing interviews on the theme of ‘Climate Change’ and are actively seeking collaborators who’d like to showcase how their work is contributing to longer term climate resilience in the heritage sector. Please contact the steering group to find out more.

The Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill (the consultation on which BEFS responded to in September 2023), is currently going through the Scottish Parliament and has passed its first vote. You can read about it here and watch the Stage 1 Debate taking place on the afternoon of Tuesday 26 January here. In more current consultations, BEFS draws your attention to the Heat in Buildings Bill Consultation where we expect there to be significant sector interest.

In appointments news, former Homes for Scotland Chief Executive, Nicola Barclay has been appointed the new Board Chair at BE-ST (Built Environment-Smarter Transformation). Meanwhile, Heritage Trust Network’s Development Officer for Scotland, Sarah Pearce, will be taking a short sabbatical in New Zealand until April 2024. In her absence, Heritage Trainee, Marissa Trimble, will be the main point of contact.

And finally, you can view some fascinating scenes from British films related to post-war reconstruction planning, and New Towns developed under the 1946 New Towns Act, which include East Kilbride and Cumbernauld.



Wellbeing and Sustainable Development (Scotland) Bill
Scottish Government
The Scottish Government is gathering views to help inform the scope of any legislation for a proposed Wellbeing and Sustainable Development Bill.
The Bill aims to further improve decision making and the implementation of the National Performance Framework to ensure that all policy and delivery is focused on increasing the wellbeing of people living in Scotland, both now and in the future.
Closes 14 February 2024

National Parks in Scotland
Scottish Government
The Scottish Government invites individuals, communities, and organisations to develop and submit formal nominations for their area to become Scotland’s next National Park.
Closes 29 February 2024

Home Energy Model: replacement for the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP)
UK Government
The Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) is the methodology currently used by the government to estimate the energy performance of homes across the United Kingdom. The Home Energy Model will replace the SAP for the energy rating of dwellings. This is a consultation on the Model while it is still at a formative stage, so that industry can participate in the development process.
Closes 6 March 2024

Social Housing Net Zero Standard in Scotland
Scottish Government
The social housing sector has led the way on energy efficiency in recent years and is well placed to build on this further while building in longer term ambition to transition to clean heating. This consultation seeks views on a new Social Housing Net Zero Standard (SHNZS) in Scotland. This new standard will replace the second Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing (EESSH2).
Closes 8 March 2024

Proposals for a Heat in Buildings Bill
Scottish Government
There is no way to meet a legal obligation to reach ‘net zero’ without changing the heating systems in the vast majority of buildings. The purpose of this consultation is to make everyone aware of the proposal to make new laws around the heating systems that can be used in homes and places of work, and to invite views on those proposals.
Closes 8 March 2024

Devolving powers for a Scottish Building Safety Levy
Scottish Government
The Scottish Government announced in its 2023-24 Programme for Government that it was seeking the transfer of powers from the UK Government to create an equivalent tax to the UK Government’s Building Safety Levy.
This consultation, launched jointly by the UK Government and Scottish Government, invites views and evidence in relation to the proposal to devolve the requisite powers to the Scottish Parliament.
*NEW* Closes 19 February 2024

Managing Change Underwater Heritage
Historic Environment Scotland
Views are being sought on the draft Managing Change guidance on Underwater Heritage. The aim of this guidance is to be a practical guide on increasing the understanding of underwater heritage along with identifying and managing the impacts of change in underwater heritage, while protecting the cultural significance of these issues. The new Underwater Heritage guidance will be part of the Managing Change in the Historic Environment guidance series. This guidance will be relevant to underwater marine planning, including work on the new National Marine Plan 2.
*NEW* Closes 5 March 2024

Guidance on inclusive design for town centres and busy streets
Scottish Government
When the design of town centres and busy street environments does not fully take into account the needs of all members of the community, people may become excluded from these areas and the essential functions that they provide. Potential barriers to access should be removed and not included in any scheme. This draft guidance was developed in response to research which identified that street design should consider the needs of everyone and should take into account all Protected Characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.
*NEW* Closes 29 March 2024

Share your thoughts on the Antonine Wall management plan
Historic Environment Scotland
Historic Environment Scotland, who co-ordinates on the management of the Antonine Wall World Heritage Site, will host community consultation for locals to voice their opinions in each of the five local authorities crossed by the Wall. Have your say and book your place at one of a range of events being held from 22 January until 1 February 2024.



Briefing in relation to petition PE2075: Prioritise local participation in planning decisions (SPICe 09/01/2024)

Briefing in relation to petition PE2063: Increase funding for local authorities to enable better management and protection of conservation areas (SPICe 10/01/2024)



Applications invited for the Costa Carras European Citizens Award for the Safeguard of Endangered Heritage 2024 (Europa Nostra 14/12/2023)

UK to ratify 2003 UNESCO Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage (Heritage Crafts 23/12/2023)

Joint statement from Intangible Cultural Heritage Scotland Partnership (HES 27/12/2023)

Blog: Exploring Inverkeithing’s A-listed Trail (Heritage Trust Network January 2024)

CEO of VisitScotland to retire (VisitScotland 08/01/2024)

Mackintosh at the Willow joins the Trust (NTS 11/01/2024)

IHBC raises concerns in consultation response to HE’s draft Advice Note on Climate Change and Historic Building Adaptations (HEAN) (IHBC 12/01/2024)

Audit Scotland: Financial pressures push councils to make hard decisions about service cuts (Accounts Commission 16/01/2024)



How to improve cyber security within your charity – quickly, easily and at low cost (The National Cyber Security Centre December 2023)

CESAP Pathfinder A Dynamic Skills Response to Supporting the Transition to Net Zero (Skills Development Scotland November 2023)

Your Historic Place – A lens for the Place Standard Tool: Pilot Version (HES 23/11/2023)

Village and community halls handbook (SCVO 17/12/2023)

Heritage Sector Resilience Plan: Sector Interviews (HEF 18/12/2023)

Scottish Third Sector Tracker – Waves 1-6 Executive Summary (SCV0 19/12/2023)

Guide for Community Delivery of Local Place Plans (Planning Aid Scotland January 2024)

Financial Sustainability of Colleges and Universities (Scottish Funding Council 04/01/2024)

‘Building Stories’ – Alastair Wiper’s cinematic exploration of architectural narratives (Stir World 06/01/2024)



National Acquisition Programme: information (Scot Gov 11/12/2023)

SPICe Spotlight: COP28 climate change negotiations and how they connect to Scottish climate policy (SPICe 20/12/2023)

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC): Cross Sector Working Group minutes – 21 September & Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC): Cross Sector Working Group minutes – 27 September  (Scot Gov 20/12/2023)

Correspondence between Shirley-Anne Somerville and the Convenor, Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee regarding RAAC (21/12/2023)

Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee: Stage 1 Report on Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill (Scot Parl 21/12/2023)

Funding package of £8m for the Community Ownership Fund in Scotland will go towards the protection of community places such as theatres, museums, and community centres (UK Gov 22/12/2023)

Scotland’s colleges 2023 – Written submission from Colleges Scotland to the Public Audit Committee regarding the Draft Budget (Scot Parl 22/12/2023)

Innovative planning projects short-listed (Scot Gov 27/12/2023)

Low Carbon Infrastructure Transition Programme: December 2023 (Scot Gov 29/12/2023)

Welsh traditions set to be formally recognised as UK joins UNESCO Convention (UK Gov 02/01/2024)

Energy efficiency drive for historic homes (UK Gov 03/01/2024)

Adapting historic homes for energy efficiency: a review of the barriers (UK Gov 03/01/2024)

Planning permission appeals: housing development statistics (Scot Gov 03/01/2024)

SPICe Spotlight: How is Scotland Performing? (SPICe 09/01/2024)

The Non-Domestic Rate (Scotland) Order 2024 (The National Archives 09/01/2024)

The Non-Domestic Rates (Levying and Miscellaneous Amendment) (Scotland) Regulations 2024 (The National Archives 09/01/2024)

The Non-Domestic Rates (Transitional Relief) (Scotland) Regulations 2024 (The National Archives 09/01/2024)

Local Government, Housing and Planning: Official Report (Scot Parl 09/01/2024)

Correspondence between George Adam and the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee on the anticipated timings for the introduction of the Land Reform Bill and laying of the draft Climate Change Plan (Scot Gov 12/01/2024)

Correspondence between Mairi Gougeon and the Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee in response to a range of queries on delegated powers within the Agriculture and Rural Communities (Scotland) Bill (Scot Gov 12/01/2024)

Planning and Environmental Appeals website: user guidance (Scot Gov 15/01/2024)

James Twining appointed Trustee and Audit and Risk Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The National Lottery Heritage Fund (UK Gov 15/01/2024)

Housing First monitoring report: April-September 2023 (Scot Gov 15/01/2024)

Correspondence between Tom Arthur and the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee regarding the Visitor Levy Bill (Scot Parl 15/01/2024)

SPICe Spotlight: Affordable Homes – Scottish Government budget and progress (SPICe 15/01/2024)

Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee 2nd Meeting 2024 (Scot Parl 16/01/2024)

Local government in Scotland Financial bulletin 2022/23 (Audit Scotland 16/01/2024)

Reinforced Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (RAAC): Cross Sector Working Group minutes – 20 November 2023 (Scot Gov 16/01/2024)

Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill Stage One: Public Finance Minister’s statement (Scot Gov 16/01/2024)

Visitor levy legislation passes first stage (Scot Gov 17/01/2024)

Innovation at the heart of the Scottish economy (Scot Gov 17/01/2024)



The three phases of the heat transition (Medium 23/11/2023)

Innovation in Edinburgh: Director Kate Wimpress describes her experience of community landownership at North Edinburgh Arts in Edinburgh (Community Land Scotland 18/12/2023)

What’s next for climate efforts in 2024? (New Economics Foundation 20/12/2023)

Welsh government cuts culture funding by 10% (Arts Professional 21/12/2023)

Reflections on the Scottish Government Budget for Culture 24-25 (Culture Counts 21/12/2023)

Construction apprentice support scheme ends after 90 years ( 21/12/2023)

Mystery donor gives £2.4m to National Trust for Scotland (BBC News 21/12/2023)

‘Glasgow is a shipwreck’ – but there’s a plan to fix it (The Herald 22/12/2023)

Why should housing associations retrofit older properties now? (Lloyds Banking Group 22/12/2023)

Risky RAAC concrete now found in 1150 Scottish homes (The Ferret 22/12/2023)

On Dùthchas and the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Bella Caledonia 23/12/2023)

‘Anchors in our landscapes’: secular Scotland is fast losing its churches (The Guardian 27/12/2023)

Venice should charge tourists at least €25 but make them proud to save the city (The Art Newspaper 29/12/2023)

Want to cut your bills? Old buildings can be part of the solution (The Herald 30/12/2023)

The community buyout projects leading Scotland’s self-help revolution (The Guardian 01/01/2024)

Will hotter heat pumps win over homeowners? (BBC News 02/01/2024)

Almost two-thirds of Scots train stations are not fully accessible for disabled people (The Scotsman 02/01/2024)

Reform of ‘archaic’ land ownership crucial to Scotland’s economic future, claims new report (The Scotsman 03/01/2024)

Going beyond the environmental argument for retrofitting (Project Scotland 04/01/2024)

The rise and fall of High Rise Edinburgh – a chronology of multi-storey, public housing in the city (Thread Edinburgh 05/01/2024)

Welsh Government urged to reconsider sweeping cuts to museums and heritage (Museums Association 05/01/2024)

David Bookbinder: Is the Scottish Government waving the white flag? (Scottish Housing News 09/01/2024)

Mackintosh tea room rescued by National Trust for Scotland (The Times 11/01/2024)

Tenement Maintenance Update – What’s Going On? (City Lets News 11/01/2024)

Scotland needs big thinking to tackle property woe (The Herald 12/01/2024)

Fife to host permanent national Building Standards Hub (Scottish Construction Now 12/01/2024)

Scotland’s empty homes estimated to be worth £3.4bn (Scottish Housing News 15/01/2024)

Structural engineers will help combat the climate crisis – Richard Campbell (The Scotsman 16/01/2024)

‘Sleeping’ whisky distillery could wake after 40 years as Historic Environment Scotland looks to produce national drink (The Scotsman 17/01/2024)



Dear readers, we are changing the way we present parliamentary questions in the Bulletin. To make BEFS Bulletin more streamlined and to gather and archive the parliamentary questions that may be of interest to you in one accessible place, you will now find them in this live google sheets link.  The link will be posted in this section with every released Bulletin.



Submitted by: Annie Wells, Glasgow, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party.
Date lodged: 15/01/2024
That the Parliament welcomes reports that Mackintosh at the Willow has been secured and protected for the long term, thanks to the National Trust for Scotland, with what it sees as the vital support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Architectural Heritage Fund, Glasgow City Council and Celia Sinclair Thornqvist and her husband, Rolf Thornqvist; understands that existing staff at Mackintosh at the Willow will transfer to the National Trust for Scotland on their current terms and conditions; further understands that Mackintosh at the Willow is the original and last remaining of Miss Cranston’s famous tea rooms, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh alongside his wife, Margaret Macdonald, in 1903; believes that the tea rooms are a vital part of Glasgow’s social history, and are cited worldwide in architectural histories as one of the city’s most important contributions towards architecture and the arts, and that they were, alongside Mackintosh and Macdonald’s other works, highly influential in Europe and elsewhere, and acknowledges that the National Trust for Scotland is proud to add this property to its portfolio, alongside what it sees as Mackintosh’s other masterpiece, the Hill House, which is currently undergoing a major restoration programme.

Submitted by: Tom Arthur, Renfrewshire South, Scottish National Party.
Date lodged: 15/01/2024
That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill.



For further listings, please see our events calendar

RICS – World Built Environment Forum Week 2024
Date & Time: Monday 29 January – Thursday 1 February 2024
Location: Online
The World Built Environment Forum’s annual global gathering, WBEF Week, enables participants to engage in critical discussions about the direction of the built and natural environment with the people who are shaping it around the world. Over four days, participants will build a picture of how standards, policy, investment, data and technology are changing the landscape across energy, infrastructure, and the land and building life cycle. To conclude, WBEF Week 2024 will outline a practical approach to mobilising public and investor trust in new and emerging solutions.

Under One Roof Scotland – Heating flats: Policy updates and practical steps for tenement flat owners
Date & Time: Wednesday 31 January 2024 · 12-1:30pm
Location: Online
The Scottish Government is proposing to introduce regulations on minimum energy efficiency standards and ending the use of fossil fuel heating. What do these proposals mean for tenements and what might the options be for flat owners? In this webinar, Gillian Campbell from the Existing Homes Alliance and Fabrice Leveque, Climate and Energy Policy Manager at WWF Scotland will give an overview of the consultation proposals and the latest on plans for heat network zones.

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland – Mesolithic catastrophe: the impact of the Storegga Slide tsunami on the Mesolithic population of Britain
Date & Time: Thursday 8 February 2024; 6-7pm
Location: Hybrid – Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge Edinburgh EH1 1EL and livestreamed via Zoom
This paper will explore events surrounding the largest marine megaslide tsunami so far recovered on the planet. Combined with the climatic cold period or ‘neoglacial’ within which it occurred known as the ‘8.2 kyr event’, it had significant effects on both the landscape, seascape as well as the human population of much of Britain. The Lecture will be presented by Dr Clive Waddington FSA MCIfA FSAScot.

Heritage Trust Network – So You Want to Work in Heritage
Date & Time: Thursday 15 February 2024; 6:30pm
Location: Online via Zoom
The Heritage Trust Network Youth Forum’s next event will cover what professionals look for in job applications, apprenticeships, volunteering and case studies. The event will include advice and tips from established heritage professionals and those who read the application forms, and members of the Youth Forum will share their stories and experiences.



C&BS – How to fundraise effectively from trusts and foundations
Date & Time: Tuesday 23 & 30 January 2024; 10am-1pm
Location: Online
In this course Pam Judson will provide expert insight and advice on pursuing funding from trusts and foundations. The two-session course will cover giving trends in Scotland, researching the criteria and guidelines, writing effective applications, developing and maintaining relationships with an exit strategy, and also provide many practical templates and tips.

C&BS – Introduction to being a Board Member (January course)
Date & Time: Tuesday 30 January & 6 February 2024; 4-7pm
Location: Online
Do you have new trustees who have joined your Board recently or have you taken on a trustee role yourself? This course covers everything you need to know to launch your Board career, from trustee duties, roles, meeting management, advocacy and fundraising to strategic planning, finances and much more!

Development Trusts Association Scotland – Facilities Management Workshop
Date & Time: Tuesday 30 January & 6 February 2024; 9:30am-4pm
Location: Online
For anyone working in an operational role with facilities management responsibilities, the course will provide guidance, resources, tools and tips to help them in their roles. Written for Development Trust Association Scotland (DTAS) it will provide a practical overview of Facilities Management. Delivered by external consultant Beth Goodyear, with over 24 years of experience managing buildings and teams.

SLCT – Introduction to Maintaining Traditional Buildings
Date & Time: Tuesday 30 January 2024; 10am-3pm
Location: Charlestown Workshops, KY11 3EN
The course will outline the maintenance that traditional buildings require, and attendees will gain an understanding of traditional building techniques and the correct materials to use when undertaking repairs. This is also an excellent opportunity to speak to the SLCT’s expert tutors about your project; attendees are welcome to bring along photos and mortar samples for some specific advice.

SPAB – Understanding your old building
Date & Time: Monday 5 February – Saturday 16 March 2024
Location: Online course
Join SPAB for an introduction to the care and maintenance of period properties, ideal for homeowners and tenants of old buildings. This modular, self-paced online course features six pre-recorded presentations and a live Q&A session. It introduces the SPAB conservation approach and offers guidance on how best to tackle common problems and maintain the character and value of your home. If you live in or look after a period property, or are a professional who needs to brief their clients on understanding their old building, this course is ideal for you. The SPAB is an IHBC-recognised CPD provider and certificates of attendance are available on request.
Cost: £95 per person ‘early bird’ special until 14 January 2024, then £115 per person.

Stirling City Heritage Trust – Level 3 Award in Energy Efficiency for Older and Traditional Buildings – Retrofit Course
Date and Time: Wednesday 28 & Thursday 29 February 2024; 9am-4:30pm
Location: 2-day course at Enterprise House, Springkerse Business Park, Stirling FK7 7UF
The course will be delivered by Professor John Edwards, an expert in sustainable buildings, having helped develop British Standard (BS7913) for older and traditional buildings and was involved in producing BSI PAS 2030, PAS 2035 and PAS 2038. The course cost is being subsidised through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund as part of the SCHT Retrofit Project and Historic Environment Scotland. Normally the cost is £690. The subsidised course fee is £300 & includes: Course fee, course e-book and an examination fee.

The Heritage Trust Network – Volunteering opportunities
Youth Forum
The Heritage Trust Network is seeking young people aged 18-30 who are interested in the rescue, restoration and management of historic buildings, structures and places who want their voice heard in the heritage sector. Volunteers will be involved in: shaping the new Youth Forum; creating recommendations and advice to help members involve young people in heritage in a democratic way; co-designing, leading and taking part in online and in-person events; and creating online content including social media posts, blogs or vlogs
If you are interested in joining, please fill out a short application form here
Digital Heroes Project Volunteer
Are you digitally skilled, interested in helping heritage organisations and available to volunteer? The Heritage Trust Network are seeking people based in Scotland to join their Digital Heroes project which matches up digitally skilled young people with one of their member organisations to help them undertake a digital project. Examples include doing social media posts, digitising an archive or creating a digital marketing plan. If you are interested in volunteering as a digital hero, please fill out a short application form here