BEFS Bulletin – All change at UK level, with questions for the financial future.

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


In this time of great flux, with a new Monarch, a new Prime Minister, and a new UK fiscal statement since the last Bulletin, this is a bumper issue. 
The Scottish Government Programme for Government was released in early September. There are stark warnings about inflation, and the expressed limited scope of the Scottish Government for financial flexibility. Balance at a time of volatility appear to be the watchwords. The Scottish Government are also expressing strong support for the commitment to meeting net zero as “part of the solution” (p4) – whilst simultaneously not embracing the opportunity of our existing built environment. The potential and protection of the natural environment is rightly present, the same could be hoped for, but is not made explicit, in relation to our built environment. There is great emphasis placed within the document on the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (March 2022).
In relation to planned Bills to be introduced in 2022-23 BEFS will keep a close eye on the Budget, Circular Economy, Housing (2), and Local Visitor Levy. It seems note worthy that NPF4 is not mentioned within the document.
In a world of continually stretched budgets and expanding challenges, advocacy and relevance (across portfolios) will be of increasing importance. BEFS Director noted that the pickings for the existing built environment and cultural-heritage were slim in 2021-2022, and in 2022 it feels that finding the expressed value and importance of cultural-heritage within the current Programme for Government is even more challenging. For more thoughts from the Third Sector in relation to the Programme for Government, please see the response from SCVO.
Today’s (23rd September 2022) UK fiscal statement or Growth Plan throws many of the usual cards in the air, and only further reflection will help to understand where they might land. The Emergency Budget Review within Scotland (stated to be within two weeks of the UK fiscal statement) will be eagerly examined in coming weeks.
Other reactions to activity within the UK Parliament this week include the deep concern expressed by the Scottish Government to the Retained EU Law Bill  – where the UK Government seeks to revoke over 2,400 pieces of EU legislation by the end of 2023.
In related fiscal news:
MGS – have an important update regarding their grants programme which they have decided to pause while reviewing the needs of the sector. They recognise that this creates uncertainty for those of you who were planning applications and encourage you to contact the MGS Grants team with any questions or concerns.
Following the UK Government’s announcement that it will be introducing the Energy Bill Relief Scheme to fix wholesale gas and electricity prices for businesses for six months from 1 October 2022, the Scottish Tourism Alliance (STA) has launched a snapshot survey to gauge the impact of the scheme for tourism businesses here.

It’s been a very busy few weeks, but BEFS would like to thank the sector for a huge amount of engagement in relation to the ongoing Our Place in Time refresh. BEFS Engagement Report in relation to all sessions run by BEFS can be found, here.

We’re also grateful for the continued engagement from those working in a conservation related role within local and planning authorities. It was a great CPD session in Stirling this week, and BEFS, HES and AHSS look forward to seeing so many from across the sector at next week’s Conservation Areas day.
BEFS would like readers to note that BEFS does not have a Communications Manager in post at this time. BEFS will continue to get readers all the information that matters, particularly ensuring parliamentary activity is covered. And, as ever, we’ll endeavour to include Events, Training and related Vacancies. These will be presented in the Bulletin as links (we will not be updating the website Events diary or Vacancy pages) until the team is back at full complement. Next Bulletin dates: 6thand 20th of October.
And finally, those who are subscribers to the AHSS Magazine, may also have seen BEFS Director writing about her favourite building in the Autumn edition.


New Build Heat Standard: consultation – part two
Scottish Government
Closes 20 October 2022

Land Reform in a Net Zero Nation
Scottish Government
Closes 30 October 2022 – date extended

Battlefields: Planning Best Practice 
Historic Environment Scotland
Closes 3 November 2022

Delivering our Vision for Scottish Agriculture. Proposals for a new Agriculture Bill
Scottish Government 
Closes 21 November 2022

Consultation Responses

BEFS response to the call for evidence from the Committee for Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture (19/09/2022)
Culture Counts response can be found here.


Understanding Scotland (Diffley Partnership August 2022)
Understanding Scotland is a new quarterly survey tool measuring the most important facets of our lives and decision-making in Scotland: our society, economy, and environment. 

HES Funding announcement (HES 01/09/2022)
A total of £98,988 has been awarded to nine heritage projects as part of the Historic Environment Support Fund, administered by HES. The projects will benefit communities in the Highlands, Angus, Falkirk, Edinburgh, East Lothian, the Borders and Dumfries and Galloway.

Scottish & UK Government Publications

Programme for Government (Scottish Government 06/09/2022)

The Affordable Homes Programme since 2015 Department for Levelling up, Housing & Communities (UK Govt 08/09/2022)
The Role of Local Government and its Cross-Sectoral Partners in Financing and Delivering a Net-Zero Scotland – COSLA Submission (Sept 2022)

SPICe Briefing for Citizen Participation and Public Petitions – on Petition 1959 (Scottish Parliament Sept 2022)

The Town and Country Planning (Pre-Application Consultation) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2021 ( (The PAC Regulations)

The Planning (Scotland) Act 2019 (Commencement No. 9 and Saving and Transitional Provisions) Regulations 2022 ( (The Commencement Regulations)

VAT refund scheme for museums and galleries reopens ( UK Govt – Sept 2022)

English Planning Data gets new portal (September 2022)

Scottish Government deep concerned at Retained EU Law Bill (Scottish Government 22/09/2022)

News Releases

Crichton Project Shortlist (RIAS 20/09/2022) 
RIAS Consultancy – the competitions and procurement arm of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland – has revealed the five shortlisted teams for a competition to design The Crichton Project – a £15 million new cultural building in Dumfries and Galloway.

New Stonemasonry Apprentices carve the path to net-zero (HES 22/09/2022)
The organisation has recently significantly increased its capacity for traditional skills training with the opening of a new larger facility in Stirling, building on the successful delivery of Modern Apprenticeships in Stonemasonry for over 10 years in the city, and for over 20 years in Elgin.

SURF releases shortlist for their awards for best practice in community regeneration (SURF 23/09/2022)

Opinion & Comment

Development planned for Calgary’s Stephen Avenue fuels debate about protecting city’s heritage buildings (Globe and Mail 02/09/2022)

Edinburgh could be first UK city to introduce tourist levy (Evening Standard 06/09/2022)

SCVO response to Programme for Government (SCVO 07/09/2022)

Now the facts – an extended rent freeze would savage Net Zero investment (Scottish Housing News 08/09/2022)

Retrofit Radicals: Housing can be energy efficient and beautiful (FT 11/09/2022)

Let’s level the financial playing field, not Scotland’s Built Environment (Holyrood 12/09/2022)

Our crumbling housing stock is helping Vladimir Putin blackmail Britain (The Telegraph 13/09/2022)

Net zero: Copenhagen’s failure to meet its 2025 target casts doubt on other major climate plans
(The Conversation 13/09/2022)

Refurbs are for wimps, what commercial developers really think about retrofirst (AJ 14/09/2022)

Net Zero A Very British Problem: HEAT (BBC RADIO4)

Scottish Landlords threaten to sue over Sturgeons rent freeze (The Times 20/09/2022)

Parliamentary Questions and Answers

Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Scottish Government to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament. Questions in which a member has indicated a declarable interest are marked with an “R”.

S6W-10408: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour Date Lodged: 18 August 2022
To ask the Scottish Government how many applications for a Home Energy Scotland Loan were (a) accepted and (b) rejected in (i) 2020-21 and (ii) 2021-22.
Answered 5 September 2022

S6W-10429 Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour Date lodged: 18 August 2022
To ask the Scottish Government how much agricultural land has been lost in Scotland to house building developments in the last decade.
Answered 6 September 2022

S6W-10193 Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour Date lodged: 5 August 2022
To ask the Scottish Government how the single building assessment is designed to take account of any risk of electric vehicle fires, whether any specific assessment protocols are included in the assessment to respond to any such risks and, if this is the case, whether it will provide the details of any such protocols.
Answered 6 September 2022

S6W-10516: Oliver Mundell, Dumfriesshire, Scottish Conservative and UnionistParty Date Lodged: 24 August 2022
To ask the Scottish Government what support is in place to cover any financial costs and loss of earnings of community representatives who take part in planning enquiries.
Answered 20 September 2022

S6W-10630: Liam McArthur, Orkney Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats Date Lodged: 26 August 2022
To ask the Scottish Government how much funding it has allocated to improve the energy efficiency of (a) business buildings, (b) local authority buildings (excluding housing), (c) social housing and (d) domestic housing in each year from 2020 to 2022.
Answered 20 September 2022

S6W-10918: Liam Kerr, North East Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 07/09/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what its assessment is of the comparable costs of running an air source heat pump in a non-retrofitted, non-fabric refitted average property, compared with a gas boiler.
Answered 21 September 2022

S6W-10950: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/09/2022
To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to publish its proposed Local Visitor Levy Bill.
Answered 22 September 2022

S6W-10951: Sarah Boyack, Lothian, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 08/09/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what it expects the earliest date will be for local authorities to implement a Local Visitor Levy, subject to parliamentary approval of its proposed Local Visitor Levy Bill.
Answered 22 September 2022



Scottish Archaeology Month 2022
Date & Time: September to early October 2022
Location: Various across Scotland
Heritage-themed events are being held all across Scotland, as part of the annual celebration of the nation’s past coordinated by Archaeology Scotland.

Doors Open Days 2022
Date & Time: Weekends in September 2022
Location: Various across Scotland
The 2022 Doors Open Days programme is now live!

A&DS Climate Week Designing for a changing climate
Date & Time: 27/9/2022 at 12:30 – 14:00 PM
Location: Online
Scotland’s climate is changing and to adapt to these changes we all need to work together. Across Scotland, initiatives are moving beyond cities to consider what can be done in Scotland’s towns and villages.
This event will tell the story of three projects which have been exploring place-based collaborative approaches to climate action in Scotland, covering over 20 places from Alness in the north to Annan in the south.  

GCHT – What Next for Glasgow’s City Centre?
Date & Time: Wednesday 28 September 2022 7pm
Location: The Merchants House, Glasgow
Panelists will look at the challenges currently affecting the city centre such as the legacy of the Covid 19 pandemic, the high number of vacant buildings and the decline in shopfront retail, as well as how solutions to these challenges can help tackle the climate crisis. It will also open it up for questions and discussion about how to shape a city centre that maintains its historic character and is accessible, safe and functional for Glasgow’s people and visitors.
The event will be chaired by Bailie Christy Mearns, Depute Lord Provost of Glasgow.

RIAS Convention – Value of Architecture
Date & Time: Main event Friday 30th September from 0900. Fringe events on Thursday and Saturday
Location: Eden Court, Inverness
The RIAS annual convention is the leading architectural event in Scotland. Bringing together every aspect of the built environment to talk, think and collaborate. 
This year’s theme is VALUE. This wide topic will allow us to cover the value of Architecture, the value of collaboration, and perceived value, alongside exploring and debating what value in architecture means.

RTPI Scotland – Annual Conference 2022: Target Net Zero – Planning our Renewables, Buildings and Places
Date & Time: Thursday 6 October 2022 10am-6pm
Location: Park Inn by Radisson, Aberdeen
It is a pivotal time for planning in Scotland. We await the publication of the 4th National Planning Framework which undoubtedly will have a key ambition to tackle climate change and deliver net zero. But how exactly can planners, planning and the planning system help to achieve these aspirations? This ‘must attend’ conference will explore this through assessing the opportunities, challenges and needs of planning for renewable energy, of how we build our homes and buildings and how we design our places. It will be done through a mix of presentations, interactive debate and examination of good practice examples on the ground.

AHSS Dr Alistair Fair – Building a Modern Scotland: The New Towns, 1947–76
Date & Time: Monday 10th October 2022 6.30pm
Location: Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL (wheelchair accessible) Note: Lectures will also be streamed online via Zoom
Between the late 1940s and the early 1970s, six new towns were begun across Scotland, inspired by the ideals of the earlier Garden City Movement. For policymakers, they reflected an ambition to build a new Scotland; for architects and designers, they were an opportunity to create new kinds of urban environments. In this talk, Dr Alistair Fair surveys what was planned, some of the key buildings, and what happened subsequently.

SoAoS October Lecture – Mary of Guelders and the Architecture of Queenship in Fifteenth Century Scotland
Date & Time: Thursday 20th October 6pm
Location: Hybrid (in-person at Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL) and live streamed online via Zoom
During her widowhood, Mary of Guelders, Queen of Scots, pursued an energetic programme of architectural patronage, including renovations to Falkland Palace in Fife, and the commissioning of Ravenscraig Castle (Fife) and Trinity Collegiate Kirk and hospital outside Edinburgh. Recent dendrochronology at St Giles’ Kirk in Edinburgh also suggests that her patronage was more extensive than previously thought. In this lecture, Dr Rachel Delman will explore how Mary’s building projects articulated messages regarding her gender, piety, power, and status during her son’s minority.

ICON ECRN: Building a salvage network for Scotland
Date & Time: Thursday October 27th, 9:30-16:00
Location: The Engine Shed, Stirling
Edinburgh Collections Response Network is hosting a day of knowledge and skills sharing open to anyone involved in disaster recovery work from the GLAM sector in Scotland. ECRN is a voluntary group of conservators, curators, archivists and others based in and around Edinburgh who form a disaster recovery coalition that spans many organisations from national to local. The group is keen to foster closer connections with the wider Scottish heritage sector, and share the knowledge and lessons they have learned from collaborating. Event run in partnership with Icon Scotland, SCA and HES.
RTPI Scotland – The Point by Dandara site visit
Date & Time: Thursday 3 November 2022 5.30-6.30pm
Location: The Point, Aberdeen
The Point by Dandara development has developed a vacant derelict brownfield site in Aberdeen and brought housing back into the city centre. In addition to this, its development has also enabled refurbishment of the Category C listed Spire that sits in the heart of the site. Join RTPI Scotland for a tour of the development lead by Dandara’s Austin McGuire.


HES/AHSS/BEFS Conservation Areas Seminar
Date & Time: Thursday 29 September 2022 10am-4:30pm
Location: Engine Shed, Stirling
Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland (AHSS) and BEFS will host a day of discussions focussing on Conservation Areas, their management, designation, and exploring their role in creating good places. This event is aimed at anyone with a role in decision making within a Conservation Area, Local Authority officers and policy makers.
Developing Inclusive Archaeology Projects’ mentoring programme. York Archaeological Trust
Deadline for applications is midnight on Sunday the 2nd of October.
Are you interested in attracting new and more diverse audiences to your archaeology or heritage project/organisation? Have you ever had an idea for an inclusive engagement project but not had the time, ability or confidence to plan it properly? Then this new programme might be for you.
Wessex Archaeology, York Archaeology and MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology) have joined forces to offer an 8-part online mentoring scheme starting in October 2022. Our three-month digital programme is for anyone involved in archaeology or heritage who wants to work with new audiences but isn’t sure where to start. 

STBA-SPAB Annual Conference: Sustaining Buildings 2022

Date & Time: 12 October 2022 9.30am-5pm
Location: Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh
The popular STBA / SPAB annual conference returns in-person this autumn for a full day of presentations and Q&A sessions by UK experts in the field. With retrofit and the green agenda firmly in the eye of the public, SPAB Scotland and STBA bring you a selection of speakers who will dive deeper into these topics and provide expert analysis of WUFI, embodied carbon analysis, training opportunities, and much more. 

PAS SP=EED Community Engagement Skills training 
Date & Time: Thursday 13 October, 10am – 3pm
Location: Online – Zoom
Looking to sharpen your community engagement skills? Join our next live ‘SP=EED’ training, Thursday 13 October 2022. SP=EED is a unique development programme designed to develop your skills and confidence in designing, delivering and evaluating effective community engagement.

SPAB – Repair of Old Buildings Course
Date & Time: 17 to 21 October 2022
Location: Online
The Repair of Old Buildings course delivers an extensive programme of lectures and recorded site visits demonstrating building repair projects, accompanied by a series of live online Q&A sessions with speakers and site hosts. Presented by leading building conservation professionals, the Repair Course considers British and international approaches to the conservation of old buildings.  The SPAB philosophy of repair and maintenance – established by William Morris in 1877 – underpins the course programme of case studies, presentations and site visits.
The SPAB has a small fund to allow it to award bursaries to individuals who might not otherwise be able to afford a place on the Repair Course.

Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust – Architectural Conservation CPD 2022 Programme
Date & Time: Saturday 26 October & Wednesday 30 November 2022
Location: Online
The Perth and Kinross annual series of Architectural Conservation CPDs is underway. The programme continues with sessions on conservation techniques for historical sculptures and retrofit of traditional buildings.

CIfA – Practising ethical competence in archaeology

Date & Time: Wednesday 16 November 2022 2-5pm
Location: Online
This CPD workshop is for accredited professionals and those that need to demonstrate ethical abilities as part of their application for accreditation


The Auchindrain Trust Conservation and Maintenance Supervisor/ Urras Achadh an Droighinn
Salary: £27,300
Status: Full time, permanent
Location: Auchindrain Historic Township, Argyll
As a result of the retirement of a long-serving member of staff, the Trust are seeking to recruit a suitably-skilled and experienced person as Conservation & Maintenance Supervisor for the museum at Auchindrain Historic Township in Argyll. The post represents a rare opportunity for someone who would like to develop a career in the care, conservation and management of Scotland’s historic environment, with a strong emphasis on the use of traditional building skills in the modern world. 
Closing date: 12 noon, Friday 7 October 2022