BEFS Bulletin – OPiT and the Future of Heritage post COP27 and more sector news

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


Consultation has begun on the new draft of Our Place in Time (OPiT) to shape the future of Scotland’s historic environment. The 12-week consultation period closes on 20 February 2023. Prior to this BEFS facilitated a series of engagement workshops, both online and in person. The pre-consultation engagement report highlighted key findings and priority areas.

Historic Environment Scotland recently published their Annual Report and Financial Statements 2021-22. There are signs of recovery in visitor footfalls, increased income generated by heritage tourism to the Scottish economy and more staffed sites are open than in the previous year. There are still challenges along the road as volunteers, memberships, commercial income and investment through grants have not reached their pre-Covid level. The report highlights changes in the HES operating model as well as the status of KPI’s and the risks HES is facing with potential mitigating actions.

HES have also just released a consultation on their Regulatory Framework.

How culture and heritage is valued is always a matter of debate, especially when it comes to prioritising funds and resources, Scotland’s Historic Environment Audit is the usual source of key statistics in Scotland. UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is offering a £3,125,000 grant pot to develop our understanding further. Deadline for applications is 17 January 2023.

Museums Galleries Scotland are taking bookings for the Business Support Programme, a partnership between MGS, BEFS and greenspace scotland. Book here to have a 30-minute chat about the programme before making an application.

Applications are also now live for Rebuilding Heritage’s 1-2-1 Consultancy Sessions. These free online sessions will take place between January and March 2023 and are open to organisations across the UK. The programme covers Fundraising, Business Planning, Strategy and Finances and Communications. Deadline for applications is 12 December 2022.

RTPI Scotland published a Response to Revised Draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4). Robbie Calvert, Policy, Practice and Research Officer provided evidence to the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee in November. Culture Counts have also responded to the revised draft of NPF4.

COP27 is now over, and for the first time critical linkages between cultural heritage and climate change have been acknowledged, in terms of loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change. While this is a positive outcome, countries failed to agree on phasing out of fossil fuels. According to the Climate Action Tracker’s November update, as far as real world action on current policies goes, the world is still heading towards 2.7°C of warming (and to 2.4°C of warming under current 2030 targets). It is very timely therefore that the Climate Change Committee is going to launch online their latest assessment of Scotland’s progress to reduce emissions.

In England, the Historic Environment Forum’s (HEF) Sustainability & Climate Change Task Group produced key materials to increase access to net zero expertise and share crucial learning on sustainability and net zero progress; from finding Net Zero resources to reducing Carbon Footprint.

The Convention concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention) celebrated its 50th anniversary last month and UNESCO launched the ‘50 Minds for The Next 50’. Each participant in the dialogue sessions outlined a new vision around five heritage themes: safeguarding against climate change, sustainable tourism, imagining the digital dimensions, a balanced representation of World Heritage Sites and heritage in the post-Covid world. You can watch it or read it.

The question of which future or futures we are managing heritage (including world heritage) for, and how we believe the heritage sector would provide benefits for those futures – or the future of the past – is as important now as it was when raised by the UNESCO Chair on Heritage Futures. It is also important to imagine alternative futures and look at heritage management.

An article considering findings from The Architectural Heritage Fund about communities and local groups taking up the role of custodians, highlights the current lack of other bodies to find new purpose for old buildings, many of which are interwoven with local life and their own stories of history and heritage.

A related consultation to highlight is that of King’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer, currently holding a consultation on the ownerless property transfer scheme.

BEFS Director attended an event celebrating 20 Years of the Scottish Council on Archives (SCA). A selection panel chose Twenty Treasures nominated by archivists and records managers from across Scotland.

The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) have announced that  the Quarry Studios by Moxon Architects, a new office building and community café in the Cairngorms National Park has been chosen as the winner of the 2022 Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award.

Scottish Civic Trust is pleased to announce that Thierry Lye, Calum Maclean and Gordon Murray have taken up their roles as .

And finally, BEFS are delighted to welcome our new Communications & Policy Officer, Roland Láposi. Roland has extensive experience across the sector and will be part of the team compiling our regular Bulletin.

The next dates are 15 December and 5 January – BEFS Members should submit information for inclusion by the Monday prior to publication.


Developing a Scottish Tax to replace the UK Aggregates Levy
Scottish Government
Closes 4 December 2022

Delivering our Vision for Scottish Agriculture. Proposals for a new Agriculture Bill
Scottish Government
Closes 5 December 2022

World Heritage Site Management Plan 2023
Edinburgh World Heritage
Closes 12 December 2022

Ownerless Property Transfer Scheme (OPTS)
The King’s and Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer (KLTR)
The OPTS has been developed from the KLTR’s existing casework approach to bona vacantia (ownerless) properties which have fallen to the Crown, normally where a company is dissolved, or a deceased person has no relatives to take on the property.
Closes 16 December 2022

Local Government, Housing & Planning Committee inquiry into Community Planning
Scottish Parliament
There are two different surveys: the first call for views is aimed at members of Community Planning Partnerships (organisations or individuals). The second survey is aimed at other organisations or individuals who have an interest in community planning.
Closes 30 December 2022

The Building Safety Levy: Consultation
UK Government
*New* Closes 7 February 2023

Consultation on Historic Environment Scotland’s first Regulatory Framework
*New* Closes 14 Feb 2023

Consultation for Scotland’s new historic environment strategy (OPiT)
*New* Closes 20 February 2023

Consultation Responses

Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee – NPF4 (ScotParl 22/11/2022)

Delivering Scotland’s circular economy: Proposed Circular Economy Bill – Consultation analysis (SG 30/11/2022)


HistoricScot Youth Forum: Final Report and Youth Action Plan (Young Scot 18/11/2022)

The Edinburgh Home Demonstrator – Introduction to Briefing and Design (BE-ST 24/11/2022)

Our Place in Time – Consultation Draft Strategy (HES 28/11/2022)

Our Place in Time – Engagement Report (HES 28/11/2022)

Our Place in Time – Island Communities Impact Assessment – Initial Screening (HES 28/11/2022)

Our Place in Time – Business and Regulatory Impact Assessment – Initial Screening (HES 28/11/2022)

Our Place in Time – Strategic Environmental Assessment (HES 28/11/2022)

Our Place in Time – Non-Technical Summary 2022 (HES 28/11/2022)

Research on barriers to community-owned energy projects in Scotland – Executive Summary (SURF 29/11/2022)

Annual Report 2021-22 (HES November 2022)

Understanding Scotland Report – Economy (Diffley Partnership, Charlotte Street Partners, The David Hume Institute November 2022)

Heritage Access 2022 – Report on accessibility of UK museum and heritage (Vocal Eyes November 2022)

World Heritage – The next 50 (UNESCO November 2022)

Nationwide equity assessment of the 20-min neighbourhood in the Scottish context: A socio-spatial proximity analysis of residential locations (Social Science & Medicine December 2022)

Scottish & UK Government Publications

Wellbeing economy toolkit: supporting place based economic strategy and policy development
(SG 22/11/2022)

The Cost of Living (Tenant Protection) (Scotland) Act 2022: Rent Freeze and Evictions Pause (ScotParl 24/11/2022)

UK Government publishes new measures to help people to better insulate their homes and reduce energy consumption (UK Gov 28/11/2022)

Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee Meeting, NPF4 (ScotParl 29/11/2022)

Economy and Fair Work Committee: Enquiry into Retail and Town Centres in Scotland (ScotParl 29/11/2022)

News Releases

20 minute neighbourhoods in rural settings (Forth Environment Link November 2022)

New survey of Scotland’s tourism sector published (Scottish Tourism Alliance 10/11/2022)

How the heritage sector is shaping a new 10-year strategy (Heritage Fund 16/11/2022)

Autumn Statement 2022 – Summary for Heritage (The Heritage Alliance 17/11/2022)

World’s first UNESCO Trail wins European sustainability award (VisitScotland 17/11/2022)

Climate Heritage Network lauds landmark Culture Outcomes at COP27; Redoubles Efforts to Win More Holistic Recognition (CHN 20/11/2022)

The Ferret and The Herald present the findings of their joint investigation into ‘Who Owns Scotland’s Cities’ (The Herald 21/11/2022)

Cumbernauld Town Centre decision (HES 23/11/2022)

Tourism recovery accelerates to reach 65% of pre-pandemic levels (UNWTO 23/11/2022)

Mill Street, Perth wins Great Street and Govanhill, Glasgow is awarded Great Neighbourhood at The Urbanism Awards 2022 (The Academy of Urbanism 24/11/2022)

Blenheim Palace using robot dog to monitor the impact of climate change (blooloop 25/11/2022)

Year of Stories Campaigns and Content case studies (VisitScotland 30/11/2022)

HES stonemasons win gold and silver in national skills competition (HES 01/12/2022)

Opinion & Comment

Heritage in 20 Years: what will matter most? (The Heritage Alliance 21/10/22)

People warned not to use ‘cowboy’ foam insulation firms (BBC News 21/11/2022)

The 20 minute neighbourhood: trap or opportunity? ( 22/11/2022)

The era of the megalopolis: how the world’s cities are merging (The Conversation 22/11/22)

Maryhill tower blocks: report states retrofitting is ‘greener option’ (The Herald 23/11/2022)

Britain’s greenest city centre – and its least green (The Conversation 23/11/2022)

Why are so many historic places still closed? (The Herald 24/11/2022)

Sauchiehall Street named Scotland’s most struggling high street (The Herald 24/11/2022)

Why better data is vital for future-proofing the cultural sector (Arts Professional 24/11/2022)

Scotland’s high-rises in the 1960s: The villages in the sky that transformed life for a generation of Scots (The Scotsman 24/11/2022)

Communities becoming accidental custodians of the nation’s heritage (The Herald 27/11/2022)

Concerns raised by heritage staff on salaries (The Herald 27/11/2022)

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-11950 Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 07/11/2022
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-07307 by Shona Robison on 25 March 2022, and in light of its tender, OCT462463, for the audit anticipating that the research will extend over six months, what the (a) scope and (b) timeline is of the empty homes audit.
Current status: Answered by Shona Robison on 17 November 2022

S6W-11908 Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 04/11/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what correspondence it has had with all identified privately owned high-rise buildings in regard to the Single Building Assessment programme ahead of their forthcoming invitation onto the survey programme in 2023, and how many buildings it has been in contact with.
Current status: Answered by Shona Robison on 18 November 2022

S6W-11882 Daniel Johnson, Edinburgh Southern, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 08/11/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what it can do to allow the removal of any freeze on apprenticeship places and budgets at Skills Development Scotland.
Current status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 21 November 2022

S6W-11938 Jamie Greene, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 07/11/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what the estimated cost of any backlog of maintenance work for the prison estate has been in each year since 2014.
Current status: Answered by Keith Brown on 21 November 2022

S6W-12076 Paul McLennan, East Lothian, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 10/11/2022
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will outline its plans for the upcoming review of the National Outcomes; when the review process will start; how long it will last, and how it plans to ensure that the review includes as broad a consultation process as possible before presenting new draft National Outcomes to the Parliament.
Current status: Answered by John Swinney on 21 November 2022

S6W-12215 Sharon Dowey, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 15/11/2022
To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its “work on making the culture and heritage sector part of Scotland as a Fair Work Nation by 2025”.
Current status: Answered by Neil Gray on 23 November 2022

S6W-11964 Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 08/11/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how many buildings in Scotland have undergone survey work to identify and remediate unsafe cladding since 12 May 2022.
Current status: Answered by Shona Robison on 24 November 2022

S6W-12095 Willie Rennie, North East Fife, Scottish Liberal Democrats
Date lodged: 11/11/2022
To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the role of Confucius Institutes in Scottish higher education.
Current status: Answered by Jamie Hepburn on 24 November 2022

S6W-12216 Sharon Dowey, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 15/11/2022
To ask the Scottish Government how the National Partnership for Culture is progressing, and whether it will provide examples of any opportunities that it has identified to date for individuals and organisations.
Current status: Answered by Neil Gray on 24 November 2022

S6W-12292 Mark Griffin, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 17/11/2022 R
To ask the Scottish Government how many proposals for projects to make use of the £50 million fund for bringing homes back into use it has received; for how long the fund will remain open for applications, and from which local authorities it has received proposals.
Current status: Answered by Neil Gray on 24 November 2022


Museums Galleries Scotland – 2023 Business Support Programme Surgeries
Date & Time: Thursday 1 to Wednesday 7 December 2022; various times
Location: Online
Surgeries to answer your questions regarding the programme, such as eligibility, training content and delivery, participating in the programme, application process. 30 minute slots, open to all heritage organisations in Scotland interested in participating in the 2023 Business Support Programme, but please note, places are limited.

Climate Change Committee – Online launch: 2022 Scottish Progress Report and advice on climate targets
Date & Time: Wednesday 7 December 2022; 10-11:30am
Location: Online
The online launch of the latest assessment of Scotland’s progress to reduce emissions against its statutory targets as set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act.

Make Your Mark – Removing class barriers to heritage volunteering
Date & Time: Wednesday 7 December 2022; 10-12:30am
Location: Online
The staff and volunteers of the UK’s heritage sector are predominantly middle and upper class. Speakers from Museum As Muck, Volunteer Scotland, Volunteering Matters and the National Lottery Heritage Fund will discuss how heritage organisations can increase the socioeconomic diversity of their volunteer programmes by removing class barriers.

RICS World Built Environment Forum – Transforming land use: Delivering a vibrant and sustainable economy
Date & Time: Wednesday 7 December 2022; 1-2pm
Location: Online
The use and ownership of land will have a fundamental impact on the type of society and economy we look to build over the coming decades and in tackling climate change. Join leading experts in the wake of COP27 to examine the future of land management across the UK, including recent legislation and initiatives in the four nations, and its role in delivering a society and economy that meets the national, public and community interest.

Arts & Business Scotland Briefing: General Tax Update for the Culture Sector
Date & Time: Thursday 8 December 2022; 12–1pm
Location: Online
Tax continues to change and challenge the finances of cultural bodies. In this webinar Kirsty Murray and Scott Craig from Azets will provide an update on tax changes as well as highlight issues and opportunities they have found while working with cultural bodies. They will cover the VAT, gift aid and corporate tax implications associated with a number of areas.

PAS – Zero Waste Scotland: Circular Economy in a Planning Context
Date & Time: Thursday 8 December 2022; 12-1pm
Location: Online
What is the circular economy? And what does it mean for planning? This session will introduce you to the concept of the circular economy through a mix of presentation, questions and discussion.

SHSMG – The Future of Social Media
Date & Time: Thursday 8 December 2022; 3-4pm
Location: Online
Is it ethical to be creating content for platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok? Are you exploring any alternative platforms or approaches? Has your engagement dropped? Is social media really helping the heritage sector achieve our objectives?

RTPI West of Scotland – Winter Social and Quiz
Date & Time: Thursday 8 December 2022; 7-11pm
Location: 62 Argyll Arcade, 108 Argyle Street, Glasgow, G2 8BG
Join RTPI for the final West of Scotland event of 2022 – the return of the annual quiz! Maximum 4 per team, and individual attendees can be grouped together on the night.

HES – Inform Friday: An Introduction to Listed Building Consent and the Planning System
Date & Time: Friday 9 December 2022; 12-1pm
Location: Livestream via YouTube
What are listed buildings and conservation areas? How do you find out if a building is listed, and what permissions do you need to make changes to these buildings? Lila Angelaka will be joined by Steven Robb, HES Planning, Consents and Advice team, to talk about Historic Environment Scotland’s role in the planning system, the process of consent for historic buildings, such as listed building consent, conservation area consent and planning permission.

AHSS Dr Iain Gordon Brown – Auld Greekie: Edinburgh as the Athens of the North
Date & Time: Monday 12 December 2022; 6:30pm
Location: Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL (wheelchair accessible)
Note: Lectures will also be streamed online
In the early nineteenth century, Edinburgh – ‘Auld Reekie’ – came to think of itself and to be widely regarded as something else: it became ‘Modern Athens’. 1822 was a crucial year. At this bicentenary moment the speaker will share ideas explored in his new book, Auld Greekie.

RTPI Grampian – NPF4 What it all means
Date & Time: Tuesday 13 December 2022; 5-7pm
Location: Brodies House, 31-33 Union Grove, Aberdeen, AB106SD
NPF4 was laid in the Scottish Parliament on 8 November. 12 months after its draft was published, this document places the nature and climate crises front and centre, setting an overarching spatial strategy for the future, proposed national developments that support the spatial strategy and policies for the development and use of land. Elaine Farquharson Black at Brodies will provide a briefing on NPF4, followed by discussion on its impacts, next steps and implementation of this key piece of the Scottish Government’s planning reform agenda.

Rebuilding Heritage – What Does Fundraising Look Like for 2023?
Date & Time: Wednesday 14 December; 10-11:30am
Location: Online
This webinar will examine how the nature of fundraising is likely to change in light of current challenges faced by the heritage sector. Having dealt with the challenges of securing income during the Covid-19 pandemic, the heritage sector must now face the new reality that people and organisations don’t necessarily have as much cash in their pockets as they’d like. Join to find out more about how the current trends can steer you towards more successful outcomes; hear why a diversified portfolio is essential and what this may look like in the coming year.

Society of Antiquaries of Scotland December Lecture: The Viking boat-burial at Kiloran Bay, Colonsay – Professor James Graham-Campbell
Date & Time: Thursday 15 December 2022; 6pm
Location: Hybrid format; in-person at Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh and livestreamed online
The high-status Viking burial excavated at Kiloran Bay, Colonsay, in 1882 and 1884, is a well-furnished weapon grave, including scales, weights and harness-mounts, together with a boat, a horse and a possible human sacrifice, but also with two cross-marked stones. It is well documented for the period, in the archives of the Societies of Antiquaries of Scotland and of London, but much remains for discussion in relation to similar graves from Scandinavia, Britain and Iceland.

Cupar & District Annual Lecture 2022 – Professor Murray Pittock MAE FRSE
Date & Time: Thursday 15 December 2022; 6:45pm/7pm start
Location: Online
The 2022 Annual Lecture will cover “Culture, Tourism and the Economy” and will be delivered by Professor Murray Pittock, Pro-Vice Principal, Special Projects at The University of Glasgow. In addition to his previous university roles at Edinburgh, Oxford, Aberdeen and Strathclyde, Professor Pittock has held diverse visiting appointments including New York, Prague and Dublin. He is one of the few UK academics to be a prize lecturer of both the RSE and the British Academy.


Scottish Lime Centre Trust – P1 Repairing Traditional Masonry (Professional Level 1)
Date & Time: Tuesday 6 & Wednesday 7 December 2022; 9:30am-4:30pm
Location: Charlestown Workshops, Fife, KY11 3EN
Cost: £310 +VAT
This 2-day workshop for building professionals provides an introduction to the effective conservation and repair of traditional masonry structures and buildings, for the most part using traditional lime based mortars. Learn the skills to create repair strategies for repointing works and understanding analysis techniques to best match and specify mortars for repair work, choose the right sands and aggregates; & make a variety of lime mortars including the criteria for selecting the right mortar mixes.


RTPI Scotland – Intern Project Officer
Salary: £19,838 pro rata
Status: 6 month fixed term contract
Location: Edinburgh
An excellent entry level position at RTPI Scotland, for a motivated person who can use collaborative and analytical skills to support the engagement of Scottish membership on planning policy matters. This role offers the successful applicant excellent experience, contributing to their understanding of planning policy in Scotland. Please note: for any applicants currently studying on a RTPI accredited qualification, this experience would not be able to be counted towards that needed to support an Assessment of Professional Competence.
Closing date: Midnight on Sunday 4 December 2022

Historic Environment Scotland – Board members
Salary: Fee of £228 per day, up to two days per month; reasonable expenses covered
Status: Duration – up to four years.
Historic Environment Scotland are seeking Board members with the ability and experience to contribute at a strategic level and the capacity and commitment to grow into the role and develop their skills, whether or not they have prior experience of being on a board. For some of these appointments, applications are invited from people who can demonstrate at least one of the following specialist experience, knowledge and expertise: managing heritage assets; customer/visitor experience; climate change/net zero; digital/marketing; or community development. There are up to five board positions available.
Closing date: 5pm on Friday 16 December 2022

PhD studentship – Mobilising cultural heritage in UK marine fisheries
This PhD studentship opportunity is led by Ian Baxter, Heriot-Watt and co-supervised by Ruth Thurstan, University of Exeter. Historic England is the Associate Partner and Antony Firth (Head of Marine Heritage Strategy) will also be providing co-supervision, with some limited financial support and internship opportunities.
Maritime cultural heritage is embedded in the practice of small-scale fishing: traditional ecological knowledge, maritime landscapes, historic landing places, traditional vessels, and all their associated skills and material culture. The fishing sector is going through transitions post-Brexit on top of environmental, generational and technological changes that are likely to further diminish the tangible and intangible heritage of fishing. How can we use this cultural legacy to drive greater sustainability within fisheries management before it is too late?
This studentship forms part of the large-scale NERC funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Management of Marine Resource (CDT SuMMeR) and application details can be found here – search on the webpage for Heriot-Watt University project CDTS211:
Closing date: Tuesday 17 January 2023