BEFS Bulletin – Publications, Consultation Responses and Heritage Vacancies

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


The consultation for Scotland’s new historic environment strategy closed last week; thank you to everyone who took part in helping to shape the new strategy. BEFS considers a new strategy to be a positive advocacy tool for the role of the historic environment across multiple agendas, helping to outline shared priorities for the sector. Further clarity around the ‘day job’ of the sector, monitoring, as well as measurement of delivery and KPIs will be welcomed as the strategy and delivery plan are progressed. BEFS encourages Members who would like their responses shared via BEFS Consultations page to send them on to us. Those already received, as well as BEFS own response, can be found here.

And when it comes to strategies, the National Lottery Heritage Fund introduced their new strategy today (02/03/2023). Heritage 2033 has four new investment principles: Saving heritage; Protecting the environment; Inclusion, access and participation; and Organisational sustainability. They will continue their current approach of offering open funding programmes – from small grants up to multi-million-pound projects – for all types of heritage. From 2023, NLHF will introduce a higher investment threshold of £10m to allow for larger-scale investment and will consider investing in projects above this threshold to support truly exceptional heritage projects across the UK.  There is also the introduction of new strategic funding streams, with early initiatives focused on: Place; Landscape and nature; Heritage in need; and Acquisitions, opportunities and emergencies. Full details and information can be found here.

As a supporting Member of the Climate Heritage Network, BEFS is pleased to share the news that CHN have launched a new YouTube channel devoted to presenting ideas, strategies, case studies, and tips to inspire and accelerate culture-based climate action, from CHN member organisations and partners around the world.

A little closer to home, The Ridge published a new Feasibility Study looking at insulating a stone tenement alongside newbuild/alternative on-site generation (district heating scheme). The study was funded by the Scottish Government, in conjunction with East Lothian Council, with The Ridge as Lead Partner for the Local Action Group. Investigations relating to retrofitting historic properties and the skills development required is very much welcomed by BEFS.

For those interested in the data underpinning our places, and marking the publication of a newly commissioned paper by Andy Wightman, the David Hume Institute and BEFS will hold a webinar on Wednesday 8 March about Scotland’s Land Information Service. Exploring why it matters, and discussing the benefits further development could bring. Andy Wightman, writer, researcher and former member of the Scottish Parliament will be joined by Professor Stewart Brymer, solicitor and Honorary Professor in law at the University of Dundee. Sign-up here

With news of Awards across the sector: The Scottish Civic Trust have announced the shortlist to the My Place Awards 2023, displaying a range of community-led built environment projects that have transformed their locality across Scotland. And, RIAS have revealed 13 contenders for Scotland’s 2023 architecture awards.

BEFS were pleased to hear that our trustee, Niall Murphy, has been appointed Director of Glasgow City Heritage Trust. He joined the Trust as Grants Officer in 2016 and has been Deputy Director since mid-2017 – huge congratulations on the new role.

As more and more events start to happen in person, BEFS Director, managed to attend the 12th Scottish Empty Homes Conference, where The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP) launched new draft advisory guidance to assist local authorities to bring some of Scotland’s nearly 43,000 long-term empty homes back into use. When presented this seemed to be an exceptionally useful resource – it can be explored here, with feedback being sought from users across March 2023.

And finally, we liked this visual released by the Ordnance Survey at the end of February. The heatmap shows the distribution of historic buildings in GB; including Castles, Estates, Cathedrals, and more.



Survey: Heritage Volunteering in Scotland
Make Your Mark
The survey aims to better understand volunteering in the heritage sector and is open to volunteer-involving heritage organisations and groups in Scotland.
Closes 8 March 2023

Managing Change – fire and historic buildings
Views requested for updated guidance setting out the principles and specific issues that are relevant to fire and historic buildings.
Closes 13 March 2023

Culture in communities – your views
Scottish Parliament
‘Place-based’ approach to culture means giving people a greater say in shaping the cultural life of their local communities. This consultation wants to know more about what is happening in our local communities and understand aspects including what does good ‘place-based’ cultural policy look like in practice.
Closes 31 March 2023

Draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan
Scottish Government
This consultation seeks views on the vision and the actions to transition to an affordable, resilient and clean energy system set out in the draft Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan as well as understanding how maximum social and economic benefits from the energy transition for Scotland can be secured.
Closes 4 April 2023

Community Wealth Building
Scottish Government
Views are being sought on the internationally recognised Community Wealth Building (CWB) approach to economic development, as a key practical means for the Scottish Government to make progress towards realising the wellbeing economy vision outlined in the National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET).
Closes 25 April 2023

International Culture Strategy: survey
Scottish Government
Views sought to inform the development of a strategy to support the international aspirations and potential of Scotland’s culture sector.
Closes 26 April 2023



BEFS response to the consultation for Historic Environment Scotland’s Regulatory Framework (BEFS 14/02/2023)

BEFS response to the consultation for Scotland’s new historic environment strategy (BEFS 20/02/2023) On BEFS Consultations responses page, you can also find responses from NTS and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland.

Town centres and retail report – Response from the Scottish Government (Scot Parl 20/02/2023)



Survey of Scotland’s Museums and Galleries (MGS November 2022)

Care Tool – Carbon Avoided: Retrofit Estimator (Architecture 2030 14/02/2023)

Scottish Apprenticeships Performance Report 2023 (Skills Development Scotland 20/02/2023)

Heritage Council’s new Strategic Plan 2023-2028 – Ireland (The Heritage Council 22/02/2023)

Town Centre Living Report – more homes at the heart of great places (Scottish Futures Trust 28/02/2023)



Budget Statement Stage 3: 2023-24 (Scot Gov 21/02/2023)

Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Review – Fabric and Hard to Treat subgroup minutes: 07 February 2023 (Scot Gov 21/02/2023)

Investing in Communities Fund – round 2 2023 to 2026: approved awards (Scot Gov 21/02/2023)

SPICe Briefing – The Charities (Regulation and Administration) (Scotland) Bill (Scot Parl 21/02/2023)

Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing Review – Measures and Finance subgroup minutes: February 2023 (24/02/2023)

Open Government action plan 2021 to 2025 – commitment 4: climate change (27/02/2023)

Planning applications statistics 2022/2023: quarterly (April 2022 to September 2022) (Scot Gov 28/02/2023)

The Repairing Standard – Statutory Guidance for Landlords (Scot Gov 01/02/2023)



Icon secures funding to investigate industrial heritage conservation skills shortages (ICON 13/01/2023)

Commissioners announced for UK Urban Futures Commission (CoreCities UK 02/02/2023)

New refurbishment and retrofit framework urges interest from would-be suppliers (Built environment Network 14/02/2023)

Ground-breaking report shows the significance of built environment to Scotland’s circular economy, as new tool is launched to reduce site waste (Zero Waste Scotland 16/02/2023)

Architecture and Design Scotland joins Scottish Design Awards 2023 jury (A&DS 16/02/2023)

Dumfries and Galloway Council has recently commissioned Savills Architects and Building Surveyors to undertake a Traditional Building Skills Audit and is inviting interested contractors to get in touch (DGWGO 16/02/2023)

RIAS reveals 13 contenders for Scotland’s 2023 architecture awards (Architects Journal 27/02/2023)

The Scottish Empty Homes Partnership (SEHP) launches new guidance to assist local authorities to bring some of Scotland’s nearly 43,000 long-term empty homes back into use (SHN 27/02/2023)

Drive to expand reach of Scotland’s Improvement Districts (STP 27/02/2023)

Introducing BRICK BY BRICK: Understanding Heritage Projects, a podcast produced by the Heritage Trust Network Youth Forum (HTN 28/02/2023)

Introducing Heritage 2033, our new 10-year strategy (Heritage Fund 02/03/2023)



Open letter to leaders across Scotland’s built environment: Call for bold leadership and brave decisions in 2023 (BE-ST 23/01/2023)

Effectively retrofitting UK housing requires “compromise between performance and heritage” say architects (dezeen 27/01/2023)

Energy deficiency: the challenge of decarbonising UK buildings (The Engineer 09/02/2023)

In praise of the ‘15-minute city’ – the mundane planning theory terrifying conspiracists (The Guardian 16/02/2023)

Change to treasure law ‘will keep more artefacts in UK museums’ (The Guardian 18/02/2023)

Restoring Scotland’s crumbling castles with modern technology (The Herald 19/02/2023)

Retrofit for whole village slashes heating bills and energy loss (RIBA Journal 21/02/2023)

Open letter from the Scottish Tourism Alliance to the Scottish Government to halt the proposed ban on alcohol advertising and promotion (STA 27/02/2023)

Shake-up announced for the UK’s £300m National Lottery Heritage Fund (The Arts Newspaper 01/03/2023)


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-15115 Miles Briggs, Lothian, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 16/02/2023
To ask the Scottish Government what information it has on how many (a) houses and (b) flats in Scotland have been demolished in each year since 1999.
To ask the Scottish Government how much has been allocated to council housing maintenance budgets in each year since 1999, broken down by local authority.
Current status: Answer expected on 16 March 2023

S6W-15209 Ariane Burgess, Highlands and Islands, Scottish Green Party
Date lodged: 21/02/2023
To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to publish the interim findings from the Green Heat Finance Taskforce.
Current status: Answer expected on 7 March 2023

S6W-15237 Jamie Greene, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 21/02/2023
To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the findings in the WWF report, Affordable Warmth: Next Steps for Clean Heat in Scotland, in light of reports that Scotland will fall “significantly short” of its target for decarbonising heating in homes.
Current status: Answer expected on 7 March 2023

S6W-14712 Brian Whittle, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 06/02/2023
To ask the Scottish Government what support will be made available to provide planners with additional resources to assess the environmental impacts of developments, including making assessments of the impact of these on biodiversity.
Current status: Answered by Tom Arthur on 21 February 2023

Debate on the Levelling-Up Fund (UK Parl)
Date: 22/02/2023
Question from Dr Lisa Cameron East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, SNP concerning what recent assessment the Under-Secretary of State for Scotland has made with Cabinet colleagues of the effectiveness of levelling-up funding in Scotland.

S6F-01844 Gillian Mackay, Central Scotland, Scottish Green Party
Date lodged: 20/02/2023
To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government will provide an update on how it is responding to the Climate Change Committee’s report on progress in reducing emissions in Scotland.
Current status: Taken in the Chamber on 23 February 2023

S6W-15411 Brian Whittle, South Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party
Date lodged: 27/02/2023
To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S6W-13127 by Patrick Harvie on 9 January 2023, when it expects to release the annual reports for the (a) Scottish House Condition Survey for (i) 2020, (ii) 2021 and (iii) 2022 and (b) Scottish Household Survey for (A) 2021 and (B) 2022.
Current status: Answer expected on 13 March 2023

S6M-07942 Claire Baker, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour
Date: 28/02/2023
Debate on retail and town centres in Scotland


For further listings, please see our events calendar.

The David Hume Institute & BEFS – Scotland’s Land Information System (ScotLIS): what is it and why it matters?
Date & Time: Wednesday 8 March 2023; 11am-12:30pm
Location: Online
Join this webinar to mark the publication of a newly commissioned paper on Scotland’s Land Information System and find out why it is critical to infrastructure. Information about land and buildings is used every day by businesses, policy-makers, academics and ordinary citizens, covering land ownership and valuation, energy efficiency ratings, building types, vegetation cover and flood risks. However, as the impacts of climate change intensify, there is even greater need for more timely, more comprehensive, and more accessible information about land and buildings in Scotland.

The Cockburn Association – Student housing: crisis and opportunity?
Date & Time: Wednesday 8 March 2023; 1:30–5pm
Location: Quaker Meeting House, Victoria Street, Edinburgh EH1 2JL
With students currently in need of purpose-built student accommodation, planning applications are being submitted on a regular basis.  However local residents and communities routinely object to them, concerned that their neighbourhoods will be impacted negatively, frequently citing the need for affordable housing as more important. This half-day conference will bring different parties together to discuss the issues and impacts, and scope the expectations towards the situation’s improvement, and what can we all do moving forward.

Scottish Civic Trust – North of Scotland Local Heritage Surgeries
Date & Time: Friday 10 March 2023
Location: Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archive, Wick Airport, Wick, KW1 4QS
Is your local heritage or civic group looking to engage a wider range of people in your activities? Scottish Civic Trust are hosting local heritage surgeries for groups to chat and brainstorm with their staff about outreach and engagement strategies.

AHSS Dr Diane Watters – Discovering Urban School Buildings in Medieval and Early Modern Scotland
Date & Time: Monday 13 March 2023; 6:30pm
Location:  Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EL (wheelchair accessible)
In this talk, Dr Watters examines three grammar school case studies – St Andrews, Dunfermline and Edinburgh – highlighting the development of these medieval school buildings up to c.1600 and attempting to counter the orthodoxy that there were only a few permanent town school buildings in Scotland prior to the fifteenth century.

Scottish Historic Buildings Trust – Spring Lecture Series: Tales from the Tron
Date & Time: Friday 17 March – Wednesday 24 May 2023
Location: Riddle’s Court, 322 Lawnmarket, EH1 2PG
In this five-lecture series, guest speakers will cover the story of the Tron from the fantastical public spectacles staged at the Salt Tron on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, via a shopper’s prehistory of Marlin’s Wynd, through to the Tron Kirk in its urban context and the working class and slum clearances of Old Edinburgh. The final lecture, A Walk through a Thinking Machine: from Riddle’s Court to the Tron with Patrick Geddes, will end with a walk to the Tron Kirk to explore how we use spaces and places to learn.

Scottish Civic Trust – South of Scotland Local Heritage Surgeries
Date & Time: Saturday 18 March 2023
Location: Heritage Hub, Kirkstile, Hawick TD9 0AE
Is your local heritage or civic group looking to engage a wider range of people in your activities? Scottish Civic Trust are hosting local heritage surgeries for groups to chat and brainstorm with their staff about outreach and engagement strategies.

AHSS Joseph Sharples – The Workers Who Built The University Of Glasgow, 1867-71
Date & Time: Thursday 23 March 2023; 7:30pm
Location: Renfield Centre, 260 Bath Street, Glasgow
Note: Lectures will also be streamed online via Zoom
Joseph Sharples, Curator of Mackintosh Collections at the Hunterian, uncovers the fascinating story of the hundreds of masons, joiners, bricklayers and labourers who were drawn from across the British Isles to work on George Gilbert Scott’s new University; one of the biggest building projects in Victorian Scotland.



Social Enterprise Academy – Steps to Sustainability: Skills Sessions
Date & Time: 16 March-11 May
Location: Online
Range of training sessions for those working in the Heritage Sector covering: Retail Management Essentials, Digital Engagement, Fundraising, Marketing & PR, and Alternative Sources of Finance.

Fife Historic Buildings Trust – Conservation Engineering to Transform Inverkeithing Town House
Date & Time: Wednesday 22 March 2023; 12-1pm
Location: Hybrid – online via Zoom and at Scottish Lime Centre Trust, 2 Rocks Road, Charlestown KY11 3EN
An IHBC CPD accredited lunchtime talk on structural adaptations to make the A-listed Inverkeithing Town House fully accessible. Talk by Steve Wood, Conservation Accredited Engineer, MEng, CEng, MIStructE, Technical Director – Conservation, at Narro.

Icon Scotland – Creating Conservation Videos Workshop
Date & Time: Thursday 11, 18 & 25 May 2023; 9-11am
Location: Online via Zoom
Over three sessions, learn about creating conservation video content to be used to educate, promote and share the profession. The workshop will cover the start-to-finish workflow for creating conservation videos, ethical and legal considerations of sharing conservation content, platforms and methods that support video content, and tips and tricks, such as repurposing footage. Sessions will take place one week apart and will allow attendees to create their own videos and receive feedback from the instructor.



The Cockburn Association – Chair
The Cockburn Association is seeking to recruit a new Chair to replace Professor Cliff Hague OBE, who retires from the position in May 2023 following 6 years of excellent service. In 2025, the Cockburn will celebrate its 150th anniversary. The new Chair will help frame the celebrations of this significant landmark event, which will include a major civic reception and publication. A key objective of the Chair is to drive the development of the Cockburn ‘brand’, increasing the support base and reaching out to stakeholders across the city, existing and new.  The Chair will be expected to bring their own network into the Association where possible and act as a figurehead to members and supporters.
Further information and a role description is available from the Director, Terry Levinthal: 0131-557-8686 or

The National Trust for Scotland – Heritage Compliance Officer
Salary: £34,376-£38,027 (subject to experience)
Status: Full-time (flexible working possible)
Location: Hybrid working, available for meetings in Edinburgh
The National Trust for Scotland is looking to recruit a heritage compliance officer to help identify and manage the conservation and operations risks. This is a unique opportunity to work across all aspects of a major heritage organisation, liaising with colleagues in all disciplines.
All enquiries and applications should be addressed to: Diarmid Hearns, Head of Public Policy, Risk and Environment:
Job Description

SPAB – Archive Officer
Salary: £26,000 (FTE)
Location: Spitalfields, London, E1. Hybrid/ flexi working available
Status: Part-time (2 days p/w)
The role is within the Education and Training team, contributing to the work of other teams; for example Communications, helping to create content for social media and blog posts. The position involves working closely with a small number of dedicated volunteers, who assist with archive tasks such as research, answering enquiries and cataloguing. In addition, the role involves enabling access to archive information and documents in line with good stewardship of historic archive material; raising awareness and understanding of the archive inside and outside the SPAB and contributing to planning for its future.
Further details and applications
Closing date: Midday, Sunday 12 March 2023

Scottish Lime Centre Trust – Principal Trainer
Salary: commensurate with knowledge and experience
Status: Full-time, Mon-Fri with some flexibility to work weekends
Location: Charlestown, Fife
The Scottish Lime Centre Trust is seeking a practically orientated and organised individual able to manage their own workload and work as part of a team, with the ability to pass on skills and knowledge to a wide audience range. This is an excellent opportunity for a time served stonemason, with advanced craft qualifications, to join a busy team to deliver a range of ‘hands on’ courses as well as work alongside the Building Advisory team. Full support, guidance and training will be given to the successful candidate to ensure that the practical training delivery meets the exacting standards of the SLCT.
Further details and applications
Closing date: Friday 24 March 2023