BEFS Bulletin – #HeritageTreasures & Meet the BEFS Team

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


Happy New Year from all of us at BEFS! 2021 saw big changes at BEFS, and we go into 2022 with a brand new team. To help direct any contact you may wish to make with the BEFS team, you can read more about each of our roles below. We look forward to working with you in 2022 to advocate on behalf of Scotland’s existing built environment.

Ailsa Macfarlane – Director
Hazel Johnson – Policy & Strategy Manager
Jess Burrows – Communications & Membership Manager
Ilona McAllister – Company Secretary & Business Administrator

In a return to our previous schedule, this year the Bulletin will be sent on the first and third Wednesday of each month. If you have any news, publications, or events that you think might interest readers of the Bulletin, you can send details directly to Jess by email.

Next Tuesday 11 January is #HeritageTreasures day on social media. Get ready to share your favourite places, programmes, and projects.

Entries close on 6 February for the Scottish Civic Trust’s My Place 2022 Awards, which celebrate community-led built environment projects, as well as for their My Place Photography 2022 competition for young people aged 4-18.

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Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee – Call for Views: National Planning Framework (NPF4)
Closes 10 January 2022

Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee – Call for Views: The role of local government and its cross-sectoral partners in financing and delivering a net-zero Scotland
Closes 21 January 2022

Building Regulations – Compliance And Enforcement: Consultation
Closes 4 February 2022

Heat in buildings – National Public Energy Agency: consultation – call for evidence 2021/2022
Closes 8 February 2022

Local Development Planning – regulations and guidance: consultation
Closes 31 March 2022

Open Space Strategies and Play Sufficiency Assessments: consultation
Closes 31 March 2022

Draft National Planning Framework 4 (NPF4) – Public Consultation
Closes 31 March 2022


Dundee Cultural Recovery: a policy report. King’s College, London. England, L. (2021)
The findings highlight the significant contribution and performance of the cultural and creative sector prior to Covid and outlines a critical pathway for recovery.

Scottish Government Publications

Targeted funds for culture and events (03/01/21)
Details of a financial package worth £65 million for culture and major events have been confirmed by the Culture Secretary Angus Robertson.

News Releases

Scotland Regeneration Capital Grant Fund: Projects set for £25m funding boost (The Herald, 03/01/21)
22 projects in locations across Scotland which will share £25 million of funding.

Scheme to preserve ancient craft skills expanded across island of Ireland (Irish Examiner, 03/01/22)
The initial bursary scheme saw six students undergo training in Northern Ireland to learn the skills needed to maintain historic monuments and buildings.

More than 400 churches close in a decade amid ‘shocking’ threat to parishes (Paywall, The Telegraph, 03/01/22)
Analysis by The Telegraph shows nearly 1,000 have closed in just over 30 years.

Aberdeen Council lawyers to be called into action on controversial high-rise A-listing(Press & Journal, 01/01/22)
The Council is considering seeking a judicial review after the A listed status of five tower blocks was upheld by the Scottish Government at appeal.

West Lothian plans new ‘town of tomorrow’ with futuristic neighbourhood (Edinburgh Live, 30/12/21)
Winchburgh, as it grows, will be home to one of Scotland’s pioneering new town concepts – the 20-Minute Neighbourhood.

South Ayrshire Council zero emissions plan could cost up to £575m to put in place (Daily Record, 28/12/21)
A report on retrofitting existing local authority properties has produced three options with costs ranging from £205m to £575m.

Opinion & Comment

Ariane Burgess: All of us will have to play a part in bringing our homes up to standard(John O’Groat Journal, 01/01/22)
Ariane Burgess MSP, Convenor of the Local Government, Housing and Planning Committee, on the need for a ‘fabric first’ approach to a national home retrofitting project.

Janey Douglas: Upgrading listed buildings is key to the net-zero drive (The Herald, 30/12/21)
Most of today’s commercial real estate will still be in use in 2045 when Scotland plans to be net zero. The only way we can feasibly hit this target is to upgrade buildings already in use.

Simon Jenkins: Churches could double as banks, or even serve beer. We can’t leave them empty (The Guardian, 31/12/21)
These mainly listed buildings sit at the heart of almost every community – we are squandering a precious legacy.

Parliamentary Questions

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

S6W-05393: Colin Beattie, Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Scottish National Party
Date lodged: 24 December 2021
To ask the Scottish Government what level of funding can be provided by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) to stabilise and develop the site of Mavisbank House in Loanhead; what engagement HES is undertaking with relevant stakeholders to take forward development of this site; what short-term developments HES anticipates for this project, and whether HES will take a leadership role in the site’s development.

Parliamentary Questions & Answers

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

S6O-00551: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party
Date Lodged: 08/12/2021
To ask the Scottish Government what measures it has taken to support town centres.
Follow-up question from Christine Grahame: Is current compulsory purchase legislation sufficient to permit a local authority to take ownership and redevelop vacant town centre retail stores?
Follow-up question from Siobhian Brown, Ayr, Scottish National Party
What further action could be taken to improve the appearance of our town centres, where many shops lie empty and are deteriorating, along with derelict land and buildings?
Taken in the Chamber on 16/12/2021

S6W-05223: Paul Sweeney, Glasgow, Scottish Labour  
Date lodged: 20 December 2021
To ask the Scottish Government whether a presumption in planning policy against the demolition of existing buildings will be incorporated into National Planning Framework 4 in order to meet the carbon reduction measures that were agreed at COP26.
Answered by Tom Arthur on 23 December 2021


For the full list of BEFS Members’ upcoming events see our events calendar.

RSA Fellows’ MCICH Network: Re-Purposing Heritage
Date & Time: 18 January, 18:00 – 19:30
Learn about two great examples of Italian heritage buildings finding a new purpose in the modern world. These very different projects began before the pandemic, one in 2000, one later. Both were challenging, as Charlotte Horton and Paolo Petrocelli will explain via illustrated presentations followed by facilitated debate. For exploration are challenges and opportunities since, post pandemic, many heritage buildings – both urban and rural – assume new lives and purpose.

EWH: Hiding in plain sight: the legacy of slavery and colonialism in Edinburgh
Date & Time: 20 January, 18:00 – 20:00
In this free new talk, Nicholas Hotham, former Head of Engagement at Edinburgh World Heritage, will present an objective view of Edinburgh’s connections to slavery and colonialism during the 18th and 19th centuries, and ask what, if anything, we should do about it.

HES: Sir Walter Scott’s Abbotsford: “The Delilah of his Imagination”
Date & Time: 20 January, 14:00
Join Kirsty Archer-Thompson, Collections and Interpretations Manager at Abbotsford, as she discusses what Scott was trying to achieve in terms of Abbotsford’s composition and curation, using examples from the fabric of the building alongside the collections housed within, to illustrate how he created a space for the celebration of history, memory and storytelling.

AHSS: Not Dead Space – Edinburgh’s Five World Heritage Site Graveyards
Date & Time: 14 February, 18:30
Dr Susan Buckham describes the history, development and significance of the five WHS burial grounds over their long lifetimes and explores how best to breathe new life into them in a sustainable way, in order to support their heritage values and their role as urban greenspaces.


CIfA: Inclusion Awareness Training
Date & Time: 12 January, 14:00 – 15:00
Online, £15 (CIfA Members £10)
The training session will cover how to recognise conditions such as Dyslexia, DCD/Dyspraxia, Dyscalculia, ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Condition at work. This workshop is ideal for line managers, those who work alongside neurodiverse colleagues and/or neurodiverse individuals who wish to suggest changes or make adaptations to workplace behaviours or task management.


Glasgow City Heritage Trust: Heritage Officer (Grants)
GCHT seek a Grants Officer to support the implementation of the Trust’s new Historic Built Environment Grants programme for the benefit of all people living and working in and visiting Glasgow. Managing a caseload of external grants, the core of this role is working closely with residents, communities, professionals and contractors in Glasgow in support of the Trust’s Strategic Plan to promote the benefits of safeguarding, enhancing and engaging with Glasgow’s Historic Built Environment.
Closing date: Noon, 17 January

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