BEFS’ advocacy toolkit enables everyone to become an advocate for the built environment.

policy-advocacyScotland’s built environment plays a vital role in the lives of individuals and communities across Scotland. It is the physical evidence of human activity and connects people with places and with the traditions, stories and memories linked to those places. Scotland is renowned for the quality and diversity of its built environment and it represents one of Scotland’s most valuable assets.

Although you already know this, do the people who are making decisions about the future of your organisation or the sector more generally?

Watch our film Heritage & Sustainability: A Journey Down One Historic Street, for an exploration of how the built environment contributes to environmental, economic, social and cultural sustainability. Produced with partner organisations and launched at Edinburgh Traditional Building Festival 2021, BEFS Policy & Strategy Manager, Hazel Johnson, takes us down Edinburgh’s Royal Mile to discover how our historic buildings can be valuable assets for the future.


Tough budgetary decisions are being made by local authorities and public bodies across Scotland. Advocacy involves you taking control of this situation by trying to influence the outcomes of these decisions. It’s important to make sure people are aware of the impact of your work and that of your organisation, and to ensure policymakers and stakeholders are vocal in their support for you and the built environment.

Start advocating for the built environment

Start advocating for the built environment by raising the profile of your organisation and demonstrating how your work makes a difference to people’s lives. Think about how to link your advocacy to Scottish Government agendas and how your work effects other areas of social and economic policy, such as health and wellbeing, equality and diversity, tourism and development, skills and education, to name but a few.

Once you have developed some short, positive messages around the impact the built environment has in a general sense you will need to move on to communicating directly with more specific audiences. Target those that are most likely to be able to influence on your behalf and policymakers who are making decisions that will affect the future of your organisation; as well as key stakeholders, friends, members and the media.

BEFS Advocacy Toolkit

BEFS has developed an advocacy toolkit to help you and your members to achieve this. The toolkit enables everyone to become an advocate for the built environment. It gives you tips and ideas on how to make the case for the built environment with your local politicians and councillors as well as raising the profile of your own work. It is designed to give you the information you need to confidently speak up for your organisation and your local built environment.

The toolkit is a responsive document which we are updating regularly with new content, advice from experienced campaigners and experts in the sector.

If there is something that you feel you would like included, do get in contact.