Built Environment Forum Scotland (BEFS) – the link body for built environment bodies in Scotland – is delighted to announce the appointment of John Pelan, currently Director of the Scottish Civic Trust (SCT), as its new Acting Director, building a strong link between the cross-sectoral role of BEFS and the connections to enthusiastic local volunteers that drive SCT’s work.
John has worked in the built environment sector in Scotland for over 19 years and has developed many contacts across the industry from heritage to planning to architecture. He is an experienced communicator and a proven advocate for good building design. In his time he has worked as Director of Communications for the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) (1993-2005) where he played a key role in developing and implementing policy and directing communication of the RIAS’ key messages to government, public and its own members.
John has also written on architecture for a range of publications including Building Design, Architects’ Journal, Sculpture Matters, Art + Architecture & Prospect magazine. He was editor of Prospect magazine from 1999 to 2001 and has sat on the editorial board on various Scottish architecture yearbooks. John co-founded (with Andrew Doolan) the RIAS Award for Architecture, Best Building in Scotland and curated a number of architecture exhibitions in the RIAS gallery.
From 2006 – 2010 he ran his own company, John Pelan Associates, a specialist architecture communications consultancy. He was a member of the Glasgow Institute of Architects (GIA) Awards judging panel for 3 years, edited the GIA Review in 2008 and coordinated a number of successful events at The Lighthouse in Glasgow. In April 2010 John became Director of the Scottish Civic Trust. The role involves developing and implementing a forward strategy for the trust; investigating and creating new income streams; engaging with numerous government and non-government agencies and overseeing and developing several high-profile national projects including the Doors Open Days weekends and the Scottish Civic Trust My Place Awards. A key part of his role is engagement with the nationwide network of local civic trusts and amenity societies.
Speaking on his appointment John said: ‘I am looking forward to the challenges of taking on the role of Acting Director of BEFS and to working with Trustees and staff. There are obvious synergies between BEFS and the Scottish Civic Trust, as both organisations advocate on behalf of both the contemporary and historic built environment. With the publication of Historic Scotland’s new corporate plan and the consultation for the new Architecture Policy about to start this is a particularly important time for the sector to engage with policy makers and politicians.’
Cliff Hague, BEFS’ chair said: ‘I am delighted to welcome John on board as BEFS’ Acting Director. This is an exciting development for BEFS and the skills and expertise that John can bring to the table will help us to grow and develop in the future. At a time when Scotland and its identity are so much to the fore, John will help BEFS to demonstrate the important role that the built environment plays in our history and our future. BEFS is about putting people at the heart of places. John will lead a strong team at BEFS that will take our message across Scotland promoting the built environment for our members and Scottish communities alike. On behalf of the entire BEFS board I look forward to working with John over the coming months.’
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