A new fundraising campaign has been launched in St Andrews to light the town’s iconic Cathedral for the first time in a decade.
Plans for the £190,000 scheme have been drawn up jointly by St Andrews Partnership and the Cathedral’s custodians, Historic Environment Scotland.
Partnership chairman Jim McArthur is confident that with the support of the whole town – and its thousands of visitors – the target can be reached, and the lighting secured for several years ahead.
“In 2011-12 we successfully raised almost £150,000 for the restoration of Martyrs’ Monument,” he said, “and the Cathedral is a more iconic structure with greater visitor numbers and well recognised throughout the world. Many local people will remember how good the Cathedral looked when it was lit up previously, and I can promise them that our new lights will be even more breathtaking.”
Mr McArthur said that lessons had been learned since the last lights fell into disrepair and had to be removed: “The proposal is to purchase state-of-the-art equipment and we are working with two of the world’s leading specialist companies in this field. In Scotland, their current projects include the renowned lighting at Edinburgh and Stirling Castles, and internationally they light up dozens of world-famous locations such as the Empire State Building and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
“Secondly, the proposed new lights will give us the ability to change the lighting colours for special occasions – so for example, the ruins can be lit all in blue for St Andrew’s Day each year.”
He continued: “Thirdly, modern LED technology has improved the efficiency of lighting schemes so much that the ongoing running costs will be reduced to about 15 per cent of the previous lighting system’s costs – that saves money and is also good for the environment.
“And finally and most importantly, we want to ensure that these lights will be providing a stunning spectacle for many years into the future. Therefore, our fundraising appeal is setting out to raise enough money at the outset not just to buy and install the lights, but to operate and fully maintain them for a guaranteed minimum of 15 years. With regular maintenance, the system should in fact last much longer than that – but those contributing to our appeal can be assured that their donations will be hard at work for an assured minimum of 15 years.”
St Andrews Partnership is already seeking funding from a number of grant schemes, but to ensure a positive outcome, is calling for support from the general public who can find out more, and donate at a new website www.standrewslights.com.