St Andrews Botanic Garden Trust has formally taken over the management of the garden on behalf of Fife Council.
The handover took place on January 1, marking an important milestone for the town’s prized asset... and its guardians.
The local authority will continue to have an involvement in the garden up to the final handover on April 1.
Dr Jean Stewart, chairman of the Board, welcomed the development and stated: “This is a very important stage in the further development of the garden and follows a lot of hard work by many people over several years.
“We look forward to signing the lease with the landowner, the University of St Andrews, in the next few weeks and to the full handover from Fife Council at the end of March.
“We are very grateful for all the support we have received, from many individuals and particularly from Fife Council. There is still a lot to do but this is a very exciting time for all those involved.”
Board members include representatives from Fife Council and the Friends of the Botanic Garden as well as independent members.
James Hearsum, formerly of the Royal Botanic Garden, Jordan, was appointed as director of the garden in May last year and has been working hard with board members to achieve the handover.
Mr Hearsum commented: “I feel very privileged to be part of this wonderful garden and look forward to further developing the facilities to encourage more members of the public to use and enjoy it.”
Funding for the garden will be sought from a variety of sources, both for the ongoing activities and for capital projects.
It already has an extensive and highly respected education programme both for schoolchildren and adults.
This will be developed further and the board is exploring how it can work with the community to encourage greater public use of this asset, which has been shown to be close to the heart of St Andrews and the surrounding areas.