A major charitable appeal is under way in St Andrews, raising funds for the installation of spectacular architectural lighting at St Andrews Cathedral – one of Scotland’s most iconic structures.
Plans drawn up jointly between local charity St Andrews Partnership and the Cathedral’s custodians, Historic Environment Scotland, will see the famous ruins lit up for the first time in a decade, following the removal of previous lights which had fallen into disrepair.
As Jim McArthur, the Partnership’s Chairman, explains, only the best will be good enough for this project:
“An internationally-important site like this needs the highest-quality lighting to properly show it at its best, and so the proposal is to purchase state-of-the-art equipment. In addition, 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.
“Thirdly, modern LED technology has improved the efficiency of lighting schemes so much that the ongoing running costs will be reduced to about 15% 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.”
The Partnership’s ambitious fundraising target is £195,000, but Mr McArthur is confident that with the support of the whole town – and its thousands of visitors – this target can be reached.
“In 2011-12 we successfully raised almost £150,000 for our restoration of Martyrs’ Monument,” he says, “and the Cathedral is a more iconic structure with greater visitor numbers and is 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.”
In addition to this website, St Andrews Partnership is currently seeking funding from a number of grant schemes. A new leaflet about the charitable appeal is also currently being prepared and will be circulated throughout St Andrews and further afield later in the month, ready for the annual summer influx of visitors – whom it is hoped will also contribute generously.
Visit www.standrewslights.com for more details and to donate.