Mon 6 Jun 16
Ambitious plans which would see the installation of spectacular architectural lighting at St Andrews Cathedral – one of Scotland's most iconic structures – have been announced.
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.
The charity is setting out to raise £195,000 to fund the scheme and its Chairman, Jim McArthur, is confident that this target will be achieved, with the support of both St Andrews residents and the many thousands of tourists who visit annually.
"In 2011-12 we successfully raised almost £150,000 for the restoration of the town's Martyrs' Monument," says Mr McArthur, "and the Cathedral is a much-better known structure, with greater visitor numbers and recognition 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."
Continued Mr McArthur, "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, and to work with two leading specialist companies who have international experience in lighting up world-famous buildings."
"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. Furthermore, 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."
"Most importantly", concluded Mr McArthur, "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 service them for a guaranteed minimum of 15 years. With regular maintenance, the system should in fact last 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."
A new fundraising website – www.standrewslights.com - has just been launched; it contains much more information about the lighting plans and explains how donations can be made, either online or via more traditional methods.