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Good News for West Princes Street Gardens

Posted on 16 Feb 2017 by Marion

West Princes Street Gardens is an incredible area of green space in the heart of the city centre. It has a fascinating historical significance, acting as a link between the Old and New Town, and it is a ‘place for people’, hosting major annual events as well as providing a haven of peace amidst the bustle of the city.

A design competition has been launched this month for the regeneration of the Ross Pavilion. The first stage of the competition will be an international search for a multi-disciplinary design team, based on relevant skills, past experience and an understanding of the project brief.

A selection panel will review these first stage submissions and shortlist five practices, who will be given a further briefing and asked to produce concept designs for the Pavilion. As part of a wide-ranging consultation process, the Trust will hold a public exhibition of the schemes and ask the public for their views.

The Ross Fountain has lain derelict and been without water for a number of years and continues to deteriorate. The Ross Development Trust have commissioned an experienced heritage conservation specialist to manage the restoration process, with work expected to start in early 2017 pending Council consent.

The restoration process involves dismantling all 122 pieces of the fountain before individually repairing, restoring and repainting each piece. The fountain will then be rebuilt in the same location in which it currently sits.

The work required is extensive and budgeted at a figure in excess of £1million. The whole project should take most of the year 2017 to complete, and we are assured that after restoration, the Ross Fountain will be in pristine condition, capable of withstanding the Scottish climate for the next 100 years.

The original installation took place nearly 150 years ago, at a time when building practices were not as disciplined as the modern standards. The Fountain has little by way of foundations and over the years it has tilted off the vertical, and originally water conservation was not an issue.

Piling and ground works will be supplemented by an underground chamber that will house the necessary pumps, filtration, and other plant.

To find out more information and to keep up to date with progress, follow the Trust’s website, facebook and twitter


Sir Sandy Crombie, our President, and I are both trustees of the Ross Development Trust.