Scottish stars come together to raise money for Princes Street Gardens redevelopment

Stars came together in New York to launch the international fundraising campaign for the redevelopment of one of Edinburgh’s most famous gardens.

By Conor Matchett
Monday, 21st October 2019, 6:00 am
Alan Cumming and Alannah Moar at the launch of the fundraising campaign (Photo: The Quaich Project)
Alan Cumming and Alannah Moar at the launch of the fundraising campaign (Photo: The Quaich Project)

Actor Alan Cumming kicked off the campaign alongside singer KT Tunstall and young up-and-comer Alannah Moar at the Stanly H. Kaplan Penthouse in the Lincoln Centre on Saturday 19 October.

The Quaich Project, which aims to redevelop the Ross Bandstand and West Princes Street Gardens, is estimated to cost £25 million.

It will see a major redesign of the gardens including the felling of trees, the creation of wheelchair-friendly paths, and a radical redevelopment of the Ross Bandstand.

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KT Tunstall and Alan Cumming perform together in New York (Photo: The Quaich Project)

The evening, called the ‘Celebration of Scottish Culture’, was hosted by Mr Cumming who is also the Quaich Project’s North American ambassador and followed the Scottish launch of the campaign back in March this year.

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Mr Cumming recalled the Capital’s strong connection with many Americans and said hosting the event was a “great pleasure.

He added: “Scotland’s ties with the USA and New York in particular are incredibly strong. Both are centres of excellence for the arts, and the Scottish diaspora helped to make New York the city it is today.

Jules Haston, Alan Cumming, Alannah Moar, KT Tunstall and Andy Scott at the event in New York (Photo: The Quaich Project)

“Edinburgh has strong emotional connections for many New Yorkers, so bringing the best new talent from the city and outlining the plans to create an inclusive space in the heart of the city, was a great pleasure.”

Ms Haston, director of development at the Quaich Project, said the interest in the project was “remarkable”.

“All the performances were excellent and the interest in the project was remarkable. Guests were highly engaged with what’s happening in Edinburgh and were excited to hear about our plans to create a space for all to enjoy in the heart of the city.

“The event officially launched our international fundraising campaign and we look forward to engaging with the Scottish diaspora around the world as we guide West Princes Street Gardens through the next stage of its evolution.”

Ms Moar, who won her place on the bill after a public vote against five other emerging artists, said performing was a “privilege”.

She said: “Performing in New York was a privilege and sharing a stage with some of the biggest names in Scottish entertainment was a dream come true.

“It was a fantastic night and I’m very grateful for The Quaich Project and everyone who voted for me to make it happen.”