Ross Foun­tain leaves Princes Street Gar­dens for first time since 1872

The Scotsman - - News Digest - By FIONA PRINGLE

A foun­tain has been re­moved from Princes Street Gar­dens in Ed­in­burgh for the first time since it was in­stalled in 1872.

The Ross Foun­tain will be re­stored by con­ser­va­tion ex­perts in Wi­gan be­fore be­ing re­turned to the gar­den by spring next year.

David El­lis, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of the Ross De­vel­op­ment Trust, said: “It’s been here for so long and it’s be­come a mas­sive part of the city for the last hun­dred odd years and to see it at the first stage of its restora­tion process, I’m de­lighted, and can’t wait to see it back in full work­ing or­der.”

The £1.5 mil­lion project is be­ing spear­headed by the Apex Ho­tels founder Nor­man Springford, who is also help­ing to fund a re­place­ment for the Ross Band­stand in Princes Street Gar­dens. He said: “When you’re deal­ing with a foun­tain that’s 145 years old it’s not just a case of giv­ing it a lick of paint. It’s go­ing to be a fairly lengthy process.”

The re­de­vel­op­ment of the Ross Foun­tain at the heart of Princes Street Gar­dens is a wel­come and long over­due re­fur­bish­ment of a land­mark that should be an Ed­in­burgh icon.

Seven years after the or­nate foun­tain first went dry, ef­forts are fi­nally un­der way to re­store it to its for­mer glory as part of a wider £25 mil­lion re­vamp of West Princes Street Gar­dens that will also take in the ac­com­pa­ny­ing band­stand, bankrolled by Apex Ho­tels chief Nor­man Spring­field.

It marks the first time since 2001 that a re­fur­bish­ment of the foun­tain has been at­tempted and the first time since gun­smith Daniel Ross gifted it to the city in the 19th cen­tury it won’t take pride of place in the Gar­dens.

How­ever, while this is the first tan­gi­ble sign of the re­gen­er­a­tion of the Gar­dens, the people will vote with their feet on its suc­cess.

The foun­tain has not been an iconic piece of Ed­in­burgh ar­chi­tec­ture for a long time and a true test of it re­cap­tur­ing some of its pre­vi­ous lus­tre when it re­turns next spring will be whether or not it can at­tract at­ten­tion from tourists and lo­cals alike.

The foun­tain is lifted from its plinth ready for ren­o­va­tion

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