By working in partnership with experts from the fields of architectural design and restoration, and by bringing together both philanthropic individuals and public sector organisations, our team is equipped with the knowledge and ambition to handle the transformation of this treasured site with care, respect and diligence – ultimately creating a space that every visitor can take joy from.
You can find out more about a Team member by clicking their image and reading their bio.
Norman Springford has been the Chair of our board since 2016 and is the former Executive Chairman of Apex Hotels.
After a career in finance as a practicing accountant, Norman has been in charge of running a number of businesses, public houses, bingo halls, and the Edinburgh Playhouse. He opened his first hotel, the Apex International Hotel, in Edinburgh in 1996. Since then, Apex Hotels has grown into a family-owned collection of ten hotels across Edinburgh, Dundee, Bath, Glasgow and London.
Andy has extensive experience in marketing, starting his career with United Biscuits before moving into the drinks sector. He had eleven years with United Distillers (now Diageo) and seven years with Scottish and Newcastle (now Heineken) holding Marketing Director positions with both organisations in the UK and also internationally for S&N. He took two years out of his more corporate life to work as Head of Community fundraising for Macmillan Cancer support as it was an important cause for him and his family.
Andy also has significant experience as a General Manager and business leader having been Managing Director of Clear Channel (Scotland), best known for their adshel bus shelters, and Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh, the successful business improvement district in the City Centre.
He is now building a portfolio of non-executive directorship with Edinburgh trams and on our board and as part of our executive team.
Linda McPherson is the Vice Chair of University Court for Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and is Chair of the Senior Management Remuneration Committee and a member of the Finance & Estates Committee. She is the former Senior Director of Food & Drink, Tourism and Textiles at Scottish Enterprise.
John Campbell graduated from Edinburgh University in 1972, and worked as a lawyer in Edinburgh and in Hong Kong.
In 1981 he returned to Scotland and was called as an advocate to the Scottish Bar. He was admitted to the Bar of England & Wales in 1990, and took Silk in 1998.
He has considerable experience in Business Law, Planning and Environmental Law, particularly in Energy issues, and in Construction and Arbitration, and Data Protection. He works all over the UK for developers, Councils, NGOs, Community Groups, and individuals. He is a Member of the Faculty of Advocates, and a Tenant at Trinity Chambers, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Outside his legal work, he is the Chairman of Scotland’s largest Building Preservation Trust, and of a University Research Advisory Board. By qualification, he is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland. He has been a member of our Board of Trustees since 2017 and lives in the Borders.
Sir Sandy had a long career with Standard Life, from which he retired as Group Chief Executive in 2009.
Sir Sandy’s current roles include chairing the Edinburgh-based businesses, Amiqus, LendingCrowd and Cameron Hume, as well as serving on the board of the Edinburgh Business School.
Among his previous external roles, he was Chairman of Edinburgh World City of Literature Trust, Chairman of Creative Scotland and Vice Chairman of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Sir Sandy was knighted for services to the insurance industry. He is a Fellow of the Faculty of Actuaries and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Roddy Smith is the Chief Executive of Essential Edinburgh having been appointed in February 2014. During the past four years he has led to organisation through a successful renewal ballot as well as delivering major events, projects and initiatives to support over 600 members in the city centre.
After an initial undergraduate degree in Physical Education, Roddy taught PE in Aberdeen for three years. Returning to his home city of Edinburgh to undertake his Master’s degree , Roddy started his career at sportscotland, latterly to become the Head of the Governing Body team.
He was appointed as the Chief Executive of Cricket Scotland in 2004 and under his leadership the business grew significantly in size and profile, winning major European and world events as well as global development awards.
My favourite spot at West Princes Street Gardens would have to be the Ross Fountain. I often take time to sit and watch people interacting with it, whether taking pictures, dipping their feet in the water or even just sitting nearby and enjoying the view. The noise of the water flowing is so calming, and the backdrop of the castle is quite unique, it’s just a wonderful place to spend time. The best part about my job is that this is such a wonderful, exciting project, that has the potential to benefit so many people. It’s an opportunity to make vast improvements to the public facilities and infrastructure to elevate this space to be recognised as a world leader in free to access, public, green spaces. I love sport, I’m obsessed to be completely honest. I would love to see some form of live sport if appropriate in terms of size and scale or screenings of major sporting events in the gardens. Sport is a great way to bring people together and you would enjoy it with a wonderful backdrop and experience a match-like atmosphere without having to attend the event in person.
My favourite memory of being in the gardens was during Social Bites’ Sleep in the Park event in mid-December. It was absolutely freezing – but no rain. I got to walk round the garden at night when they are normally shut, and the fountain looked beautiful. It was also great to feel the festive and community good will spirt in the gardens; such an electrifying atmosphere. The best part of my job is meeting fantastic people – from my fab Development team, to the partners we work with and the individuals and organisations who are keen to support the project. I would love to see a light display in West Princes Street Gardens – either projected onto the Castle like the Deep Time festival opening or a sound and light display similar to the ‘Enchanted Forest’ in Perth. I would also love the gardens to be open on summer evenings – bring along a picnic blanket and bottle of wine for Shakespeare in the Gardens!
My favourite time to be in the Gardens are on crisp sunny Autumn days when the vibrant green shades of Summer change to rich reds, browns and golds; always reminds me of when I first visited the Gardens many years ago. I joined this project because I’ve always loved West Princes Street Gardens and to be part of a project that will leave a legacy for future generations is very inspiring! I would love to see an activity where all members of the community could join in, learn something new and share their experiences. It would be amazing to give writers and artists the opportunity to have a platform and run public writing workshops in the Gardens.
I love Spring time in the Gardens in the early morning or late afternoon, there’s something about the light in Edinburgh that is so special; at this time of year the space feels like a beautiful haven with the birdsong and colours after a long winter. My favourite part about my job is being part of a team that is so committed to this project is a hugely motivating and supporting feeling. We all want to be here when the works are complete and to be able to say we were a part of this next chapter in Edinburgh’s cultural story. As a crazed dog lover, I would love to see a Bark in the Park! community event.
My favourite season in the gardens is Spring and favourite area is the long path leading up to the beautifully restored Ross Fountain. The best part of my job is ensuring our generous donors feel as enthused about the project as we at the Ross Development Trust are. I would love to see outdoor yoga sessions taking place in the gardens.
The gardens are so beautifully eclectic that I enjoy them in all seasons. They look like an entirely new place every couple of months. Through the long and frosty winter I have forgotten what it looked like in the spring. And everyone that comes to the park, animal or human, changes with it. On hot summer evenings people linger and there is a restless tension in the air, while on an icy winter afternoon there is utter peace and quiet. My favourite part of my job is working on such a positive project that will hopefully bring so much joy to Edinburgh and the people that live and visit here. I would love to see some sporting related activities, mainly yoga or tennis in the gardens. I would also enjoy attending screenings, photographic, musical and artistic activities or a nice picnic!
My favourite time to be in the gardens is during Fall when the sun starts to rise later, and the gardens are full of leafy colours. The best part of my job, to me, is the opportunity to engage with the wider-Edinburgh community about what is important to them and what they would like to see happen in this space. My hope is that there will be a revitalisation in community events that bring families together for performances, choir, and play.
I just love summertime in the gardens. Life doesn’t get much better than meeting friends at a lunchtime or at the weekend and catching up over a picnic in this stunning setting. Watching the tourists taking it all in makes me very grateful and proud of the city. I feel incredibly lucky to have a job where I am so passionate about what we are delivering. We have a huge responsibility to the people of Edinburgh to make this project a success and the favourite part of my job is developing interesting ways to communicate our message. I have two young children and I can’t wait for the day that we can just drop into the gardens at a weekend as a family and see what’s on at the pavilion. Whether it is a dance troupe performing, storytelling or local talent singing it would be great to know that the gardens could be somewhere that always has activity happening to break up a shopping trip in the city or to meet friends.
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