Isla Ashcroft on The St Andrews Pilgrim Foundation

Tue, Jun 7th 2022 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Host - Bruce Rollo
Reception - Grace Morris;
Menu Choice - Bruce Rollo


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Member Bruce Rollo introduced Isla Ashcroft.

Formerly a lawyer specialising in family and mental health issues, Isla is now the current Chair of the St Andrews Pilgrim Foundation.

She explained that the Foundation was established in 1999, with its function and objectives to pursue enhancement of the heritage and environment of St Andrews. Since its inception, with the financial support of several Town businesses, the organisation has raised some £300,000.00 of funding to meet their targets. It became a Scottish Incorporated Charity in 2017.

Isla told of the many charitable activities to which the Foundation have contributed. For example, the upgrading of Crails Lane, re-surfacing of Church Square, installation of floodlighting at St Andrews Cathedral, financial assistance with the provision of pontoons at the harbour and many more.

At present, work is ongoing to restore the bandstand at Bow Butts and an imminent future project involves the restoration of the pillars at the entrance to Cockshaugh Park. There are also discussions taking place with Fife Council to plan the restoration of the Memorial Fountain in Market Square.

Isla praised the help from several local businesses, in particular the funding from the Alfred Dunhill Links Foundation which has been donated to the Pilgrim Foundation over a period of 20 years.

Isla moved on to a very current theme, which will see the arrival of four Texas golfers this Friday.

 For many years the Pilgrim Foundation – with the help of a New York promotional group – has organised a “Golf Package Auction”. A high-end offering, this includes guaranteed tee-times on several of the St Andrews courses, with the addition of Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, accommodation, transport, lunch at the R&A, dinners and other events.

This week’s Texan arrivals, said Isla, have shown great patience, as they secured the auction back in 2019 and have endured pandemic issues until it became possible to travel this year and take up their prize.

In a vote of thanks, Bruce Rollo said that a great deal was owed to the Foundation’s fine work in protecting the heritage of our historic Town. He added, “All of us here have a love of St Andrews, its past and present. We and you, Isla, are keepers of that heritage.”.