St. Andrews: Locals fight Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake to preserve local culture

04.05.2024 | St.Andrews

In the home of golf – St. Andrews, a dispute has recently flared up that has struck at the heart of the community. On one side stands famous golfer Tiger Woods and music star Justin Timberlake with his ambitious plan to open an upmarket sports and entertainment gastro-pub offering an upmarket dining experience and interactive entertainment such as golf simulators, bowling, darts and watching sports on big screen TVs… On the other side stand local residents who are trying to preserve the historic New Picture House cinema, which they see as an integral part of local identity and history.

This project provoked immediate opposition from the local community. An online petition to preserve the cinema received more than 11,000 signatures. Residents fear that converting the historic cinema into an American bar is contrary to the character of the town and will only bring another tourist attraction that will be inaccessible to local residents.

“St Andrews is a town with a rich Scottish identity and the New Picture House has played an integral role in preserving its heritage. Converting a historic cinema into another sports bar is a serious mistake that will contribute to the ongoing gentrification of our beloved town. Our culture, our heritage and our community spirit are at risk. We must act now before it is too late!” reads the petition initiated by Ash Johann Curry-Machado, a student at the University of St. Andrews and President of the St. Andrews Film Society.

According to local advocates, the cinema space should be used for cultural and community activities that would serve the entire city. Although opposition to the project continues to grow, Nexus Luxury Collection, a company in which Tiger Woods and Justin Timberlake have stakes, confirmed that plans to open T-Squared Social are still moving forward.

There is no denying that the arrival of such a business could bring economic benefits to the city and increase its appeal to tourists. However, it is important to strike a balance between commercial interests and the needs of the local community in order to maintain the authenticity and unique character of this picturesque Scottish town.




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