Tartan Cents: Linking the Scottish Global Diaspora


The Scottish Diaspora is extensive and has an active engagement with Scotland.  Having lived in the US and seen Highland Games and other Scottish links, this lineage and linkage is obviously tangible. It is also this weekend the 20th Anniversary of New York Tartan Week, something which has been growing steadily.

Despite the visible presence of Scots and Scottish heritage in the US, the question was whether something even more tangible could be created? From discussions between Phil Prentice, Chief Officer, Scotland’s Towns Partnership and Rob St. Mary, Director of Outreach at Patronicity, Detroit, the idea of Tartan Cents was born. The concept was initially unveiled at the Scotland’s Towns Conference in Paisley in November 2017.

The formal launch of Tartan Cents is today.

Tartan Cents is a pilot programme designed to create a platform to mobilise Scotland’s US based diaspora through an innovative grant funding platform that will seek support for three iconic Scottish regeneration projects.

US-based Patronicity’s platform supports community crowd-granting for towns and cities across the US. Working with Scotland’s Town Partnership, Tartan Cents will seek contributions to link up Scottish diaspora around the world to strengthen community links in the homeland by building bridges and sharing stories, focusing on one of three pilot projects. Tartan Cents is founded on the premise that Scotland matters well beyond her borders.

Rob St. Mary of Patronicity, said:

“Patronicity has helped dozens of communities in the United States create better places to live, work, and play through the power of crowdgranting over the past 5 years.

“We are honoured that our first international foray is Scotland, for several reasons. First, we know the innovative spirit of Smith, Watt, Carnegie, and so many others still burns bright inside today’s Scots. That fire can help make stronger, more vibrant communities for all.

Second, a very personal one, Scotland is the homeland of my mother who emigrated to the U.S. with my aunt and grandparents in 1970. I still have close family and ties in Scotland. I feel many of us who share this great heritage have sought a meaningful way to connect back home.

“I see Tartan Cents, in partnership with local communities, as a way to give back to a place that has given us so much.”


Pilot Projects

The three pilot projects are ‘The Forbes Legacy, Pittencrieff House Project,’, the ‘Adam Smith Birthplace Initiative’ and the ‘Spirit of Scotland’ project based in Ayrshire. Each project has already secured thousands of pounds in match funding and donations to seek to reach their fundraising targets.



“The Dunfermline based Pittencrieff House project is inspired by General John Forbes’ legacy. Pittencrieff House, which stands in Pittencrieff Park near to the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie, was the family home in Scotland. From here, General Forbes left to fight for what is now modern America and to found the city of Pittsburgh in 1785.

The house is a living symbol of our Scottish-American shared history, yet it is all closed up. With generous support, we can jointly bring about the transformation which will allow our community and your heritable community to access its unique transatlantic story.

The aim is to create community events, education projects, exhibitions and vibrant activity to make the house the essential hub of this Park for all.”

Video:  https://youtu.be/ccKQsoWOJdU

Patronicity: http://Patronicity.com/Forbes


adam smith

“The Adam Smith Global Foundation are seeking to connect the past, the present and the future of the ‘Son of Kirkcaldy, Father of Nations’.

Kirkcaldy is the birthplace of world renown philosopher and economist. The Birthplace initiative is seeking to raise £100,000 to support and continue Smith’s heritage and legacy, which started nearly 300 years ago. ‘The Wealth of Nations’ was first published in 1776, the same year as the Declaration of Independence, influencing America’s Founding Fathers.

Their international ask is to purchase and return Adam Smith’s garden back to its former glory as an 18th Century Merchant’s Garden, and for Smith – the boy, the man, the philosopher, and the economist, to be brought back to life using augmented reality technology.”

Video: https://youtu.be/MnTZM6Zv5kk

Patronicity: http://Patronicity.com/AdamSmith


Spirit of scotland

“Spirit of Scotland will be an Augmented Reality Town Trail, based in Girvan, South Ayrshire, six miles from the Trump Turnberry Resort and Golf Course. By incorporating clever digital content, easily accessible from smartphones and tablets and a sign-posted trail which leads you through wonderfully-interpreted stopping points, the project will be creating something special for the enjoyment of the entire community.

The intention is to create this trail during 2018, to coincide with the 350th Anniversary of Girvan receiving its historic Burgh Status. The trail will walk in the footsteps of Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland in 1306 and learn about the spider which inspired him to keep fighting. March forward in time to explore the life of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet, who produced traditional ballads, romantic songs and thought-provoking poems and re-live the lives of local fisher-folk, the Irish weavers, whisky smugglers and hear stories about the man-eating cannibal called Sawney Bean.”

Video:  https://youtu.be/SRyKRkxeM4c

Patronicity: http://Patronicity.com/SpiritOfScotland

The Tartan Cents Pilot project launches Friday 6 April and runs to Friday 4 May. It is available to view (and to donate) at  https://www.patronicity.com/tartancents 

A fuller overview document can be downloaded here.

You can also find Tartan Cents at @TartanCents #TartanCents

Tartan Cents Cover


About Leigh Sparks

I am Professor of Retail Studies at the Institute for Retail Studies, University of Stirling, where I research and teach aspects of retailing and retail supply chains, alongside various colleagues. I am Chair of Scotland's Towns Partnership. I am also a Deputy Principal of the University, with responsibility for Education and Students.
This entry was posted in Buildings, Campaigns, Collaboration, Heritage, Places, Public Realm, Scotland, Scottish Diaspora Tapestry, Tartan Cents, Towns and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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