University of Dundee University of Dundee
Text only

17 August 2009

V&A at Dundee a step closer

The V&A at Dundee will happen and will be underpinned by a robust business plan that maximises the cultural and economic benefits for its local communities. That was the Culture Minister’s message as he announced the Scottish Government’s support for the project today.

Mr Michael Russell MSP said the V&A at Dundee project could make a considerable contribution to the aesthetic, cultural and economic regeneration of Dundee:

'Dundee has made huge strides in recent years and I’ve been struck by the coordinated approach to regeneration work in the city. This project could be a dramatic new chapter in the life of Dundee to position the city as an international art destination and a thriving centre for our creative industries.'

'This Government has given the V&A at Dundee project team a significant commitment of support which will enable them to move forward and maximise their fundraising campaign. We will contribute capital funding towards construction of the physical space and the exact support level will be confirmed once we are in a position to set budgets for the next 2-3 years in the next strategic spending review.'

'There must be a sustainable long-term future for this project and lasting benefits for the local community and surrounding area. Projections show that an additional 500,000 visitors could be attracted to Dundee, along with the creation of up to 900 local jobs and an additional £5.7m output to the Scottish economy.'

'I firmly believe that the V&A at Dundee has great potential to enrich and enliven Scotland’s cultural landscape.'

Professor Pete Downes, Principal of the University of Dundee and chair of the V&A at Dundee project steering group said:

'We are delighted by this strong expression of support from the Scottish Government for the V&A at Dundee project. We are currently completing technical appraisals on a number of sites on Dundee’s waterfront and we expect to be able to choose a final site for development by October 2009.'

'Over the next few months, we plan to conclude a final agreement with the V&A Trustees and establish a charitable company through which we will conduct a fundraising campaign and launch an international design competition.'

'As the V&A at Dundee takes a step closer, the firm focus of the charitable company will be to drive forward fundraising from a range of private and public sources to secure Dundee’s place as a true hub of creative appreciation.'

Mr Ken Guild, Leader of Dundee City Council and Chair of the Dundee Waterfront Development Board said:

'We strongly believe that the V&A at Dundee will provide a new cultural paradigm for Scotland, enable us to build an international reputation for cutting edge art and design in Dundee that builds on core existing creative strengths inherent in the city and provide a unique and exciting space that will attract new visitors to Dundee as well as providing a wonderful showcase for Dundee that all of our local population can feel proud of.'

'We look forward very much to working closely with the Scottish Government over the next few years to ensure that V&A at Dundee becomes a world-class centre for excellence in creativity'.

Notes for Editors

V&A at Dundee aims to achieve the following goals:

  • Show major exhibitions from the V&A in London
  • provide an excellent space in which to showcase Scottish applied arts and design in an international context
  • create a gallery space large enough to attract the world’s best international touring exhibitions
  • provide an international platform from which to promote Dundee as an international centre for excellence in art and design
  • build upon the creative excellence inherent in Scotland’s practitioners and provide a platform from which to enhance their economic capacity
  • establish a venue that will act as a focus for debate and dialogue for the creative economy
  • enhance the creative environment for the benefit of the general public and creative education
  • create a platform for partnership working in the cultural sector in Scotland

The V&A Project Steering Group is comprised of representation by Dundee City Council, Scottish Enterprise, University of Dundee and University of Abertay and the V&A.

A feasibility study conducted for the project steering group by Whetstone Group and Conran & Partners, launched in February 2009 at the V&A at Dundee: Making it Happen conference, concluded V&A at Dundee would have significant economic and cultural benefits for both Tayside and Scotland.

In particular it is estimated that V&A at Dundee would bring an additional 500,000 visitors to Dundee, create up to 900 jobs locally as well as add £5.7m output to the Scottish economy.

The V&A is the world’s greatest museum of art and design with collections unrivalled in their scope and diversity spanning over two thousand years of human creativity in virtually every medium. It has an internationally renowned exhibition programme from major styles shows such as Art Deco (2003) and Modernism (2006) to cutting edge contemporary art and design displays. It has a strong tradition of applied research and curatorial excellence and its curatorial portfolio is complemented by existing strengths in Dundee at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (recently ranked No. 1 art school in Scotland) and Abertay University. V&A touring exhibitions have shown to millions of people in galleries and museums around the world, including Guggenheim Bilbao, Shanghai, Toronto, Melbourne, San Francisco, New York and Moscow. The V&A currently attracts a visitor base to its touring exhibitions and its London base of more than 5m people annually and its website attracts more than 18m hits per year. The opportunity to market a V&A at Dundee platform to such a wide and international cohort of people has been recognised as having enormous potential.

For media enquiries contact:

V&A at Dundee Project Steering Group
Joan Concannon
Director of External Relations, University of Dundee
TEL: 01382 385565 / 07968 298668

Roddy Isles
Head of Press
University of Dundee
TEL: 01382 384910 / 07800 581902

Angela-Claire Coutts
Communications Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution
Scottish Government
T:0131 244 2547 | M:07920 595 483