University of Dundee University of Dundee
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18 February 2009

V&A at Dundee: Making it happen

A feasibility study commissioned by Dundee city partners demonstrating the potential impact of establishing a presence for the Victoria & Albert Museum on the city’s waterfront will be discussed at a major conference, 'V&A at Dundee: Making it Happen’, on 24th and 25th February.

The conference, which takes place at the University of Dundee’s Dalhousie Building, will feature contributions from Mark Jones, Director of the V&A, a presentation of the main findings of the feasibility study and implications for Dundee’s wider waterfront development, as well as compelling evidence by experts from Bilbao and Gateshead featuring case studies of the national and international impact of the Guggenheim in Bilbao and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.

Sir Alan Langlands, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Dundee, will chair the conference. Sir Alan said, 'I believe that V&A at Dundee demonstrates a breadth and depth of vision for the city of Dundee which will have major economic development benefits for Tayside and will act as a catalyst to raise awareness of the many positive changes that have already taken place here.'

'The V&A at Dundee project symbolises the excellent culture of partnership-working evident in Dundee. Bringing the V&A to Dundee builds on the significant creative and digital talent already present in the city through Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design and White Space at University of Abertay as well as complementing the city’s long heritage in comics and illustration and its newer and vital digital industries. V&A at Dundee will also provide an excellent showcase for the whole of Scotland’s applied arts and design community. I look forward very much to hearing more about the project as well as meeting delegates from Bilbao and Gateshead.'

The conference opens on February 24th with a public lecture by Godfrey Worsdale, Director of the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, and the opening of an exhibition, 'Designs On…’, showcasing work from some of Scotland’s finest applied arts practitioners and curated by staff from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

Mr Worsdale’s lecture, titled 'A Cultural Accumulator’, will set forth his personal experience of how the impact of cultural institutions such as the Middlesbrough Institute for Modern Art (of which he was formerly director) and the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art can act as catalysts for positive economic development and place-perception change.

Mr Worsdale oversaw the conceptual development and construction of mima - the widely acclaimed gallery which has been a huge contributory factor in changing the perception of Middlesbrough. His lecture takes place at 6 pm on the 24th, is open to the public, and is free.

The conference will continue on 25th February with a presentation of the main findings of the feasibility study. There will also be contributions from Mark Jones, Director of the V&A and an examination of the implications of the V&A at Dundee plan for the wider waterfront development in Dundee, as well as presentations from the Gateshead and Bilbao delegations.

Limited tickets for the conference are available on a first come first served basis by emailing and the organisers would welcome public participation.

The feasibility study was carried out on behalf of Dundee city partners (Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council, the Universities of Dundee and Abertay Dundee) by Whetstone Partners and Conran Group.

Support for the conference 'V&A At Dundee: Making it Happen' has been provided by the University of Dundee, Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council and Apex City Quay Hotel.

For media enquiries contact:
Roddy Isles
Head, Press Office
University of Dundee
Nethergate Dundee, DD1 4HN
TEL: 01382 384910