The V&A at Dundee - site announced and launch of design competition

Scottish Enterprise welcomes V&A site announcement.

Jill Farrell, Regional Director, Scottish Enterprise, said: "This announcement is fantastic news for the city of Dundee, the wider region and Scotland.  The outstanding combination of a landmark building, the cachet of the V&A brand and the unique site in the River Tay will help drive Dundee's Waterfront development and further boost the city's, and Scotland's, reputation as a hub of creative industries.

"A project of this calibre will significantly enhance  the image and perception of the city and the region to the world-wide community and we are delighted to support the development of this exciting project."

News release

'The V&A at Dundee', a new centre of 21st century design for Scotland and the world, will occupy a prime site at the heart of Dundee’s redeveloped waterfront, it is announced today (Monday January 11th).

An international architectural competition is being launched to deliver a landmark building for the centre, which will sit just to the south of Craig Harbour on a site to be created out into the River Tay.

'We are proposing a stunning location actually out into the River Tay and we want to find a design team that can deliver a world class building fitting for such a high quality project,' said Mike Galloway, Director of City Development for Dundee City Council.

'A two-stage architectural competition is about to be launched and we expect to have interest in this project from prominent architects and designers from around the world.'

The site is being made available through the Dundee Central Waterfront Partnership, the joint venture between Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise which is revitalising the prime area of land linking the city centre with the River Tay. Designers will be invited to make proposals for a building that reflects the V&A at Dundee project partnership’s desire to stimulate commerce as well as local and visitor interest.

The V&A at Dundee is being delivered by a ground-breaking partnership between the Victoria and Albert Museum - the world’s greatest museum of art and design - and the University of Dundee, the University of Abertay Dundee, Dundee City Council and Scottish Enterprise.

The V&A at Dundee will:

  • be a rich and inspiring resource for design and creativity.
  • attract visitors to world-class travelling and permanent exhibitions.
  • improve the attractiveness of Dundee and its region to business.

It is planned that the V&A at Dundee will open in 2014. The dynamic combination of a landmark building on a superb site and outstanding content will help drive forward Dundee’s Waterfront regeneration and stimulate further Scotland’s creative industries.

Funding for the £47million project is anticipated to come from the Scottish Government, other public bodies and private donations.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said, 'The V&A at Dundee will boost the city’s - and Scotland’s - reputation as a thriving centre for the creative industries. The Scottish Government has put on record its strong support for this exciting project, so I am pleased to see the partnership making good progress in identifying a prime site on Dundee’s revitalised waterfront. I look forward to seeing many innovative and high-quality designs coming forward that reflect exactly what this project is about.

'It is vital that the V&A at Dundee is founded upon a robust business plan which maximises benefits for local communities, so we are happy to be providing financial assistance to the partnership to develop such a plan.'

The V&A at Dundee project has been driven forward to this point by a steering committee comprising the local partners and the V&A.

'The announcement of the site and the launch of the design competition bring this exciting project two big steps towards reality,' said Professor Pete Downes, Chairman of the Steering Group and Principal of the University of Dundee.

'Since the announcement of Scottish Government support for the project in August last year, each of the partners has been working to bring us to this stage. The next step will be the formation of a charitable company to carry the project forward and we will be making announcements on that very soon.'

'There is still much work to be done to deliver this project but I am confident we will get there - the drive and determination exists to create a major asset for Dundee and Scotland.'

Through a changing programme of exhibitions and events the V&A at Dundee will have a continuous appeal to visitors, researchers and students of design, making it a major contributor to Dundee’s economic development.

From its unparalleled collections, the V&A will provide content chosen to stimulate, educate and inspire creativity.

Sir Mark Jones, Director of the V&A, said, 'The creation of the V&A at Dundee fulfils the V&A’s aim of sharing its collections, exhibitions, skills and resources, reaching new audiences and giving access to more people nationally and internationally.'

The partnership will build on the content provided by the V&A to give the creative and design industries of Scotland the focus they demand and profile they deserve. In turn, they will use the research and inspiration engendered by the centre to influence manufacturers and service providers to invest in the highest quality of design.

The V&A at Dundee will encourage local engagement and inclusion. Its programmes will bring a wider understanding of design through the development of resources which support learning from primary school to professional level.

Ken Guild, Leader of Dundee City Council, said: 'The V&A project will build on our ambitious regeneration plans for the city. It will create jobs, act as a visitor magnet and help boost the local economy.'

As a research centre, exhibition venue and home for specialist collections, V&A at Dundee will help define and develop what is best in Scottish contemporary design and offer inspiration for the future.

Read the Dundee Waterfront briefing.

Useful links

Notes to editors


A feasibility study conducted by Whetstone Group and Conran & Partners, launched in February 2009 at the V&A at Dundee: Making it Happen conference, concluded theV&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 and the University of Abertay Dundee.

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University of Dundee
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