Scotland expects economic boost as first design museum opens

Scotland’s first design museum opens on Saturday, and is predicted to bring an £11.6 million boost to the Dundee economy, writes Angie Cronin.

Three-and-a-half years after work began on its construction, the V&A Dundee will welcome its first visitors this weekend.

The museum stands at the centre of the £1 billion transformation of Dundee’s waterfront and its launch will be celebrated with the 3D Festival, a free two-day event (September 14-15).

Councillor John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: “V&A Dundee is the perfect illustration of how the city is forging a new path and being transformed for every resident, worker and visitor.

“We are predicting an economic boost in the city, estimated in the region of £11.6 million a year and the creation of 361 extra jobs across Scotland, 249 of which will be in Dundee.

“We also anticipate a significant number of other indirect benefits in terms of jobs and investment from new enterprise, business and increasing footfall in the city.”

The V&A Dundee cost more than £80 million and was funded by the Scottish government, the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Creative Scotland, Dundee City Council, the UK government, Scottish Enterprise, University of Dundee, Abertay University and a private fundraising campaign.

Designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, V&A Dundee explores the international importance of design alongside presenting Scotland’s design achievements.

The Scottish Design Galleries in the museum feature 300 exhibits drawn from the V&A’s collections of Scottish design, as well as from museums and private collections across Scotland and the world.

At the centre of the galleries will be the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Oak Room, which has been restored and reconstructed.

The room is the largest tearoom interior, designed by architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh for Miss Cranston’s Ingram Street tearoom in Glasgow in the early 20th century.

The international exhibition programme opens with Ocean Liners: Speed and Style, organised by the V&A and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts.

V&A Dundee is free to enter and open daily from 10am to 5pm.

Pictures by HuftonCrow.