The fundraising effort will benefit V&A Dundee, which led the campaign, along with Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Heritage Trust, Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, and Dundee Science Centre.

The success of the “truly unique campaign, unlike anything else in the UK” was facilitated when a “group of like-minded organisations came together to harness the generosity of private individuals and trusts to support the delivery of world-class culture”, according to Tim Allan, chair of V&A Dundee.

Collaborating to safeguard a quintet of organisations that are “culturally, economically and socially invaluable” to Dundee, he adds, “brilliantly demonstrates the sense of common purpose and innovation for which the city and Scotland is well known”.

Emma Talbot, Ghost Calls, 2021. Installation view at Dundee Contemporary Arts © Ruth Clark

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander notes that “culture has a huge value for the city of Dundee and the reopening of popular Dundee attractions will help bring people and investment to the city as lockdown restrictions ease”.

The importance of tourism to the city, and the potential arts venues offer to attract new visitors, is underscored by the pre-pandemic success of V&A Dundee.

Visitor revenues during its first year in operation were double what had been predicted, delivering £21 million for the Dundonian economy and £75 million to the overall Scottish coffers. Before the outbreak of Covid-19 tourism was worth more than £10 million a month to Dundee, according to separate research commissioned by the city’s council.

Dundee donates

Contributions to the Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund came from donors and trusts including:

Tim and Kim Allan
Alliance Trust
Al-Maktoum Community Grant Fund
Dundee City Council
Morris and Joyce Leslie
Alasdair Locke
The RJ Larg Family Trust
Leng Charitable Trust
Lethendy Charitable Trust
The Mathew Trust
MHA Henderson Loggie
Tay Charitable Trust
Eric Young

“Dundee is renowned for its rich creative heritage and our many cultural attractions will play an essential role in the recovery of the city’s local economy in the months ahead,” says Christopher Thomson, trustee of The Northwood Charitable Trust, which donated £500,000 to the campaign.

“This important collaboration will help not only protect several of our leading cultural organisations and the jobs they create, but also help them to grow and develop for the future.”

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