The museum, which only opened in 2018, will now take on a unique remit to champion the value of Scotland’s design heritage and potential on local, national and international levels.
The Scottish Government will provide additional annual funding of £2 million for the next three years to facilitate this work, effectively tripling its current commitment of £1 million per annum. This continued investment from Holyrood adds to the £38 million contributed to the construction of the Kengo Kuma-designed waterfront building.
“Creativity and design sit at the heart of Scottish life and play a critical role in the economy, communities and almost everything we do. Since opening in 2018, V&A Dundee has become an important part of Scotland’s cultural life and has played a unique role as Scotland’s design museum,” says culture secretary Fiona Hyslop.
“This collaborative project is an exciting development for V&A Dundee as it continues on its mission to champion design by becoming Scotland’s centre for design – extending the museum’s reach and inspiring creativity and innovation.
“By developing national partnerships with organisations and businesses across Scotland, V&A Dundee will contribute to Scotland’s economic recovery by promoting the benefits and value of good design.”
Having already evidenced the economic potential of design-focused programming – contributing £75 million to the Scottish economy in its first year alone – the museum’s director, Leonie Bell, believes the site is “unique in Scotland as a place to explore and enjoy design of the past, present and future, and as a catalyst for new thinking, innovation and debate”.
Design, she adds, “has the potential and the power to improve lives and places in countless different ways, including giving people the agency, skills and confidence to change the world around them. We believe that design offers Scotland huge potential as its looks to its recovery after the pandemic”.
Tim Allan, chair of V&A Dundee’s Board, notes that despite being an “incredibly young organisation”, the museum has “already proved itself to be a major cultural and economic force” and a “catalyst for transformation”.
The Scottish Government’s latest support, he concludes, “reinforces our role as an advocate for the power of design to enrich lives across our nation, as well as sharing historic, contemporary and future Scottish design globally”.
V&A Dundee will reopen later in 2021 as Covid restrictions are relaxed, with Night Fever: Designing Club Culture leading its post-lockdown programming.