V&A Dundee given £10m boost after costs escalate

Museum construction up from £45m to £80m
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Rebecca Atkinson
The Scottish government has pledged an additional £10m towards the construction of the V&A Museum of Design Dundee, after it emerged that the cost of the project had increased sharply.  

Dundee City Council last week revealed that the new museum would cost £80m – up from previous estimates of £45m. The council said the museum would create nearly 5,000 new jobs and provide an £11.6m economic boost to the city.

The Scottish deputy first minister John Swinney said the additional £10m investment, which takes the government’s overall capital contribution to £25m, showed its commitment to the regeneration project. The money will be found in the 2016/17 Scottish budget.

The museum has also received £3.2m in revenue grants from the government since 2010 to support work, including exhibitions and outreach activities.

The Scottish government is now in discussions with Dundee Design, the partnership behind the V&A Dundee, to raise £12.6m through a growth accelerator funding model, where borrowed funds are invested in infrastructure and the economic benefits reflected in an annual payment from the government.

Dundee City Council, one of the partners in Dundee Design, said it will also try to raise £6.6m through private fundraising and £4.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). A further £6.5m will be found in the council’s capital programme for 2015-18 without impacting on council services, the council said in a statement.

The HLF awarded the V&A Dundee a £9.4m grant last year. Colin McLean, the head of the HLF in Scotland, said: “We have been regularly informed of the project’s progress and have recently received an application for a grant increase. This will be considered by our board of trustees in due course.”

Ken Guild, the leader of Dundee City Council, said: “This is a crucial development in the aspirational project to provide Dundee and Scotland with a world-class museum which will help to provide jobs and wider economic benefits. The council and its partners believe that the time is right to press ahead and deliver for Dundee.

“This major investment in the V&A Museum of Design will have real worth for the future of our city. I am confident that we can deliver this project for a unique building to the new timescales and budget, and we will be able to do this without causing any impact on other important council services.”

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