V&A Dundee celebrates fifth anniversary - Museums Association

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V&A Dundee celebrates fifth anniversary

Research carried out to mark five years since opening shows impact of Scotland's design museum
Anniversaries Visitors
V&A Dundee was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma
V&A Dundee was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma

More than 500,000 people have visited Dundee over the past five years as part of trips to see V&A Dundee, according to new research released on the fifth anniversary of the opening of Scotland’s design museum.

V&A Dundee, which cost £80m and was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, opened on 15 September 2018 and has since attracted 1.7 million visitors. 

The research, by BOP Consulting and Tialt, found that the venue generated a gross value added (GVA) impact of £234m in the five years since opening. This is in addition to a £70m GVA impact from the construction of the museum.

Leonie Bell, director of V&A Dundee, said: “Since opening, V&A Dundee has emerged as an important new voice for design and a gathering place for visitors from near and far, contributing to Dundee and Scotland's creative, cultural and economic growth, despite the major challenges of the Covid pandemic.

“We’ve engaged over 1.7 million people through exhibitions, events, learning and community activities, and with the architecture and engineering of our spectacular home, designed by Kengo Kuma," Bell continued.

"What matters now is how we grow from this point as part of Dundee and Scotland’s creative community, continuing to learn, listen and improve.


"We are already making more use of the museum’s architecture and plaza, creating a museum for everyone that is full of activity and energy, a place to find joy, explore, reflect, play and learn.”

V&A Dundee director Leonie Bell

Almost 10,000 pupils, teachers and educators have engaged with the museum since opening, through a partnership with Dundee City Council. Over 2,000 learning and community events and projects have taken place.

In its first five years, V&A Dundee has worked with a range of charities and community organisations, including Alzheimer Scotland, Dundee Carers Centre, Dundee International Women’s Centre, Dundee Women’s Aid, Education Scotland and NHS Tayside.

It has also worked with multiple designers and cultural organisations across Dundee, Scotland and around the world.

V&A Dundee contributed 1,685 jobs to Scotland, including 450 in Dundee, according to data from April to September this year.


The research also shows that visitors to the have grown from 880,000 in 2017 to 1.25 million in 2022.

The city has a number of other cultural and heritage venues including HMS Unicorn; The McManus: Dundee's Art Gallery & Museum; Dundee Contemporary Arts; Dundee Museum of Transport; and Discovery Point, which is run by the Dundee Heritage Trust and includes RSS Discovery.

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: "V&A Dundee has made a considerable impact since its launch five years ago for the city and Scotland. It is contributing to delivery of the council's priorities for the city and has created strong connections with local communities.

“V&A Dundee has also become a recognisable symbol of the city's ambitions and has attracted visitors as well as international attention. All of this has been achieved in the face of the challenges of the pandemic. I look forward to V&A Dundee passing many more milestones in the future.”

The museum is celebrating its anniversary on 16 September with a range of free activities, including access to its blockbuster Tartan exhibition.

V&A Dundee was created by Design Dundee, with the support of its founding partners: the Victoria and Albert Museum, Dundee City Council, the University of Dundee, Abertay University and Scottish Enterprise. 

Construction of the building was led by Dundee City Council, with project management from Turner & Townsend.

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