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  1. ITV Report

Dundee City Council considers events arena plan amid V&A interest surge

  • Video report by ITV News Scotland Correspondent Peter Smith

Dundee could be in line for a high-capacity events arena as the city seeks to capitalise on the opening of the V&A and the wider waterfront development.

Leaders are looking to establish an indoor complex close to the city centre to host concerts and conferences for up to 6,000 people.

Mike Galloway, executive director of city development at Dundee City Council, said there was a need to keep the momentum going after a surge of interest in the city brought by the £80 million design museum.

It is part of a 30-year, £1 billion regeneration project which began in 2001 and has seen the development of new hotels, offices, green spaces and train station.

Exhibits in the Ocean Liners Speed and Style gallery. Credit: PA

Dundee’s biggest venue is currently Caird Hall with a capacity of 2,300.

Mr Galloway told the Scotsman newspaper: “There is definitely a gap in the market in Dundee for an indoor events arena that could double up as a conference and convention facility as well.

“We’re not looking at anything huge which would directly compete with existing arenas in Aberdeen and Glasgow – it has to be the right facility that fits into our market and I’d really want it to be close to the city centre. We have a few options that we are looking at.

“We’ve got to maintain the momentum from the V&A opening. It’s a huge staging post. But we’re already working on the next projects.”

City council leader John Alexander said plans were under way for Dundee to host a major arts festival in four years’ time.

Dundee lost out on UK City of Culture 2017 to Hull and the vote to leave the EU scuppered its bid to become European Capital of Culture 2023.

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The festival would last six to eight days and take place in 2022.

Mr Alexander said: “We have been working on proposals and I personally attended the Unesco Creative Cities conference in Poland in June and represented and promoted our ambition.

“It will provide a shopfront, a showcase of culture across every Unesco network. It will encompass literature, music, gastronomy and all of the other designations.

“We have made that offer to Unesco, we have the backing of the Scottish Government and the UK ambassador to Unesco and I have also met with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

“We are now actively working on these proposals and are working to deliver them in 2022.”