At the age of 13, Andrew launched a Facebook page in support of Dundee’s bid to become the UK City of Culture and was invited to join the bid team as a result. The success of his social media activity led Andrew to establish the Dundee Culture website that has been visited by over six million visitors from 45 countries.
Andrew grew up in Dundee, inspired by his auntie who had a passion for the city. He says, “She took me and my brother to various places across Dundee, from the likes of the Discovery to the Dundee Law. That love that she had for the city rubbed off on me, even after she sadly passed away.”
In 2013, when Andrew was 13, he heard that Dundee was bidding to become the UK City of Culture 2017 and created a Facebook page in support.
“It was just for fun but a few days later the Dundee bid team discovered my page and thought it was the work of a university student! The bid team asked me to join them as a ‘young voice’ for the campaign and it all started from there.”
While Dundee wasn’t selected for the award, the Dundee Culture Facebook page has continued to grow and fill a much-needed digital space. It now has over 10,000 followers from around the world and provides up-to-date information and recommendations on all things cultural in Dundee.
Last year Andrew left school and has been able to build on the success of his hobby, with plans to develop it as a business. “Dundee Culture will always promote all things cultural in Dundee and I can do that while also supporting local business to highlight what they have to offer local people and visitors to the city.”
Dundee’s cultural scene has been evolving and Andrew is excited to see where it will go next. He says, “The difference even in the five years since I started my page has been incredible. The range of culture, creativity, development, belief and all the new exciting opportunities because of the interest in the city means Dundee is now being looked on in a new light. The V&A and all the attention on the city that it has brought can only be described as deserved and with more room to grow.”
Andrew is a great source of local knowledge for any visitor. “The view across the city from the Law is a must! That is my favourite view. The V&A of course, the Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Science Centre, and HMS Unicorn. Other must-dos include planning to visit at key times like the Dundee Flower & Food Festival and Dundee Design Festival. Local cuisine such as Dundee cakes, Arbroath smokies and local breweries to taste the local fare! Enjoy Slessor Gardens with events and concerts or the Caird Hall and Dundee Rep Theatre, offering a vast range of shows to suit all tastes.”
He hopes to see Dundee strengthen its position in Scotland and the world as the place to visit. “I am very proud of my city, all the people who I have met, worked with and discussed culture with. The thousands of people I have met virtually through the Dundee Culture website and social media platforms have made this an enormously positive and enriching experience.”
We are delighted to welcome Andrew Batchelor as a V&A Dundee Design Champion, recognising his passion for Dundee and his innovative use of social media to connect people to the city.
To find out more, visit www.dundeeculture.com
The V&A Dundee Design Champions are inspirational designers creating high-quality work and helping to enhance people’s lives, or champions of the power of design to improve the world.
We will announce 50 Design Champions in the run-up to the museum opening on Saturday 15 September 2018.
V&A Dundee’s Design Champions project is working with Dezeen as its media partner.
Dezeen is the world’s most popular and influential architecture and design magazine, with an audience of 2.5 million unique visitors each month.