Dundee’s leading independent cultural organisations have today (Thursday 20 August) launched the £1 million Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund with the generous support of The Northwood Charitable Trust.
The Northwood Charitable Trust, the Thomson family’s private charitable organisation, has donated £500,000 to the campaign as a challenge fund, to match other contributions pound-for-pound.
The fundraising campaign, which will be led by V&A Dundee, will benefit Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Heritage Trust (operator of Discovery Point and Verdant Works), Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, Dundee Science Centre, and V&A Dundee. Its aim is to offset some of the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis and kick-start Dundee’s cultural and economic recovery.
To date an additional £200,000 has already been received by generous private donors including Tim Allan and Alasdair Locke. The campaign’s focus is on encouraging support from major donors who have previously supported Dundee’s world-class cultural organisations, as well as businesses and cultural philanthropists keen to support the city’s recovery from COVID-19.
Christopher Thomson, Trustee, The Northwood Charitable Trust said: “The Northwood Charitable Trust is committed to making communities better and more supportive places for people to live, work and prosper.
“For us, championing the cultural recovery in Dundee is not only about safeguarding our world-class venues but also, importantly, ensuring that their wider economic impact and learning and community programmes continue to benefit everyone in the city.
“People and organisations throughout Dundee have come together to achieve remarkable things before, not least the creation of V&A Dundee itself. We hope that our contribution to the challenge fund inspires our community to ensure that our vibrant cultural scene remains a beacon for regeneration and prosperity in Dundee and beyond.”
Tim Allan, Chair of V&A Dundee, said: “Dundee’s major cultural organisations are the beating heart of the city. Their success is crucial to Dundee’s recovery from COVID-19, with their widespread economic and social benefits felt across all communities in the city.
“I have seen the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on organisations of all sizes in all sectors. Dundee’s sense of common purpose and community is very strong and the need for leadership and investment has never been stronger.
“The Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund will enable generous private individuals and businesses to support the visitor economy in the city, and to invest in the future economic success of Dundee’s cultural sector.”
Alasdair Locke, entrepreneur and Chair of decommissioning firm Well Safe, said: “The visitor economy of Dundee is of vital importance to the wellbeing of this great city, which has already seen a transformational regeneration that continues today.
“I am delighted to support this important and bold initiative that demonstrates the energy, drive and common purpose of everyone in the city. Together we can recover swiftly from the immediate economic impacts of COVID-19, and I encourage other donors to step forward to support these crucial cultural organisations.”
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: "Culture has a huge value for the city of Dundee and its economy and this fund will play an important role in helping the sector in its recovery phase.
"The reopening of popular Dundee attractions will help bring people and investment to the city as lockdown eases.
"I am pleased to see ideas like this fund emerging to help our attractions look forward to the future."
Anyone interested in more information about the Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund can contact firstname.lastname@example.org