V&A Dundee

£1m raised for Dundee cultural organisations

The Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund has raised £1 million, with the generous support of The Northwood Charitable Trust, for five of Dundee’s leading independent cultural organisations.

The Northwood Charitable Trust, the Thomson family’s private charitable organisation, donated £500,000 to the campaign as a challenge fund, to match other contributions pound-for-pound.

The generous donors and trusts include Tim and Kim Allan, Alliance Trust, Al-Maktoum Community Grant Fund, Dundee City Council, Morris and Joyce Leslie, Alasdair Locke, The RJ Larg Family Trust, Leng Charitable Trust, Lethendy Charitable Trust, The Mathew Trust, MHA Henderson Loggie, Tay Charitable Trust, and Eric Young, as well as a number of anonymous donors.

The fundraising campaign, which was 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.

Culture is fundamental to Dundee’s post-pandemic reopening and recovery, the wellbeing of its citizens, and to the city’s ability to continue developing its ambitions for the future. Throughout the pandemic, Dundee’s cultural sector has adapted to continue supporting and connecting with audiences across the city, as well as focusing on the protection of jobs and the sustainability of their organisations.

The cultural community in Dundee is at the heart of the city’s economic and social response to COVID. The Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund is designed to offset some of the significant financial impact of the pandemic and to kick-start Dundee’s cultural, social, and economic recovery.

The city’s cultural attractions and organisations are preparing an exciting programme of activities this summer, including Discovery Point reopening on 10 May with a quayside pirate exhibition, a major exhibition of new work by British artist Emma Talbot at Dundee Contemporary Arts from 28 April, Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre's new digital season of theatre, dance, musicals and live music, brand new exhibitions at the recently transformed Dundee Science Centre, Verdant Works reopening with the beautiful Scottish Diaspora Tapestry on 28 May, and V&A Dundee’s new exhibition Night Fever: Designing Club Culture from 1 May.

Christopher Thomson, Trustee, The Northwood Charitable Trust said: “Enhancing cultural enrichment in our communities is one of the key objectives of The Northwood Charitable Trust and we are therefore really pleased to support the Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund.

“Dundee is renowned for its rich creative heritage and our many cultural attractions will play an essential role in the recovery of the city’s local economy in the months ahead. This important collaboration will help not only protect several of our leading cultural organisations and the jobs they create, but also help them to grow and develop for the future.”

Tim Allan, Chair of V&A Dundee, said: “Dundee is a city of immense creativity and these five organisations are culturally, economically and socially invaluable. It was important that V&A Dundee utilised its resources and skills during the pandemic to lead this fundraising and it has been a huge success.

“We believe this is a truly unique campaign, unlike anything else in the UK. A group of like-minded organisations came together to harness the generosity of private individuals and trusts to support the delivery of world-class culture for the citizens of Dundee, visitors, and globally through our online programmes. It brilliantly demonstrates the sense of common purpose and innovation for which the city and Scotland is well known.

“Our donors came from a very broad cross section of society: from major businesses to private individuals and charitable trusts. I want to sincerely thank every donor who contributed to this campaign, and to the incredible generosity of The Northwood Charitable Trust in matching each of those donations.”

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said: "I am delighted that this target has been reached, because this fund will play an important role in helping the cultural sector in its recovery phase.

“Culture has a huge value for the city of Dundee and the reopening of popular Dundee attractions will help bring people and investment to the city as lockdown restrictions ease.

“These organisations have connected with communities during lockdown, providing equipment and materials to many families. This funding will also allow them to continue with that work to engage with Dundonians.”

Alasdair Locke, entrepreneur and Chair of decommissioning firm Well Safe, said: “I am delighted to see the Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund meet its £1 million target, helping to support five of the city’s key cultural organisations at this incredibly challenging time.

“Dundee has seen transformational change in recent years. Its cultural organisations have an important leadership role to play in the city’s recovery, contributing both to citizens’ quality of life and also to encouraging more investment in Dundee’s continuing regeneration.”