Heritage Lottery Fund supports Scotland’s designs

11 May 2012

A new international museum celebrating the best in Scottish design took a major step forward today as the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) awarded it a first round pass* of up to £9.2m, including £200,000 development funding. The V&A at Dundee is an inspirational project which will showcase Scotland’s great design heritage to the world while inspiring and developing home-grown talent and providing the cornerstone to the regeneration of Dundee’s waterfront area.

For its size, Scotland has had a disproportionate impact on the history of design. From architecture and urban design, through science, engineering and medicine, to publishing and fashion, Scottish designers and innovators have shaped the country’s industry and identity as well as influencing design around the world. Names such as Robert Adam, Christopher Dresser, Harris Tweed, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Phoebe Traquair and Bill Gibb are internationally renowned but until now, there has been nowhere in Scotland dedicated to celebrating this rich heritage which spans centuries.

Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, said:

“For years Scotland has been making its mark in the world of international design. In our everyday lives, we use these designs – telephone, television, lawnmower, fountain pen, stamps - without being aware that they were created by fellow Scots.

“The V&A at Dundee will harness this incredible heritage and present it to the world as a celebration of Scottish talent. Housed in a stunning building, which itself reflects cutting-edge design, it has the potential to be a ‘must-see’ destination, attracting visitors and design professionals from across the globe.”

Philip Long, Director of V&A at Dundee, said:

“Scotland’s design heritage is centuries old, full of inspirational stories of talent, innovation and enterprise. Our designers have shaped the identity and industry of our country, and have contributed creatively around the world.

“The development of V&A at Dundee is an outstanding opportunity to help us understand and celebrate this remarkable heritage and from it take inspiration for the future. We are delighted to have this early support from Heritage Lottery Fund, which takes our vision and the remarkable building proposed for V&A at Dundee a significant step closer.”

The V&A at Dundee will be housed in a signature building projecting into the Tay estuary and designed by Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma. As well as dedicated exhibition space for long-term displays, it will allow major touring exhibitions of outstanding international design to come to Scotland for the first time. As a national centre of design excellence, there will be a strong focus on learning and knowledge exchange, encouraging creativity and innovation in the industry today.

With visitor numbers expected to reach 500,000 in the first year, the V&A at Dundee will further boost Scotland’s tourist industry. Visitor numbers to Scottish tourist attractions rose last year by 4million** - a year which saw the opening of four major Heritage Lottery Fund projects: the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum; Riverside Museum; National Museum of Scotland; and Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

The new museum will be located in Dundee, City of Discovery, which has proven design credentials including the jute industry, publishing, medical innovations and computer games. The development of the V&A at Dundee will play a vital role in the regeneration of the city’s waterfront and is already attracting interest from other potential investors and employers.

The V&A at Dundee was one of eight successful HLF first-round pass applications with decisions totalling £76m. Other successful candidates were: Ditherington Flax Mill Maltings, Shropshire; The Royal Academy of Arts, London; Northumberland National Park; The Maze/Long Kesh, Lisburn; Knole, Kent; National Army Museum, London; and Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire.

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image that represent two pages of V&A dundee website