Backers of a £1 billion transformation of Dundee’s waterfront are confident that the new year will see investment in the ambitious scheme reach the crucial half-way stage.
It is forecast that well in excess of £100 million of capital projects will either be started or completed during 2013, pushing the amount of committed investment for the project to nearly £500m.
Work is expected to start on the £45m outpost of London’s Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum, which will form the centrepiece of the scheme. Images from a new video fly-through of the V&A development were released earlier this year.
Other areas where construction is due to begin include a £14m central railway station, a £30m residential development and upgrade works for the Dundee West park and ride facility.
Major projects likely to be completed during 2013 include the Olympia swimming pool and £8m Malmaison hotel on the site of the former Tay Hotel, a recognised landmark adjacent to the station. The demolition of the multi-storey Tayside House local council tower is also due to be completed.
Meanwhile, a planning application has just been submitted for another hotel at Customs House & Harbour Chambers.
The Dundee Waterfront partnership – a joint venture between the city council and Scottish Enterprise – estimates that at least £130m of investment will be released during 2013 as a result of the various projects.
Mike Galloway, the council’s director of city development, said the wave of investment in the area was expected to create as many as 9,000 jobs, both through construction and long-term in retail and leisure posts.
He said: “We are very pleased with the rate of progress and the interest that is being generated in Dundee Waterfront.
“We are delighted with the amount of investment generated by local businesses and, increasingly, by inward investment. 2013 is set to be a watershed as we close in on £500m of committed investment.”
He added: “The increase in investment, job creation and visitor numbers is going to generate hundreds of millions of pounds of additional revenue for the city and for those entrepreneurs that grasp the business opportunities now emerging.”
Allan McQuade, business infrastructure director for Scottish Enterprise, added that the project could play a “pivotal role” in stimulating economic growth both for Tayside and the wider Scottish economy.
He said: “This significant level of investment will help transform the Waterfront area through major infrastructure improvements that will deliver economic benefits both today and in the future.
“The progress to date has been very encouraging and 2013 promises to be an exciting year as the vision for the Waterfront continues to emerge along the banks of the Tay.”
The scheme is split into five strategic development sites – Central Waterfront, City Quay, Riverside, Seabraes and The Port – each targeted at a different property and economic sector.