Dundee's V&A museum gets £2.6m 'Levelling Up' boost in Budget for galleries revamp

Capital project will be focused on celebration of Scottish design

Dundee’s V&A museum has secured £2.6 million in new investment from the UK government for an overhaul and expansion of its showcasing of Scottish design.

The waterfront attraction has been allocated “Levelling Up” funding for a major capital project. The funding will be ringfenced for the biggest overhaul of the museum’s offering since it opened in the autumn of 2018.

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The existing Scottish design galleries on the upper floor of V&A feature more than 300 objects spanning around 500 years.

Director Leonie Bell said: “V&A Dundee has welcomed over 1.9 million visitors to date and generated over £300m for the Scottish economy, including over £100m for Dundee.

“We are delighted today to receive new UK government Levelling Up support to transform the Scottish Design Galleries, which are at the heart of the museum. This new capital funding will enable us to reimagine and expand our permanent galleries, telling a bold and broad story of design from Scotland and the worldwide influence of Scottish design and designers, further enhancing the visitor experience at V&A Dundee."

Levelling up secretary Michael Gove said: “I visited the V&A Dundee to see the Tartan exhibition in 2023. It was absolutely outstanding and I promised the museum and the council leader John Alexander that the UK government would look to support the city and the museum wherever possible.

"I know the V&A will put this extra £2.6m to good use and that museum will go from strength to strength, providing an amazing attraction for the people of Dundee and its many visitors from across Scotland, the rest of the UK and abroad.”

The V&A Dundee museum opened in September 2018.The V&A Dundee museum opened in September 2018.
The V&A Dundee museum opened in September 2018.

Meanwhile, arts industry leaders have welcomed tax relief measures expected to provide a huge boost to the stage and screen sectors across the UK.

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt unveiled a £1 billion worth of additional tax relief for the next five years in the Spring Budget following extensive lobbying of the government to provide more financial help for the creative industries.

Measures include a permanent new theatre tax relief rate of 45 per cent for touring productions and 40 per cent for non-touring shows.

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The move is also expected to benefit orchestras, museums and galleries, while independent films with a budget of up to £15m will also receive tax relief of 40 per cent under the government’s measures.

Leonie Bell is director of V&A Dundee.Leonie Bell is director of V&A Dundee.
Leonie Bell is director of V&A Dundee.

Fears had been raised about the impact on the theatre industry of the rate returning to pre-pandemic levels of between 20 and 25 per cent.

Scottish culture secretary Kaukab Stewart wrote to Mr Hunt earlier this week urging him to maintain high levels of tax relief for the arts industry due to the impact of rising costs on organisations.

Lori Anderson, director of Culture Counts, which represents the Scottish arts industry, said: “"These tax breaks have provided a lifeline for many organisations over the last few years to help sustain them in the climate of funding cuts and increasing costs and without them their financial situation would be much bleaker.”

Moira Jeffrey, director of the Scottish Contemporary Art Network, said: “Museums and galleries tax relief makes a huge difference to our members across Scotland, helping them create fantastic exhibitions for the public, support artists and retain cultural jobs.”



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