Dundee Waterfront set for wave of hotel investment

The transformation of the former Customs House and Harbour Chambers is a key feature of a major expansion. Picture: Contributed
The transformation of the former Customs House and Harbour Chambers is a key feature of a major expansion. Picture: Contributed
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DUNDEE is to get its first five-star hotel as part of a wave of hospitality development that will create more than 200 jobs in the city.

The former Customs House and Harbour Chambers will be transformed into a world-class hotel with 38 bedrooms under the plans, which form part of the £1 billion Dundee Waterfront masterplan.

The five-star development will be joined by two other hotels due to open over the next couple of years – a branch of the up-market Malmaison chain and a new railway station hotel.

The three establishments represent an investment of nearly £30m and will double bedroom capacity in the waterfront area to well over 500 rooms, backers of the scheme said today.

Three other hotels are already operating in the area – Apex City Quay, Holiday Express and Premier Inn.

In addition, there are plans for a hotel at Greenmarket with capacity for up to 180 rooms while the Landmark Hotel, which is located just outside the waterfront zone, is set to become a Doubletree Hilton this spring.

The Dundee Waterfront partnership is a joint venture between the city council and Scottish Enterprise. It is expected that some £130m of capital projects will either be started or completed during 2013, pushing the amount of committed investment for the vast project to nearly £500m.

Work is set to start on the £45m outpost of London’s Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum, which will form the centrepiece of the scheme.

Major projects likely to be completed during 2013 include the £8m Malmaison hotel, which is located on the site of the former Tay Hotel, a recognised landmark adjacent to the railway station; the £32m 
Olympia swimming pool, and upgrade work on the approaches to the Tay Road Bridge. The demolition of the multi-storey Tayside House council tower – branded an eyesore by many – is also due to be completed.

Mike Galloway, the council’s director of city development, said: “It is very rewarding that so many hotel and tourism businesses are making significant investments in Dundee, and playing a vital role in the regeneration of the waterfront area.

“The new hotels are well timed in advance of a variety of major tourism and infrastructure developments in the city, the largest of which is the new V&A at Dundee.

“The rising investment in Dundee Waterfront, and the city region, is generating hundreds of millions of pounds of additional revenue, and creating exceptional opportunities for ambitious businesses.”

He confirmed that the raft of investment in the area was expected to create as many as 9,000 jobs, both through construction and longer term in the retail and leisure sectors.

It is hoped that the V&A museum can generate 500,000 additional visitors to the city during its first year, before settling at an estimated 300,000 annually.

Allan McQuade, business infrastructure director for Scottish Enterprise, said: “The expansion of Dundee’s hotel sector will enable the city to accommodate the forecast growth in business and leisure visitor numbers to the city.”