Dundee eyes potential as offshore industry base

DUNDEE has the potential to become a world-class base for the offshore wind industry, attracting fresh investment and hundreds of jobs, as the city’s waterfront redevelopment pushes into its next phase.

Backers of the £1 billion masterplan say the ambitious project – one of the biggest urban regeneration schemes in the UK – has reached a critical stage with committed investment topping £500 million.

The landmark halfway total was reached after work started on a series of infrastructure, property and transport projects, including major demolition and building works.

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It is expected that additional schemes due to launch this year – including the £32m Olympia swimming pool, the £8m Malmaison hotel on the site of the former Tay Hotel and the commissioning of creative industry units at Seabraes – will release a surge of further investment.

Work is also set to start on the waterfront’s centrepiece: a £45m outpost of London’s Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum. The centre is expected to attract further hotel operators as the city looks to add some 500 bed spaces to its current complement of 1,250.

Mike Galloway, director of city development at Dundee City Council, one of the two partners in the waterfront project alongside Scottish Enterprise, said a key focus now was to grow commercial space within the area.

“The office market has been virtually non-existent for a number of decades,” admitted Galloway. “However, we have had some success recently with a speculative development that is approaching full capacity.

“In particular, we want to have space for companies associated with offshore wind. We believe Dundee is going to be one of the big locations for manufacturing, assembly and maintenance. We are already seeing engineering companies looking to the city as a potential base.”

He said the completion of major infrastructure works would create a series of mixed-use development sites, “shovel-ready to go”.