Dundee workspace Water's Edge officially opened

From left: Chris van der Kuyl, Derek Mackay, Paddy Burns, and Stewart Clark. 'Picture: Graeme Hart/Perthshire Picture Agency.
From left: Chris van der Kuyl, Derek Mackay, Paddy Burns, and Stewart Clark. 'Picture: Graeme Hart/Perthshire Picture Agency.
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Renowned Scottish gaming entrepreneur Chris van der Kuyl is looking at taking the model behind a modern Dundee workspace to other cities after the site was officially opened today.

Water's Edge, the new grade A commercial office development at Dundee's waterfront by Tayforth Properties, has been officially opened by finance secretary Derek Mackay.

He joined Tayforth Properties' co-owners Van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns to mark the occasion along with various local businesses and dignitaries, including John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, Allan Watt, Dundee Waterfront project co-ordinator, and Councillor Alan Ross, Dundee's convener of city development.

Van der Kuyl and Burns - renowned for their work on Minecraft with 4J Studios - aim for Water's Edge to be a place to "inspire, connect and energise 21st century business innovators, entrepreneurs and freelancers".

The site is located in the city's Maritime Quarter, and was originally one of Dundee's transit sheds known as Shed 25. It now houses 4J Studios and fellow games firm Puny Astronaut, as well as insurtech start-up Broker Insights and energy group Scottish Power Digital Studio.

Van der Kuyl told The Scotsman: "I think it’s a real milestone in our journey in terms of business regeneration of Dundee."

He said the site can be home to early-stage ideas right through to corporates, and collaboration - with the site designed to have a community feel - having already taken place. "This building does represent what a modern Dundee economy should be like," with the city needing to be well-positioned to capitalise on the "unlimited" global appetite for the kind of businesses it is producing, he added.

Van der Kuyl and Burns are also backers of Edinburgh incubator Seed Haus, and Van der Kuyl said that should it expand to Dundee, "maybe it would find its home here at Water’s Edge".

Architects Nicoll Russell Studios and construction firm Lyon Building Services have worked to bring Water's Edge to life, while two students have been given the chance to have their sculptures displayed on-site.

Mackay said: "This development truly embodies the spirit of the Waterfront Regeneration and is just one of the many reasons why Dundee will continue to thrive as a place to work, live, invest, study and visit. The city's entrepreneurial and creative spirit can be seen in the thriving games industry, and explored at the V&A Dundee."

As for where Van der Kuyl would like to see Water's Edge in, say, ten years, he aims for "even more amazing, amazing businesses to really establish themselves as global forces... I think we can genuinely create some world-class successes in this part of the country and I look forward to seeing them."

Plans are afoot to add 40 per cent more office space, a restaurant and events area, he also said, while taking a similar model to other locations such as Edinburgh is certainly possible, he added. "I think this environment’s teaching us a lot - and we’ll take our time and look for the right opportunities."