FIONA Hyslop, Scotland’s Culture Secretary, today sent a message of support to Dundee’s bid team as they prepared to leave for Derry in a bid to secure the coveted City of Culture 2017 title.
The six-strong bid team are heading for Northern Ireland tomorrow to prepare for their vital presentation to the judges on Thursday.
Dundee is the only Scottish city shortlisted for the prestigious title in 2017 - an accolade which it is claimed could be worth up to £80 million and create up to 1000 new jobs for the city Also competing for the title are Hull, Leicester and Swansea Bay.
Speaking ahead of a debate in the Scottish Parliament on Dundee’s bid, Ms Hyslop said: “With its rich cultural heritage and exciting future, Dundee can be a beacon of creativity to the world.”
She continued: “Dundee is already using its culture and creativity to tackle wider societal issues in innovative ways. The bid to be UK City of Culture 2017 capitalises on the vital role of culture in Dundee’s continuing regeneration – and the example the city can set to the UK and the rest of the world.
“Dundee has already delivered great work to increase cultural participation and City of Culture status would encourage even more people to take part in all the city has to offer.”
Ms Hyslop added: “Dundee can showcase Scotland and the UK to the rest of the world. I hope they are given this deserved opportunity, and wish the City every success in its bid. I look forward to hearing the outcome later this month.”
Dundee is mid-way through delivering a £1 billion waterfront regeneration programme, including the £45 million V&A Dundee. Dundee’s bid is centred around promoting the themes of “Discovery, Regeneration and Transformation,” using culture and creativity to promote broader regeneration.
Stewart Murdoch, Dundee City Council’s director of Leisure and Communities, said: “The bid team will be putting forward a compelling case for Dundee to be UK City of Culture 2017.
“Our bid is based on the strength of the arts locally and the fantastic participation by people in a wide range of activities.”
He continued: “We want to show how we would build on that and create a sustainable cultural legacy to help further drive the momentum of Dundee’s regeneration. The bid team is relishing the chance to outline our vision and explain why Dundee really deserves this title.”
The City of Culture judging panel will announce the winner on 20 November.