Anyone who has emerged from Dundee’s railway station in the last couple of years cannot have failed to notice something significant is happening.
The city’s long-awaited V&A museum, announced a decade ago and due to open next summer, has had all the makings of a new national icon as it gradually takes shape on the banks of the River Tay. It may be the signature project of Dundee’s £1 billion waterfront regeneration, but for many senior figures in the city its unveiling is merely a catalyst for something far more ambitious.
Dundee was bitterly disappointed when an ambitious bid to be named UK City of Culture this year was thwarted by Hull. The feeling then was that its monumental effort should not go to waste and ever since, Dundee has been focussed on becoming European Capital of Culture in 2023. The bid it will submit to the UK government at the end of next month will remain largely under wraps until the contest is over next year. But it is clear from the high calibre of the bid team hired – Pete Irvine, Sir Jonathan Mills and Helen Terry – that Dundee is deadly serious about its ambition. We wish it every success.