The new V and A, part of Dundee City's new £1 Billion waterfront regeneration project has been hailed as a milestone in Dundee's history, with its expected impact reaching outwards into scotland as a whole. The Victoria and Albert Museum, to address it by its formal name, is expected to thrust Dundee to new heights in the fields of Art and culture, with the museum contributing a considerable payment towards the cultural and economic development of Scotland. However, while many people in the arts sector might be busy ruining their walls as they scratch notches prison style as they countdown till the grand opening, for many other people, beyond having their growing curiosity and their first (and second or third) visits whetted, the days following the opening may revert back to another manic Monday, trudging Tuesday, When's-the-week-over Wednesday etc. But for those with small businesses…. you also better get notching, as the V and A effect is sure to wash over you too.
The potential impacts for small businesses
When opened, the V and A is expected by city planners to reel in up to 500,000 people in its first year to Dundee, settling thereafter at around 300,000 annually, many of whom will be arriving with disposable spending money burning a hole in their pockets. On the back of the regeneration of Dundee's city centre waterfront zone, and with the establishment of the V and A, there are an array of new services preparing their coils to spring up, including new upmarket hotels and a brand new railway station. Most likely, with these new services, come new jobs; new people moving to the city in the shape of students, workers and retirees as th
e city becomes more appealing. This all in all may become a rising tide that small businesses will want to dive into, especially when considering the additional £5.7 million output to the Scottish economy that will be created, as estimated by the Scottish Government. This increased economic production within the city may begin to cascade down through the various economic sectors, reaching the network of small businesses that would now begin to fit into the service gaps between the bigger players within the Dundee economic area. There is expected to be more people living in the city, with more jobs, more disposable incomes, and crucially for small businesses - this would mean more business. This boost to the small business sector would be very much welcome… Currently the city features worse than national average employment levels, and without the development, its population is predicted to fall by just over 14% between 2012 and 2018. As the city regenerates, attracts new money, with businesses on the back of this taking advantage, these current negative trends might hopefully begin to turn around.
What about the impact upon arts and culture?
To focus on the V and A and city development from only an economic point of view would be rather… rude. It would be like having a sample of the finest Piper Heidsieck just to admire the glass it came in. It would be like booking a journey on the Orient Express and sitting in the Locomotive unit to marvel at the driver tweaking at the controls. It would be like… You get the idea. There's also another community that the V and A will appeal to and show great impact within - You guessed it, Dundee's arts community!
The opening of the V and A will serve to create a hub for the arts and culture in Dundee, that is visible on a global sc
ale, with Culture Minister Michael Russell noting;
"This project could be a dramatic new chapter in the life of Dundee to position the city as an international art destination and a thriving centre for our creative industries".
As the V and A elevates Dundee into the global stratosphere for arts and culture, the positives can be wider than just a big increase in money wielding admirers. The local Universities - Abertay and Dundee are both heavily involved within the project, with their eagerness to be a part of the vast benefits that will be enjoyed by these two institutions. Wi
th the new museum acting as an arts hub, it can channel much more focus into Dundee's creative industries, as well as funneling wider funding opportunities into the city for the sector.So if you are a local business owner, or are a member of the arts community or even just interested in the arts, then likely you’ll be agreeing that D:Ream said it best when they stood up, adorned in their finest 90’s finery and professed to the world that “things can only get better” (except of course when they became a borderline one hit wonder, then things more or less stayed the same for them). If you’re a small business, and are gearing up ready for the economic boost of the Dundee Waterfront Regeneration projects, then don’t forget that Business Gateway can
help you boost your business and get things running more smoothly, and can offer start-up support and advice for those looking to take the plunge with a new business.
You can read more about the Victoria and Albert Museum on their website, www.vandaatdundee.com.
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