£12m Discovery Point redevelopment gains financial backing

Plans for a significant transformation of Dundee’s Discovery Point have received a huge boost after securing financial backing from the Scottish Government and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

£12m Discovery Point redevelopment gains financial backing

Dundee Heritage Trust has enlisted architects Aim Design to refurbish and extend the venue, home to the iconic research ship RRS Discovery since 1993, adding five fresh mini attractions and substantially altering the building to make it more energy efficient and provide views of the River Tay.

The £12 million project has been awarded £900k of Scottish Government funding through the Tay Cities Culture and Tourism Investment Programme, with another £1.6m approved subject to a successful match-funding drive. 

A further £316k initial investment has been awarded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with another £2.55m expected if plans progress as anticipated.

In addition to the £1m already raised from a combination of Dundee Heritage Trust’s own fund, grants and donations, the project is well over the halfway mark to being fully funded, with two years remaining to raise the balance.

£12m Discovery Point redevelopment gains financial backing

Discovery Point Transformed will turn the site from “a traditional heritage museum into a new multi-element visitor attraction with a strong emphasis on climate change and environmental sustainability”, the trust said.

Changes will include a new attraction on the Discovery’s connection to climate change and the ocean environment as well as a new visitor centre on the roof giving panoramic views of the city.

A new gallery on polar exploration and a large space for hosting large exhibitions are also to be built alongside a completely revamped entrance and reception.

The scheme will also look at more “uncomfortable” aspects of Dundee’s links to climate change including pollution from factories during the Industrial Revolution and the city’s history of whaling.

£12m Discovery Point redevelopment gains financial backing

Economy secretary Kate Forbes said: “I’m delighted that our funding will help Discovery Point enhance their offering and, in particular, emphasise the importance of climate change as Scotland prepares to host COP26 in November.”

Jim Pettigrew, chairman of Dundee Heritage Trust, said: “The transformation of Discovery Point will have a huge impact on the city, bringing visitors, jobs and investment to Dundee and helping to put the city on the map as a global destination for green tourism.

“We are delighted to have secured this financial support – a huge vote of confidence in our plans.”

Images courtesy of Aim Design

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