Dundee school drops £16m performing arts centre plan

Plans to create a centre of excellence for performing and visual arts on the site of Dundee’s former Head Post Office have been abandoned over a lack of financial support.

Dundee City Council had given its support for the £16 million development which would have served as a home for the High School of Dundee’s art, music, drama and home economics departments.

A range of studio, performance and practice spaces were to be incorporated into the 19th century building as well as a signature spiral staircase which will be cast in-situ.

However, the school failed to reach a £5m fundraising target.

Iain Bett, chairman of the High School of Dundee, said: “We have fallen short of the target. Our priority is to ensure that our campus plans are flexible and can adapt to meet the changing needs and aspirations of our pupils now and in the future. As a result, we will not be going ahead with the original plans for the redevelopment of the post office building.

“Instead, as we look to the post-COVID world and beyond, we will be reconsidering the creative possibilities that all our spaces can offer. We are currently undertaking a survey of our entire campus. This will include the former post office building and we are due to complete this process early in 2021.”

Page\Park Architects, the practice which is behind the restoration of Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building, was hired to design the new school site in December 2014.

All money donated during the campaign will be ring-fenced specifically for the building’s redevelopment.

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