Green light for £16m Dundee performing arts centre

Dundee Post Office arts centre2Plans have been approved to create a centre of excellence for performing and visual arts on the site of Dundee’s former Head Post Office.

Dundee City Council has given its support for the £16 million development which will serve 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 will be incorporated into the 19th century building as well as a signature spiral staircase which will be cast in-situ.

The Ward Road building, which was turned into a nightclub in the 1990s, will become home to a 300-seater auditorium suitable for companies like Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, which is also based in the city, to use.

Dundee Post Office arts centrePage\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.

Detailed design work is about to get under way while a bid for Heritage Lottery Fund backing is expected to be lodged within months.

Dr John Halliday, the school’s rector, said: “We’ve designed our plans to complement the city’s aspirations for V&A Dundee and the waterfront redevelopment, and to enable the school to make an exciting contribution to Dundee’s burgeoning reputation as a city of culture, initiative and design.”

Nick Parr, chief executive of Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, added: “Having seen inside this historic building recently, I can see the potential for the High School of Dundee and the rest of the city.”

The development is expected to take two years to complete, with work hoped to begin by next March.

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