Find out why the private sector is investing millions in Dundee

Dundee Waterfront is drawing a growing amount of interest, and now investment, from developers, businesses and entrepreneurs. The award-winning £1 billion project is reshaping Scotland’s fourth largest city, and creating the framework for sustained, long term economic growth. With more than £750 million of public private funding now committed, Dundee Waterfront is ready for the private sector – and the private sector is responding – as this special report reveals.

Just 12 years after the £1 billion Dundee Waterfront project was launched, more than £750 million of public private investment has now been committed. Transforming disconnected gap sites, intermittent development and redundant land into a connected, strategically planned, high value mixed use regeneration hot spot along eight kilometres of the River Tay cannot be achieved overnight.

Targeted public sector investment was the initial vital catalyst needed to build the infrastructure and create a development opportunity that would excite and engage the private sector. Now in 2016, and with a quintet of major private sector investments announced, it is clear that moment has now arrived.

There is now extensive interest from the private sector in the Dundee Waterfront Project, and at all levels, from micro through to major businesses, and from within Scotland, the UK and overseas.

The first phase of public sector investment focused on the infrastructure, roads, utilities, open spaces and construction work needed to reconnect the city centre with the River Tay. A wide variety of new offices, retail, leisure, travel, residential, hospitality and tourism-related buildings and facilities will soon emerge from this new landscape. The largest building-related investment is the new V&A Museum of Design, Dundee, which is set to open in 2018.  Representing an investment of more than £80m, the new V&A will be a major addition to the UK’s rich portfolio of museum assets. 


All this will help stimulate hundreds of thousands of extra visitors travelling to and staying in Dundee and the city region.   The expected rush of tourists is creating significant opportunities around leisure and business tourism.

Herald Scotland:

A host of other major investments are helping drive the regeneration, including a new railway station complete with a new hotel and retail space, Dundee Port developments and the creation of a new marina.  The Scottish Government also recently announced £63m of growth funding under the Growth Accelerator Model (GAM) will make a major contribution to the next phase.

Allan Watt, Dundee Waterfront Project Director stresses the importance of partnership: “The City Council owns the vast majority of land in the central waterfront, which allows the council to work closely with developers, investors and entrepreneurs. There are many more opportunities available for the private sector to shape the development of the Waterfront, and we would urge interested parties to contact the City Development team directly to discuss.

A wealth of investment opportunities

A wide range of development and investment opportunities are available in Dundee Waterfront and businesses and entrepreneurs of all sizes are being encouraged to contact the development team with their ideas.

The development site stretches along eight kilometres of prime River Tay waterfront, and features a diverse range of occupiers, from industry and light manufacturing through to professional services firm, retailers and hotels.

Last year a further 1 million sq ft of development space was released, and is available across eight different sites.Three of those sites have now been reserved by Our Enterprise (Sites 2 and 5) and Robertson (Site 6). The different sites can be viewed at www.dundeewaterfront.com/zones

Uses for the remaining sites include professional services firms, financial services, public and government organisations, technology, biosciences, software, contact centres, retail, hotels, bars, restaurants, leisure and recreation.

Dundee Waterfront Project Director Allan Watt says the choice of uses is only really restricted by imagination: “Dundee Waterfront is a blank canvas of development opportunity.  With the V&A Museum of Design, Dundee we will have one of the UK’s leading museum assets that will attract significant numbers of visitors to the city. 

“This development alone offers major opportunities for small and medium sized businesses to invest in the Waterfront.   At the other end of the market, large businesses, private equity and investment businesses have a rare opportunity to shape the development of the Waterfront over the next few years.  It is a hugely exciting time, and we would just say ‘don’t delay, give us a call!”

An innovative set of online design and planning guidelines for each individual site steers investors, developers and their advisers on how to approach building projects. The objective is to encourage sustainable, design-led development that reflects Dundee’s status as the UK’s first UNESCO City of Design.

Herald Scotland:

Mike Galloway, Executive Director of City Development with Dundee City Council said: “The guides will help investors gain an understanding of our approach to development, and how they can partner with us as Dundee Waterfront expands.

Almost all of the sites within the Central Waterfront are owned by Dundee City Council, so we can work in partnership with investors and take a long-term holistic approach to development to get the best for the City.”

Interested developers, investors and entrepreneurs can contact the Allan Watt, Dundee Waterfront Project Director direct on allan.watt@dundeecity.gov.uk or on 01382 433306

Five investments worth £75 miilion

This year has been marked by a rush of new private sector investment announcements linked to Dundee Waterfront. First is the news that the leading UK development and regeneration company, Our Enterprise, is to invest £25 million in Site 2 and further investment in an additional 91 apartments as part of Site 5 in the Central Waterfront. The company will create a design and innovation quarter designed to help retain graduates emerging from the city’s universities and colleges.

Two city blocks will be built, and will house ‘Design, make and sell’ units suitable for small, craft and artisan enterprises.  Above this hub will be built high-quality apartments designed for professionals and couples.  Our Enterprise, which has developed a pioneering ‘social legacy’ business model, will also build offices suited to a wide range of occupiers.

Robertson, one of Scotland’s leading construction and infrastructure companies, is to invest £40m developing flats, premium office space and a hotel on Site 6, which is adjacent to the V&A Museum of Design, Dundee.

The development will see 67 flats built for the private rented sector, 50,000 sq ft of Grade ‘A’ office space over four floors, and a new 120-bed hotel targeting the premium end of the visitor market.

Herald Scotland:

Commenting on these major private sector investments, Dundee City Council Executive Director of City Development Mike Galloway said: “These imaginative proposals match our desire to work with commercial partners that will deliver our vision for the Waterfront. It is very rewarding that Dundee Waterfront is clearly attracting investment from top quality businesses wanting to share in the UK’s third largest waterfront regeneration project.”

Flybe added to the good news with the announcement that it will be introducing a new service to Amsterdam in May.  The flight will operate six times a week, and marks the first non-charter international service out of Dundee Airport.

Inglis Lyon, managing director of Dundee Airport operator HIAL, said: “The new route offers business and leisure travellers’ fast, convenient links to hundreds of destinations worldwide and, crucially, creates new opportunities for inward investment and inbound tourism at an exciting time for the city.”

Forth Ports gave a further boost by announcing a £10m investment and employment project that will position Dundee Port for the expansion in renewables and decommissioning work related to the North Sea oil and gas sector.

Finally, the most recent investment will be welcomed by beer lovers everywhere after plans were submitted for the new Hawkhill Brewery Company to build the brewery in Sugarhouse Wynd in a building owned by Park Investments Dundee Limited, which is currently under-going refurbishment.  Plans also include a visitor centre and a brew pub.

Perhaps best of all is that across all of these new investments, and more in the pipeline, thousands of new jobs are being created in Dundee Waterfront, many of which will be suitable for the next generation of young talent studying and living in Dundee.



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