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Dundee receives more than 20% of Creative Scotland funding for nationwide festival

Organisers of the Light Night celebrations - L-R: Philip Levack - Nicol Russell Studios, Jennifer Caswell, Sam Patterson, Karen Cunningham and Ged Young - Festival Coordinator (Dundee chapter).
Organisers of the Light Night celebrations - L-R: Philip Levack - Nicol Russell Studios, Jennifer Caswell, Sam Patterson, Karen Cunningham and Ged Young - Festival Coordinator (Dundee chapter).

Dundee received just over one fifth of the funds allocated for the nationwide Festival of Architecture from Creative Scotland, new figures show.

Creative Scotland, which has a responsibility to support the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland, contributed £120,000 to the year-long festival.

Of that total, £25,900 was given to events happening in Dundee City.

No funding was received in Fife, Angus or Perth and Kinross.

Creative Scotland and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland, are the main funding partners of the nationwide project, but additional sponsors have also contributed to events in the year’s programme.

Fife councillor Bill Brown said he was “very surprised and annoyed” that Fife’s architecture hadn’t been showcased as strongly during the festival, and suggested the kingdom should be doing more to promote its own architectural landmarks.

He added: “We have architecture across Central Fife and North East Fife that should be receiving more attention, both from tourists and from the people who live locally.”

Mr Brown, who sits on the Central Fife Tourism Board, admitted more could be done to celebrate Fife’s attractions.

The figures, uncovered by The Courier under a Freedom of Information request, highlight just how prominently the City of Discovery has featured during the festival.

Dundee will be at the forefront of the festival finale this weekend, with a packed programme of events taking place.

In addition to the usual Light Night events, there will be a range of exhibitions, installations and interactive displays across the city.

The festival finale, organised by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS), will celebrate Scotland’s architecture in a vibrant street celebration taking place throughout the city centre.

Some of the highlights include a pop-up Christmas market in Slessor Gardens on 18 November between 4-9pm, an interactive sound and light illumination at the Old Steeple between 4-10pm, and an installation of giant spheres on Castle Street.

A big screen in Slessor Gardens will show the lights switch on live at 6.30pm, along with highlights from the Festival of Architecture throughout the night.

Meanwhile, City Square will offer the best views of the fireworks display choreographed to Tchaikovsky’s the Nutcracker suite at 8pm.

The annual torchlight procession connecting two of Dundee’s best-loved buildings, McManus Galleries and the Caird Hall, will be led by the Boys Brigade battalion pipe band from 6.30pm at Dundee High School.

The celebrations will last long past Friday night too, with a week-long showcase of highlights from the nationwide festival.

Festival director Karen Cunningham said: “The finale is happening in Dundee and the city’s response to hosting the finale of the Festival of Architecture, part of the Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design 2016, has been amazing.

“The fact that there is so much happening in Dundee, and the fact all the redevelopment and regeneration, particularly at the waterfront, has been driven by or around architecture, makes it the ideal venue for us to have this celebration of this incredible year.”

The large exhibition in West Ward Works will include the Prospect North exhibition, a map which uses augmented reality to show 15 different stories of communities around the country using architecture and design to change their local area.

The showcase has been coordinated by several organisations, including the Royal Insitute of Architects, and their local Dundee Institute of Architects (DIA) group, Dundee City Council and Art and Design Scotland.

Opening on November 19, the day after Light Night, it will remain open between noon and 7pm every day until November 27.


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