Former First Minister Alex Salmond has revealed his vision for the future of Dundee in a wide-ranging interview with the director of the city’s V&A museum.
V&A Dundee chief Philip Long told the former First Minister that progress for the Kengo Kuma designed building remains on track for a 2018 opening.
The pledge came in an interview between the pair posted online on Tuesday, during which Mr Salmond outlined his vision of the city for the next two years.
He said that when driving through Dundee he imagined “oilfield decommissioning work in the docks” while Dundee’s universities and colleges were doing “wonderful digital work in the games industry” with the “magnificent” V&A museum on the seafront.
Mr Salmond, who authorised the V&A project in its earliest stages when he was First Minister, said that this would represent the “new balance of industry and culture in the city of Dundee”.
In the conversation, Mr Long replied: “The picture that you paint is one that’s just round the corner.
“In 2018 V&A Dundee is getting ready to open. Work is well under way. We’ve more work to do clearly to complete such an ambitious project.
“The museum project is really capturing people’s imagination, certainly in the city, regionally and increasingly across the world.
“It’s a city which I believe has a great future… it’s a very exciting place to be at the moment.”
Mr Long said he hoped the impact of the design museum would have a similar impact to Guggenheim museum coming to Bilbao.
He argued that like the Spanish city, Dundee had faced industrial challenges but had the “guts to go out and do something extraordinary with culture”.
“I think Dundee’s got a great future and V&A Dundee is a great symbol of that, it’s at the forefront of that but there’s a lot going on in the city as well,” he added.
“Dundee wants to change its future through design. That’s been adopted at the highest level in the city and recently it was named Unesco City of Design voted by other great cities of design around the world.”
Mr Long said that the construction of the exterior of the V&A was now almost at full height.
He said that 2017 will see a “huge amount of work” fitting out the inside of the building.