European Commission visitors to learn role culture and creativity has played in Dundee

The international impact of Dundee’s ongoing cultural renaissance will be reinforced today when a European Commission delegation visits the city.

Officials and politicians from 10 European cities and regions will visit to see how culture and creativity have inspired and aided the city’s redevelopment.

Dundee has been chosen as a case study so other cities and regions can learn from its successes.

According to Eurocities, the network chosen to run the project on behalf of the European Commission: “Investment in culture is broadly recognised as a key element in urban and regional development strategies.

“The presence of cultural activities is a major factor of attractiveness of a city and a measure of quality of life.

“Cultural heritage is a key element of the image and identity of cities and regions and the main focus of city tourism.

“Therefore, investing in culture seems to be a wise decision for local and regional policymakers.

“How to invest, however, is a more complex issue.”

The £1 billion redevelopment of Dundee’s waterfront will feature the V&A museum at its heart but the city has placed culture at the centre of its regeneration since the opening of Dundee Contemporary Arts in 1999.

The visit to Dundee will be hosted at DCA and funded by the EU’s Creative Europe programme and a report sharing the group’s findings will be published in 2017.

Will Dawson, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said: “The massive impact that cultural buildings, events and activities have had on the city is not in doubt.

“From being designated a Unesco City of Design to the opening of the V&A, Dundee culture is driving investment and interest in Dundee. Our creative industries, everything from video games to jewellery design, make a massive contribution to the economy, vibrancy and life blood of the city.

“So if we can help to unravel how to lever the most effective ways to spend public and private money to benefit more people we will really have maximised the opportunities offered to us by the cultural activities in the city.”

The two-day visit, which takes place today and tomorrow, will include a walking tour of Dundee waterfront, District 10, Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, the Vision Building, Dundee Comic School, Dundee’s MakerSpace and the MakeShare event.

Dundee City Council and Creative Dundee have joined forces to coordinate and host the visit.

Participants are coming to Dundee from Bologna, Brno in the Czech Republic, Granollers in Spain, Lidingo and Linkoping in Sweden, Jutland in Denmark, Piraeus in Greece, Wallonia in Belgium, the Polish capital Warsaw and Colchester.