Dundee’s bid to become European Capital of Culture in 2023 was submitted amid scenes of celebration yesterday. Young people from around the city joined the Council leader, John Alexander, in the City Square to wish the 80-page document well on its way.
Dundee is facing competition from Leeds, Belfast, Nottingham and Milton Keynes in the keenly fought contest which has been described as the cultural equivalent of hosting the Commonwealth Games.
“The effect on the city would be transformative, no doubt about it.” said Councillor Alexander.
“Glasgow’s resurgence started in 1990 when they hosted the competition and they’re still feeling the positive effects almost three decades on.”
“The bid outlines the most ambitious cultural programme ever planned for the city – it would bring household names from around the world to perform here, but would also take place and involve people in every single community in Dundee.”
Bid chairman, Stewart Murdoch, added, “The economic impact alone is worth pursuing with independent estimates of 1,600 new jobs being created and an additional 500,000 visits to the city during the year. It’s a genuinely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the city.”
‘We’re already noticed on the international stage with our UNESCO City of Design designation, but this would take us onto a different plane completely.”
Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:
“I am very impressed by the scale and substance of Dundee’s plans to deliver an exceptional European Capital of Culture in 2023 and I wish them every success. As cross party support in the Scottish Parliament has shown, people throughout Scottish society are backing Dundee in their bid.
“As the first in the UK to be recognised as a UNESCO City of Design, Dundee is an international success story and a great example of how culture can promote regeneration and design, including the V&A Dundee’s iconic opening in 2018. Dundee as European Capital of Culture would demonstrate how a city can reinvent itself through culture and creativity and would boost the city, the country and our international links.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “Dundee is the perfect stage for cultural events and it would be the ideal European Capital of Culture in 2023. Already the city has a strong programme of events and festivals throughout the year, and the opportunity to be the European Capital of Culture would further enhance this.
“While competition will be fierce for this highly coveted title, I’m confident the programme the bid team has produced will impress the judges.”
Sources behind the bid are keen to keep the content secret for now but it’s understood it contains over 110 new projects including several seven-figure initiatives.
Anna Day, seconded to the Bid team from the city’s UNESCO office said, “We want the judges to be amazed at the ambition of the people in the city and the quality of the ideas they’ve come up with – we always knew this would be our strong point and folk have really delivered on that front. I’m so proud of the city.”
“We’ve had messages of support from primary schoolkids to the First Minister – it’s been brilliant. And everyone is welcome to join us on Thursday at 12.45 in the City Square – let’s give it a great Dundee send-off!”
The Bid Team will be interviewed by a panel of European judges in late November and the short-listed cities are expected to be announced on St Andrew’s Day.
Further information visit www.dundee2023.eu and social media channels Facebook Twitter and Instagram @dundee2023 #dundee2023