V&A in Dundee : MSP seeks "firm guarantee" from Minister

02 March 2009

Marlyn Glen is seeking an assurance from the new Culture Secretary Mike Russell of a "firm guarantee" that the Scottish Government will give financial backing " in principle" to the proposed V&A outlet in Dundee.

Ms. Glen had written to his predecessor, Linda Fabiani, asking for a commitment to financial support and what would be its value.

In reply, Mr. Russell said, "We will not be able to take funding decisions regarding this project until the outcomes of the next Spending Review is known.

"My officials are currently considering this project’s latest business plan, and will discuss this with the project team in due course."

However, Ms. Glen said,

"The Minister must give a guarantee of financial support to help the project win further financial support from the private sector.

" The V&A report indicated that if construction work on the project were to begin as early as early 2011 so that the museum could open two years later, then capital spending costs could be as high as £47.6 million.

"It emphasised if the project has ‘significant government backing’ then it could then attract ‘significant support from the private sector’.

"That is why a guarantee from the Scottish Government is crucial to the prospects of this ingenious project."

Pressed by Ms. Glen for finance to fill the gap in the funding for the McManus Galleries restoration work, Mr. Russell said, " It remains the case that the culture budget is under severe pressure and I think it unlikely that funding will be found for it this financial year."


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