IT is the architectural marvel which was the centrepiece of £1billion regeneration of Scotland 's fourth largest city.

Now the imposing and futuristic Victoria & Albert Dundee designed by the Japanese architect of the Tokyo Olympic Stadium is proving its worth beyond its eye-catching, curved, stone panel design inspired by the cliffs on Scotland's north-eastern coastline.

Scotland's answer to the original V&A in London, named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert has given a £75m boost to the national economy in its first year of opening.

New independent research found that visitors to the museum were worth £21 million to the Dundee economy and even more to the Scottish economy in the 12 months from 15 September 2018, when the new design museum first opened its doors.

READ MORE: The £80m V&A Dundee is built - will the people come?

It far exceeds the predicted impacts of £10 million in Dundee and £23 million across Scotland, boosted both by a significant increase in visitor numbers – 833,015 compared to a predicted 500,000 – and a higher proportion of overseas visitors on longer trips around Scotland.

HeraldScotland: V&A Dundee: artist's impression

Designed by Kengo Kuma, city leaders had hoped the museum would create a similar economic boost as the Guggenheim Bilbao, which opened in 1997 and took the Basque city from a tourist backwater to a major draw for around 1.75 million visitors annually.

Kuma himself, said he wanted the £80m V&A Dundee to be "a new living room for the city".

n hall, learning centre, auditorium, temporary exhibition galleries and the permanent Scottish Design Galleries.

The independent study, conducted by Ekosgen and Reference Economic Consultants and commissioned by V&A Dundee, also found that the museum supported the equivalent of 696 jobs in Dundee and 2,143 across Scotland. An estimated additional 370 jobs have been created in Dundee by the museum opening.

In addition, the construction of the building had a further economic impact of £70 million across Scotland, helping to support 7,037 jobs.

READ MORE: Director of the V&A Dundee on designing the future

Philip Long, director of V&A Dundee, said: “This new research shows very powerfully how V&A Dundee has had wide economic benefits, within our own city and across the whole country.

“It demonstrates the value of investing in world-class cultural centres like V&A Dundee to boost tourism and create jobs, as well as the essential contribution the museum is making as a cultural institution promoting design creativity.

”V&A Dundee has a hugely exciting programme ahead, including our major exhibitions Mary Quant and Night Fever opening later this year, which will continue to draw visitors to the museum, to Dundee and to Scotland.”

Tourism in Dundee is now worth over £10 million a month to the city, according to research commissioned by Dundee City Council, with the first six months of 2019 seeing a 19.4% boost to visitor numbers.

Pamela Reid, director of Ekosgen, said: “V&A Dundee has had a remarkable performance in its first year, far exceeding its estimated visitor numbers and generating a much larger economic impact for Dundee and Scotland as a result. This achievement should not be understated.

“The museum has attracted new first-time visitors to the city, many of whom would not have visited Dundee without it. There is also evidence that a substantial proportion of people who have visited V&A Dundee are likely to return, which is extremely positive and an important indicator of sustainability.”

Officially opened by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in January 2019, the museum was built out into the River Tay, with a "prow" jutting over the water like a boat, recalling the shipbuilding heritage of the city.

The original V&A has 145 galleries with more than 2 million objects and covers 5.1 hectares (12.5 acres).

The Dundee V&A has a floor area of 8,500 square metres (2.1 acres) and includes a main hall, learning centre, auditorium, temporary exhibition galleries and the permanent Scottish Design Galleries.

Over one in three of the museum visitors were from Dundee and Tayside, with 42% from the rest of Scotland, just under one in seven from the rest of the UK and 10% from overseas.

Councillor John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council, said: "I am delighted that this research confirms the positive impact V&A Dundee has made for the city and Scotland."

Further analysis shows that nearly one in three of visitors were staying away from home for at least one night and 79% said they were very likely or quite likely to visit again. And over two in three said the would not have visited other businesses in the city without V&A Dundee.

Tim Allan, chairman of V&A Dundee’s Board, said: “These economic impact figures are exceptional, and clearly show the huge impact that V&A Dundee has already had within its home city and right across Scotland.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “V&A Dundee is a powerful symbol of Dundee’s new confidence and the strong future of design and innovation across our nation.

“In its first year it has far exceeded expectations for visitor numbers and proved an incredible success in boosting Scotland’s attractiveness to those looking for world-class cultural experiences.

“The Scottish Government provided £38 million towards the construction of the building and committed extra funding to support its first ten years of activity. It has more than proved its cultural value and I welcome this report in highlighting the economic value of this flagship museum.”