It has become firmly knitted into in the nation’s cultural fabric, attracting more than a million visitors to its doors in the past half decade.  

And while V&A Dundee has added value to Scotland’s artistic reputation, it appears it has also enriched the country’s coffers too.  

Fresh research on the fifth anniversary of the opening of Scotland’s design museum has found that it has generated £304 million for the economy to date. 

A study, by BOP Consulting and Tialt, found that V&A Dundee generated a gross value added (GVA) impact of £234 million in the past five years, in addition to a £70 million impact from the construction of the museum. 

This is despite the lean years of Covid when museums and cultural attractions were obliged to shut their doors, and the V&A’s location outside the central belt and the tourist hubs of the Highlands.  

The museum has been credited with attracting half a million people to the city of jute and jam, as well as engaging and empowering those already resident there.  

The Herald:

Key findings of the museum's fifth birthday report reveal there have been 1.7 million people through its doors, including 500,000 who came to Dundee for the first time as part of trips to the V&A. 

More than 270,000 engagements with the museum’s community and learning programme have taken place, including in-person events, digital workshops, outreach in the city, and free design activities for children and families. 

Almost 10,000 pupils, teachers and educators have worked with the museum through a partnership established early on, while there have been more than 2,000 learning events and projects staged for the community. 

The museum has also had an impact on local employment, with 1,685 Scottish jobs associated with its opening, including 450 in Dundee.     

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The statistics of success outlined in the report have been welcomed by those who know the museum best, although they insist there is more to come.  

Leonie Bell, Director of V&A Dundee, said: “Since opening, V&A Dundee has emerged as an important new voice for design and a gathering place for visitors from near and far, contributing to Dundee and Scotland's creative, cultural and economic growth, despite the major challenges of the Covid pandemic. 

“What matters now is how we grow from this point as part of Dundee and Scotland’s creative community, continuing to learn, listen and improve.  

“We are already making more use of the museum’s architecture and plaza, creating a museum for everyone that is full of activity and energy, a place to find joy, explore, reflect, play and learn.” 

Ms Bell added: “V&A Dundee is a special place, a unique organisation with a local, national and international outlook rooted in and branching out from Dundee, the UK’s only UNESCO City of Design. "As we look to the next five years, we will remain ambitious, deepen our social impact in Dundee, reach out further across Scotland, and do more to champion design from Scotland and around the world.” 

In its first five years, V&A Dundee has worked with a range of charities and community organisations, including Alzheimer Scotland, Dundee Carers Centre, Dundee International Women’s Centre, Dundee Women’s Aid, Education Scotland and NHS Tayside, creating partnerships and events to make the museum accessible to everyone and to use design to improve lives. 

It has also worked with multiple designers and cultural organisations across Dundee, Scotland and around the world

The Herald:

Shona Robison, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Scottish Government, stressed this would continue. 

She said: “In the last five years V&A Dundee has embedded itself as both a vital cultural institution of Scotland and as a key driver of Dundee’s economy. 

“Despite the enormous challenge of a global pandemic V&A Dundee has emerged as a site which draws unprecedented numbers of visitors to the city and it has created high-quality jobs directly, as well as to contractors and to those working in the wider creative economy. 

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“Since 2018 V&A Dundee has transformed the waterfront area into an iconic destination to showcase world-class design. It has also reached out beyond its walls to embed itself in the civic life of Scotland. This is just the beginning of V&A Dundee’s contribution to Scotland.” 

The V&A’s fifth anniversary will be celebrated on Saturday 16 September with free music performances including Be Charlotte and Andrew Wasylyk, free access to the blockbuster Tartan exhibition, street food on the plaza, family activities, free museum tours, and the opening of a new permanent display on the museum’s architecture.