Dundee’s £1 billion waterfront development is so important it will be key to securing a bright and sustainable economic future for the whole of Scotland.
That’s the view of the Scottish Government, which has backed the massive project as one of two in the country to advance its vision of making Scotland a “successful, sustainable place”.
The government’s National Planning Framework, which sets out how Scotland should look in 20 to 30 years, concluded the waterfront met its criteria for becoming a “national development”.
Today city politicians said the waterfront had a huge role to play in Scotland’s future economy.
Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie said: “Opening the city back up to the river and bringing the V&A will be transformational, not just for Dundee but the whole of Scotland.
“It will bring tourism in for Dundee but also other places in Scotland. The city will have a huge role to play in Scotland’s economy.”
Nationwide some 242 developments were considered for inclusion in the plan, which has been whittled down to 14 in the final proposal.
Just the waterfront and Ravenscraig, a skills and job creation project in North Lanarkshire, were selected specifically to meet the government’s focus on sustainable economic growth over the next three decades.
The 12 other developments put forward were chosen to satisfy the government’s three further ambitions in the plan to make Scotland a low carbon place, a natural place to invest and a connected place.
The Tay featured in another section of the plan which looks to develop onshore infrastructure for offshore renewable energy at several locations across the country.
The list has now been opened up for an extended public consultation until the end of July.
The final collection of national developments will be decided in June 2014.
Lord Provost Bob Duncan commended the government for recognising Dundee’s waterfront development as something to be a part of.
He said: “The waterfront is important to the whole of Scotland. It will be an iconic development in an iconic country.
“But it is very important for Dundee. In terms of jobs, we will benefit both initially and once the infrastructure is in place.”
The report detailing the government’s choices for the proposed national developments stated Dundee waterfront had a “good fit” with all the mandatory criterion. The elements of the development highlighted included the V&A Dundee, Seabraes Yards Digital and Media and City Quay for offshore renewables support.
Mr Duncan added: “The V&A will make Dundee a very good tourist attraction and will complement our other attractions. Having been in America last year all people were asking me was when the V&A will open.”
Also given special mention were improvements to the rail station and outside arrival space, the development of regional air facilities at Dundee Airport and access to the Port of Dundee to enhance the city’s regional and national links.
But MSP for Dundee North Jenny Marra said people in the city needed jobs to sustain the waterfront development.
She said: “The waterfront project is excellent, and any help the government can give it through the plan is a good thing. But we need people in jobs to sustain it and make it a success.
“We need more jobs, better jobs in the city. And just the other side of the Tay Road Bridge is the port. The whole of Dundee has been waiting with baited breath the last three years for renewables jobs. They are our biggest hope and that is why they are so important.”