Calls for council to explain decision to turn down Waterfront proposal by Kelpies designer

© PAArtist Andy Scott with Clydesdale horses Duke (left) and Baron as he unveils his sculpture The Kelpies.
Artist Andy Scott with Clydesdale horses Duke (left) and Baron as he unveils his sculpture The Kelpies.

Community figures have called on Dundee City Council to explain why it turned down a bid by the artist behind The Kelpies to bring a statue to Dundee.

Yesterday the Tele revealed Andy Scott, the sculptor who designed the iconic horse heads, had approached the council with an offer of a unique work paying homage to Dundee’s whaling past.

He claims his pitch was “ignored” by the council. The authority says contractors working on its behalf turned him down.

Bill Newcombe, chairman of the City Centre and Harbour Community Council, believes the council should explain why it turned the bid down.

© Getty
The Kelpies sculptures.

“My initial thinking on this is that I would want to know why such a decision was made,” he said.

“You can see the benefit there would have been in having such a sculpture at that location – after all, we are a Unesco City of Design.

“I would like to know why – the council must have had a reason. Touches like this complete developments such as the Waterfront.”

A council source told the Tele the whale statue would have been located on Waterfront Place – the “urban beach” development beside the V&A.

© Supplied
Initial concept proposal of the interactive whale play park at Slessor Gardens.

However, it is believed the offer of the sculpture was rejected in favour of a “digital playground” for children.

The playground also happens to be in the shape of a whale.

Consultancy firm Perfect Circle was appointed to design Waterfront Place in 2017, at a cost of £337,000. The firm denies it is the contractor alluded to by a council spokeswoman as having rejected Andy Scott’s bid on its behalf, given that it finished its work on the programme in September last year.

A representative for the firm said: “Perfect Circle is not working on the Dundee Waterside Place development.”

A council spokesman said: “An updated report on plans for Waterfront Place will be brought to committee in due course.”