A major overhaul of the Dundee Waterfront appears to be back on track with a design team for the much talked-about whale sculpture to be officially appointed.
The huge humpback whale sculpture will be created by London based and award winning young artist Lee Simmons.
It will be his first sculpture in Scotland and will be the centrepiece of a new interactive playpark at Waterfront Place.
Now the council’s city development commitment is likely to formally approve the formation of a design team, led by Mr Simmons, at a cost of £135,000.
Gregor Hamilton, Dundee City Council’s head of planning, said the whale will “act as a beacon” within the playpark.
He said: “The size and scale of the structure will be designed to complement its surroundings, whilst accommodating both convincing aesthetic values and visual strength.
“The whale-like structure will be formed in tubular sections that will follow the contours of the humpback whale.
“The structure will flow from the northern entrance of Waterfront Place with the tail arching towards the Tay to capture a sense of the whale’s movement in suspended animation.”
The playpark will provide users with a multi-sensory experience using sound, light and an interactive canvas beneath the whale.
An earlier competition for the commission saw seven submissions, with four being shortlisted for presentation before Lee Simmons’ design was selected.
Meanwhile, Discovery Point’s re-development is back on the table, with the committee also likely to approve continued financial backing for its regeneration.
Dundee Heritage Trust, which runs Discovery Point, is looking to renew a grant of £200k to continue its planning for the creation of a five-attraction site.
The money was previously awarded as part of a £250k grant for the financial year of 2019-20.
However the Trust spent just £50k last year and so the remaining money is to be officially carried over to this year.
Deirdre Robertson, chief executive at Discovery Heritage Trust, said last year’s cash was mainly spent on a survey of the ship, which identified £1.3 million of repair work needed to the ship – £327k of which was classed as urgent.
She said: “The remaining £200,000 will be spent on developing plans for the Discovery Point regeneration, working with architects, getting the plans ready to go to planning and professional fees.”
The tourist attraction’s regeneration plans include a climate change gallery and dome experience in the top of the building, offering a 360 degree view of the city.
Mrs Robertson said: “It’s not starting until 2023-24 but we’re looking to see if there’s any way of bringing that forward because we’re further on than we thought we would be.
“We didn’t allow Covid to set us back. We were encourage not to lose momentum and could have easily done that while trying to get revenue funding to help keep us going.
“The team have done a fantastic job to manage to push through and keep the project moving forward while applying for grants left, right and centre just to keep the place going.”