Dundee skyscraper: all you need to know about £200m Discovery Heights project that could transform city

Full details about the stunning proposals to bring the “Sydney Opera House” of Scotland to the banks of the Tay in Dundee can be revealed.

InverTay Homes claims its ambitious plans, which it has named Vision for Dundee, would include:

  • A state-of-the-art 39-storey skyscraper being built on the Waterfront.
  • A potential £200 million sum pumped into the Dundee economy.
  • Close to 1,000 permanent jobs brought to the area.
  • A five-star hotel and sky bar.
  • Luxury serviced apartments and a world class conference centre.

A promotional film, above, which outlines the proposals has shown how the skyscraper would look once complete. InverTay Homes said today its next step would be to lodge formal plans with Dundee City Council for Site 12 at the Waterfront.

The two men behind the ambitious project, Mike Pratt and Eddie Wighton, said that if given the go-ahead their development could be worth hundreds of millions to the city’s economy. They also claim it will create hundreds of construction jobs.

They added: “We want to create the tallest building in Scotland but this project won’t just be the creation of an exceptional landmark, it will also bring multiple benefits to the local area and local people.

“This project would bring around £200m investment into the Dundee economy, the creation of hundreds of construction jobs, almost 1,000 permanent jobs once complete across the entire building, the opportunity to bring international investors and businesses to Dundee – and inclusion for all the people of Dundee to be a part of this incredible landmark.”

InverTay’s director of operations, Mr Wighton, added: “We plan to build the tallest building in Scotland right in the heart of Dundee and we believe this will put Dundee on the global map.

“We need the moral support of local and national government to take this forward.

“We believe this is the last piece in the whole regeneration and would create a focal point to be the Sydney Opera House of Scotland.

“The next step is to move towards a formal planning application and we need to cary out investigations of the site and move towards a detailed design.

Mike Pratt

InverTay’s commercial director Mike Pratt said: “This will be a real focal point and will be something for Dundonians to be proud of.

“We want this to significantly complement and enhance the V&A. The opportunity for this is now because of the demolition of the old Olympia and the Hilton Hotel. This is a vacant site and is the perfect setting.”

It would be tallest in country

The Discovery Heights building would be the tallest in Scotland if the plans go-ahead.

InverTay Homes has estimated the building’s height to be 462ft, encompassing 39 floors.

The tallest free- standing structure at present is the 416ft-high Glasgow Tower, part of Glasgow Science Centre.

InverTay’s proposed building would easily best Dundee’s tallest landmark – Cox’s Stack – at 279ft.

Many of the city’s multis stand at about 144ft, while V&A Dundee – potentially a neighbour if plans are approved – is about 59ft tall. But Dundee Law, at more than 500ft, would still stand taller.

However, Discovery Heights would be some way off being the tallest building in the UK.

That accolade belongs to the Shard skyscraper in London, which is 1,013ft high. It has held the record since 2012.

‘Support is key to our project’

It has taken more than a quarter of a century to bring the Discovery Heights plans to this point.

InverTay Homes says the Waterfront regeneration has reinvigorated the project and investors from across the world have expressed interest.

Eddie Wighton, director of operations at the firm, said: “While the concept was done by myself more than 25 years ago, for a building of this type in this location, it is only now, due to all the development, that it is possible to turn to reality.

“We have discussed the development with several investors and have interest from high profile local and international parties, including London, Cardiff, USA and the UAE.”

However, Mr Wighton conceded that global support isn’t enough – locals need to get on board.

He added: “Having the support of the local population is now the next task – and then of course, the local authorities.”