The future of Dundee’s £1 billion re-development of the city’s waterfront is intact, regeneration bosses have said.
Work had begun earlier this year on the long-awaited urban beach, and it was hoped the project would be completed by spring next year.
But with construction work on hold as the pandemic continues to grip Scotland and the rest of the UK, questions have been raised over the future of the development, and the long-term impact on the vision for the waterfront.
However, the council has sought to allay any concerns and, in a statement, a spokesman said: “The council has put a number of measures in place to deal with this global pandemic and we are working hard with partners to provide lifeline services across the city.
“The waterfront project is a long-term transformation initiative. Officers from city development remain in contact with prospective tenant and developer partners throughout the Covid-19 crisis, and hope that the transformation of the waterfront will resume later in the year when current restrictions are lifted.”
Councillor Kevin Keenan, leader of the Labour opposition, welcomed the reassurances but urged caution given the potential economic impact of the lockdown.
He added: “We are all hearing the suggestion that we could be in a recession and the economy could shrink over a period of time.
“Obviously I hope that the economy gets buoyant again, in which case the waterfront redevelopment can continue.
“I suppose it would be unrealistic that things won’t take a knock but I hope construction will get back up and running fairly quickly.”
Meanwhile, he also said the city can make the most of a bad situation and become the place to take a city break when the lockdown is lifted.
Mr Keenan urged the city to take advantage of the potential increase in demand for so-called “staycations” once life begins to get back to normal, with an intentional travel ban potentially in place for far longer.
“It could be a bit longer before flights get back to normal and might be a while before low cost air travel is what it used to be so it could be that Dundee can push towards being the destination of choice,” Cllr Keenan said.
“People might want to come and see what the city has to offer, for example the V&A, the McManus Gallery, the Discovery.
“Some good may come good of this from a local point of view and as a councillor I want to see the people of Dundee doing well and the city also.”