Dundee’s Unicorn set for major £1m revamp

General view of the Frigate Unicorn, Victoria Dock, Dundee.

Plans for a major revamp of one of Dundee’s most famous landmarks have received a £1 million funding boost from the Scottish Government.

A report will go before city councillors on Monday outlining the cash allocated towards a new visitor reception area at the city’s Frigate Unicorn.

The local authority’s director of city development Mike Galloway will tell members of the committee that the Scottish Government has allocated the cash from its regeneration capital grant fund.

Mike Galloway
Mike Galloway

Mr Galloway said the money would also go towards toilet and catering facilities.

He will ask the committee to approve the lease of an area of land at South Victoria Dock Road at City Quay for £1 per annum.

The land would then be sub-leased to the Unicorn Preservation Society for the same sum.

Proposals for the new building at City Quay were unveiled earlier this year as part of the Tay Cities Deal.

A document submitted to Government chiefs suggests that the project could see the Unicorn moved into a dry dock and kept fully enclosed.

Bosses behind the Cities Deal say the attraction would be called The Unicorn Centre: Dundee’s Maritime Museum.

The new facility would also include space for exhibitions and other displays.

A spokesman for the Tay Cities Deal said: “The new building will be artistically designed and form an attractive venue for repeated visits covering a wide variety of maritime interests in addition to those offered by the Unicorn.

“It will be laid out to accommodate visiting exhibitions. The construction will reflect this aspect in its name of The Unicorn Centre.”

The spokesman added that the centre was being planned to build on the growing number of maritime opportunities at the Waterfront.

A new extended roof was recently installed at the Unicorn in a further effort to preserve it and prevent water damage to the ship herself, as well as improving the external look of the vessel.

Almost 200 years old, the Frigate Unicorn is one of the world’s most remarkable historic ships and Scotland’s only example of a wooden warship.