Funds for city centre recovery


5th May 2021

Work to steer the next 30 years of development and investment opportunities for Dundee city centre could be boosted on three fronts next week.

Councillors will be asked to back spending on commissioning consultants to support the development of the City Centre Strategic Investment Plan (CCSIP), engaging young people and progressing a trial project related to vacant property.

A six-week public consultation was undertaken from November to January using an online questionnaire covering the key themes of the strategy - living, working, visiting, connectivity and public realm.

Mark Flynn convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “A total of 260 responses came in, most of which endorsed the approaches and thinking we set out.

“We also got ideas and feedback from key stakeholders including landowners, investors, retailers, major employers, Registered Social Landlords, public transport providers and the leisure and tourism sector, all of which is helping to shape the CCSIP.”

Now the city development committee will be asked to agree to use a grant of £210,000 from the Scottish Government’s City Centre Recovery Fund to progress three elements of the work.

If the report is approved consultants with experience in city centre master-planning will be recruited to generate innovative ideas for public spaces and to develop these into deliverable projects which stimulate investor interest and are supported by stakeholders.

Youth organisations, schools, colleges and other bodies could be enlisted to support the participation of city residents under 26 in urban policy making. Future development of the city is likely to be driven by that age group who will also enjoy the benefits of a vibrant city centre when the masterplan is completed.

The third element seeking approval, under the Vacant to Vibrant banner, is a collaboration with the creative industries to repurpose unoccupied city centre properties by identifying alternative short, medium and long-term uses. The UNESCO City of Design team, Creative Dundee and local property agents would work together to raise awareness of how a revitalised city centre might function.

According to the report the city centre has experienced significant challenges in recent years and the development of a plan is important to ensure it stays strong and builds on the positive developments over the last 25 years.

The plan aims to ensure that the city centre continues to develop as a unique, vibrant, inclusive and sustainable place to live, work and visit.

The city development committee meets on Monday (May 10).

Dundee City Council

Dundee draws skilled workers from a 60-minute catchment population of 640,000 and has a local population of over 140,000. The availability of a large pool of highly skilled labour is a key feature in the Dundee economy. Flexibility in the labour force is currently more prevalent in Dundee than in Scotland as a whole. All forms of labour market flexibility - part-time, temporary employment, self-employment and shift work - are widely operational within the city. Labour force stability in the city is excellent, enabling companies to plan with confidence. Labour turnover levels are less than 5% and absenteeism averages 2%.

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