The Courier reveals:
Allan Watt, the city council’s waterfront project director, courted around a dozen private sector businesses at a road show in the headquarters of international law firm Pinsent Masons with three immediately moving to express an interest in bringing their long term business to the city
It came just weeks after a council briefing note raised fears that investment in the £1 billion redevelopment could be hindered by the Brexit vote.
Mr Watt said: “I now have three business cards that I am hanging on to. There was a major investor who talked to me at the end – two developers, straight away.”
In his presentation to potential investors, the senior council official said that 7,000 to 8,000 jobs would be created by the waterfront project, pointing out it stretches along 8km from the western to the eastern edges of Dundee and is not just confined to the city centre.
The forthcoming V&A site was high on the agenda, however, Mr Watt revealed to the panel that seven out of the nine development sites close to the design museum have attracted developer interest.
Work will continue to attract further investment, though, with international as well as domestic markets being targeted with a series of further workshops in the coming months.
“We have a number of events of this nature,” Mr Watt said. “In the near future we are headed to Aberdeen, we are headed to Edinburgh and Glasgow and then back to Dundee just before Christmas. As part of the Seven Cities Alliance, we will be attending the international MIPIM conference (a property event which gathers 21,000 international property professionals) in London. We are trying to attract international investment. How do you do that? You attend big international events as part of that. We glue ourselves to Scottish cities marketing as well. It’s almost like a funnel. People are interested in Scotland then you get them interested in the city.”
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%.