V&A Dundee looks to put “fire in the belly” of the city

As the first ever V&A museum outside of London prepares to open its doors, we speak to the institution’s Director Philip Long about what it can do for Dundonians as well as the wider design community

As one of the most recognised names in the art and design world, it isn’t surprising that the V&A has finally taken the decision to expand outside of its original home in London. It follows in the footsteps of a number of other cultural institutions that have set their sights slightly further afield in recent years, including the Louvre’s recent Abu Dhabi addition. What may come as more of a surprise to people is the V&A’s slightly less exotic choice of location: Dundee.

As Scotland’s fourth biggest city, with a population of just under 150,000, in the past Dundee has been seen as the poorer cousin of its larger neighbouring cities such as Edinburgh. The decline of traditional manufacturing industries in the former east coast trading port has also led to its reputation as a hotbed for social deprivation, unemployment and drink and drug abuse. Last year, it even overtook Glasgow as the drugs death capital of Europe, according to research by the National Records of Scotland.

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