Tayside and Central Scotland

Construction work starts on Dundee V&A museum project

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Media captionArchitect Kengo Kuma was at the site in Dundee for the ground breaking ceremony

Construction work has begun on building the new V&A museum of design in Dundee.

The long-delayed project has seen its budget almost double to more than £80m.

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who designed the building, visited Dundee to mark the construction work getting under way.

If all goes to schedule in BAM Construction's project, the building will be complete by the end of 2017. The museum could then be open by June 2018.

Mr Kuma's vision for the museum on the banks of the Tay was chosen in an international design competition in 2010.

At that point the project had a budget of £45m, and the museum was to be complete and open to the public in 2014.

'Vision intact'

Mr Kuma said the waterfront site was "very special and complex", but insisted his vision was intact despite the museum being moved fully onto land to cut costs.

He said: "Many reasons have come together to make the cost higher. We tried to find the most reasonable solution for everyone.

"The vision that we had five years ago is still in the design. It will be a very strong building.

"We are delighted that our vision for the V&A Dundee building, which was originally inspired by the breathtaking natural setting, is now starting to take physical shape."

Image copyright Dundee Waterfront
Image caption The £80m design museum is the centrepiece of Dundee's waterfront regeneration project

The museum is the centrepiece of Dundee's £1bn waterfront regeneration project, and is forecast to attract hundreds of thousands of tourists and millions of pounds in investment to the city.

The Scottish government has committed £25m to the capital cost of the museum, and Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said the government was fully committed to seeing the project through.

She said: "It's an ambitious project for the people of Dundee and Scotland, and a landmark building which signifies our confidence in the future.

"This is a city in transformation. We're confident in our decision making and confident in backing the people of Dundee with funding for the museum."

Image copyright V&A Dundee
Image caption The £80m museum was originally meant to cost £45m and open to the public in 2014

V&A Dundee director Philip Long said he was "very proud" to see ground finally broken for the project.

He said: "A great deal of people across the city and country have worked very hard to get to this day.

"It's a historic moment for the city.

"Here we are in the old city centre docks, that were filled in in the 1960s - Dundee has had a difficult history since then, but the city today has a new ambitious, confident direction, and V&A Dundee is a symbol of that."

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