Follow VisitScotland

‘Be Brilliant!’ - Dundee 2023 Bid Announcement

Press Release   •   Jul 20, 2017 09:22 BST

Members of the public are being asked to “be brilliant” and contribute to Dundee’s European Capital of Culture 2023 Bid by submitting their ideas for the proposed programme.

The call for lovers of the city to get involved was made to coincide with a launch today that marks 100 days until the bid proposal deadline (27 October).

Backed by Dundee City Council and EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the team behind DUNDEE2023 want to create a programme like no other, packed with celebrations to show the richness of the region to the rest of Europe, and demonstrating the quality of imagination and invention the city is increasingly well known for.

The Bid has a new website https://dundee2023.eu/ where Dundonians, Scots and people from across the world can now submit ideas for the 2023 programme on the website. The programme will look to connect people and inspire new futures for young people, as well as encouraging creativity and re-connection with the environment.

The website will also document Dundonian’s individual connections to European communities through family or social links, but also across arts, music, heritage, sports and business relationships. This will grow over time to map thousands of connections illustrating a new way to see Dundee’s thriving relationship with Europe.

Stewart Murdoch, Chairman of DUNDEE2023 said:

“This is a once in a generation opportunity – the equivalent of the cultural Olympics. It’s a chance for Dundee to host a year of major international events and showcase Scotland’s creative and cultural talent by winning a title that will never be available to the UK again.

This Bid underlines the scale of the Dundee’s ambition which the city has shown in a series of bold projects for over two decades – but this would take us on to a whole new level.

“The Capital of Culture Bid is successful when the city is fully behind it, and we need to convince the competition judges of that. That’s why we’re asking those from the city and further afield to help us create a programme that connects people, inspires new futures, and encourages creativity in us all.

“Becoming European Capital of Culture 2023 would bring an estimated £128 million increase to the economy and create 1,600 new job opportunities – it’s an incredible chance for Dundee.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, said:

“This bid is an exciting opportunity to strengthen Scotland’s cultural ties with Europe and celebrate our diverse cultural heritage. With 100 days to go, I encourage Dundonians, Scots and people from across the world to contribute their ideas for Dundee as European Capital of Culture.

“International engagement makes a crucial contribution to sustainable economic growth, bringing fresh perspectives and new partnerships. As the first UNESCO City of Design in the UK and home to the world-class V&A museum, Dundee is helping to promote Scotland’s culture and design tradition worldwide, strengthening its reputation as an international hub of creative excellence. I wish Dundee every success with their bid.”

Councillor John Alexander, Dundee City Council said:

"Dundee is putting itself on the map with its ambitious and bold cultural strategy. However, our work is not just about putting the city on the map, but in making sure that all maps lead to Dundee.

"This city is and has been going through a cultural renaissance over the last few years and our journey towards 2023 is a hugely exciting opportunity.

"We are a city that is creating our own future, with 100 days to go until the bid is submitted, I would urge you all to play your part in shaping our vision for Dundee to be the European Capital of Culture for 2023.

"Be bold, be ambitious, be Dundee.”

VisitScotland Chief Executive, Malcolm Roughead, said:
“We are delighted to be backing Dundee’s bid for the European City of Culture 2023 through our EventScotland team. This is an exciting opportunity for the city, and with its strong cultural reputation together with its existing programme of exciting events and festivals, it is the ideal candidate for 2023.

“I encourage all of Scotland to get behind Dundee’s bid and submit their ideas to help them create a truly memorable programme that captures the true spirit of Dundee and the country as a whole.”

Bid Director, Bryan Beattie, said:

“I have no doubt at all that the city can produce the type of extraordinary, imaginative programme that can win this competition. It would be brilliant for the city to win, and we want folk to be brilliant when they submit their ideas too. It’s easy to do through the website – or to let us know of their connection to Europe.”

Several local businesses in the city have stepped forward to pledge their support for the campaign. Creative partners to the project, Avian and Blue2 Digital have worked closely with the bid team to design the new brand identity and Dundee2023 website. DC Thomson have researched and published more than 500 vox-pops documenting Dundee’s connections to Europe in a special edition of The Courier out today (20 July).

European cities connected to Dundee through the UNESCO Creative Cities Network have begun to send their messages of support to Dundee including Graz in Austria hosts of European Capital of Culture in 2003.

Eberhard Schrempf, Managing Director, European Capital of Culture 2003, Graz said:

“I know Dundee well through our both being UNESCO Creative Cities. Being the European Capital of Culture changed Graz in many ways. Dundee would gain greatly and it would do it beautifully.”

Laura Aalto, Development Director, Helsinki Marketing said:

“Dundee is clearly one of the most forward looking creative cities in Europe. Helsinki and Dundee both share the same vision to use creativity in creating a better and more liveable city."

Josyane Franc, Head of International Affairs for the Cite du Design St Etienne said:

“I love Dundee because of the people and the way they have the DNA of design through the city. I love their view of creativity and how they have found a way to reinvent the city. They are already a capital of culture.”

Further information visit www.dundee2023.eu and Facebook Twitter and Instagram @dundee2023 #dundee2023

Notes to Editors

  • Follow us on twitter: @visitscotnews
  • VisitScotland is Scotland’s national tourism organisation. Its core purpose is to maximise the economic benefit of tourism to Scotland.
  • The organisation’s core objective is to contribute to the Tourism 2020 Strategy ambition of growing tourism revenues by £1 billion by 2020.
  • This will be supported by seven overarching strategies:
    1. Marketing: we will market Scotland and its outstanding assets to visitors from all parts of the world, including the promotion of Scotland to people living in Scotland to visit different parts of the country
    2. Events: we will support the national events strategy and its delivery, and sustain, develop and promote Scotland’s international profile as one of the world’s foremost events destinations
    3. Internationalisation and International Engagement: we will utilise all our platforms to enable Scottish-based tourism businesses to better understand international opportunities and market to a global audience and we will work within One Scotland Partnerships to optimise the potential of Scotland’s Diaspora and our strategic partners at regional, European and global levels
    4. Customer Experience: we will provide information and inspiration to visitors both locally and globally via their preferred medium of choice
    5. Quality and Sustainability: we will provide support and advice to businesses, with the goal of improving the quality and sustainability of the tourism sector in Scotland. We will provide quality assurance to visitors through our Quality Schemes
    6. Inclusive Tourism: we will strive to make tourism in Scotland inclusive and available to all
    7. Working in Partnership: we will listen to and work with the industry, partners and communities to shape our offering and support
  • To ensure everyone can safely enjoy Scotland’s amazing countryside and landscapes, VisitScotland encourages all visitors to fully respect their surroundings by behaving in a responsible and appropriate way.
  • VisitScotland works together with tourism businesses to make tourism a success for everyone and ensure the industry continues to grow.
  • The organisation employs 700 people and has offices and VisitScotland Information Centres across Scotland.
  • Spending by tourists in Scotland generates around £12 billion of economic activity in the wider Scottish supply chain and contributes around £6 billion to Scottish GDP (in basic prices). This represents about 5% of total Scottish GDP
  • The Scottish Government is the Managing Authority for the European Structural Funds 2014-20 Programme. For further information visit www.gov.scot or follow @scotgovESIF
  • For VisitScotland’s press releases go to http://www.visitscotland.org/media_centre.aspx, tourism statistics and frequently asked questions go to http://www.visitscotland.org/
  • Where possible, a Gaelic speaker will be made available for broadcast interviews on request (Far an tèid iarraidh, agus far am bheil sin nar comas, bruidhinnidh neach le Gàidhlig aig agallamh)
  • 2017 Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology
  • 2017 is the year to delve into the past and discover Scotland’s fascinating stories through a wide-ranging variety of new and existing activity to drive the nation’s tourism and events sector, boosting tourism across Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology begins on 1 January 2017 and will end on 31 December 2017. It will build on the momentum generated by previous themed years in Scotland including the 2015 Year of Food and Drink, Homecoming Scotland 2014, the Year of Creative and the Year of Natural.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is a Scottish Government initiative being led by VisitScotland, and supported by a variety of partners including Creative Scotland, Scottish Tourism Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, The National Trust for Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Built Environment Forum Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Museums Galleries Scotland and Traditional Arts and Culture Scotland.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology is supported by £570,000 of Scottish Government funding.
  • The Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology events fund is managed by EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate.
  • For more information visit visitscotland.com/HHA2017 or join the conversation at #HHA2017