2009 sadly saw the culmination of the slow decline of over 40 years of manufacturing in Dundee, men and women employed in global organisations like Timex and the NCR and all of the businesses indirectly created on the back of these businesses, some of our friends and families literally would not be here today if it wasn’t for the networks and pay packets that these businesses created during their rise. Our fathers, mothers and uncles and aunts lived through the closure of Timex and then the rise of NCR as high employers in the city only to live through it all again as niece’s nephews sons and daughters were all in some way affected by redundancy in the city as it returned in 2008-2009.
Our city is well underway with what is known as the recovery stage of economic development; developers are rebranding the city to implement a culture of “creativity” with plans well underway in the regeneration of the city’s waterfront and the creation of Scotland’s very own Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum as the pearl of the project. Construction alone in the city of Dundee surpasses all of Scotland combined, new buildings, businesses and partnerships are shooting up all over the city. There is already lots of interest from investors on the back of the V&A, these are opportunities that are being cultivated for our city, it is during Dundee’s troubling times that bold investments are needed to stimulate growth and create new employment opportunities.
What we need to do
If Dundee wants to make changes and develop it needs to ensure that the “cultural quarter” is not the only area of focus for regeneration.
We can do so by ensuring that all quarters are included and that the individuals that reside, work and play within these quarters have opportunities to be involved. To have a creative city our knowledge needs to be introduced to an environment that will allow imagination, ingenuity and inspiration to flourish, and in time we will create the creative, enlightened city that Dundee plans to be. To sustain economic growth we need the cities businesses, schools and families to cultivate the individuals and groups that can provide the entrepreneurial innovations of the future.