New arena proposed for Dundee

Plans have been revealed for the development of a new 10,000-capacity arena in the Scottish city of Dundee.

The plans have been drawn up by Glasgow-headquartered Wilson and Gunn Architects, which in 2018 proposed a 6,375-capacity venue for the current Mecca Bingo site in the city centre. These plans have now been expanded to include ‘site 2’ in the Dundee Waterfront development plan.

The Dundee Arena proposal, which has been reported by local newspaper The Courier, would also include a 70-room hotel, restaurants and bars. It is projected to cost between £60m (€71.5m/$80.3m) and £70m, and could take up to five years to go through planning to end of construction.

Wilson and Gunn Architects director, William Gunn, said: “There are very few acts worldwide that wouldn’t want to play a 10,000-capacity arena so we’re looking at getting most of the big guys. We also know we won’t get a concert of that size every day of the week.

“The facility would be flexible enough to create a more intimate gig. The design has been inspired by Green’s Playhouse, Dundee’s ‘super-cinema’ that used to be on the site. It was a cinema, but also a theatre and ballroom over two tiers.

“Likewise, we’re also hoping to attract a variety of performers and I think it could be sensational for the city.”

Architect Kenny Stephen said two “major operators” have given notes of interest to operate the venue, which would only be behind Aberdeen’s P&J Live (15,000) and The Hydro in Glasgow (13,000) in terms of capacity for arenas in Scotland.

Dundee City Council told The Courier that it was aware of the Dundee Arena proposal but “cannot comment on any commercial discussions”. A spokesman added: “If the site becomes available, we will explore the proposals in greater detail.”

The Dundee Arena proposal comes with work continuing on a new 4,000-seat esports arena in the city.

Photo by Zack Davidson on Unsplash