New V&A museum in Dundee receives £5m extra funding despite capital costs being fully met

The V&A’s new museum in Dundee has been awarded £5m by Chancellor George Osborne in the budget despite the £80m scheme’s capital cost already being fully-funded.

Osborne unveiled plans to award £5m in funding to the controversial museum project designed by Japanese architect Kenzo Kuma only weeks after it was given £20m by the Scottish Government, which met the remaining capital project costs.

A spokesperson for the V&A said “a proportion” of the £5m will go towards the capital costs of the museum even though the full cost of the museum had now been raised with the remainder to be spent on a “pre-opening community engagement programme”.

Director of audiences and Media at V&A museum of design Dundee Jane Ferguson said: “We’ve been presenting our project to the UK government and this award has been made as a long-term conversation of the benefits of the project.

“We presented the overall project, the V&A Dundee project, and to develop a programme of engagement into the community in the pre-opening period and then beyond.”

Ferguson added: “It hasn’t been decided how much of the new fund will be allocated to the capital construction costs at present, however the new funding will be split between the capital construction fundraising and also used for other programmes.”

Kuma’s design for the V&A museum has been mired in controversy ever since the costs to construct the project ballooned from an original £27m to well over £80m due to a number of design issues. The museum had reached it’s capital fundraising target after a £20m donation from the Scottish Government on February as part of an overall £63.8m financial package for the city’s waterfront.

The fundraising campaign has seen £12.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £4.5m from Creative Scotland, £6.5m from Dundee City Council, £12.61m of Growth Accelerator Funding, £4m from Waterfront.

Director of Sutherland Hussey Harris architects Charlie Hussie, who bid on the original design competition, said the decision came as “no surprise”.

Hussey said: “The whole procurement process in Scotland needs a complete overhaul, it’s leading down the road to disastrous architecture and is undermining the policy which had aspirations for hiqh-quality architecture.

“The Scottish government is seen to promote good architecture such as the lighthouse- but the fundamental problem is that procurement is completely wrong. Projects are being bundled together which is leading to design-led practices being ostracised from the process. The V&A project is symptomatic of that process.

“It’s completely in the power of the Scottish government to change these things. We are supposedly under a socially-democratic government but let’s see what they deliver.”

The museum is expected to open in 2018.