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Economic impact evaluation of Dundee Contemporary Arts: final report


The Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) aimed to be a unique facility within the UK, and a centre of international ambition, with facilities to match. The evaluation aimed to assess: the economic impact of DCA on Dundee and Tayside three years after its opening, focusing quantitatively on the financial year April 2001 to March 2002; the cumulative impacts to-date; impacts anticipated in the future; and the general effect of the new cultural centre.


The methodology consisted of: discussions with DCA staff and directors, SET and DCC staff, users of facilities, gallery visitors, and other businesses and organisations; and analysis of data produced by DCA and feedback on a draft report.


Estimates that DCA’s payroll of £561,507 generates a net impact of an additional £3,620,000 in the Tayside economy – a leverage ratio of almost 6.5 to 1. Qualitative impacts include the role of DCA as: a creative hub; a networking venue; central to the Cultural Quarter; and a link with universities and college. Recorded visitor numbers within DCA have exceeded 300,000 in each of its first three financial years. Exhibition visitors were 24% below in the third year, in part attributable to a funding reduction. Cinema attendances have comfortably exceeded its original target. Print studio usage is below its original unrealistic target. Several local craft producers benefited from supplying the One Five Two shop. Finds that community and education work is constrained by staffing and finance. Jute Café / Bar has exceeded original expectations by a huge margin. During term time, the VRC is well used by University researchers and students carrying out projects.


Recommends various ways in which DCA’s economic, artistic and social impacts can be increased. Concludes this will require some increase in core funding, and project funding from a range of sources. Recommends that cumulative employment creation through new business development should continue to be fostered provided that DCA retains its current strengths.

Author Steve Westbrook
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Business infrastructure
    Company specific, Supporting key sectors
  • Enterprise
    Support to existing/growth businesses
  • Sectors