Dundee Science Centre

Dundee Science Centre Set to Benefit as £1M Cultural Fundraising Campaign Launched

Dundee’s leading independent cultural organisations have today launched the £1 million Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund with the generous support of The Northwood Charitable Trust.

The Northwood Charitable Trust, the Thomson family’s private charitable organisation, has donated £500,000 to the campaign as a challenge fund, to match other contributions pound-for-pound.

The fundraising campaign, which will be led by V&A Dundee, will benefit Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee Heritage Trust (operator of Discovery Point and Verdant Works), Dundee Rep and Scottish Dance Theatre, Dundee Science Centre and V&A Dundee. Its aim is to offset some of the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis and kick-start Dundee’s cultural and economic recovery.


Works have commenced on the refurbishment of Dundee Science Centre, which will gradually re-open to the public from November 2020.


Dundee Science Centre will reopen with a light weekend programme from November 2020 onwards. Tickets will be available for purchase from late October. Currently the Centre is reimagining and upgrading the ground-floor facilities and integrating widening access to transform the visitor attraction into an even more accessible community hub. Now in its 20th year, the Centre continues to engage and inspire visitors with Science @ Home Activities kits and its STEM online learning programme.

Isabel Bruce, Interim Chie Executive Officer, Dundee Science Centre, “We are very grateful for this additional funding which will complement our ongoing fundraising drive to safeguard the future of Dundee Science Centre.

“Like all cultural attractions across the city and the country as a whole, our income has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and we are working hard to find solutions which will allow us to gradually welcome visitors back from November.  There is a long journey ahead but this funding is very much a step in the right direction and we are delighted that our contribution to the local economy and Dundee’s cultural offering has been recognised in this way.”


Ava Grace Duncan from Forfar, one of the youngsters who enjoyed the Science Centre’s Home Learning Programme over lockdown.


To date an additional £200,000 has already been received by generous private donors including Tim Allan and Alasdair Locke. The campaign’s focus is on encouraging support from major donors who have previously supported Dundee’s world-class cultural organisations, as well as businesses and cultural philanthropists keen to support the city’s recovery from COVID-19.

Christopher Thomson, Trustee, The Northwood Charitable Trust said, “The Northwood Charitable Trust is committed to making communities better and more supportive places for people to live, work and prosper.

“For us, championing the cultural recovery in Dundee is not only about safeguarding our world-class venues but also, importantly, ensuring that their wider economic impact and learning and community programmes continue to benefit everyone in the city.

“People and organisations throughout Dundee have come together to achieve remarkable things before, not least the creation of V&A Dundee itself. We hope that our contribution to the challenge fund inspires our community to ensure that our vibrant cultural scene remains a beacon for regeneration and prosperity in Dundee and beyond.”

Tim Allan, Chair of V&A Dundee said, “Dundee’s major cultural organisations are the beating heart of the city. Their success is crucial to Dundee’s recovery from COVID-19, with their widespread economic and social benefits felt across all communities in the city.

“I have seen the devastating impact COVID-19 has had on organisations of all sizes in all sectors. Dundee’s sense of common purpose and community is very strong and the need for leadership and investment has never been stronger.

“The Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund will enable generous private individuals and businesses to support the visitor economy in the city, and to invest in the future economic success of Dundee’s cultural sector.”

Alasdair Locke, entrepreneur and Chair of decommissioning firm Well Safe added, “The visitor economy of Dundee is of vital importance to the wellbeing of this great city, which has already seen a transformational regeneration that continues today.

“I am delighted to support this important and bold initiative that demonstrates the energy, drive and common purpose of everyone in the city. Together we can recover swiftly from the immediate economic impacts of COVID-19, and I encourage other donors to step forward to support these crucial cultural organisations.”

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said, “Culture has a huge value for the city of Dundee and its economy and this fund will play an important role in helping the sector in its recovery phase.  The reopening of popular Dundee attractions will help bring people and investment to the city as lockdown eases. I am pleased to see ideas like this fund emerging to help our attractions look forward to the future.”

Anyone interested in more information about the Dundee Cultural Recovery Fund can contact barry.ferguson@vandadundee.org



The Northwood Charitable Trust

The Northwood Charitable Trust provides financial support to help enhance people’s lives through a wide range of charitable organisations. The current annual giving programme is £3M.

The main funding themes are: addressing deprivation, poverty and inequality; advancing educational attainment; progressing physical and mental health and wellbeing; supporting community, heritage and cultural enrichment.

In response to COVID-19, The Northwood Charitable Trust has given some financial support to organisations which are helping some of the most vulnerable groups at this time. This has included those affected by food poverty, children and families suffering extreme hardship, the elderly, care experienced people, homeless people, as well as those affected by substance misuse (or those in recovery), domestic abuse and mental health concerns.

The Northwood Charitable Trust was established in 1972 to benefit charitable organisations. It was originally funded by a Thomson family member who donated his shares in the family business; this business now operates as DC Thomson which is a private company and is one of the leading media organisations in the UK.

Subsequent members of the Thomson family have provided continuity and leadership of the private Trust and the wider family has continued to donate to the charitable fund. The current Trustees, who are family members, remain committed to upholding the values of the founder and the objectives of the Trust.