All of Scotland can learn from Dundee daring to dream big
You would have needed to have been living on Mars not to have noticed or heard about the opening of a new Scottish sensation this weekend.
Yes, the V&A finally welcomed the public through its doors; first to those lucky enough to have won tickets in a ballot before full access begins tomorrow.
It has been quite an occasion for the city of Dundee itself. This, remember, is a town that for many years tried desperately to shed its image of a down-trodden post-industrial community with little going for it.
Those who live and work in Dundee know the city really isn’t like that. Indeed, it has been their conviction and pride that has driven the campaign to site Kengo Kuma’s angular masterpiece on the banks of the Tay.
If you’d asked anyone 20 years ago that Dundee could raze its waterfront, with its council HQ, a major swimming pool, a hotel, and a railway station, then replace it with what now exists most folk would have thought you’d been at the drink.
Therefore, the V&A shouldn’t just be seen as an advantage for Dundee, it is important for the whole of Scotland.
For a start, it adds huge value to the country’s tourism package.
We have Edinburgh and Glasgow with all they offer, the Highlands with their visual splendour, the north-east’s whisky trails, and, further afield, the newly-created North Coast 500.
And now we have the V&A, another stunning reason for people to stay – and maybe stay longer – in Scotland.
But this creation also shows what can be achieved by simply asking the question ‘what if?’
That is the question council bosses and residents in communities the length and breadth of Scotland should be asking themselves today.
Dundee has shown us all the way.