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Breakthrough for city

4,000-seat arena planned for Dundee waterfront

Proposed waterfront arena (Ian Ritchie Architects)

A 4,000-seat arena is being planned for Dundee’s waterfront in a major commitment to the regeneration of the city.

The development on a prominent site next to Slessor Gardens is being led by Northern Lights Arena Europe in an 18-month exclusivity agreement with Dundee City Council which allows the company to progress initial design concepts, strategic advice and expertise.

The arena is likely to focus on the growing e-sports market and include an e-sports academy for further and higher education as well as leisure, indoor sporting events, retail and live/workspace.

It will be built close to the V&A Dundee and NLAE is already working with Abertay University, Europe’s top ranked institution for video games education, to maximise the educational benefits of the project.

Abertay intends to develop a new range of degree courses related to the global e-sports job market, with students gaining access to bespoke facilities within the arena complex.

Dundee & Angus College, would also be part of the project, ensuring opportunities for involvement are provided for young people across the region.

Cutting edge facilities and technical infrastructure for the arena and academic campus will be designed with Nottingham Trent University’s Creative Technology faculty, Confetti. Technology partners including Amazon Web Services, and low-carbon energy provider Vital Energi will guarantee that Dundee has a state-of-the-art facility for the 21st century. 

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The arena is the first of several multi-million-pound projects that the NLAE team is working on and CEO Chris Turner said: “We have been impressed with the forward-looking approach of Dundee City Council and their ambition to have a world class public space at the heart of Dundee.”

Mark Flynn convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee said: “Agreeing an exclusivity arrangement with NLAE is the best way forward to allow what is an exciting and potentially winning development the time and space needed to undertake feasibility studies and advance outline proposals.

“As a thriving and recognised cradle for games development I can think of no better place for such a complex to be.”

Professor Gregor White, Dean of Abertay University’s School of Design and Informatics said the project has the potential to make a significant contribution to the future development of Scotland’s digital economy.

Simon Hewitt, Principal of Dundee & Angus College said it will create more opportunities to develop new and existing skills to support the growth of Scotland’s digital economy.

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