Camperdown House : Priority or Not?

Richard McCready


14 January 2015

At Monday's Policy and Resources Committee (pages 34-66) we were presented with a report on Dundee being named as a UNESCO City of Design and also on the city's Cultural Strategy. 

I asked a question about whether we can expect to see concrete action at Camperdown House and I was told that it was a low priority. 

I have been seeking actionto give Camperdown House a long-term sustainable use for a number of years now.

 I was disappointed to be told that plans to refurbish and find a long-term use for Camperdown House were a low priority in the city's cultural strategy. 

I think that time after time Camperdown House misses out, which is a real shame. 

I think that the people of Dundee would like to see a long-term sustainable use found for Camperdown House.

I have seen a number of reports over the seven years that I have been a councillor which have given the impression that something was going to happen at Camperdown House, so far these have resulted in money being spent on the roof but little else. 

I know that it would take significant investment to get the House back into public use and that this might be difficult to find in these difficult financial times but if we don't try then nothing will happen.

I think that the council should listen to the people of Dundee about what they think should happen to Camperdown House. 

I think that there could be a commercial use for parts of the House, perhaps as a hotel or restaurant but I also think that there must be public access to part of the house. 

That access should reflect the history of the house, the history of the Battle of Camperdown and Admiral Duncan, the history of the actual house and estate built up by Admiral Duncan's family, the social history of running a country house which covers the aristocrats who lived there but which also, importantly, covers the history of the workers who make the house work.

Dundee has recently been made a UNESCO City of Design and I think that Camperdown House present an interesting design challenge. 

Can we come up with a plan which is economically viable but which also allows public access to Camperdown House?

I am seeking a meeting with council officers, in the first instance, to see where we go from here. 

It is not acceptable to say that we have ongoing plans for Camperdown House and also to say that they are of a low priority. 

The people of Dundee who pay their council tax which the council spends on keeping Camperdown House closed want, I think, to see action and some return for their investment.