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V&A and Discovery

Dundee Heritage Trust recruiting as it prepares for Dundee’s Big Year and its own £500,000 facelift

With the city of Dundee topping the world’s New Year travel lists, the operator of two of Dundee’s favourite visitor attractions is recruiting as it gears up for a busy 2018, including a dramatic £500,000 facelift.

Dundee Heritage Trust, which operates RRS Discovery and Verdant Works, is currently looking for an enthusiastic and creative Audience Engagement Officer. This new position is a two-year post funded by Museums Galleries Scotland and the Foyle Foundation. The successful candidate will help develop and deliver a programme of events, activities and resources to attract new audiences to the Trust’s two accredited and 5-star rated museums, Discovery Point and social history and jute museum Verdant Works.

The appointment comes as DHT prepares to play its part in welcoming visitors from across the globe. 2018 is set to be an important and exciting year for Dundee, which features on a set of prestigious New Year travel lists.

The Wall Street Journal recently named Dundee as one of the top 5 locations in the world alongside the likes of Madagascar and Shanghai, The Observer named it a must-see destination for 2018, while leading US business magazine Bloomberg ranking the UNESCO City of Design next to Los Angeles, Singapore and Florence in their roundup of the 22 best places to visit this year.

A recent VisitScotland survey highlighted that 40% of visitors are drawn to Dundee and Angus to visit an attraction, far more than the Scotland national average.

With the neighbouring V&A opening in the second half of 2018, Discovery Point has begun its own £523,000 facelift project, to dramatically enhance the award-winning visitor attraction and capitalise on the anticipated surge in visitors to Dundee’s waterfront.

Generous funding from the Coastal Communities Fund and Dundee City Council has contributed towards significant improvements and several new Antarctic-related exhibits at Discovery Point, which celebrates its 25th Anniversary in the summer of 2018.

The new gallery spaces will feature fresh graphics, audio visual shows, and hands-on digital interactives, as well as displays of objects from the museum’s nationally significant polar collection that are not presently on view. The redevelopment will also create a new multi-purpose learning and activity space.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, said: “Dundee is now firmly on the international map as a cultural and design centre, and we’re proud to be part of that. The innovative High Mill Project at Verdant Works has just secured a prestigious award for its outstanding architecture and RRS Discovery itself is nearing the end of a £350,000 restoration and preservation programme.

Our venues welcome more than 190,000 visitors a year.  As we head into an exciting event and exhibition programme for 2018, the creation of this new position will ensure we exceed expectations and engage with visitors in new and interesting ways.”

The closing date for applications for the DHT post is 19th January 2018.

For job description and application forms please email Val King on admin@dundeeheritage.co.uk

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

As Discovery’s masts go back up, entry price comes down

The historic ship RRS Discovery, now a major visitor attraction in Dundee, is getting ready to show off her newly refurbished look in time for the summer.

And as the ship’s refurbished masts and rigging go back up, the popular visitor attraction is cutting admission prices by 50%.

The ship that carried Captain Robert Falcon Scott and crew to the Antarctic, built in Dundee, has been undergoing vital restoration work since late last year, when rigging and masts were removed and transported to a specialist shipbuilder in Gloucester.

The same company, T. Nielsen, will now spend the next three weeks reassembling the ship in time for summer visitors.

Although the ship itself will be closed for the next few weeks, the award-winning visitor centre at Discovery Quay, Dundee remains open, with admission prices cut by 50% during that time.

Admission includes entry to the RRS Discovery exhibition, which tells the story of the building of the ship in Dundee through to Captain Scott and his crew’s grueling expedition to the Antarctic. The stories are told through hands-on interactive and computer-based displays, an audio-visual show, and artefacts from the ship. Visitors can also do a virtual tour of the ship thanks to an interactive augmented reality exhibit, using Xbox controllers, developed by St. Andrews University.

The visitor centre also includes a café and a gift shop.

RRS Discovery’s repair programme was funded partly by a crowdfunding campaign, which raised more than £40,000 and was fronted by TV presenter Lorraine Kelly. Dundee Heritage Trust, which operates the popular visitor attraction, is still seeking donations towards the overall £350,000 cost of renovating the ship.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“The restoration work to the masts and rigging went very smoothly down in Gloucester and we’re excited, as I’m sure the public is, to see Discovery in all her masted glory again. While the T. Nielsen team works to get her shipshape again, we’re offering great deals for visitors to our exhibition, as well as the chance to do virtual tours of the ship.”

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

Discovery Point hosts ‘Whale’ project celebrating Dundee’s whaling and jute industries

Dundee’s Discovery Point, home to the historic RRS Discovery, is playing host to a fascinating new art project celebrating two industries that form the city’s backbone – whaling and jute.

In Whale, visitors to the historic vessel – now a popular visitor attraction on Dundee’s waterfront – can immerse themselves in the world of whales by wearing headphones roped with Dundee jute. The jute uses a Celtic 16-strand hollow braiding technique.

Oceanic voices of bowhead whales, bearded seals, beluga whales and narwhals speak directly into visitors’ ears as they stand at Dundee’s waterfront overlooking the River Tay. Whale, by artist/scholar Yolande Harris, is part of NEoN Digital Arts pop up programme for Dundee’s Ignite Festival.

The 30-minute Whale ‘sound walk’ is available separate from RRS Discovery’s exhibition and tours, and is free of charge.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, which runs RRS Discovery, said the partnership with NEoN and Yolande Harris was a logical one given the Trust’s involvement in both the whaling and jute industries.

RRS Discovery – whose slogan is ‘Made in Dundee, Designed for Adventure’ – famously carried explorer Robert Falcon Scott and his crew to the Antarctic. It was built in Dundee because of the city’s experience in making hardy whaling ships. The Trust also operates textile and social history museum Verdant Works, on the site of a former jute factory.

Jennings said:

“Dundee Heritage Trust was set up to preserve and portray Dundee’s heritage through both RRS Discovery, famously made by builders of whaling ships, and the jute and social history museum Verdant Works. So it made sense to host Whale, which straddles both of these worlds. We know that visitors to Discovery Point will be as fascinated by Whale as we are.”

Donna Holford-Lovell, director of NEoN (North East of North), said:

“We are delighted that, through Yolande Harris’ exhibition and Ignite, we can add an extra dimension to visits to Discovery Point. Whale highlights Dundee’s past as well as the changing face of the city, and in particular its waterfront.”

Whale takes place from May 20th to May 28th 2017. Headphones can be picked up at RRS Discovery’s reception area.

More information on Whale is available at http://www.northeastofnorth.com/2455-2/whale/

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

Historic RRS Discovery receives another £55,000 in funding towards rigging project

The historic RRS Discovery in Dundee has just secured an additional £55,000 in preservation funds towards essential repairs of the ship’s rigging and masts.

The historic vessel, which took Captain Scott on his famed exploration trip to the Antarctic in 1901, has been awarded £50,000 by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust (UKAHT), set up to preserve and promote British Antarctic heritage. An additional grant of £5,000 comes from the South Ayrshire Waste and Environment Trust via the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund.

The ship, now a leading visitor attraction docked at Discovery Point in Dundee, entered a vital period of restoration last November when its masts and rigging were removed in an intricate three-week operation. Now the equipment is with specialist shipbuilding company T. Nielsen & Company in Gloucester, which is working to repair the masts by this summer.

RRS Discovery, an award-winning five-star tourist attraction which also holds private events, received a huge boost to the £350,000 cost of the rigging project when it raised more than £40,000 through a public crowdfunding campaign.

Talking of the most recent funding, Brian Kelly, Development Officer with Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“This is an extremely generous and most welcome contribution towards the substantial work we are undertaking on the ship. The conservation project, which has involved the removal of Discovery’s masts and rigging for specialist care offsite, is the most extensive to be carried out for many years.”

Camilla Nichol, Chief Executive of UKAHT said: “We are delighted to be able to contribute to this vital project to conserve and protect this incredibly important piece of British Antarctic heritage. Securing the future of the RRS Discovery in this way not only ensures it will be enjoyed by future generations, but also helps preserve a historic trade which might otherwise be lost.”

Dundee Heritage Trust, formed in 1985 to preserve and interpret Dundee’s industrial past, operates RRS Discovery and social history museum Verdant Works, both five-star rated attractions and winners of numerous awards.

For more information and to donate to RRS Discovery’s preservation work, visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

We did it! It’s all supporters on deck as historic RRS Discovery surpasses its crowdfunding goal

Backers of a campaign to help conserve the historic ship RRS Discovery gathered in Dundee on Wednesday to celebrate surpassing their £40,000 fundraising goal.

And as the pledges kept rolling in right up until the Wednesday lunchtime deadline, surpassing the goal by almost £2000, it was all supporters on deck – and on the quayside at Discovery Point where the famous Antarctic exploration ship is docked.

The five-week crowdfunding campaign, which hit its target a day early, spread worldwide and gained the backing of everyone from schoolchildren to global businesses, a newborn baby to a television celebrity. Despite a nailbiting last few days, in the end more than 250 backers came together to pledge money.

Dundee Heritage Trust launched the campaign to raise £40,000 five weeks ago on crowdfunder.co.uk to pay for vital restoration and preservation work to the masts and rigging of RRS Discovery, which famously took Captain Robert Falcon Scott and crew to the Antarctic for a voyage of scientific exploration.

In a bold move, the Trust made a call out to the public to contribute towards a nine-month cleaning and repair project to the rigging and masts which will cost £350,000 in total. During a painstaking three-week process in which passers-by witnessed the ship gradually being deconstructed, the masts and rigging were removed and have been sent to a specialist shipbuilders in Gloucester for repair.

Dundee Heritage Trust received pledges big and small, from individuals, businesses and heritage groups both locally and worldwide. Backing came from everyone from a newborn baby and pupils at a Dundee primary school, to TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, a patron of Dundee Heritage Trust.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, acknowledged that putting Discovery’s fate in the hands of the public was risky. But he said he was always sure of the support of the iconic ship, which returned to Dundee – the city where it was built – in 1986.

Paul Jennings said:

“On behalf of Dundee Heritage Trust I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who pledged money, both in Dundee and further afield. The support we’ve had has been amazing and the fact that we hit it early and that pledges are still coming in is fantastic. Not only does it enable us to carry out this important restoration work on the ship, but it proves how dear RRS Discovery is to people, particularly in her home city.”
Andy Lothian, chairman of Dundee Heritage Trust and chief executive of Insights, headquartered in Dundee, said:

“This rigging project is crucial to the ongoing conservation and preservation of this incredible ship and simply couldn’t be borne out of existing budgets. We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has supported it – and helped us smash our target. I feel strongly that RRS Discovery is one of our national treasures, and the impressive amount of backing this campaign has received clearly demonstrates that many others share my view.”

For Lorraine Kelly, who fronted the crowdfunding campaign five weeks ago with a video appeal, reaching the goal was a double celebration. The TV presenter celebrated her birthday on Wednesday. She said:

“It’s been so gratifying to see people get behind this campaign to help preserve one of the country’s, and in particular Dundee’s, most important visitor attractions. It was a pleasure to front this crowdfunding effort and to see the public and businesses really step up to help. A huge thanks to everyone involved.”

Although the crowdfunding campaign has now closed, Dundee Heritage Trust still welcomes contributions towards the overall cost of the £350,000 rigging project. Anyone wishing to support it should contact Brian Kelly, development officer for Dundee Heritage Trust, or Paul Jennings, executive director for Dundee Heritage Trust. Email Brian on dhtdevelopment@dundeeheritage.co.uk or Paul on paul.jennings@dundeeheritage.co.uk or call 01382 309060.

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

More than 200 back the historic RRS Discovery as it reaches its £40,000 crowdfunding goal a day early

In a campaign that has spread worldwide and gained the backing of everyone from schoolchildren to global businesses, a newborn baby to a television celebrity, the historic RRS Discovery ship today (29th November) reached its crowdfunding goal.

More than 200 backers came together to reach the ship’s goal of £40,000 a day early. And after a nailbiting last few days the rush of support continues, with owners Dundee Heritage Trust reporting that pledges are still coming in. Supporters are set to gather on Wednesday afternoon at Discovery Point in Dundee to celebrate at the ship, which is open again to visitors after a few weeks of closure.

Dundee Heritage Trust, which operates the iconic Antarctic exploration ship – now an award-winning visitor attraction in Dundee – received pledges big and small, from individuals, businesses and heritage groups both locally and worldwide. Backing came from everyone from a newborn baby and pupils at a Dundee primary school, to TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, a patron of Dundee Heritage Trust.

Dundee Heritage Trust launched the campaign to raise £40,000 five weeks ago on crowdfunder.co.uk to pay for vital restoration and preservation work to the masts and rigging of RRS Discovery, which famously took Captain Robert Falcon Scott and crew to the Antarctic for a voyage of scientific exploration.

In a bold move, the Trust made a call out to the public to contribute towards a nine-month cleaning and repair project to the rigging and masts which will cost £350,000 in total. During a painstaking three-week process in which passers-by witnessed the ship gradually being deconstructed, the masts and rigging were removed and have been sent to a specialist shipbuilders in Gloucester for repair.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, acknowledged that putting Discovery’s fate in the hands of the public was risky. But he said he was always sure of the support of the iconic ship, which returned to Dundee – the city where it was built – in 1986.

Paul Jennings said:

“On behalf of Dundee Heritage Trust I would like to extend my sincere thanks to everyone who pledged money, both in Dundee and further afield. The support we’ve had has been amazing and the fact that we hit it early and that pledges are still coming in is fantastic. Not only does it enable us to carry out this important restoration work on the ship, but it proves how dear RRS Discovery is to people, particularly in her home city.”

Lorraine Kelly, who fronted the crowdfunding campaign five weeks ago with a video appeal, said:

“It’s been so gratifying to see people get behind this campaign to help preserve one of the country’s, and in particular Dundee’s, most important visitor attractions. It was a pleasure to front this crowdfunding effort and to see the public and businesses really step up to help. A huge thanks to everyone involved.”

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

RRS Discovery to light up Dundee city centre this weekend

The historic RRS Discovery will be lighting up Dundee’s Caird Hall this weekend as part of Light Nights, thanks to a pupil from Rosebank Primary School.

Primary 7 pupil Jessica Chen will see her 3D model of the Antarctic exploration ship projected onto the city’s Caird Hall as part of the event this Friday and Saturday.

Light Nights marks the finale of the nationwide Festival of Architecture and the start of Dundee’s Christmas celebrations. Designs from the BBC project ‘Build it’ will be projected onto the back of the Caird Hall with crowds gathering in Slessor Gardens to enjoy the show from 7.40pm.

School pupils between the ages of 7 and 14 were asked to create some of the nation’s most popular landmark buildings using 3D design software such as Minecraft, TinkerCad and Sketchup. Jessica chose as her subject the iconic ship, now one of the city’s major tourist attractions.

While Jessica’s impressive 3D model show the RRS Discovery in all her glory, the historic ship is currently looking somewhat different as it undergoes a nine-month restoration project. The ship’s ropes, masts, spars and bowsprit – some pieces more than 90 years old – have been transported to a shipyard in Gloucester to undergo cleaning and repair works to help preserve her for future generations.

A crowdfunding campaign launched to raise money towards the restoration costs has less than two weeks to go and £15,000 left to raise. The £40,000 campaign has been backed by everyone from primary school children and a newborn baby, to businesses and individuals here and abroad, to TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, a patron of RRS Discovery’s operator Dundee Heritage Trust.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, which operates RRS Discovery, said:

“We can’t wait to see the RRS Discovery up in lights this weekend by way of Jessica’s wonderful 3D model. Jessica has captured the historic ship in great detail with her design. It’s timely, since the restoration work the ship is currently undergoing is to preserve her for generations to come, and since Discovery will reopen to the public on Monday.”

Rosebank Primary School, Dundee Heritage Trust’s school-in-residence, works closely with the charity on projects related to RRS Discovery and Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s Antarctic voyage. Pupils from the school raised funds towards the crowdfunding campaign with a bake sale which raised £30.

The public can make donations here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rrs-discovery-conservation-project-2016-17?tk=a0e313b9371e91223be21265ebf508d59957318b

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

RRS Discovery sets out on a different kind of voyage as masts come down and conversation campaign ramps up

RRS Discovery, Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s famous Antarctic expedition ship, is this month on a different kind of voyage – one of historical conservation.

Passers-by are witnessing a ‘de-masting’ of the historic ship, which is docked at Discovery Point in Dundee, as it enters an essential nine-month repair programme on its masts and rigging. Meantime, operator Dundee Heritage Trust has just three weeks to raise 40,000 to help pay for the rigging repair work.

Dundee Heritage Trust, which owns the major visitor attraction at Discovery Quay in Dundee, has already reached more than 50% of a £40,000 crowdfunding target launched last week. Donations have been coming in from individuals and businesses, including TV presenter Lorraine Kelly and a substantial pledge from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Not only is the preservation work vital, it is a once-in-a-generation event, said DHT officials today.

The rigging and masts are being repaired as a result of a survey carried out in 2012 which showed deterioration to the masts and rigging. The rigging project is just one step in an ongoing programme of conservation and maintenance for the historic vessel.

The highly detailed rigging work will cost £350,000 in total and will take nine months to complete. Dundee Heritage Trust has appointed maritime consultant John Watson for the rigging project. John was instrumental in getting RRS Discovery back to Dundee in 1986 and is a former chief executive of Dundee Port Authority. The repair work is being carried out by T. Neilsen & Company, a world specialist in the restoration and conservation of historic ships, based in Gloucester.

The award-winning visitor centre remains open while the rigging work is taking place and is offering a 50% discount to visitors until November 21st, when the on-site rigging work is expected to be completed.

The centre’s latest exhibit, an interactive augmented reality installation developed by St. Andrews University, guides visitors through the ship’s masts and rigging using Xbox controllers.

Paul Jennings, executive director of Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“This is not only a historic vessel we have in RRS Discovery, but history in the making while the rigging work takes place. It’s not often that people see such an iconic vessel undergoing such a large-scale conservation project, with her rigging and masts down, but that’s what she’ll look like in a matter of days.”

Jill Sim, a learning support teacher at Rosebank Primary school in Dundee, a volunteer guide at Dundee Heritage Trust, and author of a children’s book about the ship, explained why she backed the crowdfunding campaign.

“I grew up in a boat-loving family and so it made sense for me to volunteer at RRS Discovery. I think our children are the ones who will benefit from this fabulous resource in the future. That’s why staff and pupils at Rosebank Primary supported it recently with proceeds from a bake sale and it’s why I would urge others to come forward and pledge.”

Mark Munsie, operations director with Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“As a small independent charity this project is a major cost for Dundee Heritage Trust, and cannot be covered by our existing maintenance budgets. That’s why we’re running this crowdfunding campaign, which we hope will help secure RRS Discovery for future generations.”

Maritime consultant John Watson said:

“I’ve been involved with RRS Discovery since she returned to her home port of Dundee in 1986. This is a fascinating project to be part of. She was one of the last wooden three-masted sailing ships to be built in Britain and she’s the only example of that type to survive.”

The public can make donations here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rrs-discovery-conservation-project-2016-17?tk=a0e313b9371e91223be21265ebf508d59957318b

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

As Discovery’s masts come down, so does the price – by half

Restoration work begins on Tuesday on RRS Discovery, Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s famous expedition ship. And as the masts and rigging come down for repair this month, so do admission prices for visitors to Discovery Point.

Although the ship itself will be closed for the next three weeks, the award-winning visitor centre at Discovery Quay, Dundee remains open, with admission prices cut by 50% during that time. Admission includes entry to the RRS Discovery exhibition, which tells the story of the building of the ship in Dundee through to Captain Scott and his crew’s gruelling expedition to the Antarctic. The stories are told through hands-on interactive and computer-based displays, an audio-visual show and artefacts from the ship.

The visitor centre also includes a café, currently showing an award-winning photography exhibition, and a gift shop.

RRS Discovery’s repair programme is expected to last nine months. A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to raise £40,000 towards the cost of the work, which will total £350,000. TV presenter Lorraine Kelly is fronting the campaign, at www.crowdfunder.co.uk.

Donors to the crowdfunding campaign, which runs throughout November, will receive a range of rewards, depending on the size of their donation.

Paul Jennings, executive director for Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“As a five-star attraction, Discovery Point is one of Dundee’s key places to visit and hugely popular with both locals and tourists. That’s why we will continue to keep our doors open at Discovery Point while the rigging work is underway. Visitors will not only enjoy 50% off admission to the exhibition, they will see history in the making. The last time the Discovery’s masts came down was when she came into dock in Dundee in 1992.”

Dundee Heritage Trust, formed in 1985 to preserve and interpret Dundee’s industrial past, operates RRS Discovery and social history museum Verdant Works, both five-star rated attractions and winners of numerous awards.

The public can make donations here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rrs-discovery-conservation-project-2016-17?tk=a0e313b9371e91223be21265ebf508d59957318b

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com

RRS Discovery enters vital restoration phase, launches crowdfunding appeal

 

TV presenter Lorraine Kelly is fronting a crowdfunding campaign which will back RRS Discovery, Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s famous expedition ship, in a vital restoration phase.

The ship, which is docked at Discovery Point in Dundee, is about to enter a nine-month repair programme which will see its masts come down and its rigging cleaned and repaired. Dundee Heritage Trust, which owns the ship – now a major visitor attraction for the city – wants to raise £40,000 towards the highly detailed work, which will cost £350,000 in total.

A crowdfunding campaign launched this week features Lorraine Kelly, a patron of Dundee Heritage Trust, long-time supporter of RRS Discovery and resident of Dundee. “The Discovery was built to last a relative few years in one of the harshest environments on the planet. That’s why ongoing maintenance and restoration are essential, to keep her looking outstanding and also to maintain her position as one of Dundee’s favourite visitor attractions – she’s certainly one of mine! Dundonians quite rightly feel a kind of ownership of her,” says Lorraine in a video that accompanies the campaign.

Dundee Heritage Trust has appointed maritime consultant John Watson for the rigging project. John was instrumental in getting RRS Discovery back to Dundee in 1986 and is a former chief executive for Dundee Port Authority. The work will be carried out by T. Neilsen & Company, a world specialist in repairing, restoring and building traditional ships, based in Gloucester.

RRS Discovery will be closed for three weeks in November while the masts come down, during which time Discovery Point will remain open for business with entry at a discounted rate.

Donors to the crowdfunding campaign, which runs throughout November, will receive a range of rewards, depending on the size of their donation.

Paul Jennings, executive director for Dundee Heritage Trust, said:

“We’re proud of the fact that RRS Discovery and Discovery Point are one of Dundee’s most popular visitor attractions. However, regular and detailed upkeep of this historic vessel is vital and as a charitable trust we rely on the generosity of the public. That’s why we’re asking for donations, however big or small, towards the rigging project. It’s only through proper maintenance and restoration that we can ensure she will be here for Dundonians and their families to enjoy for many more years to come.”

Dundee Heritage Trust, formed in 1985 to preserve and interpret Dundee’s industrial past, operates RRS Discovery and social history museum Verdant Works, both five-star rated attractions and winners of numerous awards.

The public can make donations here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/rrs-discovery-conservation-project-2016-17?tk=a0e313b9371e91223be21265ebf508d59957318b

For more information visit www.rrsdiscovery.com