Green light for £3m investment in next phase of Dundee dockside development

An illustration of the proposed development at Dundee docks

CHROMA Developments will invest up to £3m over the next two years in creating a new events hub on Dundee’s waterfront, which will also be home to the visual effects technology lab announced by Abertay University last week.  

A meeting of Dundee City Council’s planning committee last night (Monday 19 June) approved Chroma Developments’ proposals to transform vacant space at the south end of its Water’s Edge building on Camperdown Street, establishing a studio and flexible events space for private and corporate use.   

The Water’s Edge site is Chroma Developments’ first major development, revitalising one of the oldest buildings in the former Dundee docks area – the historic ‘Shed 25’ – to create 17,500 square feet of grade-A office space. It is home to games companies 4J Studios, Stormcloud Games, Puny Astronaut, and Hutch, as well as Ace Aquatec, Broker Insights, Saturn Fluid Engineering, Hutcheon Mearns, Pure Energy and a flexible co-working space, Flux.  

Last week the UK government published its Creative Industries Sector Vision, which aims to maximise the potential of the UK’s creative industries to generate an extra £50 billion for the economy and support a million more jobs by 2030.  

That vision included plans for a consortium led by Abertay University to host one of four new labs specialising in the future of virtual production, a new cinematography technique using computer-generated imagery (CGI), augmented reality and motion capture to create virtual sets for the film, TV and performing arts industries. The research and development lab, which will be located at Water’s Edge, is set to combine expertise from Abertay University, the University of Edinburgh4J Studios, tech incubator CodeBase, and Interface, the organisation connecting businesses with academia. 

Stewart Clark, managing director of Chroma Developments, said: “We’ve been keen for some time to kick-start the next phase of development at Water’s Edge, so the planning decision, coupled with the announcement of plans for the R&D lab to be based here, means we can now make that investment in creating these new facilities over the next couple of years. It’s really exciting to see Water’s Edge continue to take shape against the backdrop of the wider regeneration of Dundee’s waterfront.” 

Professor Ric Russell OBE, of architects Nicoll Russell Studios, said: “We are all delighted to have been granted full planning permission for the project. The initial Water’s Edge development by Chroma Developments has proven to be extremely successful, transforming a derelict dockside transit shed into a contemporary, vibrant, high-quality workspace which has appealed to the media and digital sectors. 

“Water’s Edge has been a key component in realising the bigger picture of Dundee’s Maritime Quarter vision. This next phase will bring even further life into the area by creating a uniquely sited multipurpose facility which can provide for a range of activities and events, many of which will have significant synergy with Dundee’s digital creative industries. The virtual production facility will be the first in this part of the country.” 

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