The Cii Goes North

When you drive into Dundee across the Tay Bridge, you’re met with an impressive view. You can see the polished waterfront, boasting attractions such as the V&A and Discovery Point. The city stretches up and out behind that point, climbing sharply up and culminating in The Law, Dundee’s highest peak. Walking along the waterfront, which has been heavily invested in over the past ten or so years, you get the impression of Dundee as a wealthy, modern city, a creative hub for Scotland.


But walk even ten minutes inland and you’re greeted by a different picture. From the old tenements and boarded-up shops of the Hilltown to the council estates and run-down developments of City Road, Dundee is a city with a long, visible history of poverty. In recent years, even the city centre has seen its fair share of destitution as shops close and events become less and less frequent.


Those who call the city home know it for what it is, a place where people make the most of what they have. A place that holds both widespread deprivation and a wealth of creativity. People in Dundee have a particular knack for doing great things with few resources, for filling dark alleyways and ramshackle buildings with colour and creativity and for breathing new life into long abandoned places time and time again.


Dundee shares many similarities with local communities in South Wales. Both were heavily industrialised during the industrial revolution and both lost their primary industries in a quick and brutal fashion. As a result, both areas still experience higher levels of deprivation and a lower average income than the national average. Dundee ranks 5th most deprived out of 32 Scottish local authorities according to the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).


Dundee, like much the rest of the UK, also has an issue with empty homes. There are approximately 43,766 empty homes in Scotland. 1,017 of these homes are in Dundee, of which 469 (46%) have been empty for 12 months or longer. Having presented these issues, along with the great work we do down in South Wales, to the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, we have secured Kickstarter funding to deliver a two-year development project which will lay the groundwork for a major, multi-year community regeneration project in Dundee.
We know from experience that setting up a project like this is a sizable task and we want to make sure that we fully embed ourselves in the community. We’re grateful to the SEHP for affording us the time and resources to not only develop this project but to do it right. 


As the coordinator for this project, much of my first year will be taken up with talking to people. We want to talk to everyone, not only the people in communities who most need our support but also the people who are already on the ground, supporting those communities. This will allow us to understand the unique barriers facing people in Dundee, which we know will be different, though I’m sure will echo, the experience of those we support in South Wales.


In our second year, we’ll shift gears as we begin to put in place the operational and structural elements needed to deliver a major, multi-year project. This will include creating a detailed plan and timeline, hiring project staff and identifying and purchasing our first project property. By the end of our second year, aka the start of 2026, we will be ready to break ground on our first Dundee community regeneration project.


Our two-year development period officially starts on the 7th of May. I’m looking forward to bringing our community regeneration model, which I have seen time and time again radically improve the circumstances of people down in Wales, to such a unique and vibrant city.
Thank you again to the team at SEHP for funding this exciting project. If you have any questions or would like to discuss the project in more detail please call 07506 728338 or email