Dundee Heritage Trust is delighted to announce that on the back of the return to profitability afforded by the uplift in visitor numbers caused largely by the opening of V&A, Dundee Heritage Trust trustees have unanimously approved implementation of the Real Living Wage across the company effective from this October.
This has been a long-held ambition of both the Dundee Heritage Trust board and of Dundee City Council, as it strives to become a ‘Living Wage City’. Dundee Heritage Trust board and executive management team felt it was the right time to engage and support this extremely ambitious campaign.
The full year impact of implementing living wage will be a tough operating challenge going forwards for Dundee Heritage Trust, but the company believes it is the right thing to do.
Last trading year over 104,000 paying visitors visited their two award-winning venues, Discovery Point and Verdant Works. Recently both attractions retained their 5-star VisitScotland status and they are consistently voted #1 and #2 things to do in Dundee.
Dundee City Council Leader, Councillor John Alexander, said: “I’m delighted that the Dundee Heritage Trust is making this commitment and paying the real Living Wage. Dundee is currently enjoying a boom time for tourism. V&A Dundee has now been open a year and has helped boost the city’s international reputation as a centre for creativity and culture.
“This reputation has led to increased visitor numbers and local people are experiencing real tangible benefits as more employers are paying the real Living Wage. Dundee Heritage Trust’s commitment to paying the Living Wage shows the effect of tourism in the City and the benefits on the local economy.
“The significance of the Living Wage cannot be overstated. It makes employees feel valued, increases morale and leads to increased productivity. We remain committed to making Dundee the first Living Wage city in the UK and it’s great to welcome another organisation on board paying a fair wage. I am aware that there is still more to do, and we will continue to work with and encourage more businesses across the city to pay the Living Wage.”
Deirdre Robertson, Chief Executive Officer for Dundee Heritage Trust added:
“There has been a substantial increase in visitors to both Discovery Point and Verdant Works over the last 18 months, following the partial closure / refurbishment of Discovery Point and re-rigging works to RRS Discovery, with numbers peaking in the months following the opening of V&A Dundee in September 2018. The increase has not only been via paying visitors to our museums, but also an increase in footfall to our free exhibitions, gift shops and restaurants.
“This increase in visitor numbers is largely due to the V&A effect and we would like to thank our neighbours for putting Dundee firmly on the international map. The uplift has taken DHT from an underlying loss-making position to our first trading profit in several years. As an organisation that is 96% funded from our own operations and fundraising activities, we are knowingly taking on real operational challenges implementing the significant cost of real living wage; however, we feel it’s the right thing to do for our loyal staff. We are proud to be able to contribute to the efforts by DCC and other organisations to make Dundee a Living Wage City.”