The new development centred on a multi-purpose digital arena would be built on the waterfront near V&A Dundee adjacent to the Tay Road Bridge. The arena would have about 4,000 seats, an esports academy for further and higher education and also be equipped for conventional leisure, indoor sporting events, retail and living or workspace.
The council’s 18-month agreement with Northern Lights Arena Europe Limited (NLAE) will allow the company to progress initial design concepts and draw on strategic advice and expertise. Mark Flynn, convener of Dundee City Council’s city development committee, said: “Agreeing an exclusivity arrangement with NLAE is the best way forward to allow what is an exciting and potentially winning development the time and space needed to undertake feasibility studies and advance outline proposals. As a thriving and recognised cradle for games development I can think of no better place for such a complex to be.”
NLAE is already working with Abertay University to maximise the educational benefits of this project. As part of the project, Abertay intends to develop a new range of degree courses related to the global esports job market, with students gaining access to facilities within the arena complex. Abertay’s local college partner, Dundee & Angus College, would also be part of the project.
Facilities and technical infrastructure for the arena and academic campus will be designed with Nottingham Trent University’s Creative Technology faculty, Confetti.
NLAE CEO Chris Turner said: “We are delighted to be able to announce Dundee as the first of several multi-million-pound projects that the NLAE team is working on. We have been impressed with the forward-looking approach of Dundee City Council and their ambition to have a world-class public space at the heart of Dundee. NLAE is working with global technology partners, including Amazon Web Services, to provide unparalleled facilities and experiences. NLAE is working with Vital Energi to develop and deliver a low-carbon energy solution for all NLAE projects and other local customers in Dundee City Centre.”