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Dundee Botanic Garden

The University of Dundee Botanic Garden has been in operation for over 50 years. In 2022 Xcentuate was invited to tender for a project to determine how to move the Garden from being a cost centre of the University’s Estates Department to a more resilient and self-sustaining operating model.

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Action plan development

Dundee Botanic Garden in numbers:

1970

24000

£3.77

Dundee Botanic
Garden opens

visitors annually in recent history of the Garden

million recommended
development budget

Scope of work

Experience Flow

Our team conducted its work over several months. This included reviews of the visitor flow through the whole Garden from arrival, a review of the built environment, the interplay between different spaces and orientation towards the Gardens themselves, the commercial offer and how the Garden promotes itself to visitors and potential visitors.

Stakeholder consultations

We conducted a series of stakeholder consultation meetings with the varied stakeholder base. The output of these meetings shaped our final approach.

Action plan

The output of our engagement was a detailed action-plan: a phased approach with an assigned capital budget that the team felt would deliver transformational change and put the future destiny of the Garden into its own hands.

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Recommendations

Our recommendations included changes to the arrival building to orientate the visitor to the Garden immediately, changes within connected buildings to allow visitors to move between them and the Garden with ease, creation of a new space for public engagement work, an overhaul of admission pricing / memberships, retail, café operation and changes to branding, positioning and promotion.

With a suggestion that the project be delivered over several phases to maximise the potential of capital budget and return on investment, future phases included development of new spaces to accommodate larger academic and commercial events, opening up access points around the Garden’s perimeter and creating a coach drop off area to support growth in travel trade visitors.

Following submission of our work the University has adopted our findings and is currently in the process of implementing them. While outwith the scope of our work we have also liaised with a major local funder who is mindful of making a major contribution to phase one of the capital project.

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