The Trust

Dundee Heritage Trust sprang from a small dedicated band of local people concerned that unless action was taken, important aspects of the city’s history would be lost forever. Trustees are drawn from a diverse range of community and business interests in Dundee and Tayside.

As well as the internationally significant Royal Research Ship Discovery, Dundee Heritage Trust has responsibility for Discovery Point, home of RRS Discovery and Verdant Works, one of the nation’s most important textile museums. Both sites are Accredited museums, 5 star rated attractions with VisitScotland and have won numerous awards.

The purpose of Dundee Heritage Trust is ‘The guardianship, preservation, and portrayal of Dundee’s Heritage in ways that educate, inspire and enlighten current and future generations.’

The organisation’s distinctive excellence is ‘The successful co-existence of a public service ethos with a private sector culture, which delivers a range of outstanding quality experiences.’

What we do


  • We are the only independent charity in Scotland operating two five-star rated visitor attractions
  • In the last year over 230,000 people visited the Trust’s venues – Discovery Point and Verdant Works
  • We are responsible for the conservation of RRS Discovery, one of the world’s most important ships.
  • We have two Recognised Collections of National Significance, relating to RRS Discovery and polar exploration and the Dundee textile industry in our care.
  • We offer high-quality learning activities to over 8,000 school children and 1,500 members of the local community every year and communicate research on the collections through the exhibition and learning programmes, events, workshops, the on-line database and talks to groups and societies.
  • We run a diverse programme of temporary exhibitions at both museums and constantly strive to develop and improve the galleries and interpretation within the museums to provide a stimulating and quality experience for our visitors
  • We work in partnership with the museums and tourism community across Scotland
  • We provide employment for a staff of 59, volunteering opportunities for more than 30 people and generate an estimated £3.5 million in annual economic benefit to the local area
  • We receive an annual grant of £26,000 from Dundee City Council and generate the remaining 98% of our running costs through commercial activity such as ticket sales, conference and functions, catering and retailing and fundraising initiatives including events, corporate and charitable trust support.
  • We are governed by Boards of Trustees and Directors, who bring their wide experience and skills to ensure the museums are well managed.

Our Sustainability Strategy 2023-24

At Dundee Heritage Trust, we are committed to protecting and sharing our local and global heritage for current and future generations.  

To do this, we know it is vital to protect our planet. 

  • In 2018, we were proud to receive our first Green Tourism award at Discovery Point, where we have now consistently achieved Silver for over half a decade.
  • In 2023, we want to go further than ever to put sustainability at the heart of what we do, and in the last six months, we have worked hard to create this – our first-ever Sustainability Strategy – to help guide us on the journey.
  • We have listened to people across our organisation to develop a real understanding of our where we are now, the challenges we are facing, and the solutions and actions we can take to do better now and in the future.
  • We have built in an essential knowledge of the needs of our planet and what science and policy are telling us we need to do now to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and the dismantling of the world’s ecosystems.
  • And we have done this this with an acute awareness of the risks and challenges to our heritage as a changing climate, growing energy and resource insecurity, and a crisis in the cost of living all continue to threaten our museums and communities. 

We are proud to be sharing our progress on this journey for the first time in 2023 and hope that you will follow and support us in doing so. 


Our Priorities 2023-24 

  1. The science is clear: climate change is the most urgent risk to our planet this decade.  

We will urgently and continuously strive to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in the coming months and years. By April 2024, we will set our first quantified emissions reduction target for our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. 

  1. We know people and the planet both benefit from the responsible use of natural resources. 

We will endeavour to embed this knowledge through new approaches to procurement, use, and waste at our museums in 2023, including for exhibitions, conferences, and events. 

  1. We will ensure our decision-making is rooted in evidence.  

We will measure, monitor, and record our impact across all areas of a detailed action plan across seven themes of Energy, Water, Waste, Food & Drink, Transport, Nature, and People, and will use this to set quantified SMART targets as we develop our plans for 2024-25. 

  1. We will be transparent about our progress and accountable for our promises.  

A Sustainability Working Group will lead on the execution of our strategy, which will be publicly available online, and we will regularly report on progress to internal and external stakeholders, including in the Annual Report of the Trustees. 

  1. We will always put people at the heart of our efforts.

As we embark on the next stage of our journey to become a sustainable charity for the twenty-first century, we will listen to all our stakeholders, engage our people in the challenges and their solutions, and empower everyone to act to protect our planet and its heritage for current and future generations. 


We are grateful to all of the staff, supporters, and wonderful educators who have helped to inform and shape this strategy and our action plan for 2023-24. 

For more information or if you’d just like to chat about what we are doing, please feel free to get in touch at

Or, to learn more about how you can help the planet as a visitor to our museums, check out our Responsible Visitor Charter for Discovery Point and Verdant Works



Fair Work


Dundee Heritage Trust is committed to Fair Work. We’re pleased that Museum Galleries Scotland, the strategic body for museums in Scotland, has as a priority in its new strategy.

The relevant outcome illustrates why we are committed to Fair Work:

Scotland’s museums and galleries are attractive employers who offer positive working life experiences. They are places where Fair Work drives success, well-being, and prosperity for individuals, organisations, and society.

Dundee Heritage Trust is an accredited Real Living Wage employer, supporting fair work and development opportunities for over 100 dedicated staff and volunteers and encouraging organisations in our supply chains to make their own Real Living Wage commitments and provide social value through local training and apprenticeships.

In 2023, we went even further in our commitment during a difficult year for all our employees due to the rising cost of living – increasing the wages of staff under a certain salary level by £1 per hour and doing so six months earlier than the scheduled Real Living Wage increase in April 2023.

We are committed to establishing a staff forum in 2023 as part of wider efforts to develop a positive and supportive organisational culture. In spring, we also supported a staff-led health and wellbeing initiative through voluntary participation in the Paths for All Step Count Challenge, leading to 8 weeks of friendly competition between teams and almost 10 million steps across the charity and a measurable increase in physical activity for participants.

All employees receive NatWest MentorLearn training on the Equalities Act, Health & Safety relevant to their role, and employee’s rights and responsibilities relating to workplace harassment at induction.

All contractors are required to confirm they comply with relevant legislation, including explicit adherence to the requirements of the Modern Slavery Act.

Discovery Point has achieved a Green Tourism Silver Award.


Verdant Works is applying for the Green Tourism award which is pending.



By following our Responsible Visitor Charter, you can be sure of making the most of your stay while helping to look after the environment. 

Give the driver a break – leave the car behind and see the best of our city by walking, cycling and using public transport. Many walking and cycling routes offer great views and access to places that cars can’t get to. 

Buy local produce – support our local farmers and producers who play such a valuable role in growing the local economy and preserving the landscape by buying local and regional produce. 

Reduce, reuse, recycle – waste less, reduce the impact on the environment and recycle your waste. Support local businesses and attractions by purchasing their ‘Bags for Life’ and cutting down on plastic use. Don’t buy bottled water. Bring a reusable water bottle and refill from the ‘tap’. When using toilet facilities, please use water wisely and remember not to leave taps running. 

Look after the Tay – waste water ends up in the Tay River and finally, the sea, so be careful what you wash away. Help cut down on the phosphates going into our water systems by reusing towels in your accommodation to reduce the amount of washing. Save water by turning off the tap when brushing your teeth, and consider taking a shower instead of a bath. 

Support local culture & heritage – visit important heritage buildings and museums and attend local events and festivals – to help keep Scottish culture alive. 

Support sustainable tourism businesses – consider using tourism providers that are committed to looking after our landscape and wildlife and reducing its impact on the environment. Seek out, eco-certified tourism providers. 

Enjoy your stay – and come back time and time again, and we can all help to protect this place for generations to come! 

Contact Us

If you would like more information about the Trust or are interested in volunteering

please do not hesitate to get in touch with the team

Get In Touch