Botanic garden’s future uncertain

Dundee garden needs cash injection to ensure its survival.

Campaigners are rallying behind a unique botanic garden ahead of a crunch meeting next week to decide if it will close. University of Dundee Botanic Garden faces closure after the college revealed it was £10m over budget and had to make drastic cuts. The 10ha garden costs around £150,000 a year to run. Lobbyists bombarded MPs and councillors with demands for a saviour. University officials meet on 19 February to look at alternative funding, partnerships or closure. “The mood changes by the minute, from irrational optimism to irrational pessimism,” said a representative for the 1,000-strong friends’ group. He added that if the university’s planned £500,000 saving from the grounds and gardens went ahead, the botanic garden would shut. It opened in 1971 and was now unique in being run by a university, he said. Gardens at St Andrews, Glasgow and Aberdeen had been taken over or were helped by local authority funds. A university representative said: “The garden’s fate will be discussed at the meeting, and we are speaking to the council and other groups about its future.”

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