Beach cafe success?

Working continues on the cafe which is being developed at Carnoustie Leisure Centre.
Working continues on the cafe which is being developed at Carnoustie Leisure Centre.

Anxiety around the Carnoustie beach front cafe’s readiness in time for the Commonwealth Games is a ‘red herring’.

The Angus Council £250,000 development was put through the planning process without a business plan and as of yet there has been no tenant found to take the cafe on after building has finished.

Peter Burke from the Carnoustie Development Trust thinks the council should have at least have identified a tenant before they cut the first piece of earth.

He said: “That Angus Council have gone ahead and spent the money without a business plan and without a tenant seems surprising.”

However, Carnoustie Community Council chairman Jim Simpson wants to emphasise the benefits the cafe has for the town and the local people.

“No-one has a crystal ball about what will happen but any improvement to the seafront has to be a good thing.

“I think focussing on the fact it is being built for the Commonwealth Games is a red herring.

“To suggest that the cafe is just for the games is ridiculous, it is for visitors and locals of the town and for the future.”

The cafe was intended to open in time for the shooting event at Barry Buddon but with only eight weeks to go and without a contract negotiated with Angus Council it is seeming less and less likely.

Mr Simpson disagrees: “The community council are here to reflect the views of the public and we know for a fact that there are certain people think it’s a waste of money, but there have been organisations campaigning for a beachfront cafe since 2010.

“The general feeling is anything that improves the visitor experience for Carnoustie has to be a good thing.”

Leasing the property on behalf of the council is agent Shepherd Commercial who disclose the target completion to be the start of July and the site to be “operational mid-July 2014”.

The advert states: “Our clients are seeking leasing proposals, and trading is expected to commence to coincide with the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Barry Buddon.”

A council spokesperson said: “We are confident that this advert will attract interest to allow us to conclude a contract and have comfort in the fact that the planned reception towards the end of July can be delivered by external contractors if there any delays in appointing a franchise at Carnoustie.”