Cultural hub plan for Carnoustie Pavilion

Mr Nael Hanna outside the Pavilion.
Mr Nael Hanna outside the Pavilion.

An ambitious plan has been revealed to transform a disused Carnoustie landmark into a hub for good food and fine art.

Angus-based artist Nael Hanna recently bought the Carnoustie Pavilion at the beachfront which was latterly the clubhouse for the town’s rugby club but had lain empty for some time.

He has big plans for the building which he is currently having completely refurbished from top to bottom.

His vision includes a quality restaurant in the upper storey which will seat around 50 people, a brand new bar and a conservatory which will cover part of the external terrace.

On the ground floor will be the restaurant kitchen and also an art gallery for artists to exhibit their work. The outbuildings attached to the Pavilion Mr Hanna plans to turn into artists’ studios and there is the possibility of attracting artists in residence from around the world.

In addition there are plans to open a healthy takeaway at the rear of the building to serve visitors to the beachfront and the playpark.

Mr Hanna is also interested in the ground in front of the Pavilion which he foresees has potential for a number of uses, such as hosting a jazz festival, Antiques Roadshow-style event and possibly even a hall to hold ceilidhs and dances.

He told the Gazette: “It’s wonderful to have all this at the beach for the kids, but what about something for the adults? The parents could sit here on the balcony and look out over the play area with a glass of wine.

“It’s going to be an art hub, a nice place for good food, art and culture and as an exchange of art and culture with Europe.

“Look at the tennis courts, what a beautiful place for tennis here, but it is badly used and not maintained properly.

“I spoke to my architect and we are writing a letter to Andy Murray and to his mother to get sponsorship from him and the Lottery to build proper tennis courts with a stadium for it because we’ve got plenty of space for that. If we could get 1000 people for it that would be great.”

Carnoustie Councillor Bill Bowles said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have met Nael and hear of the plans to bring the Pavilion back to life.

‘‘I’ve always thought that a seafood restaurant would be a great use for the building but with an ice-cream parlour and arts studio as well is more than we could have hoped for. I’m looking forward very much to the opening in the early summer and cannot wait to try the food for myself!”