Outlook is bright for rejuvenated High Street

New exterior of Franco's cafe in the High Street drinkign coffee in the warm sunshine.
New exterior of Franco's cafe in the High Street drinkign coffee in the warm sunshine.

A CARNOUSTIE councillor has expressed his growing optimism for the future of the town’s High Street.

Independent representative Brian Boyd said he is “encouraged” by the uptake of new businesses within the town centre.

Pixiestix shop exterior in Carnoustie High Street.

Pixiestix shop exterior in Carnoustie High Street.

And he believes that initiatives by the council, community groups and individual entrepreneurs have helped to halt the decline of the High Street, but warns that there is still work to be done.

Councillor Boyd hopes the other empty premises could host displays similar to the one used during the recent Ricoh Women’s Open.

He also pointed out that at the current rate of uptake, these displays may not be around for long.

He said: “Empty shops have halved in the High Street since February, and we are hoping to use the empty ones to promote the town as a whole, and they also look nicer than just leaving them empty.

“We’re also getting to the point that there are not so many empty available premises.

“The low ebb for the town was when the butcher announced he was closing, we’ve come a long way since then, new businesses are moving in, and existing ones are moving to bigger premises.”

The results of the Carnoustie shopping survey will also be made available soon, and it is hoped that this will cause young entrepreneurs to take note of what businesses Carnoustie is crying out for.

One of these young entrepreneurs is Louise Williamson, proprietor of Pixiestix on the High Street, which specialises in exotic jewellery and clothing.

She said: “Opening up a shop has been easier than I expected, and it’s all gone a lot better than I would have thought.

“It has been fine, if a bit quiet recently because of the Dundee holiday fortnight, but once the holidays are over people will be starting to think about Christmas and it will get busier.”

IT specialists Computerden have recently relocated to the High Street from their former base in Muirdrum.

Owner June Baird said: “Things have been fine in the new shop. We have had a good response from people in Carnoustie.

“We’ve found that people do want to buy local, and they’d rather buy from us in Carnoustie than go up to Dundee. They want to have their shops on their doorstep.”

Newly opened Franco’s Cafe is also doing well. Proprietor Janet Franco said: “We’re doing very well, phenomenally well for a business that has just opened.

“We are so excited ourselves. We’ve had a lot of compliments about our dishes, and we’re hoping to expand our range of dishes and cakes.”

p New look for empty premises: see story on page 5.