Commonwealth Games planning begins

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A meeting was held this week to discuss how Carnoustie could make the best use of the opportunity presented by the Commonwealth Games events at Barry Buddon.

On Tuesday a total of 22 representatives from Carnoustie community groups and organisations met in the Panmure Centre to start planning how the town could prepare for the expected influx of visitors and competitors to see the shooting events being held at Barry Buddon’s firing ranges next year.

It is expected that around 500 athletes plus support staff will be competing at the events which will run from Friday, June 25, to Tuesday, June 29, and this in turn could attract around 2,500 visitors per day.

Groups represented included the Golf Links Management Committee, Angus Council, Carnoustie Community Council, Carnoustie Development Group, Carnoustie Gala Committee, Carnoustie High School and town councillors.

The meeting was essentially a workshop to brainstorm ideas and thoughts on how to entertain visitors, how best to showcase the town and the overall structure in carrying that out.

It had fallen to Peter Burke, chair of the Carnoustie Development Group to lead the workshop, and he said: “We had 23 people including me at this meeting. That’s quite a good turnout from a variety of organisations in Carnoustie.

“We’ve got lots of good ideas, I don’t know how many in total but the structure is coming together. It’s started evolving already.”

One of the ideas quickly established at the workshop was the need for some form of focal point for the town’s efforts and one suggestion put forward was to make use of the site earmarked for development by the Carnoustie Centre Action Group (CCAG).

Peter Murphy, chair of the CCAG, was keen to point out the potential uses of the site which has recently been made suitable for use thanks to help from DJ Laing and Angus Council.

Mr Murphy said: “People are beginning to realise that we need that bit in the middle of the town as a focus. We could put a marquee up in it for example.”

Other ideas suggested included staging a beer and music festival over the weekend, a funfair, expanding the tourist information services to bring more people into the town centre, a flag parade and a whole host of ideas that Angus Council’s community planning team will collate and present at a later date.

A further meeting has been scheduled for later this month and it is hoped that a steering committee can be formed to take forward some of the ideas formulated at the workshop.