ABBOT HOUSE is set to re-open with a restaurant “headed up by one of Scotland’s best chefs”.

While the name has been kept confidential – the deal has still to be finalised – there’s a determination to bring fine dining to the heritage area as part of the £530,000 relaunch of the ‘old pink hoose’.

A top restaurant is an “exciting new addition” in the plans submitted on Friday to Fife Council as part of the refurbishment proposals.

Nora Rundell, chief executive of the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, told the Press: “We do have someone lined up but we can’t say anything just yet as talks are ongoing.

“This would be high-end dining and a real attraction for the heritage area in Dunfermline.”

Abbot House closed due to financial difficulties in August 2015 and the building reverted back to the trust, who own it.

Moves to reopen it have taken longer than anticipated but work should start next year with the aim of creating a “thriving cultural hub to be enjoyed by both locals and visitors alike within the beautiful Historic Quarter”.

The “much-missed cafe”, with bread and patisseries from its own artisan bakery, and outside seating area will return with the new restaurant “offering a great quality dining experience”.

After the closure of the tourist information centre on High Street, there are plans for a “one stop shop” in Abbot House that would fill the gap as well as promote and support local venues and events, facilities, businesses and clubs.

A lift will be installed, workshops focusing on traditional local skills and crafts are set to run and a team of volunteers have already been bringing the gardens back to life.

Ms Rundell added: “We know this has taken a long time but we now have submitted very exciting plans for Abbot House.

“There are so many people involved, such as Historic Environment Scotland (HES), Fife Council, the architects and the consultants, who are fully committed to making this work.

“If the planners don’t come back with questions, which we hope they won’t as they’ve been involved at every stage, and we get it fast-tracked, then we could get quotes in January and check contractors’ availability to start the work.

“What we may do is open up in stages, that may be the practical way forward as it’s critical we get it open again.

“It’s a very old, very special building and we’ve all learned a lot during this process. We desperately want to get it right and that’s why it’s so fabulous that everyone is so committed.”

The aim is to make as much of the building as possible available for community use and profits generated from the venue will be re-invested into Abbot House, supporting maintenance and future developments.

Ms Rundell said: “The building is our responsibility and we’ve been looking after it, we’ve done a lot of work on the roof and drainage, but there’s very specialist work to be done on the fabric of the building, which HES are involved in.”

Funding for Abbot House has come from the trust, the council, HES, Fife Environment Trust and the Architectural Heritage Fund.

They've described the project to re-open it as a" journey of community involvement". Anyone interested in helping can get in touch via