Future Plan

A leading heritage and contemporary cultural facility: A Place For Our Time.

The Future Plan

The Future Plan

The Hospitalfield Trust holds an asset that is uniquely valuable to Scottish cultural history. The rich history, beginning in the 13th century, when the land was first populated and used as a hospital or hostel established to greet the sea fairing pilgrims visiting Arbroath Abbey, to the creation of the 20th century art school, the story has many twists and turns. Hospitalfield, as we know it today, is highly influenced by the bequest left by the artist Patrick Allan-Fraser (1813-1890) and his wife Elizabeth who bequeathed the mainly 19th century Arts and Crafts buildings complete with highly decorative interiors and collections; paintings, works on paper and sculpture. This was the setting they left to support artists of the future; the Trust was established and the art school opened in 1902.

This history and built heritage offers an astonishing rich context to create a new model for a cultural organisation for the 21st century. The Future Plan for Hospitalfield is to make this a busy and varied campus, rooted in its local, where artists and others use the excellent facilities to work and study. Hospitalfield will also be a place where visitors are warmly welcomed for a nice day out and/or to join an active programme of events, workshops, talks, exhibitions.

In order to meet this vision the Trust will restore and renew the built heritage, build new buildings where this is required and create the excellent 21st century resources for artists to make and show new work. In addition, the Plan will enable the team at Hospitalfield to better display the historic collections and archives and to establish a study environment that will provide a deep insight in to the work that sustains and develops collections of art.

The Future Plan at Hospitalfield will unblock the public sightline into the stores and archives and introduce audiences to the fascinating processes that lie behind the collection. Across the UK only 3% of the works held in our collections are actually on public display. At Hospitalfield the work of curatorial display will share the same level of visibility as the activity within the store and the archive, and in so doing we will introduce our audiences to the issues of collection care and questions of why we collect and who for.

A much needed debate is required to fuel the thinking for cultural buildings of the future, we hope that Hospitalfield will become a location for a discussion around reinvention of the art gallery, the museum and the support for art production.

Design Team Lead

In 2013 the Trust appointed the renowned architects Caruso St John and a masterplan was developed as a response to the Future Plan vision.

Nigel Dunnett was appointed in 2016 to design the walled garden and he will continue to work with us through each phase.

The Future Plan will be a phased programme of capital works:

Phase 1
The Garden and Garden Buildings – opening 27 May 2021.

Phase 2
The Studios and Residential Accommodation – to go on site January 2022.

The Mortuary Chapel – a stand alone phase to restore the chapel designed by Patrick Allan-Fraser on the death of his wife Elizabeth in 1873 – to go on site late 2021

Phase 3
Securing the future of the historic house and collections and creating the new Reception and Collections Building. Our visitors will arrive through the store.


Design Team Phase 1

• Caruso St John Architects
• Nigel Dunnett Studio – landscape design
• Simpson & Brown
• David Narrow
• Max Fordham
• Morham & Brotchy
• McLeod+Aitken (Project manager)
• CHAP Construction


Read more about the Future Plan in our PDF leaflet…


The first Phase of the Future Plan has been generously supported by Historic Environment Scotland, Creative Scotland, Heritage Lottery Fund, Foyle Foundation, The Robertson Trust, Garfield Weston Trust, William Grant Foundation, The Pilgrim Trust, The Architectural Heritage Fund, The Leng Trust, Aberbrothock Skea Trust, Mushroom Trust, Northwood Trust and the Scott Finnis Foundation.

Contractor & Design Team

Hospitalfield’s Future Plan has been approved by the Tay Cities Joint Committee and approves the allocation of £5.5million funding from Scottish Government to the project subject to match funding being secured.

The Tay Cities Deal is a partnership between local, Scottish and UK governments and the private, academic and voluntary sectors which seeks to create a smarter and fairer Angus, Dundee, Fife and Perth & Kinross under the headings Inclusive Tay; Innovative Tay; International Tay; Connected Tay and An Empowered Tay.

In total, the 26 projects submitted require investment of £700 million of which £300 million over 10 years is being put in by the UK Government and Scottish Government, subject to final approval of robust business cases.

If every project and programme set out in the submission is funded and delivered, up to 6,000 job opportunities could be created across the tourism, food and drink, creative industries, eco innovation, digital, decommissioning, engineering, biomedical and health and care sectors.