Summer events planned to boost town centre

Events ranging from sand sculpture workshops to hot air balloon rides are being planned to bring visitors ‘doon the water’ to Helensburgh this summer.

Impressive sand sculptures are planned for Colquhoun Square
Impressive sand sculptures are planned for Colquhoun Square

The town’s chamber of commerce has drawn up the plans to capitalise on the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the CHORD improvements in Helensburgh.

Local sponsorship and support in kind worth £46,500 has already been arranged, and now councillors are being recommended to approve a grant of £17,925 from the CHORD budget.

Alan Trail, chief executive of Helensburgh and Lomond Chamber of Commerce, said the body had been working hard to develop ‘an exciting and targeted package of events’ adding: “The summer of 2014 is a highly significant date in the calendar for the businesses and residents of Helensburgh.”

The events will run from July 12 until August 9, and although it is still at the planning stage attractions are expected to include:

  • Sand sculpture workshop
  • A roller skating rink
  • Hot air balloon rides from the esplanade
  • Helicopter rescue display, RIB rides and MoD police dog team
  • Barbeques in Colquhoun Square
  • A music festival on the ‘former Mariners’ pub site
  • A food festival on the seafront
  • A craft fair in the Tower
  • Cadona’s fairground
  • An ice cream competition

Pippa Milne, Argyll and Bute Council’s executive director of development and infrastructure, is recommending that the funding request is granted.

“Due to the nature and scale of the CHORD town centre public realm works traders are reporting a downturn in trade despite efforts to minimise disruption, as much as possible,” she says in a report to next week’s meeting of the local area committee.

“ However, it is encouraging that traders in West Clyde Street are already reporting an upturn in trade.

“Therefore to help support local businesses in the town centre during the CHORD works and to demonstrate the long term benefits of the works to users and visitors to the town, providing financial support to hold the summer events is deemed an appropriate use of the CHORD budget.”

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