HELENSBURGH'S first digital arts and skills academy has brought together both Hollywood and Holyrood to support its �2 milion fund raising bid.

The Heroes Centre, which will be in George Street, welcomed four ambassadors from the world of sport, acting, directing and writing.

Actor Lex Shrapnel, author Sam Wilding, director Tom Vaughan and paralympian Gordon Reid have all pledged to make the centre a reality because of their roots with the town.

Lex, who starred in the recent BBC television series Hunted and whose grandmother - Hollywood legend Deborah Kerr - was born in Helensburgh spoke about his gran's love for the town.

He said: "My granny talked very fondly about her Helensburgh roots so I'm incredibly proud to be appointed an ambassador for the Heroes Centre.

"As I discovered on a recent trip, Helensburgh has an incredibly rich seam of TV and film history, so I hope that by supporting this exciting venture, we can build something that not only does justice to its successes from the past but also inspires its creative talent of the future.

"It's amazing to think that such a fantastic combination of golden era Hollywood and the roots of modern day television came from one small seaside town in the west coast of Scotland. I know she would have been a big supporter of the Heroes Centre. I really hope that I can help to make it become a reality." The plan is to create a digital complex and specialised IT educational facility by converting a derelict Victorian warehouse which will teach people at all stages of their lives the media and production skills they need.

The centre will feature a cinema and four storey wall of fame as well as a 50s inspired diner for everyone to enjoy.

The Scottish Government has also welcomed the initiative saying it would give "the next generation of Scots a creative environment to acquire new media skills and expertise." Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf said: "The Creative Industries is a growth sector in our Economic Strategy and contributes �2.7 billion to Scotland's economy. A Skills Academy in Helensburgh would give the next generation of Scots a creative environment to acquire new media skills and expertise. It is particularly relevant that this centre would be in Helensburgh, the birth place of John Logie Baird." Helensburgh-born movie director Tom Vaughan gave his official support to the project and spoke to the Advertiser about his fond memories of living in the sea-side town.

He said: "My love of film direction dates back to my days running around Helensburgh's hills with my friends, video camera in hand creating our own movies. We had a real sense of fun and creative freedom, we felt that we could go anywhere and make anything.

"And that's what the Heroes Centre is setting out to achieve. It will give people access to the technology, provide them with the skills and encourage them to express themselves creatively so that they can take advantage of opportunities created by today's evolving digital landscape." Local 'heroes' children's author Sam Wilding and Britain's number one wheelchair tennis star and London 2012 Paralympian Gordon Reid have also backed the campaign.

Phil Worms, director of Helensburgh Heroes, spoke of his delight at being able to take another step forward in making his vision a reality.

He said: "We are absolutely delighted to have such high profile ambassadors on board and with the Scottish Government also keen to see this happen, what we need now is for the people and businesses of Scotland to get behind the idea by pledging their financial support so we can raise the two million pounds we need to turn the Heroes Centre into a reality. It would be an amazing achievement to have the Centre operational in time for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, as it would give us the opportunity to showcase our sporting Hall of Fame inductees, and that is our dream end game."