ALMOST a hundred invited guests visited Helensburgh's newest visitor attraction on Saturday for the official opening of the Scottish Submarine Centre.

Though the facility won't be fully open to the public until the end of December, the Armistice Day event gave volunteer helpers, funders and other stakeholders in the project a tantalising glimpse of what the centre will look like when work is completed in a few weeks' time.

The 95 guests sat in the shadow of the new museum's centrepiece – a Cold War midget submarine, HMS Stickleback, which was manoeuvred into place in the West King Street building in October 2016.

The official opening was performed by Rear Admiral Mike Gregory OBE, lord lieutenant of Dunbartonshire and a former submariner whose mother christened HMS Stickleback when it waslaunched in 1955.

Saturday's ceremony included a performance by pianist Tord Gustaven of music specially commissioned to mark the 100th anniversary of the loss of the submarine K13, which sank in the Gareloch in 1917 with the loss of 32 lives.

Brian Keating, chief executive of the Scottish Submarine Trust, which has led the project since its unveiling four years ago, said: “It was an important day and a major milestone in the project, as well as a chance to thank all the volunteers and stakeholders who have got the project to this point.

“We only secured our final funding for the project last year so have only been able to go hard at it for the last 14 months. To have come so far in such a short time is a tremendous achievement.”

The centre has received financial support from Argyll and Bute Council, the Armed Forces Covenant Fund and two UK government sources – HM Treasury, through fines levied on banks for the LIBOR rate-fixing scandal, and the Coastal Communities Fund.