News that a community group’s bid to buy a former council depot site in Helensburgh has been greeted with disappointment from those who backed the plans.

The proposal from the Friends of Hermitage Park was supported by MP Brendan O’Hara, local MSP Maurice Corry, and community groups.

Local MSP Maurice Corry said: “I was hopeful that they would be successful because it’s a good building for what they wanted it for.

“It is a council decision, but I had hoped that they would listen to the arguments that the community put forward.”

The Advertiser previously reported that the Friends had put in a bid of £150,000 for the site on Sinclair Street under ‘community asset transfer’ legislation.

They hoped to create a community space with storage facilities and a permanent space for the Helensburgh branch of the Men’s Shed movement.

However, the Friends were told last week that a preferred bidder who plans to build a care home on the site had been selected instead.

Mr Corry added: “They wanted it for organisations such as the Men’s Shed and drama groups could have stored their equipment there.

“The Men’s Shed is an excellent opportunity to bring veterans together, so I am disappointed about the result, but I am hopeful the council will listen intently to the needs of the Friends in due course.”

Argyll and Bute’s MP Brendan O’Hara, who also backed the Friends’ plans, said: “I’m disappointed that the community groups won’t now benefit from the proposed community hub. I think it would have been a useful resource.”

The Friends plans were also supported by local community groups including the Helensburgh and Garelochhead Horticultural Society, Helensburgh and Lomond Carers, and Argyll and the Isles Coast and Countryside Trust (ACT).

ACT manager Julie Young said: “We are really disappointed. We were really looking forward to working with them.

“Some of our team are doing a bit of work in Hermitage Park and we have similar charitable objectives. It would have been great for us to be involved so we were really hopeful they would get it.”

Following tlast week's announcement on the selection of a preferred bidder, a council spokesman said it was the authority's "priority to make the best possible use of public assets for the wider community".