A GRANT of £24,000 has been awarded to Helensburgh Central station by the Railway Heritage Trust.

The money is being used for refurbishing work to repair a leaking roof above a new martial arts gym, which is scheduled to open in the coming months.

The funding is part of five grants totalling £84,000 for structural heritage improvements to listed buildings in Helensburgh, Dumfries and Pitlochry.

Andy Savage, executive director of the trust, said: “Our purpose is to find new uses for listed buildings and this was something we were very keen to support.

“We know there have been issues with youngsters hanging around outside the station, so this is an opportunity to give them something to do.

“We hope we can get the young people involved and it will have a social benefit for them and the area.”

Helensburgh Central opened in 1858 and was completely rebuilt just 40 years later to the design of architect James Carswell.

Planning proposals were initially submitted in 2013 for the conversion of the entire top floor of the building into a multi-use gym space, however, significant water damage delayed the opening.

The plans have now been revived by original applicant Stuart Allan and will be supported by the trust, which has awarded over 1,670 grants to a total value of £54million to projects in Scotland, England and Wales since 1985.

Ring announcer and fight commentator Stuart said: “This has been in the pipeline for a long time and I’m always wary of putting exact figures on it, but the work should be completed very soon and fingers crossed we will open the gym before Christmas.

“It’s been that long that people don’t believe us anymore, but I can assure them it is going to happen.

“We have had a lot of interest in the gym and support from local businesses as well, which has been encouraging.”

The club, which will be called Combat Central, will offer classes for people of all ages and abilities across a range of martial arts disciplines.