YOUNG skateboarders have given their backing to Helensburgh’s proposed new leisure centre as the gap between support and objections closes.

Nearly 200 comments have been received by Argyll and Bute Council on the planned waterfront development, with 117 against and 74 in support.

And youngsters, including members of Helensburgh Skatepark Project, have made handwritten submissions to the authority to show that they want the proposals to become reality.

Last month project chair Jackie Hood confirmed her support for the potential new leisure centre, stating that it provided the skatepark with opportunities to develop.

Fourteen-year-old Johnny Brown said: “Helensburgh really needs a new skatepark because there are lots of young people into action sports and we need a proper facility for this.

“If the skatepark is made, it could also attract other people who enjoy action sports from surrounding areas and this could improve local business.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Curran said: “I would like to help the waterfront development because I feel like it’s a great idea.

“I would be really happy if we got a new pool and land to build a skatepark.

“The current waterfront is disgusting and it would attract loads of new people to Helensburgh if it was improved.”

Jackie’s sons Oliver and Benjamin have also made representations to the council supporting the planned leisure centre.

Oliver, 12, said: “I support these plans because I want the skatepark to happen as well as the swimming pool.

“The seafront is rundown and this development will really improve the town and bring visitors to Helensburgh.”

And 14-year-old Benjamin added: “It will make the seafront look much more modern and a new swimming pool is badly needed.

“Plans also include space for a skatepark to be built.

“This will allow the Helensburgh Skatepark Project to raise funds for the best concrete skatepark in the west coast of Scotland.

“This will keep young people fit and healthy and attract families to Helensburgh.

“Please help us get our skatepark by approving these plans.”

As reported in last week’s Advertiser, the proposed leisure centre will go to a public hearing, with planning officer David Moore recommending approval following such an event.

No date or venue has yet been set for the hearing by Argyll and Bute Council, but it is highly likely to take place in Helensburgh.

A decision to continue the council’s application to a hearing was confirmed at last week’s meeting of the authority’s planning, protective services and licensing committee.