ARGYLL and Bute Council has pledged to explore all funding options for Helensburgh pier after MSP Jackie Baillie urged them to work with the local community to secure its future.

The Scottish Government has revealed that funding is available for pier owners following questions posed on the issue by Ms Baillie at the Scottish Parliament.

Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham stated that Marine Scotland have a Harbour Repair Fund, and money is also available through Historic Environment Scotland for projects of significant architectural or historic importance.

Both sources of funding are only available to the owner of the pier, but other opportunities may be available for money if the local community is engaged in the process.

Ms Baillie said: “Knowing that there is funding available to restore the pier is a positive step forward for the local community.

“I am hopeful that the council will work with local people to ensure that Helensburgh Pier can be improved and re-opened as quickly as possible.

“The pier has huge local significance not just historically, but for our economy.

“It is so important that there is no delay and as an interim measure, the pier is functioning by the start of the summer season to enable the Waverley to call in to Helensburgh.”

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “We have an asset management plan for piers and harbours, which is regularly reviewed and updated depending on the results of surveys and inspections.

“Where work is identified as being required, all potential funding options are considered.”

The condition of Helensburgh’s pier is expected to be considered by Argyll and Bute Council’s harbour board at its next meeting on December 6.