HELENSBURGH'S residents and business owners are being urged to back a campaign to bring the paddle steamer Waverley back to the town by taking part in a show of support on the pier this Saturday.

The Helensburgh Seafront Development Project (HSDP) is calling on people to join them on the town's pier on Saturday, April 20 at 11am, following the news last week that the historic ship will not call at Helensburgh during the spring or summer of 2019 due to concerns over the condition of the berthing facility.

The Advertiser revealed last week that the cost of carrying out repairs to the pier is likely to be more than £800,000 – and that work may not be complete in time for the Waverley to call in 2020 either.

READ MORE: Helensburgh pier repair costs revealed as Waverley could sail on by in 2020 too

HSDP representatives have been in talks with Argyll and Bute Council, which owns the pier, for several months in the hope of finding a long-term solution to the lack of investment in the pier.

The HSDP said in a statement: "Following the announcement from Waverley Excursions Ltd that PS Waverley will not stop at the town during its 2019 timetable and more recent revelations that, as a result of necessary repairs to Helensburgh pier, the vessel may not be able to call at the town in 2020 and could end up being permanently lost to the town, Helensburgh Seafront Development Project is calling on individuals, businesses and community groups from the town and surrounding areas to show their support for the repair and regeneration of Helensburgh pier to bring PS Waverley back to the town without delay.

"We are asking that as many people as possible come along and join us on the pier on Saturday, April 20 at 11am to demonstrate the depth of feeling throughout the community about the current state of Helensburgh pier and the loss of PS Waverley.

"HSDP representatives will be on hand to answer, as best they can, any questions from those attending.

"The artist's impression for how HSDP envisage the development of the pier upgrade in order to make it self-funding, after the council have carried out the remedial work, will be unveiled."

READ MORE: Waverley won't sail at all from Helensburgh this summer

Representatives from the HSDP are distributing posters to businesses and other locations throughout the town in an attempt to encourage as large a turnout as possible.

An online petition has also been launched for those who may be unable to attend in person on Saturday. You can view it here.

Further information can be found at the Helensburgh Seafront Development Project Facebook page.