Today's story from the Advertiser's archives sees us look back 15 years to an appeal to Helensburgh residents to help shape a new 'vision' for the town's future.

Here's how we reported on the news in the Advertiser on August 5, 2004...

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EVERYONE in Helensburgh is being given the chance to have their say on a new ‘vision’ for the town.

More than 6,000 leaflets explaining a new document detailing ideas for the town’s future will pop through letterboxes in the next few weeks.

The latest report drawn up by the town’s vision steering group was debated in the Victoria Halls on Saturday by representatives of many groups in the town.

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Attempts to draw up an overall strategy for the town date back at least six years, and the authors of the latest bid admit it has been ‘a long and tortuous process’.

But they are optimistic about the town’s future and want to make the vision as community-led as possible.

The first version of the vision was revealed in March 2003 by Helensburgh Study Group, made up of residents including specialists in planning, architecture, tourism and retail.

After taking comments during a consultation phase on board this second vision has been produced, dividing priorities into six areas: the town centre; the waterfront; children and young people; tourism; the town environment; and the town’s infrastructure.

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Leaflets will soon be delivered throughout the town and series of public meetings will be held before the third and final version of the vision is completed.

That, however, is ‘just the end of the beginning’, says the report.

“Real progress has to be achieved - and seen to be achieved,” the document adds.

“Implementing the vision will be expensive, with much of the money having to come from the private sector and other non-council sources.

“What is needed is a partnership arrangement bringing together all the interested parties, and the expertise, needed to turn the dream into reality.”

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An implementation group is being suggested, including Argyll and Bute Council, Helensburgh Community Council, Scottish Enterprise Dunbartonshire, and Argyll, the Isles, Loch Lomond, Stirling and the Trossachs Tourist Board.

A town trust or development company might then be formed.