COMMUNITY campaigners have been buoyed by news that a bid to take control of the Red Cross hall in Helensburgh has progressed to the next stage of its funding application.

The Helensburgh Community Hall (HCH) group was formed last year after the British Red Cross announced the well used facility in East Princes Street would shut at the end of 2019.

Users of the centre, as well as local councillors and members of the public, have since backed the initiative, with more than 2,500 signatures collected for a petition in November.

READ MORE: Buy-out bid lodged for Helensburgh's Red Cross hall

Helensburgh Central councillor Lorna Douglas, who is also part of the community group, called the news "a fantastic achievement" and said a business plan will now be developed with the hope of securing the long-term position of the building as a thriving community hub for the people of Helensburgh.

Mary McGinley, chair of the HCH steering group, said: "We have made good progress and have secured around £10,000 stage one funding from the Scottish Government Land Fund to allow us to undertake a feasibility study and business case.

READ MORE: 'Big step forward' for Red Cross hall buy-out plan

"We remain focused on our objective of acquiring the property for the benefit of the community.

"This is a very good first step."

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