VIEWS are being sought from Helensburgh residents on how they would like to see a vital town centre facility being used in future.

The Red Cross hall on East Princes Street was threatened with permanent closure last year after the building's owners, the British Red Cross, announced they would be putting the premises up for sale.

A steering group - Helensburgh Community Hall Ltd (HCHL) - was formed with the intention of completing a community buyout of the centre and has since gained public support.

Their bid to preserve the hall as a hub for local organisations, including the Helensburgh and Lomond Foodbank, took a major step forward last week with the news that they had secured £10,000 from the Scottish Land Fund.

READ MORE: Helensburgh group secures £10,000 towards Red Cross hall buy-out bid

The hall is now registered under Community Right to Buy legislation, preventing it from being sold to another buyer until further dialogue takes place between the Red Cross and the HCHL as they work together to reach an agreement of sale.

Now, working with Community Enterprise, one of Scotland’s leading providers of support for communities and social enterprises, a feasibility study and business plan will be prepared to progress the application to the next stage.

And that's where members of the public can help, with an online survey asking Helensburgh residents and users of the hall about the type of services and activities that could take place there in the future.

The survey is available online at and paper copies can be picked up and dropped off at Helensburgh Parish Church.

READ MORE: Race against time for Helensburgh's food bank as Red Cross announces hall is to close

A comprehensive five-year business plan will form part of the stage two application due later this year and if the HCHL are successful at this stage it will allow them to buy the hall from the British Red Cross and run it for the benefit of the local community.

Community Enterprise have been working in communities across Scotland for over 30 years, and have been involved in the successful delivery of projects such as the Iona Village Hall, Inverkeithing Town Hall, the Fraser Centre and countless more.

Cllr Lorna Douglas, chair of the HCHL, said: “This whole process has been a real learning curve for all the committee but we are a skills-rich team who are absolutely determined to see this hall secured as a thriving hub for the people of Helensburgh.”

An open meeting will also be held in March to allow the community to find out more, with details of the venue and time still to be confirmed.

Follow @helensburghcommunityhall on Facebook to keep up-to-date.

READ MORE: Catch up on all the latest news from across Helensburgh and Lomond here