HOPES of establishing a men's shed in the Helensburgh area are "not dead yet" according to organisers, despite the search for a permanent home now entering a sixth year.

The Helensburgh and District Men's Shed was formed in 2014 as part of the wider network of community hubs set up to promote social interaction and reduce depression related illness in elderly men.

The idea originated in Australia and has since expended across the globe, with around 60 people registered to the Burgh group.

Members had been given the go-ahead to use a space within the refurbished Hermitage Park in 2018, however those plans did not materialise.

READ MORE: Councillors back idea of Men's Shed home in Hermitage Park

And at a meeting of Rhu and Shandon Community Council last week, the group's chairman and founder, Brian Mackay, spoke of his frustration at being unable to secure a location.

Mr Mackay said: "We have exhausted all options in Helensburgh, but we are not dead yet.

"We have spent five years trying to find a location in Helensburgh and we have got nowhere, so we have had to move out of town.

"It is fading and we are likely to fold if we do not find somewhere to live."

READ MORE: Search goes on for a home for Men's Shed group in Helensburgh

A potential solution could rest on the site of the former Rhu Bowling Club, which was sold by Luss Estates in 1909 and belonged to the club until it disbanded in 2013.

An application for planning permission in principle to build a residential development on the land at Inchgower Grove, off Manse Brae, was refused by Argyll and Bute Council in 2014.

Now the men's shed organisers are hopeful of positive discussions with the current landowners - believed to be two former trustees of the bowling club – as well as with the local community.

Mr Mackay added: "We do have an interest in the bowling club site but we are no further forward.

READ MORE: Dismay as former depot in Helensburgh is sold to private developer – dashing Men's Shed hopes

"Our board is exploring the possibility but we have got a long way to go and we are going to need a lot of help from the community council and the people of Rhu to get there.

"We have had a look at the site and in terms of its use as a men's shed it would be a good site."

Community council members said they would support the initiative if it was well received by local residents.

Andrew Nicholson, vice chair of Rhu and Shandon Community Council, said: "The bowling green site has been on the agenda for some considerable time and if it were to be put to good use that would be satisfactory.

READ MORE: Men's Shed group in Helensburgh 'eyes new home by 2018'

"I think you will probably find that there is support for your idea.

"The initial reaction from us is yes, we will work hand in hand with you on this one."

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