THE management team at Helensburgh's only cinema says customers would be making "an exceptionally generous charitable donation" by not requesting refunds on tickets following the facility's temporary closure.

The doors of the Tower Digital Arts Centre in Sinclair Street were closed until further notice at 12 noon on Wednesday, March 18 because of the coronavirus concern.

Previous plans for a temporary closure to allow for a deep clean of the centre were overtaken as the growing seriousness of the pandemic situation became clear.

The centre's managers said in a statement posted on Facebook on Wednesday morning: "Unfortunately, due to the continuing development of the coronavirus situation, we have made the decision to close the Tower Digital Arts Centre from 12pm today until further notice.

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"This is in the interests of the health and wellbeing of both our customers, staff and volunteers.

"Please be assured that all ticket holders for cancelled events have options on refunds and can contact however by not requesting a refund you would be making an exceptionally generous and much appreciated charitable donation to The Tower during these unprecedented times.

"Customers who have booked in advance with cash, please contact to make similar arrangements.

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"We thank you for your patience and your continued support for The Tower during this unprecedented time.

"The Tower has been a labour of love for all those involved. All the amazing volunteers have worked tirelessly and selflessly over the past five years to create this local facility that has enabled the community and helped redefine the town centre.

"We hope to come back to you with a reopen date soon."

Larger UK cinema chains have already made the decision to close in light of the government's advice on non-essential social contact.

READ MORE: Area's schools to close by the end of this week - as Lomond School boarding house self-isolates

Next door to the Tower, the Scottish Submarine Centre, Helensburgh's newest visitor attraction, has also been closed until further notice.

The centre's managers said in a statement on the facility's Facebook page: "The safety and security of The Scottish Submarine Centre's volunteers, staff, visitors, members and veterans is of paramount importance to us and we take this responsibility very seriously.

"In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have taken the decision (with a heavy heart) to close this building to the public and cancel all visits, meetings or events in The Submarine Centre with immediate effect."

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