A NEW one-stop shop providing information on all things Helensburgh and Lomond is set to open later this year.

Destination Helensburgh already has an online presence, with a website which launched last month still being updated, while a visitor information hub, at 28 Sinclair Street, will open to the public around October or November, once the venue is fully fitted out.

Located within the former Helensburgh Heroes premises, which closed in October 2018, Destination Helensburgh will act as a central information point for visitors to the area, listing a calendar of local events, details on neighbourhood organisations and a business directory for local trades and services.

The new centre will also host ticket booking facilities for local events and will be supported by a gallery and gift shop showcasing Scottish art and crafts, and including a Helensburgh and Lomond Wall of Fame.

The man behind the plan, Professor Michael Baker, said the project is something Helensburgh has long been in need of.

READ MORE: Former Helensburgh Heroes centre could be set for rebirth under new visitor centre plan

He told the Advertiser: "Helensburgh and Lomond is a wonderful area with much to offer visitors as well as the resident population.

"Numerous studies have reached the conclusion that the key facility lacking for the area is a visitor centre and community information hub.

"We believe promoting the area and providing a one-stop-shop for local information, both online and with a physical town centre presence, will benefit everyone in the community and help to grow our economy.

"We hope the community will support this venture to promote our area."

Mr Baker, who is the Founding Dean of the University of Strathclyde Business School and an expert in place marketing, is supported in the venture by his daughters Fiona Baker and Dr Anne Foy.

He previously told the Advertiser of his desire to see Helensburgh increase its attractiveness as “a place to go”.

READ MORE: Michael Baker: Why Helensburgh still needs a visitor centre

On Destination Helensburgh, he continued: "Providing a physical town centre tourist and information centre and a centralised calendar of local events will support the hundreds of organisations that contribute so much to the vibrancy and development of the district.

"Information on tourist facilities and attractions will be easily sourced in one place and all local businesses can be listed on a single platform.

"Essentially, if you want to know what is going on, where to go and how to find a service or trade, Destination Helensburgh will be the place to find out."

The first few full page listings have been posted on the Destination Helensburgh website and local businesses and organisations are invited to get in touch for a free listing, which can be created for them.

It is hoped that this incentive will help local trade recover from the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.

All listings will be free until the end of the year and not-for-profit organisations’ listings will remain free thereafter, while businesses will be asked to pay a small fee for listing from January 2021.

READ MORE: Michael Baker: How can Helensburgh offer more to the town's visitors?

Materials can also be submitted for display in the visitor information centre, an authorised iKnow partner of VisitScotland, while submissions of content from local residents such as blogs and photographs for the site are also being encouraged – for example, do you have a favourite local dog walk or recipe you would like to share, or do you have a recommendation for a great day out in the area?

Mr Baker added: "Emerging from the Covid pandemic is going to be challenging for everyone in all sectors.

"We hope that Destination Helensburgh will help contribute to our recovery by promoting all the wonderful assets we share - our beautiful location, strong community spirit and resourceful independent businesses who have served us so well during the crisis.

"Destination Helensburgh provides an opportunity for Helensburgh and Lomond to work together and support each other as we move forward."

More details can be found at destinationhelensburgh.org and all interested businesses and organisations are invited to get in touch at info@destinationhelensburgh.org.

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