VIVIEN Dance, chief executive of the Helensburgh and Lomond Chamber of Commerce, has this week's community column.

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THE Helensburgh community continues on its road to recovery, and I can now answer a simple question that was put to me by a local businessman in March 2020: “I wonder if our town will be here at the end of all this?”

The end of Covid is not nigh, but the town is still here, going from strength to strength and good news abounds.

We welcome more new businesses to Helensburgh as shops open on Clyde Street, Princes Street and Sinclair Street and commercial confidence is evident with the amount of investment being made in town properties.

The largest of these is the exciting development of Home Hardware’s retail offering, as their plans for an extensive showroom linked to their Sinclair Street store come to fruition. An opening is planned in the next few weeks, to be followed next year by an adjoining garden centre.

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This is a prime site for the town, on one of the main entry routes, and the Chamber is delighted that this forward-thinking, independent family business has chosen to invest in our town and expand local choice. More to come on this story later.

Helensburgh Advertiser: The former Arnold Clark showroom on East Clyde Street - soon to become a garden centre run by Wrights Home HardwareThe former Arnold Clark showroom on East Clyde Street - soon to become a garden centre run by Wrights Home Hardware

The nearby access to Tower Place and the new leisure centre and car park is getting a facelift, which will improve the look of the town at that pivotal junction.

All we need now is for Argyll and Bute Council to show us the colour of their conservation (CARS) money and deliver on their promise to “sort the eyesore” and progress the work on the dilapidated building adjacent to the new Home Hardware emporium.

The Chamber welcomed the news that Argyll and Bute Council agreed to support the government-sponsored Scotland Loves Local gift card scheme and this is now live; businesses can sign up at

Plans for more events in the town are progressing, working in tandem with Stall Hire Scotland whose licence for the regular Market in the Square was approved recently. The Christmas lights switch on and the Winter Festival events are now in the diary too, which is more good news for footfall and the local economy.