A TOURISM marketing start-up in Helensburgh has received a share of £3 million in funding to help promote the town as a winter destination.

Destination Helensburgh was launched online last summer, with the man behind the plan, the late Professor Michael Baker, being supported by daughters Fiona and Anne.

A visitor information hub, at 28 Sinclair Street, also opened up as the project sought to become a one-stop shop for all things Helensburgh and Lomond.

And the business has been boosted by the news that it is a recipient of £18,000 from the Destination and Sector Marketing Fund administered by VisitScotland on behalf of the Scottish Government.

Fiona told the Advertiser: “We will be working closely with local businesses and organisations, and other stakeholders such as the Helensburgh Winter Festival, to promote and attract visitors.

“This funding is a fantastic opportunity to support and promote all the existing winter activities that are held in the area as well as new initiatives and hospitality, retail, wellbeing, and adventure offers.

READ MORE: Obituary - From Harvard to Helensburgh, Professor Michael Baker followe d his passions

“As we emerge from Covid this funding is a real boost to the district and supporting our local economy.

“It will enable local businesses and community groups to be part of a targeted and broad-reaching marketing campaign.”

Funded activities include professional social media videos, targeted and paid-for social media advertising, visits by social media influencers, billboard promotions, and print advertising.

Winter Festival organisers previously revealed a year-round project, in conjunction with the #ScotlandLovesLocal national media campaign and Destination Helensburgh, to promote the town as an all-year-round shopping destination using new branding of ‘Helensburgh - The Christmas Town’.

Gail Broadhurst, chairman of the Winter Festival committee, said: “Helensburgh has much to offer as a winter destination with our ongoing promotion of Helensburgh as a Christmas town, together with the Christmas lights switch on celebration, our Santa Dash and the Winter Festival.

“We plan for circa 90 stalls to include food and drinks outlets, fairground rides, music and entertainment live from our festival stage.

READ MORE: Find out how Destination Helensburgh is promoting our town to visitors - and the wider world

“It’s a perfect destination to pick up Christmas gifts with so many independent retailers coupled with the Winter Festival itself showcasing all our local businesses.”

The Winter Festival’s organisers hope to resume full activities this year with an event on November 27 and 28.

Vivien Dance, chief executive of the Helensburgh and Lomond Chamber of Commerce, said: “The town has a strong independent sector, and we all know the challenges that they have faced in the last 18 months, but we are in a very strong position at the moment as a business community.

“All we have to do is spread the word far and wide that Helensburgh is well and truly ready to welcome visitors and time spent here will be an enjoyable experience as the area has so much to offer.

“What was needed was a local business that would take the lead and make their core business the marketing and promotion of the area and Destination Helensburgh has filled this void and is well funded now to achieve their aspirations.”

If your business or organisation is planning an event or seasonal offer before the end of March 2022, contact Destination Helensburgh as soon as possible by emailing Ciorsdan Taylor on ciorsdan.taylor@destinationhelensburgh.org.

For more information visit destinationhelensburgh.org.