HELENSBURGH residents gathered at a refurbished facility in the town earlier this month to celebrate the first anniversary of the building coming into community ownership.

The Helensburgh Community Hub, in East Princes Street, hosted an official launch event on Wednesday (December 15) with members of the group that saved the former Red Cross building from closure in 2019 showing off the revamped space and giving an insight into their future plans.

Gill Simpson, development manager at the Hub, told a meeting of Helensburgh Community Council (HCC) recently: “It’s worth remembering that it’s actually less than three years since the talk of the Hub was sparked by the Red Cross giving notice that they were going to sell the building.

“In that very short space of time an awful lot has happened to create a new community hub for the town.

“The board and myself would like to acknowledge the amount of support that there’s been across the Helensburgh community.”

READ MORE: Opinion - 'Community hub is a fantastic asset for Helensburgh'

Following a successful community right to buy process and fund-raising campaign, the Hub’s interior has been upgraded with a new kitchen and toilets contributing to a general sprucing up of the building.

Social clubs and groups now regularly use the Hub, which also acts as a meeting place for sewing classes, painting classes, a new youth club, the Fun First charity, Helensburgh Nappy Library, and a weekly book sale with a new name of the Book Nook.

Councillor Lorna Douglas, chair of the Hub’s board, said: “Every time I stand in the Hub, I still can’t believe that this incredible space belongs to our community.

“The Hub is absolutely bursting with life and I am really excited about our theme for 2022 - Kindness Creates Connection Creates Community.”

We’ll have more from Gill’s HCC presentation - and on the Hub’s plans for 2022 - in an upcoming edition of the Advertiser.