MORE cash is to be spent on improvements to Helensburgh pier after councillors approved the award of additional funds today.

Members of Argyll and Bute Council's policy and reseources committee agreed on Thursday to rubber-stamp the award of almost £90,000 to pier improvement work as part of a package of regeneration funding across the area.

The pier cash comes from the Scottish Government's 'place based investment' (PBI) programme.

At Thursady's meeting, the same committee approved the award of £5,000 in 'strategic events and festivals' funding to the "Helensburgh Christmas Festival" - otherwise known as the Helensburgh Festive Lighting Charitable Trust - towards the cost of providing a three-month Helensburgh Festival of Lights, Christmas market and Christmas lights switch-on.

This year's festive lights display will be illuminated on November 19.

The pier improvement works, according to a report prepared for Thursday's meeting, comprise "enhanced hard landscaping and lighting of the masonry pier section of Helensburgh Pier to improve its visual appearance and further enhance this part of the waterfront, including the views looking out from the swimming pool and gym".

The report continues: "By ensuring that the surfacing is seamless and matches the quality and finishes of the council’s waterfront development project, it will visually lift this area of the townscape at this point, increase pedestrian safety and add value to the investment already taking place."

Improvements to the masonry section of the pier previously received a total of £255,710 in funding from the PBI programme and the Crown Estate, but the report says the additional £89,514 awarded on Thursday reflects "rises in construction costs".

None of the cash will be spent on improvements to the decaying wooden section of the pier - the condition of which has kept the facility closed to all marine traffic since October 2018.

However, proposals for more substantial work, which it's hoped could return the pier to use, are expected to feature in a bid by the council for money from the UK Government's Levelling Up Fund.

The final terms of that bid are due to be considered by the full council later this month.

Cash from the PBI and the Crown Estate has also been awarded to projects in Lochgilphead, Tobermory and Dunoon and on the islands of Jura and Bute.

Councillor Robin Currie, the authority's leader and its policy lead for the economy and rural growth, said: “The use we’re making of this funding will deliver benefits for residents and visitors alike.

"This is another step forward in developing Argyll and Bute as a great place to live, work and visit.”