Helensburgh businesses and groups are being invited to take part in this year’s expanded Winter Festival – with £100 grants on offer.

The town’s Christmas celebrations have been running since 2012, attracting people from all over Scotland and further afield every year.

As previously reported in the Advertiser, this year the organisers are growing the festival to take in more of the town, its residents and to provide a new focus for the whole month of December - turning the Winter Festival into a 'Christmas Town' celebration.

The festival itself has moved to a new weekend this year, and will take place on December 9 and 10 in Colquhoun Square.

This will include the customary Christmas market, music and dance, Santa’s Grotto, the Santa Dash and street food and carnival rides for the whole family.

There will be the regular competitions in the run up to the festival including the ever popular penguin competition.

This year a number of other town organisations will be taking part in the Christmas Town celebrations.

Groups already signed up include the Helensburgh Community Hub, Helensburgh Art Hub, Fun First, Grey Matters, Jean’s Bothy, Helensburgh Theatre Arts, Friends of Hermitage Park, Drumfork Community Centre and Live Argyll.

Organisers are now inviting other groups and businesses to come forward with their own ideas for festival fun events to add to the month of magic.

Grants of up to £100 will be on offer to help create dedicated Christmas Town events, and these will be issued on a first come first served basis until the pot runs out.

If you have a great idea for the festival and would like a little help to make it happen email media@helensburghwiterfestival.co.uk with your idea and what you would like the grant for.

This year’s Christmas light switch-on event will be held in Colquhoun Square on November 18, and a gala day and dog show will take place on August 12 to help raise funds for this year’s display.