A Helensburgh mum has issued a passionate plea to Argyll and Bute Council urging them to rebuild the town’s skatepark.

Paula McIntosh was inspired by her time volunteering at the UCI World Cycling Championships, held in Glasgow during August.

The skatepark - also used by riders of BMX bikes and scooters - has been a point of contention in the town since 2018 when over 1,000 residents signed a petition created by the Helensburgh Skatepark Project to have it rebuilt into a concrete facility.

In 2021 the previous temporary facility, next to the now-demolished Helensburgh Swimming Pool, was dismantled as part of work on the new Helensburgh Leisure Centre.

Ms McIntosh said that while working at the Glasgow event she had seen for herself the successes of Team GB within BMX racing as the team topped the cycling and para-cycling medal tables with 56 and 44 medals, respectively.

She gave a speech on the issue at a meeting of Helensburgh Community Council, of which she is a member.

Ms McIntosh said: “I specifically asked to be based at Glasgow Green where the BMX Freestyle, Park and Trials competitions were located.

“It was the most fascinating and awe-inspiring time for me; spending seven hours a day in the presence of elite athletes made me wish I was a teenager again and off to buy a BMX bike.

“I don’t know about you, but I think we are pretty good at BMX and Trials, not only winning medals but having Team GB ranking so highly among the world’s - yes, the world’s - elite sportsmen and women is something that is quite frankly outstanding.”

Standouts from Team GB were Kieran Reilly who came first in the men’s BMX Elite Park, Bethany Shiever who won gold in the Elite Women BMX Racing, and Emily Hutt who took the silver medal in the U23 Women BMX Racing.

Ms McIntosh added: “If this is not incentive enough for our skatepark to be reinstated forthwith I don’t know what is.

“Helensburgh should be part of this legacy, but only if Argyll and Bute Council builds the infrastructure to allow people, young or old to practise their craft.

“BMX and skateboarding are a performance art - the performers need a stage and they need an audience.

“The waterfront provides all this. So, I plead with you, reinstate their skatepark on the waterfront.

“Give them a patch of flat concrete to practise their moves and maybe we might find we have a future champion in our midst.

“If Argyll and Bute Council continues to dither over this, they are doing a disservice to the young people of this town and they are failing all the current and future skateboarders and BMXers of Helensburgh and surrounding area.”

Last month, Argyll and Bute councillors approved a plan to spend £80,000 on finding a permanent home for Helensburgh's skatepark in the town.

The authority has also committed to creating a temporary skatepark on the waterfront site - a condition of planning permission for the waterfront development - though that does not necessarily mean that a permanent facility will be created at the same location.

However, it may be next year before that temporary facility is erected and ready for use.

The council's 2012 masterplan for the site states that a skatepark must be rebuilt on the site.

During her presentation, Ms McIntosh referred to a quote by British Cycling CEO Jon Dutton who spoke of the achievements of Britian’s competitors in the August Championships.

He said: “Like so many people I leave the UCI Cycling World Championships feeling incredibly proud of our British riders, whose bold, brave, and brilliant performances have taken this event into the hearts and homes of fans across the country.

“New stars have been born, our household names have delivered in spades, and we now have an amazing opportunity to harness all of that inspiration to ensure that more people ride, race and enjoy our sport in the future.”