Seven proposals have been shortlisted in a bid to develop a key site on the waterfront in Helensburgh.

Nine applicants had submitted expressions of interest for the vacant 1.38-acre site in front of the town’s new leisure centre.

These proposals range from community infrastructure, retail, hotel and food retail. 

It has now been confirmed by Argyll and Bute Council that two of the nine expressions of interest have been ruled out and the seven parties will now submit full financial offers for their proposals before a preferred bidder is appointed.

None of the bidders have been identified by the council, but a statement issued by the authority on Wednesday said those shortlisted would "boost jobs and community facilities in Helensburgh".

The only bidder whose identity has been made public is Helensburgh Community Council (HCC), whose convener, Norman Muir, told the Advertiser on Wednesday - after Argyll and Bute Council's announcement - that HCC had not been told whether its expression of interest had been shortlisted.

Helensburgh councillor Gary Mulvaney, the authority's depute leader and its policy lead for finance and commercial services, said:  “To ensure long-term economic success, we are working to attract people to live and work in the area and to build a prosperous future for Argyll and Bute.

"Following on from the success of the new leisure centre and ongoing town centre regeneration, we are now carefully considering a development that adds economic value to the town and helps support further investment for Helensburgh and the wider area. 

"We would like to thank everyone who gave feedback during the community engagement exercise.

"It’s clear that everyone including our shortlisted proposals realise the opportunities and significance of the waterfront as a prime location in the town. We look forward to this next exciting phase for Helensburgh. ”

The move is the latest stage in the council’s regeneration plans for Helensburgh and follows a recent engagement exercise that asked for feedback from local businesses, pupils and community groups on what kind of facilities they would like to see on the site.

The Argyll and Bute Local Development Plan includes zoned commercial use for the waterfront site and was subject to extensive consultation prior to its approval.

Final proposals for the site will require planning permission and will include a public consultation.