A Helensburgh skate park campaigner says a facility in the town suggested for use by local riders is "unrideable" and "dangerous".

Jackie Hood, chair of the Helensburgh Skatepark Project (HSP), hit out after local councillor Fiona Howard suggested local BMX and scooter riders and skateboarders consider making use of a currently unused skate park in Kirkmichael.

HSP wants to see a skate park provided on the town's waterfront, in a similar location to the previous temporary facility next to the old Helensburgh Swimming Pool which was removed when the old pool building was demolished.

Councillor Howard made her suggestion on Facebook at the weekend, pointing out that a skate park and multi-use games area already existed in Kirkmichael.

But Ms Hood said the Kirkmichael facility was in need of a complete overhaul to make it suitable for use, and said the group still supported a permanent facility on the waterfront.

A new temporary facility is currently being constructed and should be in place on the waterfront around Easter, in line with a planning condition attached to the construction of the new Helensburgh Leisure Centre.

Ms Hood said: “The current skate park at Kirkmichael is unrideable. The transitions are dangerous and unfit for purpose.

“It would need demolished and rebuilt by a proper skate park design team.

“It is not possible to fix these ramps. They were a waste of money when they were built, and it is a shame council taxpayers’ money was spent on them.

“My own children rode here once several years ago and they said they would never ride again due to how badly the park has been designed and constructed, and how concerned they were that they would get injured.

“The pierhead is the perfect place. It is open and visible and would therefore mitigate anti-social behaviour due to the passive supervision provided by its town centre location.

“The waterfront location has the potential to be one of the best skateparks in the country - in the town centre; a highly visible location; economic benefit to local shops and eateries; next to a public toilet and what a view!”

She added: “Argyll and Bute Council have to reinstate the skatepark on the waterfront to allow them to discharge planning condition 15 of the leisure centre build.

“The Helensburgh Skatepark Project has always maintained that this pierhead location is the best option.”

Cllr Howard wrote on social media that the space could be used as a skatepark and multi use games area [MUGA] “without trying to cram separate facilities in unsuitable corners at huge expense while the existing facilities lie disused".

In her Facebook post she said: “There is a group in Helensburgh that wants a new skatepark and there is a group in Helensburgh that wants a new MUGA.

“Both these things are already in place at the back of the Kirkmichael Estate along with a well-equipped children's play area, floodlights, and changing facilities.

“The site has access to public transport and is well screened from neighbouring homes.

“It used to be run by a community group which collapsed and hasn't been replaced.

“Surely in these cash strapped times it would make sense to get together a group from MUGA fans and skateboard fans to take the site over, refurb (with council support), and have a wonderful site for the young people of the town to enjoy without trying to cram separate facilities in unsuitable corners at huge expense while the existing facilities lie disused?”

Cllr Howard later stated that she does not want the Helensburgh Skatepark Project to focus on the Kirkmichael facilities but hopes the space can be redeveloped to become usable.

Speaking to the Advertiser, she added: “I am not asking the skate park project to concentrate their efforts on Kirkmichael, but I am saying that the Kirkmichael facility could be amazing with support from a group willing to be its champions and to develop it.

“I think it is a shame it had been allowed to become so run-down, but it is too late to worry about that. Better to look ahead and see if the town can't have the best of both worlds.

“I would be astonished if there was any chance of funding be found in the near future for a brand new MUGA in Helensburgh, and to have the existing one repaired and put back into responsible hands would be wonderful.”

The Helensburgh Skatepark Project are hoping that the waterfront facility will open in April.

Work on the new ramps is being carried out by a team from the Unit 23 indoor skate park in Dumbarton.