Helensburgh is being asked to cheer loudly next month when the Waverley makes a return visit to the town.

The paddle steamer will stop off the pier to show it will be possible to bring the popular vessel back to Helensburgh.

Community campaigners have been working to take over the running of the pier and make it a core and literal port of entry to the town after years of neglect.

The Waverley hasn't been able to call at Helensburgh since the pier was closed to marine traffic more than five years ago on safety grounds.

Argyll and Bute Council washed its hands of the pier last year, saying its regeneration was too costly.

A Helensburgh Community Council subgroup, Helensburgh Pier Regeneration (HPR), aims to take it on through an asset transfer.

The Waverley approached the pier during sea trials in May and will return at 12 noon on August 18.

The same date will also see the opening for the 8m series yacht races.

Bill Purdon, who is part of the HPR group, told the community council in their June meeting that there were "positive" updates.

He told the meeting: "We are moving forward. Our expression of interest has been acknowledge by Argyll and Bute Council and we have had an officer appointed to liaise with ourselves.

"We will work over the [council] recess. All looking good in that respect.

"Hopefully we will be in a position at the end of the council recess [for an update] and our company with charible status will be registered."

After the meeting, he told the Advertiser: "The purpose of the Waverley's visit is to show that she is more than capable of berthing at Helensburgh and that hopefully there will be considerable public support for the reopening of the pier.

"The captain has been requested to engage with the gathered crowds on the pier to 'Make some noise'.

"If the people of Helensburgh can turn up in force to try and be louder than the ship, the message to reopen the pier will ring very loud and very clear.

Campaigners have a four-point plan to see the timber pier refurbished to allow a lifting of the marine traffic ban. That would also allow the Waverley and smaller cruise vessels to berth.

A pontoon on the east side with access from the existing slip would also be added to allow "day tour" boats and offer a facility for boats moored in the East Bay.

Long term, the group wants a larger pontoon in the West Bay with access to the stone pier for medium sized cruise ships to visit.