Councillor Graham Hardie writes about latest projects to improve Helensburgh and Lomond.

I am the deputy policy lead for business development at the council, working with my colleague, Councillor Liz McCabe, who is the policy lead, and we are involved in some interesting projects in the Helensburgh and Lomond area.

The council's Helensburgh CARs scheme is progressing with the first shopfront works now completed and work is continuing with a number of the priority buildings in the Helensburgh Town Centre Conservation area.

This regeneration scheme is funded by the council. Historic Environment Scotland and private owners are using traditional materials and skills to restore our historic buildings.

The first shopfront restoration project has been completed at 53 Sinclair Street - The Scandinavian Shop. It has provided a full heritage restoration to the shopfront which has included traditional hand painted signage meeting restoration and heritage requirements.

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Another key project is the restoration of 3 to 7 East Clyde Street.

This building, which is in poor condition, needs transformational change and the council is working with a number of partners to look at how the building can be restored.

One option is affordable housing and a project is being assembled to make this happen in the next few months using money from the Crown Estate Funds and other external funding.

Helensburgh has been included in the Clyde Mission Regeneration programme working with councils from the Glasgow Region. This initiative has been handed over to council control with a focus on district heating and the use of renewable energy. Discussions to identify specific projects in Helensburgh are ongoing with more details on this to be made available next year.

The council is continuing to work in partnership with the MOD and HMNB Clyde on the expansion of the base in terms of personnel.

The new submarine training school is nearing completion with major infrastructure works also in the planning stage. The expansion of the base will bring numerous job opportunities across a range of professions and vocations.

There are ambitions to create a new innovation hub on the Colgrain Business Park site and the innovation hub forms part of the Rural Growth Deal with outline business cases being submitted to both Governments for approval.

Many thanks to Fergus Murray and his team at the council for implementing and developing the above initiatives and projects.

Finally, as the winter nights draw in, I should like to wish all my constituents in Helensburgh a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Joyful New Year.