Helensburgh’s MSP, Jackie Baillie, has urged Argyll and Bute Council to refurbish Helensburgh Pier as part of the overall regeneration of the town centre.
Helensburgh Pier is in a state of serious disrepair with Argyll and Bute Council estimating that it could cost almost £1million. The Council also revealed last month that repairs to the pier may not even be completed in time for the iconic Waverley paddle steamer’s 2020 sailing.
The MSP submitted a parliamentary question last month, asking the Scottish Government to confirm whether funding allocated for town centre regeneration can be used for the repair and refurbishment of a pier, where it is integral to the economic viability of the town.
In response, Derek Mackay, the Scottish Government’s finance spokesperson confirmed, “The Town Centre Fund is a ring-fenced capital fund for local authorities.” Adding, “It is for local authorities to allocate funding, and supporting guidance indicates that it is expected that they make investment decisions in the context of national and local commitments to town centres… In this context, in some towns this could therefore include the repair or refurbishment of a pier.”
“This is welcome news for the people of Helensburgh. Helensburgh Pier is not only iconic but vitally important for the local economy.
“It was disappointing enough that the pier was in such a bad state that the Waverley would have been unable to stop in the town this year if its summer timetable had gone ahead. But now the Council has said that it may not even be ready for next year. This will have a huge impact on tourism locally which will affect local businesses and the economy.
“I hope that the Council will now look at using the Town Centre Fund to help with repairs to the pier so that it is fit for next season.”