The west coast town of Helensburgh is situated close to the Glasgow conurbation and yet is on the Firth of Clyde at the entry to the Highlands. This unique positioning serves the town as both commuter and tourist attraction. The town is generally well served with small business and tradesman, has excellent educational establishments and has a large number of sports clubs and special interest groups. The primary function of Helensburgh town’s economy is to provide public and private services for the community of Helensburgh & Lomond area.
The town is famous for both its stunning architecture and tree lined avenues and is considered a much sought after residential location.
Helensburgh, the 50th largest town in Scotland with a population of approximately 14,500, contains as local population comprising, in the main: long term residents who choose Helensburgh and Argyll and Bute for its quality of life, an high proportion of families with children, commuters working in Glasgow, later-life and affluent incomers who often have retirement income, and due to the proximity of HM Naval Base Clyde, naval-related personnel. The latest census figures suggest that Helensburgh’s overall population is ageing and that the town suffers from retaining young people and families once the children have finished their education.
In common with many other Scottish towns, boasts a rich and diverse heritage and culture which has sadly been overlooked and represents a huge opportunity.
Famous as the birthplace of John Logie Baird, Father of Television, Helensburgh is much more than just the town with a single claim to fame. The town has a history of nurturing many famous and successful inspirational creative people blessed with pioneering spirits. Its creative people include Hollywood film directors, actors, musicians, authors, inventors, entrepreneurs, artists including the leading lights of the Glasgow Boys and Girls movement, architects and music producers.
Despite the general perceived prosperity of the town, there are two areas within Helensburgh that are highlighted in the Scottish index of Multiple Deprivation as being in the 15% most deprived in the country, whilst one of them is in the most deprived 5%.
A recent report published by Built Environment Forum Scotland concluded that the challenge for Helensburgh is to ‘tap into the active civil society in the town in a way that will foster constant renewal.’ The report also highlighted that the use of digital technologies potentially creates significant opportunities for Helensburgh to attract and foster people working from home but also to serve much wider markets.
This overall report and its conclusions would probably apply to any similar town across Scotland which is why the Helensburgh Heroes Charity believes that the concept of the Heroes Centre presents an opportunity which is bigger than one west coast town.