An iconic landmark in Helensburgh is under exciting new ownership.
VisitScotland have announced that Helensburgh Clock Tower has been purchased by The Tower Digital Arts Centre, a local charity at the heart of the town’s community.
The charity, who were supported in their purchase by Social Investment Scotland, plan to use the building as a box office for local events and festivals, which will also include a brand new café. It is hoped this new offering will act as a hub for residents and attract more visitors to the Victorian holiday resort.
The Tower Digital Arts Centre is a converted church in the heart of Helensburgh dedicated to developing the digital and cultural economy of the area. Its founder, Brian Keating, is a key tourism player in the region tourism as the Chairman of social enterprise VisitHelensburgh and a former board member of the Argyll and the Isles Tourism Co-operative.
The Clock Tower, which was formerly a VisitScotland iCentre, received a number of bids which were assessed based on detailed information provided by each prospective buyer. The scoring was carried out by key VisitScotland staff with community benefits a major consideration.
The new owners will explore the possibility of joining an impressive network of VisitScotland Information Partners (VIPs). Launched in May 2016, the VIP programme ties in with the national tourism organisation’s global Spirit of Scotland campaign and harnesses the local knowledge, warmth and enthusiasm of partners across the country to help visitors receive the warmest of welcomes and make the most of their trip to Scotland. There are already ten VIPs in Helensburgh including Shiloh Bed and Breakfast and Cattle and Creel Steakhouse and Seafood Bar.
David Adams McGilp, Regional Director for VisitScotland, said:
It’s fantastic that Helensburgh Clock Tower will be in the safe hands of The Tower Digital Arts Centre. The plans put forward by the charity are very exciting and I am confident that the property will once again be a superb addition to the town’s tourism product.
VisitScotland works closely with communities, businesses and charities to showcase the rich assets, hidden gems and local stories of every region in Scotland. We look forward to working with Brian and his team.
Brian Keating, Founder of The Tower Digital Arts Centre, said:
We are delighted that our bid has been accepted by VisitScotland. The Helensburgh Clock Tower is an historic landmark and we see this purchase as a great opportunity to highlight, improve and promote the cultural offerings in the area. The building is in need of repairs and upgrades which we will pursue subject to conversations with the Council and Historic Scotland.