By Gavin Carr
HER Royal Highness The Princess Royal opened a renovated facility at the heart of Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute today (January 24).
The Drumfork Community Centre in Helensburgh’s Churchill Square has undergone £2 million of work, with much of the funding coming from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC). The new centre will be a hub for military personnel, their families and members of the wider community.
“It is an honour to have Her Royal Highness join us today to officially open the renovated Drumfork Community Centre,” said Captain Nick Gibbons, Captain of HMS Neptune at nearby HM Naval Base Clyde.
“The team has worked tremendously hard to create an environment which will provide significant support to our Service families, as well as presenting opportunities for the local area.
“We were delighted that The Princess Royal took the time to meet so many of those involved in the creation of the Centre and also speak with those who will use and benefit from the facility.”
Greeting The Princess Royal during the visit were local school children from John Logie Baird Primary, Parklands School, St Joseph’s Primary and Clarendon, part of Lomond Junior School. Members of the Police Scotland Youth Volunteers were also on hand to welcome Her Royal Highness to the Drumfork Centre.
The tour included a visit to the nursery within the Centre, St Margaret’s Community Church and IT training facilities.
The Princess Royal also met with key donors including representatives from the MacRobert Trust, Greenwich Hospital, British Forces Broadcasting Services Scotland, the Royal Marines Association and the Royal Navy Association.
The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity’s Director of Fundraising, Alasdair Akass, said: “The physical manifestation of our philosophy to play our part in building community resilience among Naval Service families is no better demonstrated than in this flagship project in Helensburgh.
“The fully refurbished Drumfork Community Centre represents the biggest demonstration to date of putting the weight of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity behind our beneficiaries.”
Work began on the Drumfork Centre in 2018 when a £2M contract was awarded to a local firm, Stewart and Shields, to upgrade the facility.
The refurbishment is linked to the joint Strategic Delivery and Development Framework (SDDF) agreement signed between the Ministry of Defence and Argyll and Bute Council in February 2017. The Memorandum of Understanding commits both parties to work together to find ways which the investment in HM Naval Base Clyde can benefit the entire Helensburgh and Lomond community.
Work on improving the environs of the Centre is set to continue with an impressive new play area being developed outside Drumfork. The finished play area is expected to be completed later this year.
HRH The Princess Royal is greeted by local school children outside the Drumfork Community Centre.
- The Princess meets Service spouses benefiting from training within the Centre’s IT Suite.
- Meeting the little Princes and Princesses within the Drumfork Nursery.
- The Princess Royal unveils the commemorative plaque to officially open the renovated Drumfork Community Centre.
- Being presented with a bouquet by children of naval personnel.
- A young visitor from a local Helensburgh school enjoys the occasion.