Helensburgh's Drumfork Community Centre Reopens

NAVAL families and members of the public in Helensburgh got a sneak peek at the newly renovated Drumfork Community Centre on Saturday when the facility held a families’ event ahead of its official opening.

A Hallowe’en ‘Spooktacular’ was held with fire-eaters, stilt-walkers, magicians, balloon artists and face-painters entertaining junior and adult visitors alike. Also attending were representatives from nearby HM Naval Base Clyde, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) as well as those involved in the project to upgrade the centre.

Base executive officer, Commander Mark Fitzsimmons, said: “For so long we’ve been missing the heart of the Churchill Estate. Well today, we put it back in place and it’s going to make such a difference.

“Through the kind generosity of the RNRMC – and all the donors who supported them – we’ve taken a tired building and made it fit for people of all ages.”

The Drumfork Centre has been at the heart of Helensburgh’s Churchill Square for decades. In 2018, a £2m contract to upgrade the facilities was awarded to local building contractor Stewart and Shields Ltd, overseen by the MoD’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO).

Part of the cash for the work came from fund-raising efforts by the RNRMC to help benefit Naval personnel and their families.

Sam Curd, from the RNRMC, said: “This is a very important day for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and Drumfork. The refurbishment of the community centre represents the charity’s biggest capital improvement project to date.

“This project represents the Royal Navy family, the charity and the local community working really well together.

“Everyone appears delighted with the results and Saturday was the centre’s first opportunity to showcase the refurbishment to local people and to some of the organisations and our supporters who made the whole project possible.
“To see over 500 people here was a great start to spreading the word of the wide range of activities that will be available.”

Commander Fitzsimmons added: “You only have to look at the huge smiles and happy faces today to see what Drumfork means to the families and hopefully we can build on the success of today’s launch in the coming weeks and months.”

The centre is expected to officially open early next year.

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