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Govanhill pools together for £300k baths fundraising drive

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November 9 2017

Govanhill pools together for £300k baths fundraising drive
Govanhill Baths Community Trust have launched a £300k fundraising drive as a condition of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund to demonstrate the strength of local support for their Govanhill Baths project in Glasgow.

If successful the campaign will kick-start delivery of a £6.4m health & wellbeing centre within the former baths, with the hope that funding can be finalised by April 2018. A start on site could then be made by the following spring 2019 and an expected reopening in summer 2020.

Thus far 235 individuals have invested a total of £62,000 in the Pool Together initiative, with just ten days remaining to secure the remaining 80%.

Hall Black Douglas and conservation architect Alistair Coey have been commissioned to rehabilitate the space with the addition of a new reception, café and garden.

Adopting a Community Shares funding mechanism the scheme will reward investors with a 3% return on their contributions payable from profits made when trading commences in 2021.

1 Comment

Niall Murphy
#1 Posted by Niall Murphy on 10 Nov 2017 at 11:54 AM
As one of the Trustees for Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) can I express my gratitude to Urban Realm for bringing this fund-raising drive to the attention of their readers?
 
As the article mentions the idea of the Crowdfunder campaign is to raise funds for getting the Baths back into use for Govanhill, and the Southside, tackling the multiple deprivations in the neighbourhood. This good news story is a pretty remarkable one for Glasgow’s community and heritage sectors, and an urban based Crowdfunding campaign on this scale is unusual for Scotland. 
 
This is actually the first time GBCT have asked the wider community for support with fund raising, which they are also doing to demonstrate to grant funders the support there is for the regeneration of the Baths. With over 240 investors now, there can be no doubt about that. So, if readers of Urban Realm are interested please check out our Crowdfunder page as per the link in the article above. 
 
Govanhill Baths has come a long way from the campaign to save the Baths in the early 2000s. They have done their utmost to build capacity in the neighbourhood, brought in organisations such as the Prince's Regeneration Trust & Prince’s Foundation for Building Community for project management of the regeneration proposals, and their community consultation for their grant funding bids was one of the best examples of outreach I’ve seen in Glasgow. The time and effort the team have put in has been hugely impressive.
 
Furthermore, they are an exemplar in Glasgow and Scotland for how a group of local residents can keep a Building on the Buildings at Risk Register going for the sake of a wider community. What GBCT have been doing - which is now known as a ‘Meanwhile Use’ - has become very much on trend around the UK when communities in a time of austerity have tried to keep their facilities open in the face of cut backs. 
 
To keep the building going a wide range of activities takes place, including theatre, archery, fly-fishing, yoga, arts and crafts, up-cycling and festivals such as the recent Sonica. The Learners’ Pool was reopened earlier this year with a very popular programme of children’s swimming lessons. And in terms of visitor numbers, the Baths - as a vibrant community hub - receives almost as many visitors as Tramway, making it a model for other communities in Scotland.
 
Added to this is the fact that the Baths are the last surviving fragment of Glasgow’s extensive network of Edwardian Public Baths virtually all of which have either been demolished or are facade retentions. It is a rare example of the work of the Glasgow Corporation Office of Public Works architects team being designed by Thomas Gilmour who also did the lovely Edwardian Baroque Pollokshields Library, improvements to George Square and the Kelvinhall with its mini New York skyscraper skyline. Saving the Baths is the largest community-led conservation initiative in Glasgow which is why I’m supporting it.
 
Therefore, any support people can offer is very much appreciated so many thanks once again to Urban Realm for this article!

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