Cash pledged after battle for revamp of historic baths
MORE than 15 years after ordering the closure of Govanhill Baths Glasgow City Council will give half a million pounds to see it reopened.
Despite community protests, the fitness hub was closed in 2001 but locals have since battled to save it.
Now, councillors will debate this week whether to give £500,000 to Govanhill Community Baths Trust (GCBT) for the building’s redevelopment.
GCBT needs to raise £6.1million to transform the Edwardian building into a fitness and wellbeing centre.
It is hoped that the £500,000 from the council will unlock funding from other groups such as Heritage Lottery Fund, the Scottish Land Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convenor for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm, said: “A huge amount of progress has been made with the business case for Govanhill Baths as a long term project.
“Govanhill Baths Trust is now able to put forward a far more robust proposal that points towards a sustainable future for the baths.
“On this basis I am very pleased that the City Government is proposing to provide the trust with significant funding for the next phase of their project. I am very hopeful this funding will encourage the other funders the trust has been working with to commit fully to backing Govanhill Baths.”
Previously GBCT had said the building would close in November and take a year to refurbish, opening in 2018.
However, a paper going to executive committee this week says Heritage Lottery Fund and other funding decisions are expected in March 2018.
A tender for the works will go out in December 2018 and a decision made in March 2019 before work begins in May 2019.
Building works should be completed in May 2020 and the building open to the public in July 2021.
Mr McLean said: “Achieving the overall funding target will help the trust secure the fabric of the building and open up a wide range of facilities at the baths, including two of the smaller pools.
“This is sure to enhance the use of the facility and provide a great boost to the health and well-being of the Govanhill community.”
To find out how to invest in Govanhill Baths see: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ Govanhill-Baths