A new fundraising drive has been launched as Govanhill Baths Community Trust enters the final stage of securing funding to refurbish and reopen the Edwardian Bathhouse as a new health and wellbeing centre.
Following the architects’ images of the redevelopment revealed last year, the organisation is asking its supporters to invest in the Baths through Community Shares. This is the first time this innovative mechanism of funding has been used in Scotland in an urban setting with Govanhill’s socio-economic profile.
Since launching the campaign at the end of September, over 220 people have invested so far.
Alan Walsh, chair of Govanhill Baths Community Trust, said: “We have been overwhelmed by the level of support in the community. They have been with us every step, from the closure of Govanhill Baths in 2001 right up to this equally decisive moment that sees us within reach of fully reopening and serving the community once again.”
Architects Hall Black and Douglas, appointed alongside Alistair Coey Conservation Architects, will restore the envelope of the building along with refurbishing and developing the interior, including a new reception, cafe, and community gym. The ladies’ pool will also be brought back into use, joining the learners’ pool that reopened at the start of this year.
Speaking at the campaign launch Nicola Sturgeon MSP said: “Community Shares’ concept is really fantastic. It’s about raising money in a way that allows people to earn a return on the money that they’re investing. But much more important than that, it’s about encouraging community ownership.”
In addition to 3% interest on investments, shareholders will take part in major decisions affecting Govanhill Baths and will benefit from reduced membership rates in the new centre. UK income tax payers may also be eligible for 50% tax relief on their investment.
Further information is available on the campaign’s website.