Buildings to be given new lease of life after £20m funding boost

The Govanhill Baths refurbishment and the delivery of a new Torry Community Hub are among 18 projects to benefit from a share of £20.4 million to support local regeneration activity.

More than 600 jobs to be created or supported thanks to the joint Scottish Government and COSLA investment in 2019/20 as part of the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

The funding will refurbish and bring back into use 17 buildings, create more than 6,400 square metres of business space and support 64 community facilities and services which will benefit more than 150 businesses or enterprises.

Located in the Southside Central Ward, the B-listed Edwardian Govanhill Baths is currently on the Buildings at Risk Register. Funding of £2.15m will support Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) towards the aim of fully reopening the baths for the local population and the people of Glasgow and key areas of this important Edwardian building to its original function. The refurbished spaces will also support the expansion of existing social enterprise initiatives for people in Govanhill, designed to respond to the needs of local people, providing opportunities for employment, volunteering and vocational development.

Aberdeen City Council has been awarded £2m to deliver a new purpose-built community hub in Torry. The ethos of the hub is to provide integrated services on a flexible basis in one place, which meets the community’s future needs and delivers early intervention. It will also provide a community cafe and will encourage new users to access services.

Other examples of supported projects include:

  • Angus Council Montrose Playhouse Project £2,260,000

This project will see the transformation of a derelict former swimming pool in the town centre of Montrose into a community hub for arts and education benefitting north Angus and lower Aberdeenshire. The Montrose Playhouse will include an adaptable three screen cinema, education and exhibition spaces, retail space and a café bar. This project is a working partnership with Montrose Playhouse Project SCIO (MPP) - a group of local volunteers, and Angus Council.

  • Inverclyde Council Craigend Resource Centre £1,187,129

The project will see the old centre demolished and a new facility built in its place that will better serve the people of Craigend. The new centre will include a bigger and better café area, increased laundry facilities, a large community hall, a crèche space, a small interview/meeting space and an IT and learning space.

  • Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar Grinneabhat £368 338

The project will redevelop the former Bragar School, which closed in 2013. The Grinneabhat Project, which has been developed by the community through extensive consultation, will deliver the following outcomes; the building will undergo a full refurbishment to include an exhibition space to showcase historical and cultural displays and local artists’ work and there will be a comfortable homely room as well as an outdoor community gardening space.

  • Comhairle Nan Eilean Siar Cnoc Soilleir £1,800,000

The project will support the establishment of a new state-of-the art modern building for Gaelic and cultural heritage in South Uist, including Gaidhlig language, music, dance and education. The building has been designed to become a local focal point for the community and visitors, and to meet exemplary energy efficiency standards and minimize running costs. Cnoc Soilleir (CS) is a £9.9m transformational community-regeneration project. It is an innovative joint venture between Ceòlas, a community organization based in Daliburgh in South Uist, and Lews Castle College UHI (LCC).

  • Stirling Council Cowie Regeneration Project £983,600

The project will see a derelict shop on the Main Street of Cowie redeveloped to provide a community hub. The existing building will be demolished and a new two-storey building will be constructed on the site. The building will provide flexible spaces which can be used for training and development and social and community activity, with its main focus being a digital learning space for all ages. It will also include business start-up accommodation and will support flexible space for training and community activity. In addition, there will be programmes for health and wellbeing and a social café for all ages.

Aileen Campbell, cabinet secretary for communities and local government, said: “I’m really pleased that 18 fantastic, community-led projects will benefit from this significant investment. Projects right across Scotland will receive support which will regenerate their local area by stimulating inclusive growth and supporting and creating jobs.

“The projects being supported are wide ranging and collectively will help tackle inequality and support inclusive growth in disadvantaged communities and fragile rural areas.

“These projects will deliver new training places and volunteering opportunities and support new community assets. This will build community cohesion, help tackle poverty, address health inequality and provide childcare facilities while bringing back into use historic and landmark buildings.”

COSLA’s environment and economy spokesperson, Councillor Steven Heddle, said: “I’m delighted to see these further projects to be funded by the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund in 2019/20. These diverse projects from local authorities across Scotland all reflect localised approaches to regeneration and will deliver strong physical, economic, and social outcomes.

“Importantly, these projects also allow councils to deliver on the regeneration aspirations of the communities they represent. It’s heartening to see the impact this fund is having and I look forward to seeing what projects come forward for funding in the future.”

View a list of the 18 projects awarded RCGF funding in 2019 to 2020.