Council agrees £500,000 funding award for Govanhill Baths

Govanhill Baths FoyerGlasgow City Council has agreed a £500,000 funding award that will support plans to bring back swimming to the former Govanhill Baths.

The funding awarded to Govanhill Baths Community Trust will go towards a £6.68 million plan that aims to reopen the former ladies and learner pools at the facility as part of a wider package of work.

It is hoped the unanimous decision by the council’s city administration committee will also lead to the other funding bodies working with Govanhill Baths Community Trust to provide financial backing for the project.

If the baths trust achieves its £6.68m target its will be able to complete Phase 1B of the restoration plan. As well as opening the two smaller pools at the baths, the plan involves work to ensure the building itself is wind and watertight and the opening of other facilities such as a Turkish spa, a gymnasium, a community kitchen and an events and arts space. The bid to re-open the main swimming pool remains a longer term goal.

Councillor Kenny McLean, city convener 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 Community 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 our proposal to provide the trust with significant funding for the next phase of their project has been agreed. I am very hopeful this funding will encourage the other funders the trust has been working with to commit fully to backing Govanhill Baths.

“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 wider Govanhill community.”

The fundraising effort for the baths trust has recently been boosted by a community shares issues, which has already brought in £70,000. Decisions on funding bids to the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund are due in March next year and, if positive, these could net Govanhill Baths Community Trust a total of £2.4m. Smaller funding bids have also have been lodged with eight other funding organisations.

Fatima Uygun, trust manager of Govanhill Baths Community Trust, said: “We are delighted that the city administration committee has decided to fund our project. This is vital to the completion of the project and we are very grateful to the council and city government for their continued support.

“The restoration of the facilities in Govanhill is crucial to our community, the city government have promised to ‘let good things happen’ and they are certainly putting their money where their mouth is.”

If the funding target is achieved, it is hoped that work on Phase 1B of the restoration project could begin in May 2019 ahead of opening in July 2021.

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