Current situation

UPDATE REPORT FROM CHAIRPERSON

23rd July 14

99, Calder Street, Govanhill, G427RA. T. 0141 433 2999,

THIS IS AN UPDATE ABOUT WHAT WE HAVE DONE AND WHAT WE ARE DOING AT GOVANHILL BATHS WITH THE CONTINUED HELP OF OUR VOLUNTEERS. CAN YOU HELP?

Our Mission is to:

Reopen the Baths and contribute to the social, cultural and built regeneration of Govanhill as a community on the Southside of Glasgow.

Our Project to re-open the Baths as a Wellbeing Centre has three phases:

Phase 1 (2013 - 15) which includes the opening and refurbishment of the front suite and working towards the opening of the “ladies and toddlers/training pools”, an arts/upcycling space, gardening and roof garden spaces, partial development of an event hall (in the original “steamie”, Turkish suite and sauna, roof garden, gymnasium and healthy eating café. Phase 2 (2015 -16) the full development of the “Steamie” as an events and community space
Phase 3 (2016 -17) re-opening the main pool and completing the programme of activities outlined below.

Phase 1 of the Project is now well underway after the formal launch of the building as a Wellbeing Centre (See website for details) in February 2012 by Peter Mullan, Nicola Sturgeon and Cllr Archie Graham. In the past 5 years the Trust has achieved a total of some £400K in grants from a range of sources to develop the Centre, all of which has allowed the progress described here to be made. £100K was provided by the Government’s Equally Well scheme under Participatory Budgeting, a scheme we hope to extend in discussion with government.

Applications to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £1.2M and Historic Scotland (£0.4M) are in progress and discussions have begun with them. Subject to the production of an overall Business Plan Glasgow City Council has agreed it will transfer ownership of the Baths to the Trust and the community – currently we lease the building from the council. The Wellbeing Centre intends to build and grow as a social enterprise.

The Front Suite provides spaces for community activities such as meetings, seminars, conferences, art and musical activities including exhibitions (see below). A legal office (Govanhill Welfare Centre) is now open to the local public free of charge focusing on welfare issues (funded by Glasgow City Council and operated by the Castlemilk Law Centre). See the “Snapshot below”.

Appointment of Princes Regeneration Trust as Project Managers for Phase 1 We have been awarded a major development grant of £34K from the Big Lottery to take forward Phase 1 of our scheme to refurbish the Baths. This endorsement (which will lead to a £1M grant) means there is now a fantastic future ahead for these historically important and well-loved Baths as we press ahead with the development of our Wellbeing Centre (see www.govanhillbaths.com) and that the building will not simply be lost through decay. This is our comprehensive response to the call by government, the local authority, many research studies and the local community for better individual and community health facilities in the area, (which GBCT has also identified through significant community consultation and research projects since 2008). Critical to this vision of a is a holistic concept of community health involving restoration and regeneration for the wider Govanhill community. Through the project GBCT wants to achieve above all, community cohesion, growth of community assets, local economic growth and employment opportunities for local people, crime prevention, educational development, growth in the arts, physical fitness and recreation and crucially the return of swimming.

The Prince’s Regeneration Trust (PRT) has been appointed as project manager to oversee the work at the site and the development of an ambitious programme of community engagement activities.

PRT has worked with community groups and the private sector to make important buildings successful community assets once more. Working with the Board of GBCT, its work will lead to the appointment of a design team and a full Business Plan.

The Chief Executive of PRT, Ros Kerslake says: ‘Govanhill Baths is an important local asset, which for more than 10 years has held huge untapped potential. We’re so pleased that it has received the recognition and support it deserves as an important local asset through this Big Lottery grant and round one pass. We’re delighted to be working with Govanhill Baths Community Trust to see this building and the facilities have real significance once again for the local area and become a catalyst for economic and social change.’

Our Activities – a Snapshot The Front Suite of the Baths, which includes a community kitchen, a large entrance foyer and three further working rooms, is now a vibrant and energetic base for a wide range of community groups and activities. They are in active use 5/6 days per week and sometimes Sundays. Since September 2013, some 40 different local, national private, local authority and third sector organisations have used/rented these facilities. The main pool has been used by a wide range of groups for film making, photography, an art auction, various “gigs”, exhibitions (Including the Royal College of Surgeon’s 2 month long “Human Race Exhibition”), and a pantomime by the Citizens Theatre of Glasgow and much else besides. The National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) refurbished and used the toddler’s pool for a major 6-week production of an original work, “Lifeguard” in September/October 2012 which received major acclaim across the UK and Scottish media. The refurbishment leaves this pool almost ready for full usage and we are working to ensure this happens in the next few months with more new funding from the Scottish Enterprise Fund. Scottish Opera has presented a “pop up” show for local schools and the Glasgow International Art Festival used the Baths as one of its three venues in April 2014. The trust presented a Centenary Conference on Health and Wellbeing in June with the main speaker Professor Sir Harry Burns, recently Medical Health Director Scotland.

The Govanhill Theatre Group has now been formed in the baths. After collaborative work with our Art and Regeneration Team (GBART) it has moved into the Steamie area of the baths and is developing a community base for the growth of theatre/acting skills for the local community with particular regard to youth and engagement with schools. The main pool has been temporarily adapted as a theatre space. Five major productions have taken place in the last year and the next is from 22nd July for 6 days, “The Steamie” by Tony Roper which will be performed in our steamie! Most recently in collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Open Stage scheme it produced to much acclaim an all female Hamlet. Plays by others have been presented there too.

Some 30 Exhibitions (painting, photography etc) have been mounted in the main foyer Exhibition area since we opened and more are regularly being commissioned for the rest of this year and much of next. Community cookery classes, Yoga, Tai Chi, music for youth and much else besides keep the centre buzzing everyday. Soap making, knitting and “sow la tea dough” (new skills in mending, sewing machine use etc) being three other activities in progress.

Our Charity Shop, “The Emporium” in Victoria Road thrives in providing a much needed community service. Reliant on volunteers and donations from across the southside it is now in its 8th year of successful operation. It provides also a valuable retail training experience for those seeking work in this area. Funding of £140K by the People’s Community Fund (Scottish Government) for an Upcycling Centre – “Rags to Riches” - has set in place an energetic and exciting team of workers in our “Create” space (the original Turkish/sauna changing rooms!). A wide range of classes and training opportunities are available, some free of charge. See website for details.

The Baths will be open again for Doors Open Day on September 20th and 21st 2014. In the five years we have organised this event some 7,000 people have visited and toured the Baths. This year will be an Edwardian theme since it is our centenary year and the launch/presentation of archival materials and the development of the Baths, including recent struggles to re-open them. A grant of £30K from the Heritage Lottery Fund will allow this to take place.

Web: www.govanhillbaths.com. Contact info@govanhillbaths.com for more information

UNITED WE ARE SWIMMING A.J. July 2014.

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