Govanhill Baths opened to the public, for the first time, on 28th February 1917. As we move towards the second grand re-opening in
2019, Govanhill Baths Community Trust is celebrating the last hundred years of the Baths and Govanhill. A series of commissions, workshops, events and exhibitions are planned over 10 weeks from the anniversary onwards.

28TH FEB – 6pm – Launch of ‘Before the Bikini to the Burkini’, an exhibition showcasing the swimming costumes over the last 100 hundred years worn by users of the facility. Swimming costumes designed and made by Amelia Rowe and Gabby Cullen, in association with Rags to Riches.  Exhibition runs until 27th March.

28th FEB – 8th MAY 2017 Govanhill 1917 – What was it like?  What was Govanhill like c. 1917, what was Glasgow like? We present a multimedia exhibition which looks at the demographic, including the Irish, Jewish and Italian communities and considers: housing; transport; industry; schools; cinemas and other leisure activities of the people of that time.

We will be collaborating with a number of organisations and in April there will be a series of workshops with school pupils and older
residents culminating in an extended exhibition from 1st – 8th May. If you are interested in taking part or have any photographs or other materials from this time please get in touch with Paula –

protest banners


25TH MAR – 12-5pm – HISTORIC TOURS OF THE BATHS Join us on Saturday 25 March for a tour of the building and open day.  Characters from Govanhill’s history will take you around the building while telling the story of Govanhill and it’s wonderful Edwardian Bath-House

03RD APR – 6pm – Launch of a specially commissioned banner to commemorate the hundred year history of Govanhill Baths.


Invest now in Govanhill Baths Community Shares here:

Govanhill is Scotland’s most diverse community, welcoming immigrants for over 100 years. But it is also one of the most deprived areas in Scotland. Our mission is to support the community through the redevelopment of Govanhill Baths – one of Glasgow’s last Edwardian Bathhouses – as a new Health and Wellbeing Centre and return them to the heart of community life in Govanhill.

We have almost reached the £6.4 million we need to achieve this and have just £300K left to raise. With your help we can do this if we all pool together!
But this is more than just about a building; it’s about developing community capacity and pride.

black and white image of Govanhill Baths exterior from 1920s

Making A Big Splash

The closure of Govanhill Baths in 2001 had a direct impact on the wellbeing of the community. More than two thirds of local people state they no longer swim and physical exercise has significantly declined.
Re-opening Govanhill Baths is a vital step in regenerating Govanhill. We know this because we consulted with the community. We engaged directly with almost 1,500 people – around 15% of the local population – and what they told us inspired our plans to help them:

  • Learn new skills.
  • Connect through activities at the Baths.
  • Gain work experience and become more employable.
  • Access wellbeing, exercise, and community activities.
  • Be engaged through accessible and inclusive activities.
  • Be healthier and happier, connecting health and wellbeing to exercise, diet, social and mental health.
  • Care for the environment.
  • Feel connected to a shared local heritage and sense of belonging.

montage of pictures showing visualisation of redeveloped Govanhill Baths with swimming pool and gym

Sink or Swim

For almost two decades the community of Govanhill has fought with determination to save the historic baths on Calder Street. In the centenary year of their first opening, we’re in the last length of the struggle to reopen the Baths.

When Glasgow City Council announced their closure the community immediately took action; a petition of 30,000 signatures was completed within a fortnight. The commitment of local people to save Govanhill Baths then led to the longest continuous occupation of a civic building in British history, which succeeded in saving the building from demolition. In 2004 Govanhill Baths Community Trust was established. In 2012 we succeeded in getting the Baths’ building back in to partial use and in 2013 secured a long-term lease from Glasgow City Council to operate the building.

Since then we have had almost 100,000 visitors and so built a strong case to complete major redevelopment of the building. We have a great track record of delivering high quality services to the community, as detailed in our Share Offer document below.

Diving In

What Are Community Shares
Community Shares (also called ‘withdrawable shares’) are ideally suited to community-focused organisations. Unlike shares in a typical company they cannot be sold, traded or transferred but can be withdrawn after a set period of time (subject to society rules). To find out more, watch this short video from Community Shares Scotland.

How Community Shares Will Help Us
Community Shares will demonstrate to funders that local people want Govanhill Baths to re-open. They also bring the people who will benefit from the building into the heart of income generation. Share offers have been shown to lead to stronger businesses for this very reason.

Who Can Buy Shares
Anyone over the age of 16 can buy shares, along with companies, organisations or small groups of people who pool together. Shares can also be bought as a gift. You can hold any value of shares between £100 and the maximum shareholding of £30,000.

Tax Breaks and Interest
We are offering investors interest at 3% and have applied for tax reliefs, which if granted, will enable UK income taxpayers to reclaim some of what they have invested back in their tax return. The first of these would be available to the first £150,000 of investment by individuals, who would be able to claim 50% of what they have invested. Further tax breaks for the remainder of the investment would be worth 30% to investors. Please check back here for future updates and see our Share Offer document for further details.

Shareholders’ Rights
In addition to all the benefits listed, all shareholders, no matter how much they invest, will have an equal say in the governance of the Baths through voting at the Annual Members’ Meeting and the ability to put forward items for discussion, as well as being consulted on important issues.

Cover of we'll swim again book and DVD and save our pool t-shirt

Making Waves

We’ll be transforming Govanhill Baths into a facility we can truly use. The entire building will be saved, much of it renovated and modernised for the 21st century, and re-opened to the public at last.

This phase of the project will see the conservation and refurbishment of the external envelope of the building, and internal repair to structural roof of the Main Pool.

We will create a range flexible spaces and meeting rooms, re-open the Ladies’ Pool and Learners’ Pool and create a Turkish Suite. We will also renovate the Steamie as a multi-purpose arts space and venue, create a café, and state-of-the-art Gymnasium.

This will allow us to deliver a diverse range of activities and services that will improve the health, social, cultural, educational, environmental and employment-related outcomes for the community.

For more details please see our Share Offer and Business Plan below. You can also get in touch with us by emailing or telephone 0141 433 2999.

We hope you’ll dive in with us and help complete the journey of our beloved Edwardian Bath and Washhouse to true community-ownership, where the people who care about Govanhill Baths the most, will own and protect them.

Please remember, these Community Shares are available for a limited period only, up to 22 October 2017.

United we will swim!

Invest now at


The Business Plan below is not the final version of this document. Please contact us at to be informed when it is available.

Download Community Share Offer Document

Download Community Business Plan

Download the Rules

You can also invest by sending a cheque with an application form but we urge you to use Crowdfunder, as, if we are successful in getting approval from Big Society Capital (details below), they will match the Big Society Capital amount only against investments made on Crowdfunder.

We’ve applied for a match of our share issue of up to £100,000 from Big Society Capital, a UK government-backed fund that invests in social enterprises. If we’re successful, they will match all investments made by individuals in the UK who use the Crowdfunder platform to support us. So, if we can raise £200,000 from the community via Crowdfunder, we can add the Big Society Capital £100,000
to reach our minimum target.

To request an application form please call 0141 433 2999.

The Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) are delighted to announce that they have commissioned artist Nathan Coley to develop ideas for an artwork that will form part of the physical fabric and social history of the building in its next phase of redevelopment. Support from Creative Scotland will enable Nathan to carry out an intensive period of research and development, immersing himself in the life and work of the building and its community.

Sixteen years after Govanhill Baths was closed by the Council in the face of massive public opposition, the GBCT have secured funding to redevelop the building as a Wellbeing Centre, incorporating the refurbishment of two of the original pools.

“After years of struggle the community deserves to celebrate this major achievement to preserve and regenerate the Baths” Fatima Uygun, Trust Manager and long standing campaigner

This commission builds on a significant history of creative activity that has been embedded in the work of the Govanhill Baths Community Trust from the outset and used to engage, communicate, delight, agitate and celebrate the struggle to reopen the Govanhill Baths. The arts and cultural activities have always played a significant role in our history and also in our current programme delivery. Govanhill Baths is now considered a major artistic hub attracting local and international artists and arts events as well as delivering popular community based activities.

Nathan, a turner prize nominee, is internationally renowned and has produced site-specific sculptures for a wide variety of contexts. He also lives locally and has a personal connection to the building. He is excited about working with the Trust and contributing to the redevelopment.

Nathan Coley

Nathan Coley

“I learnt to swim in Govanhill Baths 30 years ago, and lived in the area during the early years of political stand-off and demonstration. Politics, community and culture are always a potent mix for me, and I’m delighted to be part of the baths future. I’m looking forward to making something potent and memorable for the redevelopment, and I’m also counting down the days until I will swim again”.