In its last 72 hours Govanhill Baths Community Shares Campaign has received £100,000 of funding from Big Society Capital, a UK government-backed fund that invests in social enterprises.
This funding was only awarded once Govanhill Baths itself had raised £100,000 from individuals and organisations investing in it through Community Shares and takes the total raised to over £220,000.
Alan Walsh, Chair of Govanhill Baths Community Trust said: “This is a key moment for the community. The historic struggle to reopen Govanhill Baths is rapidly coming to a conclusion that because of the support of individuals and Big Society Capital will be one of great joy.”
Community Shares are a way for people to fund and run local projects together. Shareholders in Govanhill Baths will have a direct say in the running and the future of the project. Importantly, no matter how much a person invests everyone has an equal say.
Govanhill Baths Community Shares fundraising drive was launched on 22 September by local MSP Nicola Sturgeon who said of the campaign to reopen the Baths: “It has signified a community refusing to accept what others said had to happen and deciding it was going to shape the future differently and that is inspirational.”
Most of the funding is in place to start the rebuild next year but the funds raised through the Community Shares are crucial to the future of the project and the final goal to bring public swimming back to Govanhill.
Govanhill Baths Manager Fatima Uygun praised those who have invested: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we’ve received. Almost 400 people have now purchased shares; an incredible achievement in an area with Govanhill’s challenges. Proof that the community’s wish to see the Baths reopen has not diminished one bit since our struggle began in 2001.”
In raising £220,000, the organisation has reached the minimum for the campaign and has now set its sights on getting as close to its maximum target of £300,000 before the deadline of midnight on 30th November.
“There is still time for people to invest and become owners of this iconic and much-loved building,” Fatima Uygun continued. “We want to make this year’s St Andrew’s Day a celebration also of what people can achieve when they work together.”
Further details of Govanhill Baths plans for redevelopment and Community Shares campaign can be found at: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/govanhill-baths/