Govanhill Baths is celebrating the close of its first Community Shares’ issue. The campaign was launched on the 22nd September by local MSP and long-time supporter Nicola Sturgeon and closed at midnight on the 30 November. During the 70 days the campaign ran, 560 people invested £267,000.
Govanhill Baths Manager, Fatima Uygun, expressed the feelings of the staff and Trustees: “We’re absolutely ecstatic with the response we’ve had. For one of the most-deprived communities in Scotland in a time of continuing austerity to raise £267,000 is quite simply stunning. It shows not just how important Govanhill Baths is to the community, but the resolve and unwavering commitment of people working together and refusing to surrender.”
With 560 investors, the Baths’ campaign is one of the most successful Community Shares projects hosted by Crowdfunder. It is also unique in being the first instance of an urban project in Scotland with Govahill’s socio-economic background utilising this innovative fundraising mechanism.
Right up to the midnight deadline people were pledging their support, with the majority investing £100. Earlier in the week, Big Society Capital invested £100,000 of match funding. A feature of Community Shares is that no matter how much a person or organisation invests everyone has an equal say in major decisions about the Baths.
Alan Walsh, Chair of Govanhill Baths Community Trust said: “This Shares’ issue marks an important stage in the journey of returning the Baths back to full use as a Health and Wellbeing centre with enhanced facilities. Since 2001, many people have helped and today we now add hundreds more to the Govanhill Baths’ family as co-owners of this remarkable and much-loved building.”
Refurbishment and redevelopment will begin in 2019 with Govanhill Baths due to reopen in summer 2020.