Govanhill Baths is one of Scotland’s most inspiring stories of community determination and empowerment. For more than 18 years, an under-resourced and diverse group of residents have been leading the challenges to keep this vital facility open, forming the Govanhill Baths Community Trust. The goal of the Govanhill Baths Community Trust has always been to reopen the Govanhill Baths as a Health and Wellbeing Centre and at the same time contribute to the wider social, cultural and built regeneration of Govanhill as a community.
To us, it’s more than just about a building, but about developing community capacity and pride, and helping to tackle the deep-rooted problems Govanhill faces.
Govanhill is one of Scotland’s most ethnically, culturally and religiously diverse communities, as well as one of its most deprived and Govanhill Baths Community Trust’s mission has always been to support this unique community. Our aim is to be able to provide a space where the Govanhill Baths will be returned to their original function, and once again sit at the heart of community life in Govanhill.
In late 2014 we began the development phase of the refurbishment raising a total investment of £6.7 million, £260,000 of which came from almost 600 investors in our Community Shares.
All going well we are hoping that refurbishment begins in the spring of 2019.
Once reopened in 2020, Govanhill Baths will have been transformed into a modern, visionary and innovative design solution delivering the functional requirements in a manner sensitive to the building’s heritage.
The principal aim of the project is to conserve and restore the fabric of the bath house and so enable the intended use of the building to continue. This stage of the project is known as Phase 1B and will constitute the following:
- Make the building wind and watertight.
- Re-open the Ladies’ Pool and Learners’ Pool.
- Refurbish the front suite of spaces to include a staff office and social enterprise offices.
- Convert the majority of the baths area into a flexible space for events, heritage interpretation and a gym, whilst retaining a number of baths in situ.
- Refurbish the community meeting spaces.
- Create a community kitchen and café.
- Prepare the Steamie to the rear for meanwhile use, including installing heritage interpretation and a Steamie Museum.
- Provide a full Turkish Suite including sauna and steam facilities.
- The inclusion of a First Floor “Habitable Bridge”, composed of activity spaces and greenhouse facility to provide a connection to the Steamie to allow the building to be operated and managed from its primary front access on Calder Street.
- Inclusion of a fully compliant Changing Places facility.
Phase 1b Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of this phase in the refurbishment of the Baths are to:
- Secure perpetual ownership of the Govanhill Baths building, for the benefit of the community today and for future generations;
- Establish the most robust structure possible to ensure full community control and influence over the facility;
- Create a multi-functional complex that is responsive to the diverse and changing needs of Govanhill and surrounding areas;
- Capitalise on opportunities from the facility to build the skills, knowledge, confidence, and cohesion of the community;
- Maximise earned income from the centre, to ensure its long-term financial viability and to enable reinvestment in the community;
- and Develop the centre as a model of environmental sustainability, achieving the strongest possible impact locally and globally.
The Govanhill Baths once reopened, as the Govanhill Wellbeing Centre, will again become a central resource and community asset that will make a significant contribution to improving the health, social, cultural, educational, environmental and employment-related outcomes for the community and people of Govanhill. United We Will Swim!