Govanhill Community Baths to Reopen With a Splash
Glasgow’s Govanhill Baths to be fully refurbished as a health and wellbeing centre for the whole community.
Just over 100 years ago, an important part of Glasgow’s history and cultural development was created for the whole community. The Govanhill Baths, on Glasgow’s South Side, was built in 1917 as swimming pools, public baths and ‘slipper baths’ - individual baths that could be hired to wash in. There was also a steam laundry where local people could wash their clothes and chat.
After being used in much the same way for decades, with the washroom being converted into a launderette in 1971, the category B Edwardian listed building, designed by Scottish architect A B MacDonald, was closed down in 2001. For many, this symbolised the perceived decline of the area. But a local community group, the Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT), had other ideas and launched a campaign to turn the baths into a much-needed health and wellbeing centre, after a 2009 consultation revealed locals wanted better health facilities in the area.
Critical to this vision of a wellbeing centre is a holistic concept of restoration and regeneration for the wider Govanhill community. Through the project GBCT intends to achieve crime prevention, community cohesion, local economic growth and employment opportunities.
Thanks to GBCT, and a £1.2million grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, in February 2012 the front suite of the baths reopened for public use, shortly followed by the toddlers’ teaching pool. The main pool is currently used as a theatre and event space. Everything from yoga, cookery and crafts classes to photography exhibitions and money-saving workshops have all been held at the Baths. In 2017, over 24,000 people used the facility in some way.
In April 2014 The Big Lottery Fund awarded GBCT a development grant of £34k to take forward their scheme to refurbish the Govanhill Baths. The Prince’s Foundation was appointed as project manager to oversee the work at the site and develop an ambitious programme of community engagement activities. The Baths will close later in 2018 for the full renovation and reopen to great excitement.
Find out more at the Govanhill Baths website
When the Prince's Foundation was involved in this project it was known as The Prince's Regeneration Trust