Community share offer to open iconic Glasgow baths as wellbeing centre

Locals in the Govanhill area have been fighting to provide much-needed facilities at the site since the council closed it in 2001

A community share offer has been opened to preserve one of Glasgow’s most iconic buildings and provide much-needed amenities for one of the most deprived areas of the UK.

The group’s plan to redevelop Govanhill Baths as a Health & Wellbeing Centre follows a long campaign to protect the site, which was closed in 2001 by the local council despite local protests.

Within a fortnight of the closure, a 30,000-name petition was collected opposing the move. Campaigners then stepped up the fight against the longest occupation of a civic building in British history and managed to prevent the baths’ demolition.

Locals have been fighting to revive the site since its closure in 2001

In 2004, the Govanhill Baths Community Trust was formed, and in 2012 the team brought the building brought back into partial use. A year later the trust secured a long-term lease from Glasgow City Council to operate the building.

Since then almost 100,000 people have visited Govanhill Baths and in now – in the building’s centenary year – people are being invited to invest in and finally safeguard its future through community shares. 

Govanhill is the most diverse community in the UK outside London but is also one of the most deprived.

The trust says the closure of the baths had a significant impact on the wellbeing of people, with activity and exercise levels falling in.

An architect’s design for the planned new interior

A spokesperson added: “This community shares campaign, unique in Scotland as the first in an urban area with Govanhill’s socio-economic profile, is about more than just a building but about developing community capacity and pride.”

People and organisations can invest from £100 to £30,000. The trust plans to offer investors 3% interest on investments and eligible UK income payers will also benefit from 50% tax relief.

• More information at the trust’s crowdfunding page.