We spoke to Alan Walsh who is the Chairman at Govanhill Baths Community Trust-(GBCT) about their recent news on being awarded National Lottery funding to restore the building. First of all congratulations! What does this funding mean for GBCT? (how much was it etc)
Thank you and first of all I would like to thank all those involved in helping to save the building over the years, everyone from the original protesters, volunteers, the current staff and other organisations including the Princes Regeneration Trust-(PRT) for their recent involvement in helping GBCT in securing the HLF funding. Thank You All.
The award of £1.2million from the Heritage Lottery Fund-(HLF) means a great deal to GBCT. Not only will this allow us to move forward with organising and planning the capital works on the building but it will also unlock other matched funding and will help GBCT attract new funders.
That sounds like a lot but this is a BIG building so what do you think it will practically achieve?
Kids training pool almost ready to go!
As I mentioned the HLF award will help GBCT unlock other funds and this will go towards the capital works, building and engineering, as well as constructing or installing facilities and fixtures associated with the internal areas worked on. Primarily the money will be used to repair the roof making the building wind and watertight. We will also have the Ladies’ pool, Learners’ pool re-opened and a Turkish suite re-opened. I should point out at this stage in the project the ladies pool will be open to all members of the public, both females and males but will have a ladies only day/s and or have specific times allotted for female only use.
The former Steamie will be turned into a multipurpose venue incorporating a theatre, community events and arts space. It could also be used as an indoor farmers market, music venue, conference hall and GBCT are open to ideas, so if somebody or an organisation wanted use this space and had a reasonable idea for usage it would be considered, to be honest the more uses the better.
How much more do you still have to raise?
The short answer is “Lots and lots”. I could quote the old expression ‘How long is a piece of string?’ so I will… “How long is a piece of string?”
There have been various estimates over the years of up to £15million in total but this could rise or fall, as time goes by it is lightly to rise in cost, but £15m is a ballpark figure.
What has to be remembered is that Govanhill Baths is a ‘Listed Building’ and technically a derelict building and much of the work has to be restorational, expensive in its self, and of a high standard in order for the building to function well into the future. There is also a large basement area the equivalent footprint size of the building and behind the main pool and steamie area in the Northwest corner is a two to three story space. There are some structural issues to be tackled and asbestos to be removed all of which is costly. As well as the physical structure of the building there is the internal infrastructure such as power cables, filtration plant, air conditioning, heating, lighting and various other equipment and machinery.
For anyone reading who may want to donate to your trust what can they do or where can they donate?
Money isn’t everything and people can donate their personal time as in come along and volunteer, get involved and join in, you can also Buy our merchandise or Fundraise for us. Please contact us via our website: http://www.govanhillbaths.com/get-involved/
You can of course also donate money; you can pop into the baths and make a donation directly or follow the link below.
At this moment in time the volunteers and staff, as part of the capital work project are currently in the process of raising £200.000 ourselves, there is a message box in the link below and if you wish you donation to go to towards the capital works please state so in the message box by cutting and pasting the following text.
“Please ring fence my donation towards the volunteer/staff capital works fundraising event”
You guys have managed to make full use of the building thus far. What are some of the primary activities taking place at the baths at the moment?
There is just so much happening, it’s such a dynamic place we have everything from antenatal classes and cookery classes to yoga lessons and a knitting club, there is just so much. Rags to Riches is our Upcycling project were people can come along and learn new skills giving items they may have discarded a new lease of life. The cooking and yoga classes are free as is our knitting & crocheting group Cast-Offs. These Groups and courses have a dual purpose, not only do people learn new skills but you also widen your social network as you meet new people and make good friendships, promoting wellbeing and happiness in the community.
GBCT also have many event s in various areas of the building from weddings, music gigs and trapeze acts to theatre plays to art galleries and even a pop up restaurant. Only yesterday-(Sunday 27th September) GBCT gave free of charge the use of our main pool, staff and PA system to Tom Urie of River City & Uzma Mir-Young to hold an event-(Where has all the love gone) in aid of Syrian refugees.Last month we facilitated Festival of Imagination hosted by Gerry Hassan and Roanne Dods. The Southside Film Festival is coming up soon and they will be using the theatre in steamie area to show some films including Bill Forsyth’s classic ‘That Sinking Feeling’. More info on past and future courses and events can be found on our website.
The main pool full of people for a play. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in for a visit and the Ladies pool on a Californian style skate party. Lastly the sport science Human Race exhibition.
You’re also taking part in the 10k Great Scottish Run to raise some money for the trust can you tell us more about that and where to donate?
As I mentioned above I’m running the 10k and Brian Morgan is running the half marathon in the Great Scottish Run as part of the volunteers and staffs efforts to raise £200.000 towards the capital work project . every penny counts at this stage so please give what you can, from a few pence to a few pound will make all the difference. Thank you
You can donate to Brian at:
Or myself – Alan at:
Some art prints I done in the old place before the first phase of the refit.
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