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December 17, 2008

£12.5m plan unveiled by Govanhill Baths Community Trust

An ambitious plan to restore the Edwardian swimming pool was presented to Glasgow City Council last week. The proposed development also includes a new cinema, a nursery, a community café, a recording studio and managed workspace. The community have set themselves the fundraising target of £1m to be achieved within the next year

Charity aims to raise £1m to reopen Govanhill Baths CAMPAIGNERS working to reopen Govanhill Baths have launched a bid to raise £1million in a year after presenting their business plan to Glasgow City Council. The charity has an ambitious £12.5m proposal to restore the Edwardian pool in the city’s Calder Street and provide a range of new facilities for the community. And it hopes to win approval for a first £8m stage that would see customers swim at the historic pool for the first time in 10 years. The handover of the business plan this week has already won cross-party backing at council, Holyrood and Westmin-ster and marks a major breakthrough in the campaign to reopen the baths which closed in 2001. The Govanhill Baths Community Trust has worked with its sponsors, Nord architects, on a blueprint that would reinstate swimming pools at the B-listed Edwardian building and would also feature a four-storey extension at the back of the building, offering a nursery, a cinema, cafe and community spaces. A plan to sell part of the site for housing has been shelved in favour of building affordable office space for local businesses. There will also be a roof garden, while the basement has been earmarked for a recording and rehearsal studio. The trust has already identified almost £5m for the first phase but need another £3m. They hope £2m can be secured from other bodies leaving another £1m to be raised by themselves from donations, events and a new shop. Spokesman Andrew Johnson said: “The plan is fully costed and will offer something to every aspect of the local community. “We hope the council will come in with some funding, along with the Scottish Government.” MSP Frank McAveety said: “This project would benefit the whole of the South Side. “Westminster has made millions available to the Scottish Government for economic development and I am calling on them to make sure that some of that is allocated to this project.” A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: “The council has begun its scrutiny of the trust’s business plan and will consider this fully in due course.” The trust hopes to soon be able to open a new shop, in a former bank on Victoria Road, to boost its fundraising.