Former steamie at Govanhill Baths to be turned into community shop

The pantry will sell discounted food items.The pantry will sell discounted food items.
The pantry will sell discounted food items.
The former Steamie at Govanhill Baths is to be transformed into a community shop selling heavily discounted food after winning council approval.

Govanhill Baths Preservation Trust has received permission to open a “membership-led shop that provides good quality food at a subsidised rate” to fight poverty.

The current People’s Pantry, on Cathcart Road, which is run by Govanhill Baths Community Trust, is expected to move into the converted washhouse on Calder Street once work is complete.

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Revamping the Steamie is the first part of phase two of the redevelopment of the B-listed Baths.

Plans lodged for the community shop say that the hub would “provide a sustainable and longer-term option for people facing food insecurity, with the aim of reducing disadvantaged local people’s reliance on food banks”.

“The pantry will make fresh, nutritional, good quality produce far more accessible, both in terms of location and affordability.

“The benefits of this approach are that food is more affordable, therefore less household income is spent on food shopping, which allows families living in poverty to spend on other necessities, such as clothes and home energy.”

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Like the Cathcart Road pantry, the new shop will operate under a membership model. Members are set to pay a weekly subscription of £2.75 and will be able to access around £15 worth of food and other essentials.

“Produce will be supplied by a number of sources, the majority coming via FareShare, a food redistribution charity,” plans submitted to the council said.

The planning documents added: “Member subscriptions will be reinvested and used to provide fresh produce on top of the usual £15 basket of goods.

“Not only will this tackle food insecurity, but it will also help to reduce food waste and its associated negative environmental impacts.”

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The 68-stall washhouse, or Steamie, was converted into a launderette in 1971 and later became a gym. Govanhill Baths were closed by the council in 2001, but the community campaigned for the building to be reopened.

The first phase of the redevelopment project includes work to make the building wind and watertight, reopen two pools and provide a gym, officers and meeting spaces.

Under the second part of phase two, not covered by this application, an events and arts space would be created in the building, with the intention of offering a venue for theatre productions, concerts, weddings, cinema screenings, exhibitions and workshops.

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