Glasgow council to give Govanhill Baths renovation project £500k

A further £500,000 has been approved by Glasgow City Council to refurbish Govanhill Baths to bridge the £2.5 million project funding gap.

The city administration committee first approved funding of £500,000 for the redevelopment of the former baths almost five years ago but due to an increase in cost for various reasons, the project has not been completed.

The aim of the project is to return the baths to their original function, operating as a wellbeing centre and allowing them to sit at the heart of community life in Govanhill.

An update was brought before members on Thursday morning who were advised that the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RGCF) would award the remaining £2 million.

The Govanhill Baths.

SNP councillor Kenny McLean: “The project has been caught up in a period of construction volatility as a result of Covid, Brexit, cost of materials and the current conflict in Ukraine.

“It is facing a significant funding gap currently estimated at £2.5 million. The Scottish Government, through the RGCF, has confirmed they are able to award an additional £2 million towards the project.

“This means that the council would award an additional £5,000 to the project from the community asset fund enabling the project to become completed.”

Concerns were raised by members that this would mean other projects would suffer as a result.

Labour councillor Philip Braat, said: “I may be wrong but I believe that members had previously been advised that there was no spare capacity in the community asset fund as it was entirely allocated to other projects.

“My question then is, if that is the case, for this £500,000 allocation to be made, what other projects will have to give way.

“This is about a 26% increase in cost of the project overall, how does that compare to other projects throughout the city?”

Councillor McLean said he did not remember the CAC saying the community asset fund had been fully committed.

He said: “If that has been said at a previous meeting I do apologise. We are finding across the board, that for the reasons outlined, there is an increase in costs.

“I couldn’t say if every single project has that percentage of increase but the money has been taken from the community asset fund which is entirely appropriate and not affecting other projects as things stands.

“To fulfil a very worthy project, we are coming to help.”