The refurbishment of Govanhill Baths is to receive a further £500,000 worth of funding from the council after the costs for the project rose due to issues affecting the construction industry.
Difficulties linked to covid, Brexit, the price of materials and a shortage of skilled labour have all contributed to a 26% increase to the original tender for work to renovate the baths. With the cost of the project now stated as £11.9m, the council will now contribute a total of £1m to help bring the baths back into use following a decision of the council's City Administration Committee.
Govanhill Baths Community Trust, the charitable group established to manage the refurbishment project, recently convened a meeting with funders to indicate they were facing a budget shortfall after a significant rise in the original project cost of £9.479m. Reassurances were sought that the Trust would seek to manage the completion of the project as tightly as possible and some funders pledged to look at their capacity to extend their financial support.
The Scottish Government subsequently agreed to provide an additional £2m funding from their Regeneration Capital Grants Fund, which left a shortfall of £500,000. The council will now bridge this gap by allocating £500,000 from the Community Asset Fund and help the refurbishment project reach its conclusion.
Councillor Kenny McLean, City Convener for Housing, Development , Built Heritage and Land Use, said: ""Refurbishment of the baths has been a long term project that will eventually bring considerable health and social benefits to Govanhill. The project is also adding to the continued regeneration of the area.
"Govanhill Baths Community Trust have been working exceptionally hard to get their renovation project over the line and everything was more or less in place until the recent cost increases hit home. Rather than allow the efforts of the community to falter, it is appropriate that the council provides the financial backing needed to help the project achieve completion. The support from the Scottish Government has also been very welcome.
"We have been liaising with the trust on the cost increases that have affected not just them, but every construction project across the country. We are satisfied the trust has robust project management in place to ensure the additional funding will see the baths reopen for the Govanhill community."
The council originally allocated £500,000 of funding to Govanhill Baths Community Trust in November 2017, which supported work to ensure the building was wind and watertight but also renovate a number of facilities, including two smaller pools. It was also hoped that the council's support for the baths would encourage other organisations to commit funding.
Prior to the recent rise in costs, the baths trust had secured £9.4m in funding from a wide range of sponsors. In total, £5.275m of funding for Govanhill will now come from the Scottish Government's Regeneration Capital Grant Fund.