Govanhill baths conference aims to make a big splash

THE centenary of Govanhill Baths is to be marked by a conference featuring some of the top names in health and wellbeing.

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The Govanhill Baths Trust is working hard to bring the Edwardian pool complex back to life
The Govanhill Baths Trust is working hard to bring the Edwardian pool complex back to life

The pool complex, which was closed by Glasgow City Council in 2001 despite strong local opposition, has since partially reopened as a health and wellbeing centre.

Professor Sir Harry Burns, Nicola Sturgeon, Patrick Harvie, Lesley Riddoch and Bruce Whyte will all speak at the Centenary Conference.

The group will lead a conference today at the baths to mark the laying of the building's foundation stone in 1914.

Sir Harry, until recently Chief Medical Officer for Scotland and now Professor of Global Health at Strathlcyde University, will talk about the need for community health in urban and rural communities.

His work as Chief Medical Officer led to the Equally Well national community health pilot project, funding from which allowed part of the baths to be re-open in 2012.

Nicola Sturgeon, local MSP and formerly Health Minister, has long backed the full reopening of the baths and will reflect on the local needs and demand for the facility to be fully brought back to life.

The event will run from 9.30am to 4pm at the Calder Street baths.

Govanhill Baths Trust members and volunteers will also talk about the baths and report on their work to turn the former swimming centre into a community hub.

Final year honours students of the Strathclyde University Architecture Department will present an exhibition of the their project, "Designing a Bath House for the 21st Century".

A spokesman for the baths said: "The conference will explore the ways in which public services can be integrated with and aligned to existing community assets in programmes of positive action and resource sharing.

"By addressing these issues the Trust wishes to provide a platform for further discussion and action around regeneration."

Organisers will publish the conference proceedings and hold monthly Centenary Seminars from September until December this year.

Held in the grand main Edwardian pool, lunch will be provided by the Trust's "Govanhill Grub" Volunteers.

The conference will also act as a fund raiser for the Trust and the development of the Wellbeing Centre.


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