ITS CLOSURE in 2001 prompted street protests and roof-top demonstrations.
But now plans have been unveiled to re-open Govanhill Baths as a community-run sports centre after eight years of fundraising by local campaigners.
The imposing Edwardian building in the southside of Glasgow opened in 1909 and originally housed three pools and a washhouse.
The bathhouse was handed over to a community trust in 2008 following its closure by Glasgow City Council, which deemed it surplus to requirements.
Volunteers have since worked tirelessly to fund the Grade B-listed building’s maintenance by using it as a unique performance space.
It was the award of a Heritage Lottery grant last year that kick-started long-held plans to welcome back swimmers.
The building will now close in September to allow the former ladies pool - the second largest of the three - to be fully renovated.
A new gym and a community garden will also be built, with the aim of opening to the public in 2018.
The main pool will remain as a live venue in the short-term to allow more fundraising to pay for its eventual refurbishment.
Katie Gallogly-Swan, outreach officer at the Govanhill Baths Community Trust, said: “Since we got back into the building in 2008, more than 70,000 people have come through the doors. More than 750 people have taken part in workshops. More than 300 have volunteered. People want to see it brought back to life again.
“It’s a derelict building, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a heartbeat.”
Glasgow City Council’s decision to close the baths in 2001 prompted a public outcry.
Despite a spirited campaign, the local authority said the building was too costly to refurbish.
Campaigners occupied the premises for several months before it was eventually closed.