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Govanhill Community Development Trust

The Area

Govanhill lies in the south side of Glasgow just over a mile from the city centre. It has a population of 8, 500, 30% of whom are from the black and minority ethnic community. The history of Govanhill is closely linked to the history of the Dixon family and the burgh of Govanhill was formed in 1877 and housed workers from Dixon's Govan Ironworks.


The area still retains the wide streets and tenements from this period but the standard of the housing declined dramatically after the last war. In the 1970's, to prevent the demolition of this housing and the displacement of people to peripheral estates, Govanhill Housing Association was established.


Many improvements have been achieved, particularly in housing, but the area still suffers from disadvantage. Unemployment is 10.6% compared to a Glasgow average of 8.2% and 22.8% of the population is economically inactive. The community suffers from a worsening drug and crime problem and was recently described in a Scottish Council Foundation report as an area in decline with little being done to arrest that decline.

The Trust

Govanhill Community Development Trust is a wholly owned subsidiary of Govanhill Housing Association. It was set up in 1992 to develop workspaces as a means of developing the local economy, two developments are owned by the Trust providing units for 27 small and medium sized enterprises. In recent years the Trust has broadened its remit and is now involved in regenerating the community through tackling poverty and injustice. A Community Economic Development Officer was appointed in 2000 to develop this strategy.


The Trust has 9 directors, 5 of whom are local residents. Funding includes rental income from the workspaces and a recent grant from Communities Scotland of £100,000 over 3 years.

The Trust has 4 objectives:

  • To encourage and promote community involvement
  • To encourage and support businesses locating in the area
  • To promote a culture of enterprise and lifelong learning
  • To assist local people to access employment and training

To Encourage and Promote Community Involvement

    • Community Profile

Last year the Trust commissioned a major community consultation exercise carried out by the Poverty Alliance to identify the issues of greatest concern to local people. This involved 700 people.

  • Community Conference
    Held in February 2002 the conference was an attempt to involve people who live in the area and people who work in the area in identifying ways in which the key issues can be addressed. 120 people attended.
  • Community Planning
    The Trust is heavily involved in the development of a community plan involving residents and local agencies. The plan is developing under the themes that emerged from the community consultation process.

To Encourage and Support Businesses Locating in the Area

  • Workspace Provision
    This will continue to be the principal way in which the Trust supports the local economy, offering flexible and affordable space to developing businesses.
  • Commercial Office Space
    The Trust and the Housing Association are involved jointly in developing a derelict building in the area. The building will be developed partly as a community facility but have lettable space to generate income.

To Promote a Culture of Enterprise and Lifelong Learning

  • Community Learning Plan
    The Trust is instrumental in the development of a community learning plan reflecting the needs and aspirations of local people.
    • Partners in Learning

The Trust has established partnerships between local companies and local primary schools to enhance support for the work-related curriculum.


  • Paired Reading
    A major financial company has committed 20 staff as volunteers linked to three local primary schools to support a paired-reading programme.
    • Youth Enterprise

The Trust is developing a project designed to address the needs of young people who have left school but not yet secured a job. It will develop confidence, self-esteem and communication skills.

To Assist Local People to Access Employment and Training

  • Careers Fair
    An annual event for young people from the five local secondary schools and involving 20 companies and 400 young people. The event is designed to raise awareness about jobs in the growth sectors of the Glasgow economy.
  • Jobs Workshops
    Run by the Trust for local unemployed people. Three-day courses help people develop the skills to negotiate the recruitment process of application forms, CV's and interviews.

For further information, contact:
Lawrence McCabe
Govanhill Community Development Trust
Forsyth House
151 Coplaw Street
G42 7DE
Tel: 0141 - 424 - 5054



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Company Registration No. 278156. Scottish Charity No. SC 029210