Govan Workspace Annual Review
From the Chair
Twelve months ago the main focus of our report centred on the purchase of the derelict Fairfield Shipbuilding Offices and the start we had made on the £1.2m emergency repairs. A year on, with remedial work now complete, the property still very much occupies centre stage.
We always believed there would be wide interest in the Fairfield building but, to be honest, we had no idea of its full extent. That is until last September when we arranged for Fairfield to be part of the city’s “Doors Open” programme. Despite only the Board Room and part of the downstairs corridor being available to view, we received an astonishing 1,110 visitors over just two days.
Because of Govan’s outstanding history in world shipbuilding, Fairfield enjoys a status that is truly iconic. Consider just how often the famous yard gates have featured on news‐reels about the industry. For Govan Workspace, it is no exaggeration to say the building is fast becoming the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ ‐ certainly in terms of public knowledge and appreciation of our work.
Fairfield’s media charisma shone again recently when a work‐party of fifty‐five youngsters and their leaders from the Govan Youth Information Project carried out a clean‐up and flowerplanting exercise along the frontage on Govan Road. The young people’s final task was the formal uncovering of our newly refurbished windows. The whole exercise was broadcast by STV on its lunchtime and evening news programmes and featured prominently in the Evening Times and local press.
An unexpected benefit for Govan Workspace is that, through Fairfield, knowledge of who we are and what we’re trying to achieve as a social enterprise has become more widely known. This has created an upsurge of interest, reflected in the number of individuals who have recently registered as new members of the company. Fairfield has been good for us.
Business Campus Lottery award
So also has been the second of our flagship projects — the proposal to create a new, state‐of‐the‐art business campus in Govan. It is an idea that has caught the imagination of local people on account of its boldness and ambition to transform an area in urgent need of investment. It has also fired the imagination of one of the country’s biggest funders, the Big Lottery, which has awarded the project a massive grant of £1m from its Growing Community Assets programme.
Such an important vote of confidence has undoubtedly brought our plans closer to realisation. Over the coming months no stone will be left unturned to secure the remaining funds to deliver a project that will have long‐lasting benefits for the Govan community. Finally, I must highlight one other asset upon which our success is founded ‐ our staff. Although we have been affected like others by the economic downturn, it is their efforts to maximise income and control expenditure that enable us this year to present another positive report. On behalf of the Board I extend to them our sincere thanks for their hard work and loyalty.