Phase 1 Project Update
Lower ground refurbishment of Govan Old nears completion.
With Fleming Buildings appointed as main Phase 1 contractor in March 2021, the last 11 months have seen the steady transformation of Govan Old’s lower ground floor which comprises 3,000 sq ft of former church rooms that have lain vacant and unused for decades. Refurbishment and conversion of these to lettable offices forms the earliest phase of a larger Govan Old redevelopment and business plan and will generate its first revenue, keeping the A-listed building open and accessible to the public, together with its museum and renowned Govan Stones exhibits.
As is often the case with the refurbishment of historic buildings, the project has had to overcome multiple issues of dampness and water ingress, wet and dry rot, and decaying fabric — not helped because the lower ground has never been adequately heated. There has also been the challenge of revisiting ubiquitous repairs undertaken previously — all done with the best of intentions but with the worst of funds. On a positive note, what a pleasure it has been to revisit some of the original architectural features — restoring elements such as the plaster ceilings, timber panelling and stone walls. Above all, the entire area has been transformed by the reinstatement of 26 leaded glass windows that were lost to vandalism and boarded up some 30 years ago. From the inside, the sheer delight of daylight for the first time has changed the space dramatically, especially seen through windows meticulously produced to match originals present elsewhere in the A-listed building. From the outside, the presence of the leaded glass has done so much to return the north elevation to the original vision of Govan Old’s renowned architect, Robert Rowand Anderson.
Govan Heritage Trust will be seeking a single business tenant to lease the entire space, fully self-contained with its own secure private entrance and reception, large office areas, meeting rooms, tea-prep and private toilet facilities. There should be no shortage of enquiries, given the stunning location just 60 metres from the River Clyde and directly linked by walkway to the forthcoming Partick-Govan bridge. The Govan Subway and transport hub is just a 5-minute walk away.