THE redevelopment of a community asset in one of Glasgow's most deprived areas has been dealt a devastating blow.

Govanhill Baths was in line for £2.1 million of Government funding necessary for works scheduled to begin this year.

But bosses have been stunned to discover they have been snubbed by the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF).

Now the future of the £6.1million scheme to transform the Edwardian building into a fitness and wellbeing centre is under threat.

And the Trust running the building wants answers.

A spokesman for the Govanhill Baths Community Trust (GBCT) said: "This news is devastating, it jeopardises the whole project and will have a demoralising effect on a community that has fought and worked so hard for 17 years to bring this vital community asset back to life.

"The Trustees will be seeking answers on behalf of the shareholders and the people of Govanhill as to why our community has been ignored yet again.

"We are committed to the vision and timescale for the project and are challenging the Scottish Government and our project partners to work with us in a positive and constructive manner to resolve the situation and allow us to progress the project to the benefit of the Govanhill Community."

Govanhill is one of the most deprived communities and Scotland and locals have fought to retain the B-listed building since it was shut by Glasgow City Council in 2001.

A tender for works on the wellbeing centre was due to go out at the end of the year.

And it was hoped the building would be reopen and ready for use in 2020.

A community shares scheme recently drew 600 people who bought shares in the Baths.

Members of GBCT last week met with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who is MSP for the area, to ask for her support.

A spokeswoman for Ms Sturgeon said: "Nicola Sturgeon has met with members of the Govanhill Baths Board in her capacity as local MSP.

"She has assured them of her continued support and is seeking feedback on why the decision was made as well as exploring further avenues of support."

A total of £26m has been made available from the RCGF to support local regeneration with successful applicants announced yesterday.

Glasgow City Council and Govanhill Baths had submitted an application for £2.1m but were turned down for the second year.

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “An independent investment panel made recommendations on which projects to support based on a project’s ability to demonstrate the positive impact it would have on delivering physical, social and economic outcomes in disadvantaged areas.

“The projects that are being supported will deliver much needed regeneration of local communities and come from across Scotland.

"Together with COSLA we will continue to work with organisations in order to assist those who wish to consider applying or reapplying in the future.”

But the Baths spokesman added: "Govanhill Baths Community Trust knows we meet all of the criteria for funding and that our project uniquely "fits the bill" for the Government's flagship Community Empowerment and Regeneration strategies.

"Nearly 600 people recently bought Community Shares in Govanhill Baths, those people are now the owners of the project and are a true example of a community "doing it for themselves".

Local councillor Soryia Siddique is backing the Baths.

She said: "There is a broad recognition that Govanhill is a pressurised area and the local communities have campaigned for the area to be regenerated.

"This decision could be a significant set back. I will be be joining the community and local organisations to raise their concerns."