MORE than half a million pounds in funding has been awarded to Govanhill.

The area will benefit from two major grants: one of £385,000 from the National Lottery for community learning and development, and one of £175,000 from the Scottish Government for coronavirus support.

Some of the funding will also be allocated to supporting volunteering in the area, which will include ensuring that volunteering leads to a qualification and routes into employment.

Annie Macfarlane, chairwoman of Govanhill Housing Association and Trustee of Govanhill Community Development Trust, said: "Both of these grants are very significant and will go some way to supporting the community to cope with this crisis and thrive in the years to come.

"As a local organisation at the heart of the community, Govanhill Housing Association is working hard to ensure that emergency funding is directed quickly and efficiently to where it is most needed.

"This has been helped by the strength of collaboration in the voluntary sector, who have been brought together in working groups by our local community connector.

"We are also grateful to the National Lottery for their support for Govanhill Community Development Trust, and our Family Learning and Volunteering programmes.

"The current situation means that the way we work will have to change, but the programmes themselves couldn’t be more timely; with children unable to go to school there is an added emphasis on the need to learn together as a family.

"The potential for gaps in educational attainment as a result of coronavirus has been well publicised, and we are pleased to receive funding to support families who are likely to struggle with home learning. "Volunteering is also more important than ever before as we come together to support each other as best we can."

The National Lottery funding will support family learning and volunteering; which includes English for speakers of other languages.

It will also help find more creative ways to support learning with whole families, including work with parents alongside local schools.

Additionally, Govanhill Housing Association, in its role as the Thriving Places Anchor Organisation for the area, has been awarded £175,000 to distribute between local organisations to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 on the area.

This funding is available through two types of grant: express grants of up to £2000 for groups meeting emergency needs such as the provision of food or mental health services, and larger grants which will fund partnerships of organisations who have come together to address strategic challenges in mitigating the crisis.

One of the organisations that has already received an express grant is local social enterprise Milk Café, which has been providing hot meals for asylum seekers and homeless people housed in nearby hotels.

Milk Cafe’s Angela Ireland said: "The COVID-19 restrictions have meant we shut our café and our catering business, so all our revenue streams have closed, this grant is very important right now, because it allows us to do tangible, useful work."

For more information about the funding, or to enquire about the emergency grants contact

Local councillor Soryia Siddique said: "Concerns have been raised around food poverty, mental health, the digital divide and lack of business support in Govanhill. 

"The third sector and volunteers have been crucial to the Covid19 response.

"They have been paramount to supporting the vulnerable in our communities.

"Funding to support frontline relief efforts in Govanhill is to be welcomed."