Currently home to around 18,000 people, Govanhill is a densely populated and vibrant neighbourhood about one mile south of Glasgow city centre.
Govanhill has a rich history of migration and is now Scotland’s most ethnically diverse neighbourhood with around 40% of local residents from ethnic minorities. A recent social survey by Govanhill Housing Association identified 52 nationalities and 32 languages spoken within just 13 tenement blocks within the area. Due to increases in population through migration, overcrowding and high levels of occupancy, South-West Govanhill is one of the most densely populated areas in Scotland. This places considerable strain on local infrastructure and also adds to community tensions, environmental problems and other social issues.
There is a vibrant voluntary sector, with dozens of organisations active in the area. Considerable activity exists to improve the environment, engage young and old, promote integration, tackle addictions, develop the arts, provide education and develop opportunities locally. There are many opportunities to volunteer locally.
Govanhill is home to a thriving creative arts community with a variety of organisations deliver events to celebrate diversity, music and the arts.
Govanhill is also famous for its shops, which reflect the huge diversity of the area. There are a number of businesses supporting international connections – money transfer businesses, cargo services, travel agencies – as well as clothing and food stores for all nationalities. The area is also home to a number of traditional shops, including cobblers, school uniform suppliers and cafes.
A number of buildings and local sites have been earmarked for development and the Housing Association, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government have invested heavily in housing and local environmental improvements.
The area is home to many faith communities, with churches, mosques and synagogues often side by side. Local churches are involved in delivering services to the homeless or destitute, those in food poverty, children and families, street workers, elderly and those experiencing isolation and loneliness. Local faith communities also host a number of supports for the local community and provide drop-in cafes and free meals.