Campaigners relieved as Scottish shul building fails to sell

Glasgow groups want the former Langside Synagogue - a "hidden gem" - to return to communal use


Campaigners behind a drive to save a “hidden gem” former Glasgow synagogue building breathed a sigh of relief when it failed to reach its £650,000 guide price at auction.

The Langside shul premises, which opened in the city’s Govanhill neighbourhood in 1927, closed six years ago as a result of dwindling attendance. The building was awarded protected status last September and was subsequently put up for sale by Online Property Auctions Scotland, promoted as “an incredible opportunity with huge development potential”.

A spokesperson for the auction house confirmed the reserve price had not been met in the February 25 auction. The seller was considering how to proceed.

Morgan Holleb, a member of Save Langside Shul, was “very pleased that the building didn’t change ownership because that gives us more time to come up with a different strategy.

“We’ve been campaigning alongside other local organisations to stop the shul from being sold privately and developed for a couple of years now. We’re really picking up steam at this point. It’s become a lot more of an interfaith network.”

He added: “We definitely want to reopen it as a Jewish place of worship and for Jewish community events. That’s one of our main priorities.

“There isn’t a shul anywhere near our area [so] we’ve been practising in our living rooms for the past couple of years.

“But we want it to be a community space for the whole area as well.” For example, “one of the things our neighbourhood is really missing is an accessible community kitchen”.

The group has been working with Interfaith Glasgow and also Govanhill Bath, which successfully lobbied to save an historic pool in 2004.

Next on the agenda is an open meeting at which the campaigners will invite ideas from the wider public about community needs the building could satisfy.

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