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New Public Toilets Finally Opened In Wick

2nd July 2024

Photograph of New Public Toilets Finally Opened In Wick

A shining example of partnership in action has enabled the reopening of a much-needed public convenience in Wick which was closed for two years due to significant vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

The town of Wick has over 7,500 residents, is a community hub for the surrounding local rural area of East Caithness and has seen a considerable increase in the number of visitors due to the popularity of the NC500 and the increase in staycation visitors.

Following significant incidences of vandalism and antisocial behaviour, the facilities at Whitechapel Road were closed in December 2019.

A project board was then set up, with a representative from Wick Development Trust, to refurbish the site and they would meet regularly to progress the various actions and to provide regular updates to the community and Councillors.

The refurbishment presented many challenges. The timescale for this project was lengthy, following the closure, a feasibility study was completed in 2021 and then there was a requirement for structural and drainage surveys which took time to organise and resource.

In 2022 the funding started coming together which came from the Place Based Investment Fund, the Highland Coastal Community Fund, the Community Regeneration Fund, the Visitor Management Fund, and Capital funds. The tender for the works was issued at the end of the 2022 year with responses received in January 2023.

Work commenced on site in March 2023 and took nine months to complete. There were delays with availability of materials and provision of shower charging units. In addition, it was decided late on into the project to include internal and external CCTV which were the last elements of the project to be completed.

The improvements at the site have seen a significant interior refurbishment, new cubicles, sanitary ware, LED lighting, wet wall, flooring, CCTV, consumable holders, baby change stations, disabled facilities, and showers with contactless charging.

Exterior works were a new pitched roof, new lockers, a new wall, footpath, and access ramp as well as signage and exterior CCTV and LED lighting.

Cllr Raymond Bremner said: "This project has shown that with dedicated partnership working and a varied funding package the Council can deliver a fantastic facility suitable for a variety of users, locals, and tourists.

"I would like to thank everyone who has been involved and for their commitment to making it work, despite the challenges."

 

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