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New-look Whitechapel toilets are ‘first class’, Wick community councillors are told


By Alan Hendry

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Highland councillors Jan McEwan (left), Raymond Bremner and Willie Mackay (right) with Wick community councillor Wendy Campbell at the opening of the refurbished Whitechapel toilets on Monday. Picture: DGS
Highland councillors Jan McEwan (left), Raymond Bremner and Willie Mackay (right) with Wick community councillor Wendy Campbell at the opening of the refurbished Whitechapel toilets on Monday. Picture: DGS

Highland Council leader Raymond Bremner has acknowledged the input of Wick community councillors in securing refurbished public toilets for the town centre.

The conveniences at Whitechapel Road have been given a new lease of life following a £395,000 project and they were reopened on Monday morning.

Councillor Bremner was greeted with a brief burst of cheering and applause when he announced at that night’s meeting of the Royal Burgh of Wick Community Council that the new-look toilets were up and running – more than four years after the original block was forced to shut as a result of vandalism and antisocial behaviour.

He told community councillors: “You all made sure that we didn’t take our eye off the ball with it. There was great collaboration.”

Wick Development Trust had also been part of the “multi-agency cooperation” along with architects, building surveyors, engineers and contractors.

Councillor Bremner acknowledged there had been “one or two negative comments” but added: “We wanted something that was going to complement whatever the regeneration of the town would look like, and that would be a quality building. It’s first class.”

Inside there high-tech toilets, shower cubicles with contactless charging, LED lighting, baby-change stations, disabled facilities and new flooring. Exterior works include lockers as well as a new pitched roof, footpath, access ramp and signage.

The facilities are covered by CCTV cameras around the clock.

Funding came from the Place Based Investment Programme, the Highland Coastal Communities Fund, Community Regeneration Funding, the Visitor Management Plan and capital funds.

The local authority announced in March 2023 that a contract had been awarded to Norbloc Construction to carry out the full refurbishment. The toilets had been closed since early 2020.

The council said there had been delays with availability of materials and provision of shower charging units. It was decided late into the project to include internal and external CCTV cameras and these were the last elements to be completed.

The building will be open from 7.30am to 4.30pm initially. There is an honesty box for anyone wishing to make a donation towards operational costs.

It costs £2 to use the showers, which operate on presentation of a debit or credit card.


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