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Refurbished public toilets reopen for business in Lybster

By David G Scott

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Lybster community toilets have finally opened their doors to the general public after a period of closure in which they had fallen into a state of serious disrepair.

The facility had been closed for over two years along with other public conveniences in the Caithness area as part of a programme by Highland Council to save costs.

Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Development Company (LLCCDC), in partnership with the Latheron, Lybster and Clyth Community Council negotiated a 25-year lease with the council to take over the running and maintenance of the facilities.

Before and after images of the Lybster toilet facility.
Before and after images of the Lybster toilet facility.

LLCCDC completed a detailed consultation during the early months of the pandemic and the closure of the public toilets was one of the main areas of concern for the local community. The toilets have now had a major overhaul with new windows, rewiring, major plumbing work, as well as painting inside and out. There are new hand dryers, soap dispensers and also included are notice boards and donation boxes.

Tom Briscoe, LLCCDC centre manager said: "It’s been a hard slog to get these facilities open but everyone has pulled together to make this happen. We would firstly like to thank the funders who financed this initiative, namely Beatrice Windfarm, Bad a Cheo Windfarm, and North Highland Initiative.

"LLCCDC also contributed towards the costs. We would also like to thank the tradespeople who pulled out all the stops to get this work completed. This included Macgregors Plumbers (and electricians), Willie Bain (painting), Rookery Glass (windows), R Gordon (joinery), Monarch Locksmiths, Donald Wares (maintenance), and a special thanks to Kevin at KJ Signs in Lybster who kindly designed and donated the outside signage."

Upgraded toilet at Lybster is now open for business.
Upgraded toilet at Lybster is now open for business.

Chair of LLCCDC Andrew Gunn added: "I am delighted we have been able to secure funding to reopen the Lybster toilets. The building was in great condition structurally but needed a lot of refurb work to bring it up to a decent standard. Facilities such as this are crucial for tourists and visitors to our community. We are looking to improve it further – ideally with proper disabled access and also possibly a chemical toilet disposal point installed."

Wick and East Caithness Councillor Willie Mackay, who regularly attends the local community council meetings said: "I’m delighted to see the toilets on the main street in Lybster being refurbished and now open. Those involved in getting these much needed facilities open are a credit to the community in their ability to attract funding and in working together to provide a much needed facility in the village for locals and the many tourists that visit."

LLCCDC have employed a part time cleaner and the toilets will be open all year round from dawn till dusk. For more information, contact Tom Briscoe on 01593 721283.

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