Alnwick public toilets earmarked for £100,000 revamp

Public toilets in Alnwick could be set for a £100,000 makeover.

Thursday, 20th January 2022, 11:00 am
The public toilets at The Shambles, Alnwick, are in line for refurbishment.
The public toilets at The Shambles, Alnwick, are in line for refurbishment.

The conveniences at The Shambles and on Greenwell Road are both understood to be part of a refurbishment programme.

Northumberland County Council is planning to spend £1 million on a revamp of 54 public toilets.

It has already done surveys to understand what the maintenance requirements are in terms of the fabric of the buildings, the decor and any damage to appliances.

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Alnmouth's public toilets.

Cllr Gordon Castle, Alnwick ward county councillor, said: “My understanding is that around £100k might be allocated to Alnwick, with most of it going to The Shambles toilets. It’s posing a difficulty because it’s a listed building but they’re pressing on with it.”

He believed Alnmouth was likely to be included, although he could not confirm it.

"The intention of local services is that Alnmouth is included,” he told a meeting of the parish council.

Cllr Martin Swinbank, fellow ward member, added: “There will be refurbishment of some of the more heavily used facilities, particularly those in key tourism destinations.

"Both Gordon and I have pushed very hard for Alnmouth to be included on that list but I’m not privy to the information on whether it is.

"A draft programme has been prepared and it will go to the capital strategy group early this year.

"The first phase will be delivered at the end of this financial year and it’s a three year programme up to 2024.”

Alnmouth Parish Council has been calling for the Marine Road conveniences to be revamped for some time having received complaints from the public even though they are the county council’s responsibility.

Cllr Shaun Whyte, parish council chairman, said: “That £1 million works out at £18,000 per toilet which doesn’t actually sound a huge amount, particularly if £100,000 is being taken by two toilets in Alnwick.

"I suspect Alnmouth’s toilets will need considerably more than £18,000 spent on them, although any improvement would certainly be very welcome.”

Cllr Castle pointed out that providing public toilets is not a statutory duty of the county council.

"It’s a discretionary function but we do spend money in tourist locations and Alnmouth certainly is a big one so there’s a very strong case for it,” he said.

Public toilets in Bamburgh, Seahouses and Holy Island have already been refurbished.

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