Work has started on new toilets for the Barbican as part of the Council’s commitment to better facilities for day-trippers and regular water users.
Demolition work has already started on the run-down block in the Barbican’s Elphinstone car park and preparation work is underway to knock down the public toilets at Sutton Harbour’s Quay Point – opposite the Mayflower Visitor Centre – to clear the way for six unisex toilets and a disabled/family toilet.
As well as a set of unisex toilets and a disabled/family toilet at Elphinstone car park, the building will have a new harbour master’s office to replace the current temporary one. All the toilet cubicles at both sites will have baby changing facilities and both new blocks will include bin storage areas to serve local business.
Cabinet Member for the Environment, Councillor Brian Vincent said: “If we want to be Britain’s Ocean City we need to make sure our facilities are up to scratch. We pledged to overhaul our public toilets and getting these ones sorted is really important.
“The Barbican and Sutton Harbour is hugely important to the city – not just for the tourists but the many local people who pop down to the walk around, eat, fish and sail. We had previously shut one set of loos and looked at refurbishing the toilets on the quayside, but it was more economical to start from scratch and invest in something that is more modern and flexible.”
Plymouth Waterfront Partnership’s (PWP) Waterfront Manager Sarah O’Leary said “First impressions count and a visitor’s impression of poor public toilets can ruin their experience of visiting Plymouth. PWP is extremely pleased the Council has responded to businesses calling for improvements, significantly investing in public facilities in the city’s historic Barbican in readiness for the new season and this year’s major events.”
The new toilets, which cost £370,000, will be a significant upgrade to the existing facilities and will have a range of features to make sure they are pleasant to use as well as more environmentally-friendly. This includes automatic lighting, efficient water use and back up flush systems.
There will be a 20p charge to use the toilets, to help keep anti-social behaviour in check and to contribute to their upkeep. Charges have been brought in successfully in Armada Way in the city centre.
The materials have been specifically chosen to complement the conservation area, with a nautical feel. The toilets will both be clad in high quality European Oak, have stainless steel doors with faux port hole windows and zinc covered canopies. The Quay Point building will also have curved ends which sensitively incorporate a bin store.
The new Elphinstone toilets are expected to be ready for Easter.