Scarborough Borough Council says that after an investment of more than £500,000, people can benefit from "a modern, pleasant and accessible public toilet experience when visiting Scarborough South Bay".
The old toilets at the bottom of St Nicholas Gardens on Foreshore Road were in need of significant investment, modernisation and additional functionality to meet the needs of today’s users and be accessible to all.
The facility has undergone a complete overhaul with new sanitary ware, plumbing, walls, floors and other fixtures and fittings. The space has been reconfigured to offer separate male and female provision, an accessible cubicle which forms part of the national Radar key scheme and for the first time, Changing Places provision.
The Changing Places facility enables people with profound disabilities and challenging medical needs to use the site with dignity while enjoying everything the South Bay has to offer.
The toilets’ ‘green’ credentials have also been significantly improved. Basins and soap dispensers have been replaced with high quality all-in-one wash and dry machines, which use 65% less water and 85% less soap. The latest sensor technology has been installed to operate the toilet flushes and urinals in a further bid to use less water.
The site also benefits from a free water bottle refill point located in the entrance way, provided through collaboration with the charity, Sea-Changers, to help people stay hydrated without the need for single use plastics.
The toilets remain a pay on entry site – 40 pence for adults and 10 pence for children. The money will be used to offset ongoing running costs. Automatic barriers at the entrance have the facility to take payment by card (including contactless), Apple Pay, Google Pay and cash.
People can access the water bottle refill point without paying to use the toilets.
Prior to the transformation, more than 100,000 people used the toilets each year. It is hoped this figure will increase now that the new toilets provide a significantly improved visitor experience.
Councillor Tony Randerson, our cabinet member for neighbourhoods said:
"I am so pleased to be able to open this flagship site. The finish is fantastic and demonstrates how committed we are to providing high quality public toilets throughout the borough. It will be used a benchmark for the transformation of some of our other toilet blocks in the future.
"Increasing the number of Changing Places toilets has long been a commitment of ours and the introduction of this site will allow all of our community to use the site equally and with dignity.
"Even people who do not need the toilet can come in and ‘have a drink on us’ by topping up their water bottle at the refill point, made possible by national charity Sea-Changers and Bunzl plc."
Helen Webb, co-founder of Sea-Changers said;
"As a marine conservation charity we are working tirelessly for the protection of the marine environment. By reducing single use plastics being consumed we can work towards eliminating this plastic waste entering the water off Scarborough.
"It’s fantastic that the Coastal Fountain Fund Grant has enabled the new refill point and we hope it is used by many visitors each year."
James Pitcher, head of sustainability at Bunzl plc said:
"We know that communities in which our businesses operate around the world all want to find ways to protect our environment and to make better use of natural resources. That’s why we’re delighted to be supporting this initiative and are looking forward to seeing more water bottle refill stations installed around the UK coast.
"This new refill point is a great addition to Scarborough’s seafront and I’m sure it will be incredibly popular, in the long hot British summers that Scarborough is famous for!"
Steve Jackson, regional director at F Parkinson Ltd, the construction company that carried out the transformation, said:
"We are really proud of the high standard of the finished toilets, especially as the site presented us with a number of challenges, which we overcame with bespoke solutions.
"We wanted to strike a balance between meeting the council’s ambitions and retaining some of the architecturally significant elements of the site.
"We feel we have achieved that and created a great facility for the local community and visitors to use."