Revamped toilets reopened on Fleetwood seafront after 15 years
Public conveniences on Fleetwood seafront which have been closed for more than 15 years have been reopened thanks to a community action group
The conveniences are just yards away from Fleetwood Yacht Lake which often plays host to international model yacht tournaments, as well as Dolly's Kiosk, which is popular with residents and visitors alike.
Yet for a decade and half the facilities, on Laidleys Walk, have been shut, meaning people had to walk some distance if they needed to use a lavatory or washing facilities.
However, a determined campaign by the Friends Of Fleetwood Yacht Lake Public Conveniences Group succeeded in raising the £14,000 needed to restore them and obtaining permission from local authority Wyre Council to reopen them.
A grand opening ceremony was held today to launch the gleaming, revamped conveniences, which include baby-changing facilities.
Coun Brian Crawford, a Fleetwood Town Council member, is vice chairman of the Friends group and was able to draw on his experiences of setting up similar projects when he was a councillor in Millom, Cumbria.
He said : "This was a real community-led effort and shows what can be achieved when people pull together.
"We had a facility which was perfectly placed but had been shut for years,m which wasn't good enough.
"The goodwill and support from the Fleetwood community has really helped."
The Friends group, which has a constitution, a committee and a bank account and is led by chairman William Hargreaves, was helped by a £7,000 grant from Fleetwood Town Council and substantial donations from Dolly's, the Model Yacht Club and members of the local community.
The conveniences were officially opened by Fleetwood Town Council chairman, Coun Mary Stirzaker, with help from Shakespeare Primary School pupils Kalvin Townsend and Jack Anderton.
Coun Stirzaker said: "As a town council we're over the moon to have helped get these facilities reopened, they are essential for residents and visitors alike."
Although Wyre Council, which owns the facilities, has no plans to reopen the toilets itself the authority allowed the Friends to lease the facilities at a peppercorn rent of just £1 a year, to allow the project to move forward.
The conveniences were constructed in 1920 but were finally closed in 2005.
The conveniences will be free to use and will be open during the periods when Dolly's Kiosks are open, which is seven days a week except when the weather is very poor.
Users are invited to make a donation towards the annual running costs, expected to be around £2,000.
The Friends Group will continue to manage the conveniences.
Any volunteers keen to help can contact William by email on [email protected]