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More places to spend a penny in Edinburgh

Posted: 21st May 2021

Public toilets at six popular hotspots in and around Edinburgh are set to reopen in the coming days for the first time since the pandemic began.

Final operational and safety checks are being carried out to bring the toilets at the following locations back into use in the week beginning Monday 31 May:

  • Bath Street, Portobello
  • Hamilton Place, Stockbridge
  • Lauriston Castle
  • Harlaw Visitor Centre
  • West Princes Street Gardens
  • Winter Gardens, Saughton Park

At the same time as finalising plans to reopen the above existing toilets, Council officers are hard at work making final arrangements to safely install new temporary toilets in three locations as early as possible next month: Inverleith Park, Leith Links and the Meadows. The use of £450,000 from COVID funding for these temporary toilets was approved by the Council last month.

The new facilities will be in place until the end of September and are being sited in premier parks with especially high footfall. Each location will include male and female toilets as well as an accessible toilet. Though temporary in nature, the toilets need to be connected to key services (sewer, water and electricity), so they need to be installed close to existing facilities within the three parks.

Separately, Pentland Hills Regional Park has applied for external funding via NatureScot’s Better Places Green Recovery Fund to install temporary toilets at Threipmuir, Bonaly and Harlaw.

And it is hoped the Council’s remaining permanent public toilets (namely Colinton, Castle Terrace, Castle Hill, Taylor Gardens, High Street South Queensferry and Nicolson Square) will be reopened in late June or early July, in line with public health guidance.

Environment Convener Councillor Lesley Macinnes said:

Taken all together there will soon be 12 more places to safely spend a penny when you’re spending time enjoying our beautiful parks, beaches and green spaces across Edinburgh. It’s fantastic that we’ll shortly be able to reopen several permanent public toilets again, as well as bring new temporary facilities to key hotspots.

We want everyone to be able to relax and make the most of our wonderful outdoor spaces so having these toilets open will be extremely welcome I’m sure. And work’s continuing so that we can get all our permanent toilet facilities operational again as soon as possible over the summer, in line with public health guidance.

Environment Vice Convener Councillor Karen Doran said:

It’s great to know you don’t need to worry about being caught short when visiting our most popular outdoor destinations thanks to the new temporary toilets and our reopening of six key permanent facilities. With summer around the corner, we want to make sure our beautiful ‘great outdoors’ stays as beautiful and accessible as possible, so everyone can benefit.

At last month’s Transport and Environment Committee, Councillors approved a plan for new and improved permanent public toilets across the Capital, following a review of existing provision. On the basis that funding can be identified, the plan is to build new permanent public toilets in popular parks such as Inverleith and to upgrade existing facilities in premier parks to meet modern hygiene standards.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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