South Lanarkshire Council (SLC) has decided to close all public toilets within its estate, including those in Biggar. SLC has let it be known that it is open to proposals which would enable such premises to remain open.
A Working Group (WG) has been established, which currently comprises representatives from Biggar Business Group, Friends of the Burn Braes, Biggar Gala Committee, Biggar Little Festival, Biggar Rotary Club, and Biggar Theatre Workshop.
It was recognised at an early stage that there were substantial benefits in linking this working group to an established Charity, at least during this ‘start up’ phase of creating an independent social enterprise (“Biggar Community Toilets”). At their meeting on 20th April 2015 the Trustees of Biggar Theatre Workshop Ltd (BTW Ltd) agreed that they would provide that linkage, and that the WG would operate as a committee of BTW Ltd.
The WG has carried out an options appraisal, and has recommended a course of action which would enable the public toilets to continue to operate.
The WG has developed a plan which it believes to be viable. It is proposed that the facility will be unmanned, with automated door locking and un-locking at pre-determined times. The automated mechanism will be adjustable, so that times of opening and closing can be varied as appropriate. Cleaning will be undertaken twice daily, on a contract basis.
Initial estimates suggest annual running costs in the region of £14,000. The WG considers it necessary to establish a start-up fund of £15,000, to cover first year costs. Donations in excess of £2,000 have already been received, or promised. An operating budget and outline cash flow projection have been prepared.
Capital costs have been researched, and are budgeted at £10,800.
Some donations have already been received, and applications for grants from both the Common Good Fund and the Clyde Wind Farm Fund will be submitted.
A project risk assessment has been carried out, and a Risk register will be maintained throughout the project. Project management will be undertaken by WG members, several of whom have prior experience of similar and larger projects.
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