Wisbech Town Council seals the deal to see Horsefair toilets re-open next month
Toilets in a town’s shopping centre are set to re-open next month after a long awaited contract has been signed.
Wisbech Town Council agreed terms with NewRiver, owners of the Horsefair Shopping Centre, on taking over the toilets in the centre adjacent to the bus station in January.
On Thursday (5) town clerk Terry Jordan signed the contract to seal the deal with council leader Sam Hoy announcing the move and saying: "It’s been a hard slog but the day has come for the town clerk to sign the contract for the Horsefair toilets. We hope to have them open by June."
Mr Jordan had been negotiating with NewRiver, a real estate investment trust, about the possibility of re-opening the loos, which have been closed for the last three years, since last February.
The toilets will be supervised, and a person has been chosen for the role, which will hopefully prevent the issues of anti-social behaviour including drug dealing and taking that saw the facility closed in January 2019.
It will cost shoppers and visitors to the town 20p to spend a penny in the Horsefair toilets, but Mr Jordan said: “At the moment people in the town centre have limited choice. They can go into Costa and spend £3 on a coffee just so they can use the toilets, or they have to restrict the time they spend in town.
“Hopefully having toilets, that are supervised, clean and conveniently sited will encourage more visitors to the town and also people to stay longer than they do at the moment.
“It will be great for the Horsefair and the town centre as a whole because it will hopefully bring in more footfall."
It is estimated it will cost the council around £36,000 a year - depending on the opening times - about a fiver a year for a Band D property, which will pay £4.60. The majority of homes in Wisbech are in Band A and the cost for them will be £3.07.
Users are expected bring in an income of around £6,504, meaning the town council will be left with a bill of around £30,000.
However, at the end of the year the council will be able to look at the costs as it will have a better understanding of the income from people using the toilets.