West Pier toilets in St Ives remain closed while large-scale improvement works continue. The town council hopes to re-open them in late June.
The toilets get used by thousands of people each year and have not been fully renovated for a decade. The works involve: a full strip out; redecoration; retiling; new electrics; new plumbing; and replacing the mechanical hand wash stations (which routinely break down) with sinks and sensor taps. There will also be a new floor.
“When completed, we hope the loos will be a pleasure to use,” said a St Ives Town Council spokesperson. “Local people will also recall that we are installing a payment system for this site and will be gradually rolling this out to other sites.
“This reflects the cost of running the toilets in town, which was over £200,000 in 2022 alone. Funds collected from future charges will be fully re-invested back into the town’s public conveniences so we can ensure that they remain modern and clean.”
In a seaside town like St Ives, the council appreciates the importance of good public toilets, and that’s the reason for the scale of the works. Equally, it understands the impact of having one site closed for a long period, but it says this is unavoidable.
Some of the work has been completed by the council’s own team, but it has also needed to rely on contractors and, unfortunately, it has experienced difficulties and delays. This has meant that the programme is behind schedule, as the installation of the floor and equipment is awaited.
“The council sincerely apologises for the extended closure, and fully regrets the impact on the local community and visitors alike,” the spokesperson added. “However, we continue to operate public toilets at the Sloop, Smeatons Pier, Dove Street, Porthgwidden, and Porthminster (together with sites operated by businesses at Porthmeor and Trenwith, and our toilets at Longstone in Carbis Bay).
“We are confident, therefore, that there will be full access to public facilities during the next few weeks. The facilities will be open again well before the beginning of the school holidays, and we hope that everyone will benefit from the quality of the new facilities.”