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Relief all round as long wait is finally over for the toilets in Grantown


By Gavin Musgrove

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Project supporters gather for the reopening of the improved public conveniences.
Project supporters gather for the reopening of the improved public conveniences.

An excruciating four-year wait for public toilets to re-open in Grantown is finally over thanks to local community leaders and supporters.

The newly renovated toilets at Burnfield were officially opened on Tuesday bringing a vital facility back to the Strathspey capital.

Highland Council shut the doors in 2018 as part of cost-cutting measures.

But now the conveniences are back in use after being bought by the community.

The new £130,000 facility has been completely refurbished with a revised layout, new doors, windows, lighting and plumbing.

Baby changing facilities have been provided in the men’s facilities as well as ladies and disabled areas.

There is a beautiful tile mural featuring artwork by pupils at nearby Grantown Grammar School.

Rosie Trussell with her creation of the local landmark which has been recreated on tiles in the toilet block.
Rosie Trussell with her creation of the local landmark which has been recreated on tiles in the toilet block.

Rosie Trussell’s drawing of local landmark, the Old Spey Bridge, is at the heart of the installation, with additional drawings of outdoor activities also featured.

Finally, there is also a motorhome service point providing a much-needed area for campers to dispose of their grey and toilet waste.

The project was led by the Grantown Initiative, and chair Karen Derrick said: “Reopening the toilets was a top priority for businesses and residents.

“The Burnfield facilities are in a busy part of the town, in a well-used car park and close to our museum and The Square, where so many public events take place during the year.

“We are delighted that the facility is open again after so much hard work by our volunteers and contractors.

“This is a wonderful asset for the town which will benefit visitors and residents.

“The provision of facilities for motorhome owners also provided a much-needed service.”

Rosie Trussell officially opened the building, accompanied by Karen Derrick
Rosie Trussell officially opened the building, accompanied by Karen Derrick

Ms Derrick added: “We have not escaped escalating costs post-Covid and raising funding to cover the increased costs within the required timeframe was extremely stressful.

“We have gone through a steep learning curve – for a group of volunteers to open and refurbish a public service has been challenging.

“We hope that the loos are a facility that the town can be proud of.”

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Other funding was provided by the Cairngorms National Park Authority, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Highland Council, The Cairngorms Trust and the Berry Burn Community Fund, with further donations from the Grantown Initiative and the community.

The work was expertly managed by town-based firm, Colin Lawson Builders Ltd, who worked with other contractors. Students’ drawings were printed on tiles at the town’s art gallery, the Spey Bank Studio, thanks to Angus Grant.

How the Burnfield toilets used to look before the community project.
How the Burnfield toilets used to look before the community project.

It is now planned to operate the toilets from 6.30am to 11pm, with a 50p entrance fee.

All funds raised will go towards the maintenance and management of the new Burnfield public toilets. The council agreed to the sale of the toilets to the Grantown Initiative for £1.


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