Published on 8th March 2023

BID ambassador Jo Hale; Sam Robinson, neighbourhood team leader; and Cllr Max Wilkinson by wall with tin of hydrophobic paint

Residents and businesses get busy with hydrophobic paint to deter public urination during Cheltenham Festival.

Residents and businesses are rolling up their sleeves to begin painting this week as deliveries of hydrophobic paint arrive ahead of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.

The hydrophobic paint, which repels liquids, been given to residents and businesses who requested it as part of the ‘war on wee’ campaign which has been declared against people who urinate in public during race week.

Between 14 and 17 March 2023, upwards of 250,000 racegoers and visitors will arrive in the town for the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.

During previous festivals, whilst additional temporary toilets were installed along the main routes to the racecourse, many racegoers still chose to urinate in public spaces.

Cllr Max Wilkinson, cabinet member economic development, culture, tourism and wellbeing, said: "I’m pleased that our residents and businesses are getting involved in this campaign and working with us to keep Cheltenham clean. Public urination at any time is disgusting and we shouldn't have to put up with it anymore.

"Last year, I saw a line of men brazenly weeing against a wall near the town centre, while hundreds of people sat in traffic queues just yards away - they were totally shameless.

"I'm sure the prospect of wet trousers will make people think twice, even if they think they won't get caught and fined."

Cheltenham BID are supporting the council’s roll out of hydrophobic paint to BID businesses in the town.

Heath Gunter, chief executive at Cheltenham BID, said: “We really hope that the hydrophobic paint will discourage individuals from urinating on the walls in town. Such behaviour is very unpleasant to witness and creates extra cleaning responsibilities for local businesses. The BID are happy to support the council with this initiative.’’

Alex Rose, managing director of jewellery store Beards, said: “We are incredibly proud of Cheltenham and the heritage of the Cheltenham Festival, and we fully support any initiative to keep the town clean, respectable and free of these types of anti-social issues.”

The anti-wee initiative is supported by the council’s #KeepItCleanCheltenham campaign that launched this week for the March festival. The new campaign incorporates the bold strapline ‘Have fun this race week but… please don’t take the #!$%’ and aims to raise awareness and stamp down on antisocial behaviour including public urination and littering.

The council is also working with Gloucestershire Constabulary and Cheltenham Racecourse to increase the number of temporary public toilets, visibility at key points and junctions and issue fixed penalty notices where necessary for those who still chose to urinate in public.

A short video of Cllr Max Wilkinson talking about the project can be seen on the council’s YouTube account.

For press enquiries contact: communications team, 01242 264231, email [email protected].

Photo left to right: BID ambassador Jo Hale, Sam Robinson, neighbourhood team leader and Cllr Max Wilkinson.