Published on 6th April 2023
The final design includes Changing Places facilities, a new layout for existing male and female facilities, new family spaces and two gender neutral toilets.
Plans to refurbish public toilets in Montpellier Gardens are a step closer as Cabinet approved the final concept design for the refurbished toilets.
Montpellier Gardens toilets are one of eight public toilets in the town centre which are owned and operated by the Council. In September 2021, the Council submitted a bid to the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities for funding to provide Changing Places facilities in the town centre and the Montpellier Gardens toilets was identified as a site where this could be delivered.
Changing Places facilities offer larger, accessible toilets for people who cannot use standard accessible toilets, with equipment such as hoists, curtains, shower facilities, adult-sized changing benches and space for carers. They have a non-slip floor, large waste bins for disposable items, a centrally placed toilet with extra room on each side and a screen or curtain to allow for extra privacy.
Currently, the town centre has a Changing Places facility within the John Lewis store on the high street and in 2018, the council opened a Changing Places toilet at Pittville Park, near to the play area, refreshment kiosk and the existing public toilets, enabling more families to enjoy the area.
The recently approved Corporate Plan 2023-24 recognises the importance of continued investment in the town centre and the final concept design presented for approval in the report is the result of work undertaken by the Council in consultation with key stakeholders such as the Disability Forum.
As well as a new Changing Places facility, the final design includes more spaces for families, equal number of male and female facilities and two gender neutral toilet facilities.
Councillor Iain Dobie, member for waste, recycling & street services said: "Aiming to make all that Cheltenham has to offer as accessible as possible to everyone is something which this council not only believes in, but actively promotes. The refurbishment and upgrade of Montpellier Gardens toilets, located at the heart of our festival town, represents a key step towards delivering on this principle of fairness.’’
Work will now begin to procure a contractor to undertake the work. The timeline for refurbishment completion is estimated to be towards Spring 2024. Construction budget decisions will be brought to Cabinet and Council once the procurement for a construction contractor is completed.
For information about public toilets in Cheltenham, visit www.cheltenham.gov.uk/public-toilets-directory.
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