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Community spirit set to save public toilets in Blairgowrie and Rattray from closure

Date: Monday 25 March

Community spirit set to save public toilets in Blairgowrie and Rattray from closure

Pictured outside the public toilets in Blairgowrie are, from left, Linda Tait, chair of Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust, and John Reynolds, CEO of Castle Water. Photograph by Clare McMicking, CraicN Communications.

Proposals for the local community to take over the management and running of the public toilets in Blairgowrie have taken a step forward.

Following an impassioned response from the community to a public survey facilitated by Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust (BRDT), the Trust is now in the process of agreeing terms to lease the premises near the Wellmeadow from Perth and Kinross Council (PKC).

The local authority announced last year that it would stop operating the toilets as of March 31, 2024 and since then BRDT, alongside Blairgowrie and Rattray Business Association (BARBA), Blairgowrie and East Perthshire Tourism Association (BEPTA), local ward councillors and community members, has been working on a long-term solution to keep the public toilets in the town open.

And the collaborative group is delighted that Blairgowrie-based business Castle Water is to support efforts to keep the facilities running.

Linda Tait, chair of BRDT, said: “Thank you to everyone who filled in the public toilet survey on Discover Blairgowrie. The responses painted a fantastic picture of how vital the public toilets are to our town.

“There was also a wonderful response from people volunteering to help run the facilities, along with many willing to provide sponsorship to keep the toilets open. What great community spirit!

“Although there was no changing PKC’s decision to close the facilities at the end of this month, PKC listened to the community and appreciated the proactive approach to finding a solution to keep the public toilets running.

“Subject to completing the legal processes, BRDT will lease the public toilets from PKC on a 25-year lease for a nominal rent with an option to buy at any time. This long-term lease provides the flexibility to make the public toilet facilities fit for the 21st century and provide additional benefits to the community.”

The facilities are to be run by the community and BRDT is keen to hear from businesses that would be interested in supporting those efforts.

Castle Water Ltd has pledged to cover 50 per cent of the running costs of the public toilets on an annual basis.

John Reynolds, CEO at Castle Water, said: “This is an important amenity for the vibrant and attractive Blairgowrie town centre. Castle Water provides water services to some of the finest loos in the land and we are keen to support the Blairgowrie and Rattray Development Trust to ensure high quality facilities remain available to visitors to Blairgowrie’s amazing town centre.”

Linda added: “We are extremely grateful to Castle Water and our community organisations and volunteers who have already come forward and offered their help.

“Our hope is others will follow in their footsteps to cover the costs for running the public toilets efficiently.

“We’re also keen to hear ideas and suggestions from people in the community about how they can contribute to the running of the toilets, whether that is by providing a service, covering supplies, subscribing to an annual running cost sponsorship, or making a one-off donation.  

BRDT is a community-led organisation that works towards combining community-led action with an enterprising approach to addressing and tackling local needs and issues and creating social, economic and environmental strength in the town. It is a constituted group with community membership and is supported by a wider network of Scottish organisations.

Donations can be made online on the Discover Blairgowrie website or via bank transfer - email for details. Any businesses that can donate a service or supplies should also email