Fea­si­bil­ity cash in place for me­mo­rial toi­lets

The Oban Times - - News -

PLANS to build new toi­lets next to a ma­jor Spean Bridge tourist at­trac­tion could start soon af­ter fund­ing for a fea­si­bil­ity study was ap­proved by two or­gan­i­sa­tions, writes Steven Rae.

Thou­sands of vis­i­tors come to see the bronze statue and gar­den of re­mem­brance at the Com­mando Me­mo­rial, which lies about one mile out­side of the vil­lage, each year.

Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Ach­nacarry Com­mu­nity Coun­cil ap­plied for the fea­si­bil­ity study back in De­cem­ber and an­nounced at its meet­ing on Jan­uary 5 that fund­ing had been ap­proved. High­land Coun­cil will pay 50 per cent of the costs, with High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise (HIE) match­ing the fund­ing. Due to le­gal rea­sons, the Com­mu­nity SCIO (Scot­tish Char­i­ta­ble In­cor­po­rated Or­gan­i­sa­tion) has now taken over the pro­ject from the com­mu­nity coun­cil.

The mon­u­ment is ded­i­cated to the men of the orig­i­nal Bri­tish Com­mando Forces, who fought in the Se­cond World War, and was un­veiled by the Queen Mother in 1952.

Chair­man of Spean Bridge, Roy Bridge and Ach­nacarry Com­mu­nity Coun­cil John Fotheringham said there had been a num­ber of com­plaints over the past three years about peo­ple hav­ing nowhere to go to the toi­let.

Mr Fotheringham said: ‘ We have had a lot of com­plaints over the past three years about peo­ple get­ting caught short at the me­mo­rial, so we felt we had to do some­thing about it.

‘The study we are look­ing at is for toi­lets of a com­postable na­ture and would be fairly low main­te­nance.

‘The SCIO has made the ap­pli­ca­tion as a com­mu­nity coun­cil can’t own prop­erty, so the SCIO would take on own­er­ship.’ Mr Fotheringham said the cost of putting in stan­dard toi­lets would be in the re­gion of £ 500,000, how­ever the cheaper op­tion, which the com­mu­nity coun­cil was look­ing into, would be be­tween £60,000 to £100,000.

The com­mu­nity coun­cil has looked at sim­i­lar fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing the RSPB site at Moidart Gar­dens, to es­ti­mate the costs.

Mr Fotheringham added that the com­mu­nity coun­cil was in dis­cus­sions with ‘a num­ber of bod­ies’ about fund­ing the pro­ject, adding: ‘It’s a very pop­u­lar desti­na­tion and we don’t want to stop peo­ple go­ing.

‘Hope­fully they will be cam­ou­flaged from the mon­u­ment and me­mo­rial gar­den. We will be look­ing at all pos­si­bil­i­ties. The coun­cil has been very sup­port­ive.

‘It’s an iconic mon­u­ment of con­sid­er­able im­por­tance to serv­ing and re­tired ser­vice per­son­nel, and we don’t want any­thing to de­tract from vis­i­tors’ ex­pe­ri­ence.’

The me­mo­rial is a pop­u­lar

vis­i­tor at­trac­tion.

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