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Isle of Cumbrae Public Toilets

Owned by the Community Run by the Community


In 2017 North Ayrshire Council announced that they intended to close the Public Toilet facilities on the Isle of Cumbrae due to lack of funds.

Cumbrae relies heavily on tourism, therefore the idea of having no toilet facilities for the daily visitors, walkers, cyclists and holiday makers who visit the Island on a regular basis was unthinkable.

On behalf of the residents and local business Cumbrae Community Development Company took over the ownership and responsibility of the operating of the Public Toilets on the Island.

North Ayrshire Council provided CCDC with funding to cover operating costs for approximately two years. It was estimated that the toilets operating costs were just under £30,000 per annum.

The future of the toilets relies solely on generous donations from the public which includes local residents, local businesses, holiday makers and day trippers to the Island. Donation are currently received through collection tins in various business premises on the Island. Recently a Just Giving page has been set up on Facebook.

How are we doing?

Donation received from March 2019 until September 2019 amount to £5,400.  If we assume cost remain the same, we can forecast a short fall of -£24,600. This short fall will have to be met by CCDC.  It is clear that this would not be sustainable in the future.  Immediate intervention is required to reduce the short fall.

Reality: Reduce costs/Increase income 

Highest annual operating costs for 2018: No.1 cleaning contract £11,500


Currently we operate all six public toilets throughout the year yet the Island sees a dramatic drop in visitor footfall in the winter months.

Fact finding: Other Island toilet comparison and Largs provision.



*Garrison House toilet facilities operate separately from all other public toilets on Cumbrae. They are not
part of the cleaning contract costs. Costs for Garrison House toilets are incorporated with the running costs
of Garrison House.


After careful consideration CCDC have made the decision to reduce the toilets facilities during the winter months. This will bring costs in line with visitor footfall whilst supporting our challenge to reduce operating costs.

Toilets to remain open through the winter: Croc Rock, Garrison House (during opening hours) and Fintry Bay.

Summer 2019 all seven toilets operating throughout.

Cleaning contract £7,890.00

Winter 2019/20 reduce toilet facilities to those listed above.

Cleaning contract estimate £1,530.00

Implementing these changes will make an estimated saving of £2,080.00

The Board would like to take this opportunity to thank Suki McGregor our contractual cleaner for her offer to provide a proportion of her cleaning service free of charge to allow all 4 toilets blocks to remain open through the winter months. The goal of the Board is to find the best sustainable financial proposition that will deliver an effective quality service for the long term future of our toilets. In order to achieve this goal, all working hours require to be recorded and reflect a total in hourly rates required. With this in mind we have declined the offer.

No.2 Waste removal from holding tanks £3,585.

CCDC are pleased to inform the community that having applied and been successful with an application to Scottish Land Trust for funds to carry out improvement work at the following toilets.  The listed has been completed.

Cumbrae Slip: Installation of new sewage treatment unit £15,000

Fintry Bay: Installation of new septic tank £10,000

Going forward it will not be necessary to have a bowser come to the Island to remove waste, which will result in a year-on-year annual saving of £3,585 to the toilets operating costs.

Outcome: total expected saving on toilet operating costs of £5,665 + £600 approx., (utility & cleaning materials), per annum.  Giving a total saving of £6,265.

Increase Income

CCDC will continue to raise awareness to the community and visitors regarding the financial challenge to sustain the Public Toilet facilities.

It is our intent to continue applying for funding where we are eligible from other charitable organisations.

CCDC are committed to explore other fundraising ideas. Any suggestions from the community would be welcomed. If you would like to support or be involved with a fundraising event for the ongoing toilet costs please write to our CCDC Board at Garrison House.   

Community Voluntary support request

CCDC would like to use the winter months to identify and initiate general maintenance improvements to the toilets. If you feel you have skills or time you are willing to offer to support our challenge we would love to hear from you. If you would like to be involved please drop into the Garrison House office where names and skills will be collated by Jan Wilkie.

On behalf of the CCDC Board I would like to thank everyone who has donated time, money and efforts to the sustainability of Cumbrae Community Public Toilets.

If you are not already a member of Cumbrae Community Development Company and would like to join, please call into Garrison House office and complete one of our Membership Forms. Annual membership fee - £5.


Deborah Ferris


Please assist us in keeping the toilets available

PDF version here

Cumbrae Community Development Company logo

...working for and with the people of the Island of Great Cumbrae

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