New art role for closed Falmouth toilets
7:00am Friday 26th October 2012 in News
FORMER public toilets on Webber Street in Falmouth could be taken over by the town council and used to help in the redevelopment of the neighbouring art gallery.
Cornwall Council, currently responsible for managing the facilities, closed the toilets this month under their county-wide ‘public convenience rationalisation programme’.
Now Falmouth Town Council have written to New County Hall to ask to take control of the facilities.
The letter, written by town clerk Mark Williams, states: “The town council have a long held aspiration to include that site in a redesign of the nationally renowned Falmouth Art Gallery operation in the adjoining municipal buildings.
“The intention is to create a more useable, functional and aesthetically improved entrance to the gallery whilst maximising space for exhibition and community workshop purposes and related facilities such as shop and cafe.
“Secure and appropriate archival storage for the town’s extensive public art collection is also urgently required.
“It was proposed to reinstate public conveniences as part of that proposal, however, given the current position of Cornwall Council that toilets are not required in the locality then this can be revisited.
“The town council would still be happy to include and operate public toilets as part of the new development if there was a community desire to do so from this location.
“There is a current and real fear that the site, if ‘mothballed’, will become the target for vandalism, a place for vagrants to sleep and foul and other anti-social behaviour.
“Some of this is currently experienced and will be exacerbated by the closure. The building is also quite tatty and will quickly deteriorate in appearance.
“The council recognises that gallery extension aspirations relies upon the freehold transfer, or grant of a long tenure lease, to the town council by Cornwall Council of the municipal buildings an ongoing matter of discussion between our councils.
“It is hoped this matter can be expeditiously addressed and to that end the council requests the freehold transfer of the Webber street toilets site to achieve its plans