The planning approved restoration and refurbishment of a public toilet facility in the centre of Millom to provide accessible facilities for community use.

Public toilets provide an essential service but are disappearing across the UK. Estimates suggest a decrease of more than 39% over the last 20 years. The remaining facilities have largely had pay-to-use entry systems applied, effectively creating a tax on a basic human need. For many people, the lack of public facilities has a restrictive effect on the ability to engage with their community, or even leave their home. This phenomenon, termed the ‘loo leash’ by the Royal Society for Public Health, has been found to affect almost a fifth of people in the UK. Public toilets enable participation in public life, and a lack of accessible, comfortable, maintained facilities encourages disengagement and isolation.

IDK's proposed renovation of the existing disused toilet facility within the Millom conservation area aimed to create a fully accessible, free-to-use public toilet. The scheme was designed with inclusion and accessibility at its heart, to create the optimum environment for all people, as far as practically possible. User experience, the number of units, and operational design were all been driven by this guiding principle. All design work will be carried out in line with the client's belief that the community response to a facility which is all-embracing and welcoming would be positive.

Retrofit & refurbishment / Rural regeneration
Photography: IDK