VILLAGERS are exploring the possibility of reopening public toilets in Cowling.

Parish clerk, Andrew Mallinson, said the parish council had received a request to reopen the Cowling Recreation Ground toilets in the centre of the village.

Parish councillors are also planning to ask Craven District Council if they will donate some money to help the village reopen public toilets in Colne Road, which were closed five years ago.

“They were closed so long ago, they’ll need freshening up,” said Mr Mallinson. “We hope Craven District Council will provide some funding to kickstart the process, and the parish council will then maintain them.”

The toilets at Cowling Recreation Ground have been closed much longer, but Mr Mallinson said the recently reformed Recreation Ground Management Committee had requested they be reopened.

However, the former men’s toilet does not have mains water, so unisex toilets would have to be considered using the former women’s convenience.

Mr Mallinson also said part of the building was used to store equipment for the village lengthsman, meaning an alternative would have to be found for storage.

“We’re looking at the cost implications, and once we find out more, the parish council will hold a consultation with villagers to see what they would like to do,” he added.

Rachel Jackson, chairman of the Cowling Recreation Ground Management Committee, said: “From the various surveys we’ve done of people around the village, it’s what the villagers want.

“At the moment, a lot of people who have children go to Sutton Park or Glusburn Park. People want to go here, but the facilities are not as good.”

She said that in addition to reopening the recreation ground toilets, the management committee would like to upgrade play equipment, which she said had not been done for “years and years”.

“The equipment is quite old and is very basic,” added Mrs Jackson.

“The five-and-under play area is okay, but the equipment for older children is not.

“We hope to develop the park in the new year or spring, and then more people will come.

“My family moved to the village a year ago and we, along with many other families, want a nice area for our children to use and play in. Improving the toilets would also make it a better place for families to use.”

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