The Comfort Scheme provides clean, safe and accessible public toilets in convenient locations for residents and visitors.
Under the scheme businesses let members of the public use their toilet facilities free of charge during normal opening hours. Many of the premises offer wheelchair access and baby changing facilities.
How does it work?
Local businesses are paid a small annual fee to open up their toilets for public use. This fee is dependant on how many, the standard and types of facilities you have, and your opening hours.
Members of the public will be able to use the toilet facilities during opening hours without any need to make a purchase.
- Straiton Public Convenience, Main Street, Straiton
- Kirkmichael Community Shop, 24 Patna Road, Kirkmichael
- Barrhill Memorial Hall, Main Street, Barhill
- Crosshill - 34 King St, Maybole KA19 7RE
- Dundonald Castle (Visitor Centre), Friends of Dundonald Castle, Winehouse Yett, Dundonald, KA2 9HD
Are you a business looking to join the Comfort Scheme?
Here are some questions and answers you may have:
Q: What do I get from the Partnership?
A: Confirmed income at several stages throughout the year, when at the moment people may be using your toilets for no additional income.
- More potential customers (mostly tourists or other visitors) coming into your premises who may buy something from you.
- Good publicity - your business will be advertised via the council and Visit Scotland as a Comfort Scheme location.
Q: What do I have to do?
A: Not much more than you do at the moment! Keep the toilets available, keep them clean, display signage and in return we pay you.
Q: How much money can I expect from a Partnership?
A: Each premises will be assessed by a Council Officer and a financial offer is made depending on how many, the standard and types of facilities you have, and your opening hours. If you are successfully placed on the scheme you will be paid 3 times a year.
Q: Who pays for the extra running costs?
A: The money you receive from South Ayrshire Council is intended to pay for the extra costs incurred by offering the Comfort Scheme.
Q: How long must I enter into a Partnership for?
A: It is preferable that you enter into a 3 year agreement. This is mainly to cut down on the inconvenience of re-organizing the partnerships every year. However this is negotiable if you do not want to enter into a 3 year agreement.
Q: How many people can I expect to be using my toilets?
A: It is impossible to say, but it is hoped that in busier towns there may be several partnerships, as well as existing council public toilets, to help spread the demands.
Q: Am I expected to allow trouble makers in to use my toilets?
A: Although we would expect your toilets to be publicly available, you are entitled to expect the same standards of behaviour as you would from customers in your shop, pub or restaurant. If someone is causing trouble, you would be entitled to ask them to leave and in extreme cases bar them from entry. The same applies to people using your toilet facilities.
Q: I run a Licensed Premises, will letting children in to use the facilities affect this?
A: No, children can enter the bar area to travel to your toilets, as long as they do not stay.
Q: How will this affect my insurance?
A: We strongly suggest you advise your insurers that you are entering the scheme. As a business which admits the public, you will already require to have public liability insurance. The advice we have from the insurance industry is that there is no reason why you should be prevented from entering the scheme. In a minority of cases, your insurance company may slightly increase your premium. If that is the case, we are happy to discuss this with you.
Q: What happens when the Partnership is set up?
A: A Minute of Agreement is signed by both the provider and South Ayrshire Council to formally set up the partnership. Signage is organised and an official start date established. A dedicated officer is available to offer advice and they will inspect your premises routinely.
Q: I am interested in the scheme what do I do next?
A: Please contact the helpline on 0300 123 0900 (during office hours) to discuss matters further.
Q: What if I want out of the partnership?
A: Although you may sign up for the partnership for 3 years, you can withdraw at any time by giving 2 months written notice.