Orchard Square Sheffield: shopping centre boss gives update about closure of public toilets

Bosses have revealed why the public toilets were closed at Orchard Square, in Sheffield city centre.

By David Kessen
Tuesday, 26th October 2021, 12:07 pm

Residents and officials have raised concerns over the lack of public toilets in the city centre over recent months, after the city re-opened after lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Among the former facilities to have closed are the public conveniences which previously operated next to the Waterstones book store at the shopping centre off Fargate.

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Sheffield Orchard Square Clock where the shutters aren't working and Elsie and Fred don't appear

Angela Cowley, centre manager at Orchard Square, said the public toilets, which were in a corner of the centre and down a flight of steps, had closed before her time running the venue.

She said: “It was decided that we didn’t need them, in Orchard Square, because it didn’t have a food facility that did not have its own toilets, so there was no obligation to have them.

"There was also a problem with people abusing them.”

She said there was still a disabled toilet available in the centre for emergencies, which had been used by people who had contacted them at the office.

She added there were no plans to reopen the toilets.

Residents have contacted the Star to raise concerns over the lack of toilets in the city centre in recent months.

Earlier this month, Liberal Democrat leader at Sheffield Council, Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, called for the former ladies public toilets under the town hall to be re-opened, after it was revealed that they still have parts of their old infrastructure in place – but would need money spending on them to make them usable again.

He said he believed they should be considered as a possible way of relieving what some see as a lack of public toilet facilities in the city centre.

Sheffield BID (Business Improvement District) launched a scheme called LAVS (Lavatory and Ablution Venue Scheme) encouraging local businesses to allow members of the public to use their facilities

Locations of public toilets in Sheffield city centre

The city has public toilets at the Millennium Galleries and the Moor Market.

Portable toilets were put in place in front of the Peace Gardens during lockdown, but were criticised over their unattractive appearance.

Local journalism holds the powerful to account and gives people a voice. Please take out a digital subscription or buy a paper. Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor