South East Wales

Reopening plan for Victorian toilets in Cardiff's centre

City centre Victorian underground toilets which were closed last year to save money, could soon reopen.

The public toilets on The Hayes in Cardiff were closed to save £120,000 a year.

However, because of their "historical significance," the toilets could now be maintained by the operators of a nearby cafe.

Cardiff council plans to contribute a one-off £12,000 payment towards the start-up costs.

The toilets, below pavement level, were the first public conveniences to open in the capital.

'Tough decisions'

The Lord Mayor performed the ceremony in August 1898 and was presented with a special key.

But the toilets were closed under Cardiff council's budget savings in 2013.

Councillor Ashley Govier, Cardiff's cabinet member for environment, said: "The closure of the Hayes toilets last year was one of many tough decisions we've had to make as an administration in these very harsh financial conditions.

"The closure meant we could save £120,000 per annum but ,of course, we've been mindful of the historical significance of these conveniences."

The council had undertaken to investigate the feasibility of reopening the public conveniences through an alternative method of delivery, he explained.

It is proposed the council will now pay a one-off capped payment of £12,000 from the 2014/15 Community Toilets Scheme budget towards start-up costs for the first 12 months.

Once Cardiff cabinet approves the plan, the intention is to open the Victorian toilets again as soon as possible, Mr Govier added.

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