A DETERMINED group of Pangbourne residents have won their two-year battle to save the village’s public toilets.
The facilities, in Station Road, were closed in 2015 after West Berkshire Council withdrew funding.
However, following the formation of a new charitable trust, campaigners have now announced the facility is set to re-open in September, after raising £11,000.
The recently-registered charity, Action for Pangbourne Toilets Community Trust, said the money will be enough to maintain the lavatories for at least 12 months.
Chairman of trustees Sir Brian Hoskins, said: “It’s an exciting time for the trust and its supporters and we are looking forward to re-opening this important facility for the many visitors to our wonderful village.
“Everyone involved has worked very hard and we are grateful to all the local organisations and residents who have donated to our cause so far.”
The trust achieved registered charity status in February this year and since then it has received support from Cardy Beaver Foundation, Greenham Trust, Pangbourne Parish Council and Whitchurch Parish Council together with donations from local residents.
The trust is now in the process of finalising a 99-year lease with West Berkshire Council, with plans under way for a grand re-opening ceremony in September.
It is believed to be the first time a UK residents group has set up a registered charity in order to take over and manage a public toilet facility.
However, despite the success of the campaign, further funding is needed in order to keep the toilets open long-term.
Sir Brian added: “We need to raise funds on an ongoing basis, so we welcome the opportunity to attract online donations and match-funding via Greenham Trust.
“We hope this will encourage people who live further afield to make a donation to help support the toilets in the longer term.”
Donations to support Station Road toilets can now be made securely online via The Good Exchange website or by visiting http://bit.ly/2uh0x7g
All donations will be 100 per cent matched by Greenham Trust.
West Berkshire Council withdrew funding for the toilets in March 2015 after being forced to find £17.5m worth of savings.
Since then, residents’ group Action for Pangbourne Toilets has actively campaigned to have the toilets re-opened.