RESIDENTS of Hamworthy will be relieved as a block of public toilets which closed more than five years ago is set to re-open after a Poole business bought it.

W&S Recycling purchased the loos outside the Co-op in Blandford Road and is in the process of refurbishing them.

The former Poole council closed the loos in March 2014 and replaced them with a community toilet scheme involving the library, Adam Practice surgery and the Red Lion pub. A borough-wide review of public toilet blocks led to many being controversially closed, including four in Poole town centre.

Hamworthy councillor Julie Bagwell was the driving force behind a campaign to take over the vacant Blandford Road toilet block. She planned to enlist residents to run the loos as a community asset, but then W&S stepped in and offer to buy the toilets and run them as a free facility.

“I love the new toilet block. It’s a superb facility, which we fought long and hard to bring back.

“I protected the toilets by making them a community asset, and we had to take that protection off so W&S could buy them. I’m hoping everybody will look after the toilets. The feedback from Hamworthy residents is they’re so happy and pleased.”

Geoff Thompson, owner of W&S Recycling, said he hoped the toilets, which cost more than £57,000 to purchase, would be open in the next four to six weeks.

“We’ve completely revamped the toilets – it’s cost over £100,000 including the cost of purchasing the block. I live in Hamworthy so I’m giving something back to the public who helped me build my business.

“Some local community people who are retired and live close to the toilets have volunteered to clean them free of charge and open and close them each day.”

“There will also be some W&S skips outside for textiles and paper,” he added.