York public loo to be turned into activity rooms

A block of public toilets could be turned into offices in York.

Under the scheme the disused toilet block on Wigginton Road, opposite the hospital and next to Clarence Gardens, would be converted into activity rooms and offices.

Charity The Hut, which is based in another small building in Clarence Gardens, is behind the plan.

They hope to call the new space The Hubble.

As well as office space, there are plans to create a kitchen where people can make tea and the building will be made more accessible.

A public toilet will also be created.

‘People need our help’

The planning statement says: “The Hut York is a registered charity that provides purposeful activities and support for people with enduring mental health issues and/or learning difficulties.

“They currently operate out of a nearby building situated in Clarence Gardens.

“Their intention is to convert the disused former public convenience on Wigginton Road into a self-contained useable space, to be known as the Hubble, to complement their activities at The Hut.

“This proposal includes formation of a new accessible WC for public use, to be located at the sound end of the building.”

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The Hut is a registered charity established in 2011 by three senior nurses to provide purposeful activities and support for people with enduring mental health issues and/or learning disabilities.

In December 2019 the charity secured a 99-year property lease that drastically reduced their rent levels – cutting rent payments to City of York Council from £6,000 a year to just £1 a year thanks to a deal with the local authority.

Speaking last year Penny Graver, a trustee for the charity, welcomed the news and said: “We have been working for a while to get this asset transfer in place to help reduce the rent.

“It is a big success for us because we want to refurbish the old toilet block to help expand the charity and offer new activities.

“We currently have 200 members who are struggling in York but we know that there are many more people out there that need our help.”