‘Spend a Penny Scotland’ campaign launches today to build a much needed Changing Places Toilet in Tyndrum

‘Spend a Penny Scotland’ campaign launches today to build a much needed Changing Places Toilet in Tyndrum

The Tyndrum Infrastructure Group (TIG) has today launched its campaign, ‘Spend a Penny Scotland’ to raise awareness, and funds to build a Changing Places Toilet (CPT) facility in Tyndrum. 

The campaign is urging Scots to sign a petition which TIG has launched to prioritise calls on the Scottish Government to choose and support locations for Changing Places Toilets in areas of Scotland and also to donate to the ‘Spend a Penny’ crowdfunding page to raise funds for the much-needed facility.

Building a CPT in Tyndrum will open up the north end of The Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park to day trippers from the central belt, residents commuting from the West Coast to the cities and thousands of tourists from further south of the border and further afield.

Currently, there’s a shortage of these crucial facilities in the West of Scotland in an area larger than the size of Wales; the nearest CPT toilet to Tyndrum is more than an hour away at Blair Drummond.

Geographically, Tyndrum is a strategic hub in Scotland with millions of vehicles passing through each year and a major junction in the Highlands. The village was deemed to be the number one priority for a CPT facility in Scotland in 2020 at a workshop run by CalMac and PAMIS, a Scottish charity which works with people with profound and multiple learning disabilities and their families.

TIG has worked closely the Strathfillan Community Development Trust, and a grant was secured in 2021 to undertake an initial feasibility study and public consultation. More recently  a major breakthrough came when the group reached an agreement with the iconic Green Welly Stop to use a ‘dead space’ adjacent to their toilet complex, as the location for the new CPT. Since then, a development feasibility study has been carried out on the site and there is now a costed design plan and draft Memorandum of Understanding with the owners.

Sarah Heward, owner of The Real Food Café in Tyndrum recently met with Alyn Smith MP who has confirmed that he will write to Maree Todd MSP, Minister for Social Care, Mental Wellbeing and Sport to push for a commitment from the Scottish Government to build the facilities across Scotland.

Sarah Heward, Chair of the Tyndrum Infrastructure Group and Owner of The Real
Food Café in Tyndrum said: “Through personal family experience, I understand what a lifeline these facilities are to people and families that need them. When my dad developed a neurological illness, he became unable to use a normal disabled toilet and needed the specialist facilities that a CPT offers; this was mainly because he needed to be hoisted onto the loo.”

Our campaign aims to highlight the need for a Changing Places Toilet in Tyndrum and show people the vast scale of area, one of Scotland’s most popular tourist destinations which is currently without the much-needed facilities for disabled day trippers, visitors and tourists.

“There is no suitable facility in a large swathe of the West Coast and Highlands, an area the size of Wales and this is preventing disabled people from taking a day out and experiencing the joy of this part of the country. Everybody should be able to enjoy Scotland and the benefits of tourism including our visitors and our rural economies which rely on tourism to support local communities and thousands of jobs all over Scotland.”

In 2021 the SNP made a manifesto pledge of a £10M Changing Places Toilet fund specifically to improve the network of CPTs throughout Scotland and help create the inclusive and accessible country so often talked about.

We would urge Scots all over the country to ‘spend a penny’ to help those who currently cannot, by donating what they can to help build the facility in Tyndrum and sign the petition to push the Scottish Government to prioritise the funding and building of Changing Places Toilets in key areas across Scotland.

Dame Anne McGuire, former Labour Minister and Member of the Tyndrum
Infrastructure Group said: “Tyndrum is one of Scotland’s most iconic villages and the development of a Changing Places facility is another important step in its history. For too long, the basic needs of disabled tourists have been ignored and the provision of these new facilities will open up new travel opportunities for them.

It has been a privilege to play a small role is supporting dedicated local people in pushing forward with this project. Sarah Heward deserves particular praise for her foresight, commitment, energy and resilience as the driving force behind this the plan while at same running her own business. She never took ‘no’ for answer.

I hope that the TIG will be seen as a good example to other small communities of what can be achieved if someone has an idea, gathers others around supportive of that idea and then pursue it with tenacity and commitment.”  

Kim Kemp, Secretary of the Tyndrum Infrastructure Group and Changing Places Toilet user said: “For people who suffer from neurological conditions and various physical and mental disabilities, Changing Places Toilets are a vital necessity. Imagine having to travel for hundreds of miles or more to get to the loo if you’re out for the day, on holiday or need to get from A to B. I’m delighted that after a sustained effort over many years, we have now got the site and a costed plan ready to build the facility here in Tyndrum. Our next challenge is to raise the money to build it and get it open as quickly as we can.”

Learn more at: https://therealfoodcafe.com/pages/cpt

Sign the petition at: https://petitions.parliament.scot/petitions/PE2027

Donate to the cause at: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/p/changing-places-tyndrum