Most Comfort Scheme operators who had 3-year agreements in place with The Highland Council to provide public convenience facilities found the scheme beneficial and wish to renew their agreements.
These are the findings of a survey of comfort scheme operators which showed that 86% of providers found the scheme beneficial with 94% of wishing to become providers again.
84% would recommend others to sign up to the scheme and more than half believe the scheme attracts more custom to their businesses and local community.
A report to Highland Councillors on the Communities and Place Committee informed that the number of Comfort Scheme providers will increase by more than 30% from 42 to 55 with new 3-year agreements in place.
Chair of Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Graham MacKenzie said:
“This significant increase in the number of new Comfort Scheme providers joining the existing provision is welcome news for locals and visitors to the Highlands.
“Comfort Scheme provision increases the public toilet facilities available, making the Highlands a better place to live and visit.
“Comfort Schemes also bring welcome footfall to local businesses benefiting the economy.”
While the Council does not have a statutory responsibility to provide or operate public conveniences it recognises the importance of such provision by operating 76 public conveniences across the region and had 42 comfort scheme agreements in place.
Thirty-five percent comfort schemes were in Lochaber, Ross and Cromarty (24%), Skye and Lochalsh and Inverness both 14%; Caithness 8% and in Badenoch and Strathspey 5%.
The survey results also indicated that 27% of all the comfort scheme operators were on the NC500.
Locations of current Comfort Schemes can be found at www.highland.gov.uk/publictoilets where businesses and organisations are also welcomed to register interest in becoming a comfort scheme provider.