GETTING a block of public toilets on the edge of Melksham's biggest and best used park open again is likely to cost the town council more than they bargained for - with a bill of up to £100,000 on the horizon.

The toilets on Bath Road, next to the skate park and the King George V playing field, have been closed since 2016, when Wiltshire Council axed cash to run them. After taking them on, the town council has found they will have to budget extra cash for 2020-2021 to re-open them.

Town clerk Linda Roberts explained: "Originally, we were quoted £40-60,000 to repair them but that was for the refurbishment of just one cubicle, so we didn’t feel it was good value for money.

"We want to redo the whole block of three cubicles but we’re waiting for the tender back. We want to make sure we have enough budget to do the required work."

The council has put the contract for the refurbishment or rebuild of the toilet block out to tender.

Town and Wiltshire Cllr Jon Hubbard said: "The council looked at refurbishment details and details of what's there. They are no longer in use but the people who originally put them in are no longer trading so we can't get the parts from them, we're looking at another contractor.

"The building was built a long time ago so there was no thought into it being energy-saving or carbon neutral. We're saying to contractors that it has to be energy-efficient.

"The work could be as extreme as knocking it down. The contractors know far better than us if that will be needed. We have to consider the cost of building the toilets and the ongoing costs.

"The council are committed to making it happen and they have assigned a budget. They should be open this year, as soon as possible."

The public toilets on both Bath Road and Church Street have been closed since April 2016, after Wiltshire Council withdrew funding for their upkeep.

Currently, the town centre’s only toilet block open to the public is in the Market Place. These loos are owned by the town council and funded in partnership with Melksham Without Parish Council.