Our lack of toilet facilities has been a cause for concern for many years now. Increased population and tourism numbers have not seen such facilities in our area increase at a similar rate. The existing toilets on The Green, Portree are wholly inadequate for the number of persons using them during tourist season. In the height of summer they used to close at 8pm, awkward for those visiting village or e.g. wild camping in area. This resulted in scrub ground round about being used as ‘a toilet’.
In 2016 we began talking with Highland Council, Lochalsh and Skye Housing, HIE, and LEADER. We had identified a need for toilet facilities at Portree Pier, Bayfield as well as The Green toilets needing total refurbishment. This resulted in late 2017 our finally opening a two cubicle toilet unit at Portree Pier.
For Trust members this has been a steep learning curve, promised funding towards cleaning costs were withdrawn and we now find ourselves having to raise in excess of £4000 yearly to cover cleaning, supplies, insurance, water and electricity charges etc.
To help with this, we have recently installed a pay per use entry system which accepts card payments and charges 50 pence per use. We anticipate this will help greatly with covering cleaning and maintenance costs year-round. We still have ambitions to create a more permanent community owned toilet and shower facility as part of a wider harbour regeneration however for the moment these units are providing a vital service to those who work at and visit Portree harbour.