City of York Public Toilets

In 2013, City of York Council recorngised the importance of improving their public toilets and the potential value that could be achieved for the city in doing so. The Healthmatic model adopted, not only modernised and improved the quality of the facilities provided for public use but also reduced the annual operating costs by over 80%.

“…the results far exceeded our expectations; the facilities were brought right up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight.”


  • 50% reduction in utility bills
  • Sub-lets introduced, raising revenue for the City and the Council
  • 87% reduction in overall costs

City of York Council were spending over half a million pounds per annum on the 13 public toilets available for use across the city. The toilets were built back in the 1960’s/1970’s. As a result of this, the toilets were tired and dated in appearance, unreliable in operation and did not offer a pleasant experience for the user. They weren’t meeting the expectations of the large volume of visitors to the city nor the local communities. Complaints were common and the cost of upkeep just kept increasing.

Healthmatic having performed detailed surveys of each location, not just focusing on the buildings and the facilities but also considering the volume of use and the user profile, completely redesigned the 13 toilet sites. By intorducing carefully designed layouts and equipment profiles to enhance the user experience, each site was enabled to meet the specific demands of the location and the pattern of use.

  • Layout and Equipment improving hygiene, maximising efficiency and delivering a more desirable experience
  • Materials used to facilitate more efficient and effective cleaning regimes
  • Reduced maintenance costs and downtime
  • Utility costs reduced through the application of environmentally friendly products and direct management of utility suppliers
  • Charging for use was introduced at a modest level to positively impact operational costs
  • A combined cleaning and maintenance service is used to optimise the daily operation of the facilities and to maximise productivity
  • The redesign of the facilities optimised the use of the existing floor plan by creating serviced areas which are subsequently sub-let to generate additional incomes

The Results

  • The time required to service the facilities has been reduced by 60%.
  • Facilities are operational as required with remotely adjustable opening and closing times.
  • Vandalism has been reduced to a minimum.
  • Utility costs have been reduced by 50%.
  • Significant income is generated via charges for toilet use and sub-let of commercial outlets.
  • Complaints regarding the condition of public toilets eliminated.

“Coppergate is one of the main toilets in York City Centre, it is located adjacent to one of the largest car parks in the City making this, alongside our Silver Street Toilets, one of the busiest toilets in York.

The toilets had been refurbished since they were built in the 70’s/80’s and we approached Healthmatic to look at refurbishing both Coppergate and Silver Street as they are our business partners for the Public Toilets in York.

We worked together to successfully receive money for a capital project to refurbish both facilities, Healthmatic agreed to carry out this work as close to cost as possible as the refurbishment would see an improvement to the facilities and enable their staff to deliver a far better experience for users of these going forward.

When the toilets were opened, the results far exceeded our expectations, the facilities were brought right up to date and our customer complaints disappeared overnight. The feedback from the public has been very complimentary and the Council feel the capital money has been spent well in improving both sets of toilets.”

Dave Meigh – Operations Manager, City of York Council

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May 11, 2020 11:23 am

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