VITAL coastal facilities have been saved from the axe, ensuring visitors should not be caught short in Northumberland.
Residents in Cresswell had feared for the future of the public toilets in the village after Northumberland County Council announced a review of services.
The facilities were previously closed by the former Castle Morpeth Council in 2002, but the move provoked fury from locals, who said it had led to anti-social behaviour, with visitors urinating in the streets.
And after a 15-month campaign a deal was struck to re-open the toilets, with Cresswell Parish Council meeting the cleaning and day-to-day running costs.
However, the parish was struggling to meet the bill and with the county council seeking to pass down more services, it seemed the toilets’ days were numbered.
But now the facilities have been spared after they were classed as being of ‘strategic importance’ to tourism, which will see the county council cover the costs.
Parish Chairman Jean Gardner said: “The county council has designated the toilets as strategic and will be taking them over.
“We have still got the detail to work out and the finer points are still being sorted, but because they are designated as strategic to tourism the county is going to maintain the toilets.
“It means people will still be able to spend a penny in Cresswell, although there is no charge.
“The toilets are safe at least for another year or so, that is really good for everyone.”
The facilities are used by tourists, cyclists and walkers.