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Cafe and art gallery dream for Waterloo public toilets

AMBITIOUS plans to transform a disused toilet block into a cafe and community art gallery have been unveiled.

The development, which has the backing of local councillors, would see the former public toilets on Marine Crescent, Waterloo, restored to their art-deco heyday.

The renovation is the idea of businesswoman Angela Pooley, who lives in the Lake District, but originally comes from Aintree.

The keen kayaker regularly travels back to Sefton to use Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre but on one visit last year she noticed something missing.

Angela said: “It was about 16 months ago and I decided to go for a walk after I had been kayaking.

“I thought I hadn’t been to the gardens for years and once there I realised I could murder a coffee.

“I saw the toilets and couldn’t believe they were still there – it was then that I had the idea of turning them into a cafe.”

Built in the 1930s, the block had been left to rot, apart from a small refreshments kiosk, but now Angela is hoping to enclose the space between the blocks and create one space ideal for exhibiting local artist’s work.

“I really feel we can breathe new life into this building. At present, it’s a magnet for vandals and is rapidly becoming a blight on the local landscape.

“We have had 100% positive feedback not only from locals living in the area, but also from people we have met using the parks.

“Already we are receiving enquiries from businesses and individuals who have shown an interest in using the premises.

“Considering we have not started operations, all this is extremely encouraging to our confidence that this will be appreciated and valued asset to the local community.”

Church ward councillor, Veronica Webster, said: “The toilets have been defunct for years and have become a real eyesore. There have been attempts before to take them over but we had almost given up on them.

“Angela’s plans look magnificent and I am determined to help her win planning permission.”

Nick Thompson, chairman of Friends of Waterloo Seafront Gardens, said: “We are very hopeful that these plans will be approved and strongly support them.”

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