Public Toilets design scheme

Central Way, opposite Upton Street, Workington town Workington public toiletscentre

Workington's new public toilets, on the ground floor of the multi-storey car park, opened on Monday 13 November 2006. Fish from the Solway swim in a specially-designed tank in the communal entrance area, provided by the Lake District Coast Aquarium in Maryport. Ceramic artist Paul Scott and writer Robert Drake were commissioned to collaborate on the design of visuals and text for the tiles and doors of the toilets, and have also influenced the colour scheme. Their innovative designs incorporate text and images relating to Workington’s history, location and provenance into the ceramic tiling scheme of the Workington public toiletstoilets. The colour scheme (coal black, steel grey and iron pink/red) was inspired by West Cumbrian wagon cards.

The Water Cycle describes the journey of water to the site of the toilets and runs horizontally along the walls of the ladies and gents toilets. The History Line is a floor to ceiling text in the communal area near the toilets entrance. Each tile is based on a famous person, place or event linked with Workington and the design is based on the shape of old railway tickets. You Are Here….., which features on the back of toilet doors, above hand driers and in baby changing and disabled toilets, consists of facts relating to different Workingtons around the world.

The toilets are staffed and managed by Allerdale Borough Council and open every day during shopping hours. The artwork for the toilets is one of several artists’ projects in Workington town centre funded by £2.74m from the Northwest Regional Development Agency and designed to improve public spaces in Workington. The projects have been managed by Allerdale Borough Council and Workington Regeneration in Workington public toiletscollaboration with Working pArts public art consultancy.

About the artists

Paul Scott has exhibited in Europe, North America and Australia and had a solo exhibition at Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery, Carlisle in 2003. In 2001 he curated the touring exhibition ‘Are You Sitting Comfortably?’ which involved artworks on, in and made out of toilets. He has worked on a number of commission projects in the North East and Cumbria and was one of three artists who created a series of tile designs for Tongue Pier as part of Harbour Lights, a public art project in Maryport. Visit his website at

Robert Drake is a writer, willow grower and dry stone waller who lives near Wigton. He has lived in Cumbria for most of his life, has been writing and walling for twenty-five years, and started growing willow in 2000. His stonework designs can be seen in several places along West Cumbria's cycleway network. The public toilet project is an exciting first-time collaboration with Paul Scott. To find out more about Robert's willow-growing business, visit his website at

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Allerdale Borough Council
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