The public will now have to pay to use the Largs seafront toilets in Gallowgate Street.

The Gents and Ladies public conveniences have just undergone a controversial £300,000 revamp over the past six months.

North Ayrshire Council stated on its website: "As of today, Friday, February 9, pay gates are in place at the Gallowgate toilets in Largs.

"Entry to the facility costs 40p and payments are card only."

Independent Cllr Ian Murdoch said: "The only reason Largs still has public seafront toilets is that it is paid for through the revenue generated by seafront car park - as North Ayrshire Council's main general account no longer pay for public toilets - so it has to make its own money to be reinvested in maintenance."

The project was supposed to be completed last summer but work had to be interrupted for the Viking Festival so they would be open to the public during the busiest time of the year.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

The arrival of the paygates comes in the backdrop of North Ayrshire Council recently rubberstamping a forthcoming consultation and review of the rest of the public toilet provision in Largs.

North Ayrshire Council (NAC) will now ask community groups to consider taking on the remaining public convenience facilities at Broomfield, Aubery Park, Mackerston and the Pencil under 'community asset transfers'.

Largs and Millport Weekly News:

Aubery Park only provides male facilities due to long-term issues with repairs to the female block - which, the report says, has no prospect of being fixed, due to the close proximity to a pond making costs prohibitive.

The estimated current required investment in the toilets at Broomfield is £62,000, Mackerston Place is £73,000, and the Pencil is £60,000. 

The latest round of proposed asset transfers or closures would result in savings of £87,000 per annum on utilities, operational costs, repairs and maintenance.

At the recent Largs Community Council meeting, the matter was discussed.

Cllr Murdoch said: "The maintenance for these toilets also comes from the car park fund. There is something being looked at in the North Coast of something else for wider scope regarding these toilets that is being enquired about.

"I am not happy about giving up prime assets. The adoption of the toilets by another community group I am not against."

Robbie Stevenson said: "I wasn't aware that the car park revenue was paying for the cleaning of all the toilets, I thought that was just the car park toilets."

Cllr Murdoch responded: "That is the only reason that these public toilets have been open since 2016 as North Ayrshire Council had taken a decision to close all public toilets."

Councillor Alan Hill said: "There are potential avenues at the toilets at Aubery and at Cairnie's Quay, and then you are looking at The Pencil, it may be that we don't need them all."

Community council chairman Jim Philips voiced concerns about initial reports that the public toilets might close as being a "disaster for the community".

North Ayrshire Council has rowed back on a threat that these four public toilets in Largs could be closed in the spring, after the initial paper for the Cabinet meeting contained the proposal, with Cllrs Tom Marshall and Ian Murdoch calling on the "closure" aspect to be removed from the report.