New group answers Ganavan call of nature

Ganavan Sands

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The toilets at Ganavan Sands will officially reopen this weekend.

Just hours after an appeal by BID4Oban and The Oban Times for someone to come forward to take on the task of opening and cleaning the public convenience, Adventure Oban has stepped up to help.

The newly-established limited company and community body is chaired by Dave Blezard, who runs Outside Edge, Oban’s independent outdoors sports shop.

An Adventure Oban spokesman said its supporters were passionate about Ganavan as swimmers, runners, cyclists, walkers and paddleboarders.

They recognised the necessity for the facilities to be open to the public at weekends and had agreed to help take on the role.

The arrangement will be in place every weekend until April when Argyll and Bute Council fully reopens the loos for the start of the new season.

Andy Spence, the BID4Oban chief executive, who has been working to facilitate the reopening of the toilets, said he was ‘delighted’ with the breakthrough and thanked Adventure Oban for coming forward.

Opening the toilets at weekends has been on the agenda for some time due to the number of people flocking to Ganavan for exercise during the latest lockdown.

Mr Spence said inductions were being carried out and that the toilets would reopen this Saturday and Sunday (February 6-7).

‘It’s good to have a community group involved in this and BID4Oban would just like to thank Argyll and Bute Council and local councillors for supporting this initiative,’ he said.

At a meeting of Oban Community Council last week, Dougie Graham, who runs a snack bar at the car park, explained that he could no longer fully take on all of the role.

An honesty box is to be provided for donations towards the costs of reopening.

These include cleaning materials, the wages and the licensing which are being met as a one-off gesture by BID4Oban.

The arrangement will see the toilets cleaned once a day and then at the end of each weekend with people urged to make donations.

Adventure Oban added that it is on the verge of announcing exciting new plans to encourage outdoor adventure locally.